ST. PAUL (WJON News) - The Minnesota Farmers Union Foundation is now accepting loan applications from meat processors.

Small and medium-sized meat and poultry processors are eligible for loans through the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program.

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The program offers loans of up to $100,000 at a 4 percent fixed interest rate for up to a ten-year term for the start-up, expansion, and operation of slaughter and further processing of meat and poultry.

The funds can be used to:

  • Purchase land or equipment
  • Cover start-up costs
  • Make other business investments

MFU President Gary Wertish is also president of the MFU Foundation. He says the loan program will help alleviate food supply issues discovered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minnesota Farmers Union has worked to enhance meat and poultry processing options for family farmers for more than five years since members first raised the issue of a lack of access to small meat lockers and having to wait more than a year to have their livestock processed. Covid-19 illustrated the problems of a consolidated food system. Since then, the state legislature has invested in rebuilding the state’s meat and poultry processing infrastructure and this federal loan program will help meat processors make additional investments. An independent, diverse meat processing industry is essential to a diverse, independent livestock production industry and a cornerstone of rural economic development.

The Foundation has a total of $900,000 in revolving loan funds available for the program, funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For more information on the program, find the website here.

 

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