Livestock Industry Investments
The USDA says it’s making big investments to reduce supply chain and processing problems in the livestock industry.
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack testified to as much before the House Ag Committee.
Vilsack: “ It’s an extraordinary set of complex factors to be examined when we talk about the livestock industry in the United States.
Our inventories are down in beef, and pork, and poultry for a variety of reasons whether it’s drought, or disease, or disruption of the supply chain. At the same time we are seeing incredibly high demand domestically and exports at a high level, in fact setting a record.
Vilsack says the USDA is focusing much of its resources to address processing capacity issues such as establishing a $500-million fund. He says the agency has asked for input and information from producers and other stakeholders who are interested in using the fund. Over 500 individuals and operations have responded. They are now in the process of analyzing those comments in order to establish and structure the program.
Vilsack told the House members he expects the structure of the huge fund will be established by the end of 2021. That would allow the USDA to begin making investments sometime in the first quarter of 2022.
Last summer the USDA announced its intent to invest $500 million in American Rescue Plan funds to expand meat and poultry processing capacity. USDA also announced more than $150 million for existing small and very small processing facilities to help them weather COVID, compete in the marketplace and get the support they need to reach more customers.