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USDA unveils plan to help build small meat processing plants

The federal government is promising to spend $500 million to encourage the construction of smaller meat processing plants located closer to farmers who raise chickens, pigs and cows with the goal of diversifying the industry from the consolidation around large corporate owned processors. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, announced the program Friday in addition to another $150 million to be used for existing small processing facilities to help them with unexpected costs the coronavirus pandemic caused and to compete in the marketplace. Vilsack says the goal is to improve profitability for livestock farmers and better serve consumers who increasingly want to know where and how the animals they eat are raised.

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