Federal Stimulus Package Includes Funds to Support Expansion by Small-Scale Meat Processors

The Center for Rural Affairs reports that the coronavirus stimulus package approved Monday by Congress included funds to directly support small-scale meat processors to help them expand and distribute meat across state lines. As part of the package, $60 million will be available for facility upgrade and planning grants. The bill also requires a report on the availability of financing for new and existing processing capacity and calls for USDA to work with states and detail ways to improve the existing Cooperative Interstate Shipment program. Johnathan Hladik, policy director for the Center for Rural Affairs, noted, “Congress deserves credit for acknowledging this problem and offering a response. Storage and equipment limitations have made it difficult for independent processors to meet growing demand, and we expect this stimulus to help overcome the capital constraints that have been impairing the industry for months.”