The Future of Food - 9

USDA Grants, New Processors for Livestock

Victoria G Myers
By  Victoria G. Myers , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
New market opportunities for meat processors in the U.S. are being helped by some grants. (DTN/Progressive Farmer file photo by Vann Cleveland)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (DTN) -- The USDA awarded some $21.9 million in grants to smaller livestock and poultry processors under its Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant program last year. The funding went to projects in 37 states, with the goal of helping to strengthen and develop new market opportunities for meat and poultry processors in the U.S.

A list of 2022 grant recipients can be found at….

In addition, several new large processing facilities, owned at least in some part by producers, have been announced recently.

In the special series "The Future of Food," DTN has been looking at food insecurity but also some of the future trends, crops farmers plan to grow, technology they'll use and even new ways to grow their crops and process their animals more efficiently. In the eighth of the series stories, "Building Something Better in the Beef Business," (…) we examined what is happening with the packers and processors in the livestock industry, including families starting their own beef-brand businesses, and how it is reshaping the future of meat.

In today's story, the ninth in the series, we list some of the grant recipients and new processors that have been announced.

These include:

-- Producer Owned Beef, in Amarillo, Texas. Expected to come online in 2025, this new processor was awarded $12.232 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund. The facility is expected to be able to process 3,000-plus head each day and employ nearly 1,600 people. The processor announced its producer owners will receive a percentage of wholesale beef prices for cattle they supply and share profits from the plant. (…)

-- Sustainable Beef LLC, in North Platte, Nebraska. Operational late 2024, this new facility will have capacity of 1,500 head per day and employ some 875 workers. The state contributed about $20 million of federal COVID relief funds, with the city of North Platte giving $1 million in forgivable loans. This plant has reportedly signed an agreement with Walmart for a minority stake and board representation. The processor was organized by feedlot operators and ranchers. (…)

-- Cattlemen's Heritage Beef Co., in Mills County, Iowa. This new processor, with no opening date yet announced, would be able to process 1,500 to 2,000 head each day and employ 800 people. The plant will be fully sustainable with traceability processes and family-farm raised and sourced. Construction is scheduled for this year. (…)


This is the ninth story in "The Future of Food" series. Other articles in the series include:

"Editor's Notebook,"…

"The Future of Food - 1,"….

"The Future of Food - 2,"…

"The Future of Food - 3,"…

"The Future of Food - 4,"…

"The Future of Food - 5,"…

"The Future of Food - 6,"…

"The Future of Food - 7,"…

"The Future of Food - 8,"…

Victoria Myers can be reached at

Follow her on Twitter @myersPF

Victoria Myers