Minnesota receives $15M to boost meat, poultry processing

(ABC 6 News) – Minnesota is receiving $15 million from the United States Department of Agriculture to establish a revolving loan program that will support small and medium-sized meat and poultry processors.

The new Meat and Poultry Revolving Loan Fund will be available through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Rural Finance Authority.

The MDA said the fund will offer low-interest loans for the start-up, expansion, or operation of slaughter and value-added meat and poultry processing. Loans of up to $10 million will be available at a 3% fixed interest rate with a term of up to 10 years. Funds can be used to purchase land or equipment, cover start-up costs, and make other business investments. Returned funds will be available to new borrowers.

Minnesota was awarded the maximum of $15 million in grant money targeting meat and poultry processing from the USDA Minnesota Rural Development Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program. The USDA will be investing a total of $200 million across the nation through two rounds of program grants.

“Local meat processing benefits farmers, our urban and rural economies, and consumers throughout the state,” said Governor Tim Walz. “This loan program will help processors increase their capacity to better serve Minnesotans and ease supply chain disruptions we’ve witnessed over the past several years.”

“This loan program acts as a catalyst for rural prosperity by opening opportunities to expand local and regional processing capacity and increase competition within the meat industry. It creates new markets, new jobs, and builds our economy,” said USDA Rural Development Minnesota State Director Colleen Landkamer.

Loan applications will be available in early 2023.