The Department of Agriculture Tuesday announced plans to invest more than $4 billion to strengthen critical supply chains through the Build Back Better initiative. USDA says the funding stems from lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and recent supply chain disruptions. The new effort will strengthen the food system, create new market opportunities, tackle climate change, and support jobs throughout the supply chain, according to USDA.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack states, “I am confident USDA’s investments will spur billions more in leveraged funding from the private sector and others as this initiative gains traction across the country.” Funding is provided by the American Rescue Plan Act and earlier pandemic assistance, such as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. USDA says recent events have exposed the immediate need for action. With attention to competition and investments in additional small- and medium-sized meat processing capacity, the effort will spur economic opportunity while increasing resilience and certainty for producers and consumers.