Lending Program Increases Economic Opportunities for Meat and Poultry Processors

MANDAN, N.D.  — Expanding on its efforts to improve quality of life in rural North Dakota, the Rural Development Finance Corporation (RDFC) has announced a new revolving loan fund focused on supporting the state’s meat and poultry processors. Made possible through a $10 million U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant, the Meat and Poultry Intermediary Lending Program (MPILP) offers low-interest loans for the start-up, expansion or operation of regional meat processing facilities.

“North Dakota’s meat processing businesses contribute greatly to rural economies. They provide jobs and improve access to fresh, healthy food. They also provide an essential service for our state’s ranchers, who depend on them as a convenient, local processing option for their herds,” says RDFC Executive Director Lori Capouch. “This new revolving loan fund will strengthen the financing capacity of regional meat processing plants, cultivating a more resilient, diverse and secure food supply chain.”

Loans are available at a 2% fixed interest rate with a 1% origination fee and flexible terms. Funds can be used to purchase land or equipment, cover construction or start-up costs, and make purchases related to business expansion. Revolved funds will be made available to new borrowers.

“USDA is making a significant investment in our state’s local food supply chain, and we are excited to put that money to work. We encourage potential applicants to contact us to learn more about the program or begin the application process,” says Capouch.

For more information on MPILP, contact Capouch at (701) 667-6444 or lcapouch@ndarec.com.

RDFC is a nonprofit finance and development corporation whose member-owners include the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC), the Broadband Association of North Dakota and all of North Dakota’s electric and telecommunications cooperatives. Funding for RDFC programs comes from fee income generated by Dakotas America LLC, a community development entity providing New Market Tax Credits in economically distressed census tracts across the United States. NDAREC provides administrative support to RDFC.