U.S. government creating new and better markets for ag producers
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced June 15 that USDA is making investments worth $320 million to create new and better markets for agricultural producers and food businesses in 19 states across rural America. This is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda.
“The Biden-Harris Administration and USDA are standing up for America’s farmers and ranchers by expanding processing capacity, creating fairer markets, more revenue streams and market opportunities which help bring down food costs for families at the grocery store,” Vilsack states.
“We are partnering with entrepreneurs in rural areas to build brighter futures, connect business owners to new markets, and create good jobs for generations to come. These investments reflect the goals of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to rebuild our economy from the bottom up and middle out and make our communities more resilient.”
Investments are being made to strengthen food supply chains and create more opportunities for producers and entrepreneurs in 19 states: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia.
Funds will be available through four programs designed to create economic opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas. These programs are:
The Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program supports new investments in infrastructure for food aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storage, transportation, wholesaling, and distribution to increase capacity and create a more resilient, diverse, and secure U.S. food supply chain.
Additionally, the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program (MPILP) provides grant funding to intermediary lenders who finance – or plan to finance – the start-up, expansion, or operation of slaughter, or other processing of meat and poultry.
The objective of MPILP is to strengthen the financing capacity of independent meat processors and create a more resilient, diverse, and secure U.S. food supply chain.
The Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program also helps improve rural economic health by increasing access to business capital, allowing commercial lenders, like banks and credit unions, to offer affordable financing to eligible rural businesses.
Finally, the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program provides funding for rural projects through local utility organizations. USDA provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which they, in turn, lend to local businesses for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas.