JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Wednesday, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson announced the Mississippi Land, Water and Timber Resources Board (LWTRB) approved $3.1 million in financial assistance to seven livestock processing facilities to increase their capacity following interruptions in the food supply chain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The board approved the funding to expand currently operating USDA-inspected processing facilities and construct new USDA-inspected facilities.
“Last May, when the pandemic was still new, I announced steps toward making Mississippi’s food supply chain more resilient. We removed limits on the number of owners allowed per animal for custom slaughter. We created MSFarmMarketplace.com to connect directly farmers and consumers to enhance farm-to-table supply lines. We provided guidance to farmers markets across the state so if they chose to remain open, they could operate safely. And, we invited meat processors in the state to submit applications to expand their operations. A year later, we have approved $3.1 million to effectively double Mississippi’s domestic meat processing capacity,” Gipson said.
The Mississippi LWTRB approved applications from seven processors.
- Attala Frozen Foods in Attala County, was awarded a grant in the amount of $611,110 to expand its USDA-inspected processing facility. The grant allows for the building construction and the purchase of equipment.
- Homestead Farm and Packing in George County, was awarded a grant in the amount of $49,700 to purchase new equipment to increase the processing capacity of its USDA-inspected processing facility.
- Pitcock Processing, Inc. in Panola County, was awarded a grant in the amount of $494,745.80 and a loan in the amount of $329,897.20 to construct a new USDA-inspected processing facility and purchase equipment.
- Cutting Edge Meat Co. in Greene County, was awarded a grant in the amount of $350,000 to assist with the cost of constructing a new USDA-inspected processing facility and purchasing equipment.
- A Cut Above Meat Processing and Market, LLC in Hancock County, was awarded a grant in the amount of $529,560 and a loan in the amount of $353,040 to construct a new USDA-inspected processing facility and purchase new equipment.
- Blue Sky RE, LLC in Rankin County, was awarded a grant in the amount of $304,385 to purchase a USDA-inspected mobile processing unit and modular cut and wrap facility. This innovative mobile facility providing USDA-inspected slaughter on-site at Mississippi farms is the first of its kind in the state.
- Juniper Creek Farms, LLC in Pearl River County, was awarded a grant in the amount of $70,000 to construct an on-farm USDA-inspected poultry processing facility.