USDA Announces Major Investment In Meat Processing Capacity, Meant to Stir Competition, Strengthen Supply Lines

July 9, 2021, 5:36 p.m. ·

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The USDA has announced it will use $500 million of the nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan to expand meat processing capacity across the nation.

At a press conference in Council Bluffs, Iowa Friday, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said the funds are intended to increase competition in the processing industry and strengthen resilience in the food supply chain.

"What it's going to do is it's first and foremost going to create an opportunity, then to reverse what's happening today, out in the countryside, where producers are having to sell their cattle at a loss, only to learn the processors end up taking that cattle and generating a profit,” said Vilsack. “Seems to me, in fairness, the profit ought to go both ways.”

In addition to helping build new processing facilities, Vilsack says existing small and medium processors will receive $55 million in aid.

He adds the announcement is meant to dovetail with President Biden’s most recent Executive Order, which seeks to ignite competition in a slew of industries, including agriculture.

For more information, the full press release can be found HERE