USDA is making $ 55.2 million available to small and medium-sized meat and poultry processing facilities that wish to become federally inspected factories or operate as part of a cooperative interstate shipping program. ‘a state. The funds are made available through the Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant Program (MPIRG) which was funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, âWe are building capacity and increasing economic opportunities for small and medium-sized meat and poultry processors and producers across the country. Through the MPIRG, meat and poultry slaughtering and processing facilities can cover the costs of upgrades necessary to obtain a federal inspection grant under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Meat Inspection Act. inspection of poultry products, or operate under the cooperative state-to-state shipping program. “
USDA wants grant applications to focus on:
- improve the capacity and efficiency of meat and poultry slaughtering and processing;
- develop new markets and expand existing markets;
- increase capacity and better meet consumer and producer demand;
- maintaining strict food inspection and safety standards;
- achieve greater commercial presence; and
- increase access to slaughtering or processing facilities for small farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers and seasoned producers.
MPIRG’s Federal Inspection Grant Planning (PFGI) project is for processing facilities currently in operation and preparing for federal inspection. Applicants can be located anywhere in the states and territories. Whereas the MPIRG Interstate Cooperative Shipment (CIS) Compliance Project is only for processing facilities located in states with a Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) CIS program. These states currently include Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Applicants must work to CIS program compliance requirements to operate a state-inspected facility or make a good faith effort to do so.
Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. EST on August 2, 2021.
Senate passes growing law on climate solutions
The Senate passed the Growing Climate Solutions Act by an overwhelming 92-8 vote. The legislation provides for voluntary market-based programs to help farmers, ranchers and forest owners reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience.
The bill establishes a USDA program to certify credit checking services and provide technical assistance to farmers and forest owners interested in entering a carbon credit market. The USDA would establish protocols for carbon markets and provide guidance to farmers on how to qualify for carbon credit programs. The carbon credit program would then become USDA certified. A 25-member advisory board made up of farmers, the forest industry, scientists and representatives of private markets would be established to make recommendations to Congress and the USDA. The majority of committee members would be farmers.
The bipartisan bill was co-sponsored by 55 senators and supported by more than 75 agricultural, food, forestry and environmental organizations.
US, EU reach agreement on planes, suspend tariffs
The United States and the European Union (EU) have reached an agreement for a five-year suspension of tariffs on aircraft subsidies to Airbus and Boeing. The US Trade Representative said tariffs would be suspended as long as EU support for Airbus “complies with the terms of the deal.” The US and the EU will continue to negotiate for a permanent solution.
The tariff suspension is good news for U.S. wheat, orange juice, grapefruit, almonds, walnuts, cheese, vodka, rum, brandy and other products subject to tariffs ranging from 15 to 25%.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled in 2019 that the United States could impose tariffs of $ 7.5 billion on EU countries on Airbus subsidies. Then, in 2020, the WTO said the EU could impose $ 4 billion in tariffs on US subsidies on Boeing.
US-EU steel and aluminum
The United States and the EU have announced that they will work to find a solution to end tariffs on steel and aluminum imports by the end of the year.
The two countries said in a joint statement: âWe will initiate discussions to allow the resolution of existing differences on measures on steel and aluminum before the end of the year. In this regard, we are committed to working together to resolve the tensions arising from the US application of tariffs on imports from the EU under US Article 232, and will work to allow trade to recover from its 2020 lows and end WTO disputes. “
American corn, rice and other commodities have been hit by EU tariffs in retaliation for US tariffs on steel and aluminum. Maize is hit with a 25% tariff.
The deadline for registering for the CRP is July 23
The deadline for registering for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is July 23. The FSA includes a new climate-smart practices incentive for practices that sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, there is a one-time inflationary adjustment for payment rates as well as greater flexibility to adjust land rental rates. Producers should contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office by July 23 to register.
Torres Small nominated for USDA Rural Development
President Biden has announced his intention to appoint Xochitl Torres Small as USDA’s Under Secretary for Rural Development. Previously, she was a member of Congress representing the Second District of New Mexico. Torres Small has served on the House Agriculture, Armed Services, and Homeland Security committees.
Wilkes nominated for USDA Natural Resources and Environment
President Biden has announced his intention to appoint Dr Homer Wilkes as USDA’s Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment. Wilkes served 41 years with the USDA. He is currently the Director of the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Restoration Division, where he was instrumental in restoring the health of the Gulf Coast ecosystem following the BP oil spill in 2010. Previously, Wilkes was Acting Chief of the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) from 2010 to 2012. He was also a Mississippi State Ecologist. He holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Jackson State University.
Sources: P. Scott Shearer, who is solely responsible for the information provided, and holds full ownership of such information. Informa Business Media and all of its subsidiaries are not responsible for the content of this information asset.