USDA programs support small meat processing plants

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has brought the instability of the consolidated meat and poultry sectors into sharp focus. This has led to increased discussions, and some action, among consumers, producers, farm organizations, and Congress about how to expand and support small and medium sized slaughter facilities upon which many farmers and ranchers rely. Luckily, there are a few existing federal programs that could be expanded to further support small, local, and regional meat and poultry processing plants and increase farmers’ access to slaughter and processing options.