WASHINGTON (October 4, 2021)
– Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an additional $100 million investment into the food supply chain infrastructure. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) supports this step to prioritize the expansion of beef processing capacity and dedicate further resources to build a more resilient cattle industry.
“Our number one goal at NBCA continues to be opening up new opportunities for cattle producers to be profitable,” said NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane. “The pandemic accentuated a number of vulnerabilities within our supply chains—chiefly the choke point at the meatpacking sector which has resulted in unsustainable prices for cattle producers and increased the cost of beef for consumers. Today’s announcement is another step toward returning stability to the markets, and NCBA urges USDA to announce eligibility requirements and application instructions as quickly as possible.”
The $100 million announced today is in addition to the $500 million announced earlier this year.
In July 2021, Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA would invest over $500 million in federal funds to support food supply chains and simultaneously opened a public comment period to determine the most effective means of distributing these funds. NCBA submitted comments calling for federally-guaranteed, low-interest loans and grants to be distributed to small meatpackers looking to expand, and new market entrants desiring to construct new regional small to mid-size processing plants. NCBA expects USDA to announce the parameters of this program soon and will provide more information as it becomes available.