The U.S. Department of Agriculture is announcing more than nine-million dollars in grants and loans for projects to bolster independent meat processing, with direct impact on two ag projects in Iowa.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says these investments are a way to give more marketing opportunities to small and mid-size farming operations.  Vilsack says, “That will create hopefully more income for farmers, more choice for consumers, and more jobs in rural areas.”

A meat locker being built in the northwest Iowa town Marcus is receiving an $800,000 loan for new construction, while a cattle operation in the southwest Iowa town of Tabor gets a 210-thousand-dollar grant to expand production. Vilsack says the loan to Jordan’s Meat Market in Marcus will fund new construction and bring new jobs.

“Creating an opportunity for not only additional opportunities for farmers to market their products,” he says, “but also this is a new business that expects and anticipates it will be able to employ six additional workers.” The two Iowa projects are among 25 across 15 states.

(By Katie Peikes, Iowa Public Radio)

Radio Iowa