USDA says more than $200M will help meat processors expand

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The US Department of Agriculture announced more than $223 million in grants and loans Wednesday to help small and mid-sized meat processing plants expand to help boost competition in the highly concentrated industry. 

The effort is expected to increase cattle and pig slaughter capacity by more than 500,000 head a year and helping poultry plants process nearly 34 million more birds while adding more than 1,100 jobs mostly in rural areas where the plants are located. 

The Biden administration wants to add meat processing capacity to give farmers and ranchers more options of where to sell the animals they raise while hopefully reducing prices for consumers by increasing competition because the biggest companies now have so much power over pricing.