U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Oklahoma State Director Kenneth Corn announced today that the Biden-Harris Administration is investing $14 million to finance the startup and expansion of independent meat processors across Oklahoma. These funds will be used to capatilize a revolving loan fund that will provide low-interest rates to multiple beef and and poultry plants across Oklahoma to strengthen their capacity, be more resilient, and ultimately secure the nation’s food supply chain.
The $14 million of investments announced today in Oklahoma support the Biden-Harris Administration’s Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain, which dedicates resources to expand independent processing capacity. As President Biden has highlighted, creating fairer markets and more opportunities for family farmers helps bring down prices at the grocery store.
“President Biden recognizes the need to expand processing capacity by creating a market that is fair for all Oklahomans and develop more revenue streams for our agriculture producers,” Corn said. “Under the President and USDA’s leadership, these investments will allow Oklahoma families to afford putting quality food on the dinner table by reducing inflation at our supermarkets and keep our Oklahoma ranchers and farmers from getting unfairly squeezed by large corporate meat processers by creating more competition in the marketplace for their product.”
Rural Enterprises Incorporated ($5 million) and Southwest Intermediary Finance Team ($9 million) will manage these investments and provide the financing opportunities for Oklahoma meat and poultry processing sector in the state. Projects will include alleviating economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing permanent resources to support food supply resiliency, and advancing long-term regional economic objectives in the Oklahoma agriculture producer market. Nationally, USDA is providing $89 million in grants under the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program to promote fair competition and innovation in the meat and poultry industry.
“The pandemic taught us that there was a great need for more capacity of meat processing in this nation. The lesson learned is not just a talking point for President Biden as he understands the need to take action so that our nation and our producers are never again held hostage to the lack of capacity in processing,” said Corn
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/ok.