Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) Foundation is now accepting loan applications from meat processors. The Foundation has a total of $900,000 in revolving loan funds to distribute to support small and medium-sized meat and poultry processors through the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program (MPILP).

The MPILP offers low-interest loans for the start-up, expansion and operation of slaughter and further processing of meat and poultry. Loans of up to $100,000 are available at a 4 percent fixed interest rate with a term of up to 10 years. Funds can be used to purchase land or equipment, cover start-up costs and make other business investments. Returned funds will be made available to new borrowers.

“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,” said MFU President Gary Wertish, who is also president of MFU Foundation. “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.”

MPILP is funded by a grant from United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development.