The investment will provide funds for US meat and poultry processing research, expansion, and innovation.
By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced it will invest over $43 million within the meat and poultry industry for processing research, innovation, and expansion in support of its ongoing efforts to transform the food system at every stage along the supply chain.
This investment is funded through the American Rescue Plan and the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).
Included within this investment, is a $5 million grant to the University of Arkansas from the AFRI Center of Excellence for Meat and Poultry Processing and Food Safety Research and Innovation (MPPFSRI).
In addition, $13.9 million in grants from the Meat and Poultry Processing Research and Innovation – Small Business Innovation Research Phase III – program was awarded to 14 small- and mid-sized meat and poultry processors—which will be administered via the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Also included is a $25 million Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) grant awarded to Wholestone Farms for a major plant expansion in Fremont, Nebraska. This grant was administered by USDA Rural Development.
“Farmers rely on technology to become more efficient and profitable,” stated Tom Vilsack, the Agriculture Secretary. “Under the Biden-Harris Administration and through historic funding investments, USDA continues to invest in research processing expansion that will create new and better markets and expand opportunities for small businesses and rural communities. This investment will help enable that vision.”
The AFRI MPPFSRI program promotes novel approaches to meat and poultry processing by implementing pioneering production system technology that assesses risk management and overall enhanced food safety. The University of Arkansas, Center for Scalable and Intelligent Automation in Poultry Processing, will incorporate basic and applied research in meat and poultry processing and food safety to promote technological innovation and decrease industry barriers to safety and processing.”
To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.