The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) Rural Finance Authority (RFA) has opened applications for a new revolving loan program to support Minnesota’s small and medium-sized meat and poultry processors.
The Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program (MPILP) offers $15 million in low-interest loans for the start-up, expansion, or operation of slaughter and value-added processing. MPILP is funded by a grant from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development.
“Investing in local processors is an investment in Minnesota’s economy and communities,” said Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen. “Thanks to the generous support of USDA, this robust loan program will help increase the capacity of meat and poultry processors across Minnesota, in turn leading to increased access for consumers.”
Loans of up to $7 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 made available to new borrowers.
“Investments like this go so much further than the dollars provided,” USDA Rural Development State Director in Minnesota Colleen Landkamer said. “They open opportunities for further partnerships between the MDA and USDA; sustain and expand opportunities for smaller, independent producers and processors; and ultimately strengthen our independence as a nation on our own food supply chain. USDA will continue to work towards giving farmers and ranchers a fair chance to compete in a global marketplace and help lower food costs for the American people. We can’t wait to see what opportunities are created through this partnership with the MDA.”
Minnesota was awarded the maximum of $15 million in grant money targeting meat and poultry processing from the USDA Rural Development Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program. The USDA is investing a total of $200 million across the nation through two rounds of program grants.
“Members of Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) have worked for years to expand access to meat and poultry processing and it’s exciting to see this money available to grow our rural communities,” said MFU President Gary Wertish. “This program will help entrepreneurs grow and expand their businesses and as the loans are paid back, new borrowers will be able to access the funds to grow their operations. It’s a win-win for our state and rural communities’ economies. MFU appreciates all the partners who have worked together to bring these loans to Minnesota.”
Loan applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. To find more information and to access the application, visit the MPILP webpage.
Logan Schumacher, MDA Communications