SAN FRANCISCO, March 6, 2023 – U.S. Division of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack right now introduced the Biden-Harris Administration is investing $89 million across the country (PDF, 160 KB) to finance the startup and enlargement of unbiased meat processors. USDA additionally introduced preliminary steps the Division is taking to create a extra aggressive market for seeds and different agricultural inputs.
The $89 million of investments introduced right now help the Biden-Harris Administration’s Action Plan for a Fairer, More Competitive, and More Resilient Meat and Poultry Supply Chain, which dedicates sources to broaden unbiased processing capability. As President Biden has highlighted, creating fairer markets and extra alternatives for household farmers helps convey down costs on the grocery retailer.
“Below President Biden’s management, USDA is laser-focused on standing up for America’s farmers and ranchers by increasing processing capability, creating fairer markets, and extra income streams and market alternatives, which helps convey down meals prices for households on the grocery retailer,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stated. “Immediately’s investments and actions to again the startup and enlargement of unbiased processing capability and increase market equity in seeds and different key agricultural inputs will promote competitors, help producer earnings, strengthen the provision chain, and enhance financial alternative in rural communities.”
Secretary Vilsack introduced the brand new investments on the Nationwide Farmers Union conference in San Francisco. USDA is offering $89 million in grants underneath the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program (MPILP) to extend obtainable financing for unbiased processors, alleviate bottlenecks, and create alternatives for small companies and entrepreneurs in rural communities. The investments are being made underneath the second spherical of this system. Final fall, USDA awarded $75 million in grants to eight nonprofit lenders in seven states underneath the primary spherical of MPILP.
Nonprofit lenders in seven states will use the funding to determine revolving mortgage funds to finance the startup, enlargement and operation of meat and poultry processors. USDA is making the investments in Alabama, Georgia, Maine, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
- In Alabama, the Alabama Agricultural Growth Authority is receiving $15 million to finance 12 processing services and assist a Tribal entity construct a facility. The funds will profit Madison, Blount, Dallas, Lowndes, Marshall, Cell, Covington, Cullman, DeKalb and Lauderdale counties and can create no less than 145 jobs.
- In Maine, Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) is receiving $8 million to assist livestock and poultry processors in New England get entry to capital and technical help to extend meat processing capability. Coastal Enterprises will proceed to leverage its many years of food-focused lending to assist construct a vibrant and resilient future for meat and poultry processors in New England.
- In North Dakota, Lewis and Clark Growth Group is receiving $5 million to help the enlargement of meat and poultry processing. The funds will give attention to rising capability and diversifying America’s meals provide chain whereas furthering financial alternative with Cloverdale Meals. Lewis and Clark has a 20-year relationship with Cloverdale Meals, which has a protracted historical past of investing in native communities and supporting native pork and cattle producers. The funds will help Cloverdale’s plan for progress over the following three years. This help is anticipated to create 225 jobs.
Extra info on MPILP is accessible at www.usda.gov/meat.
Making a Fairer Marketplace for Seeds, Different Agricultural Inputs
USDA right now launched a report, titled “More and Better Choices for Farmers: Promoting Fair Competition and Innovation in Seeds and Other Agricultural Inputs,” that features suggestions for bettering market equity. USDA is taking quick motion on three of those suggestions:
- USDA’s Agricultural Advertising and marketing Service (AMS) is standing up a brand new Farmer Seed Liaison, which is able to ship on report suggestions. Particularly, the Seed Liaison will increase transparency and cut back confusion in a posh seed system by serving to facilitate communication between farmers and plant breeders and the patent system.
- USDA and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace (USPTO) are forming a Working Group on IP & Competitors in Seeds and Different Agricultural Inputs, the place USDA and USPTO, along with the Division of Justice and the Federal Commerce Fee, will work to advertise truthful competitors within the seed market.
- Moreover, AMS is releasing right now a Discover to Commerce concerning compliance with disclosing the type and number of seeds underneath the Federal Seed Act. The Discover underscores that farmers and seed companies ought to know the type and number of the seed that they’re getting from producers. USDA may even broaden its FarmerFairness.gov portal to allow farmers and seed companies to report suggestions and complaints associated to competitors and client safety within the seed markets.
The report additionally underscores the significance of public funding in plant breeding to advertise resiliency and competitors and allow farmers to raised adapt to native and regional wants.
As a part of its efforts to boost truthful and aggressive markets, and in response to President Biden’s historic Government Order on “Promoting Competition in the American Economy,” USDA sought enter from the general public in regards to the impacts of focus, market energy, and mental property out there for seeds and different agricultural inputs. Specifically, this centered on the results to competitors and market entry for farmers, seed companies, and different new and rising market opponents, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises. USDA’s Agricultural Advertising and marketing Service partnered with the College of Wisconsin to summarize the findings outlined within the report. The report displays important session throughout USDA and with USPTO’s Director and employees, Division of Justice Antitrust, and the Federal Commerce Fee.
USDA and its educational cooperator, Dr. Julie Dawson, a plant scientist on the College of Wisconsin-Madison, utilized feedback acquired in the course of the public remark interval and listening session to tell this report. The report focuses on 3 ways to supply extra and higher seed selections to farmers: 1) working with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace to boost sturdy and dependable mental property rights that appropriately take into accounts the farmer’s and plant breeder’s voice and experience, 2) guaranteeing that seed companies are engaged in truthful competitors and will not be unfairly making the most of market energy, and three) investing within the vital nationwide infrastructure of extra numerous seed selection growth and stewardship to deal with native and regional meals system wants and construct better resiliency into our meals provide chains. In every of those sections, the report analyzes the present scenario and makes suggestions that the U.S. Authorities can implement to advertise truthful competitors and innovation.
Extra info is accessible on the AMS Fair and Competitive Markets webpage.
These initiatives are a part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government efforts to advertise truthful competitors, innovation, and resiliency throughout meals and agriculture, and parallel efforts by USDA to advertise extra and higher selections for farmers by: investing greater than $1 billion in additional aggressive meat and poultry processing choices and $500 million in new home sustainable fertilizer capability; enhancing transparency and modernizing competitors enforcement via new Packers & Stockyards Act guidelines, a Cattle Contract Library Pilot, and extra; and enabling farmers and ranchers to raised safe worth from their merchandise resembling via the proposed rule on Product of USA additionally introduced right now.
USDA touches the lives of all People every day in so many optimistic methods. Below the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is reworking America’s meals system with a better give attention to extra resilient native and regional meals manufacturing, selling competitors and fairer markets for all producers, guaranteeing entry to secure, wholesome and nutritious meals in all communities, constructing new markets and streams of earnings for farmers and producers utilizing climate-smart meals and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clear power capabilities in rural America, and committing to fairness throughout the Division by eradicating systemic obstacles and constructing a workforce extra consultant of America. To be taught extra, go to www.usda.gov.
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