USDA awards $7.5 million meat processing grant to CSRA
On Nov. 2, the USDA announced the award of a $7.5 million grant to the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) Rural Lending Authority for the purpose of expanding meat processing.
The grant is part of a $73 million package of grants to 21 projects across the nation.
In August, a bi-partisan group of Georgia’s congressional delegation sent a letter to Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack supporting CSRA’s grant application. Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff and Reps. Sanford Bishop, Rick Allen, David Scott and Austin Scott all signed the letter, which can be seen here.
Additionally, USDA announced Georgia-based companies Yonah Valley Farms LLC and FPL Food LLC would be awarded federal loans through the Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan program to increase chicken production and extend meat freshness, respectively. Yonah Valley Farms’ loan is for $10.73 million and FPL Foods’ loan is for $24.18 million.
This is the first round of the Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP).
MPPEP was designed to support capacity expansion projects in concert with other private and public finance tools. Today’s announcement is the first round of funding made available through Phase I of MPEPP. Additional announcements are expected in the coming weeks. USDA will also soon begin taking applications for a new phase to deploy an additional $225 million, for a total of up to $375 million, to provide gap financing for independent processing plant projects that fill a demonstrated need for more diversified processing capacity. For more information about MPPEP, click here.