USDA is making $100 million available to fund a new Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program.

The department expects the $100 million to leverage $1 billion in loan guarantees. Rural Development will administer the loans, which can be used to:

  • Start up or expand food supply chain activities such as aggregating, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling or distributing food;
  • Address supply chain bottlenecks;
  • Increase capacity and help create a more resilient, diverse and secure food supply chain.

On a webinar Tuesday to discuss the program, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack said the loans would be used for projects “to expand and strengthen the middle of the supply chain.” He also noted that the program is going to be combined  "with a concerted effort to also provide additional resources for the expansion of new processing facilities." That announcement is expected in early 2022.

The maximum loan amount a borrower may receive is $40 million. USDA said for fiscal year 2022, which ends Sept. 30, Rural Development is reserving 19% of the funds until June 7 “for entities that establish and facilitate the slaughter and initial processing of meat and poultry.”

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