Grant Applications Available for Meat Processor Assistance

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) is now accepting applications for grants through the Independent Processor Assistance Program. This Nebraska Farm Bureau (NEFB) supported program was passed into law during this last legislative session and is designed to improve and expand Nebraska’s meat processing capabilities.

NDA will award approximately $9.8 million in Independent Processor Assistance Program Grants to support projects designed to improve and/or expand Nebraska’s meat processing capabilities. The money was designated for this program through Governor Ricketts’ recommendation to utilize a portion of Nebraska’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.

“Increasing our state’s meat processing capacity has been a Nebraska Farm Bureau priority for the past several years. More processing options for Nebraska’s meat producers creates opportunities for not only expanded market growth, but the ability for ranchers to get a step up in a market that has not changed for a long time,” said Mark McHargue, NEFB president. “We thank the Legislature and Gov. Ricketts for their work to put this program in place that will benefit both Nebraska’s farm and ranch families as well as households across the state.”

Eligible processors must operate as either a USDA-FSIS facility or a federally regulated custom-exempt slaughter and processing facility, while also complying with federal regulations. The operation must be in Nebraska and be registered in good standing with the Secretary of State to conduct business in Nebraska. Additionally, the processing facility must employ fewer than 25 people and have less than $2.5 million annually in existing sales revenue.

The deadline to apply is Aug. 12. Applications are available at

Application information and frequently asked questions about the grants are available on NDA’s website
at Individual grants could be awarded up to $80,000 for eligible expenses incurred after
August 28, 2021. Completed applications may be submitted via email to or
mailed to Nebraska Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 94947, Lincoln, NE 68509.

USDA Expands Insurance Coverage for Double Cropping for 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is reducing the economic risk of raising two crops on the same land in one year, making it easier for U.S. farmers to grow food in America, increase food supply, and lower food costs for American families. This action is part of a broader set of commitments made earlier this year by President Biden and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to increase domestic food production amid potential global food shortages related to the invasion of Ukraine. USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) is expanding double crop insurance opportunities in over 1,500 counties where double cropping is viable.  

See maps for where expanded opportunities for soybeans and sorghum are located.   

 Improvements include:  

  • For soybeans, double crop coverage will be expanded to or streamlined in at least 681 counties, including all of those that were initially targeted for review. While some additional counties were permanently added to be double crop counties, most of the expansion removed barriers such as requiring production records and streamlined the process to get personalized coverage through a written agreement.   
  • For grain sorghum, double crop coverage will be expanded to or streamlined in at least 870 counties that were initially targeted for review. Similar to soybeans, most of these changes included streamlining the administrative burden and requirements to obtain written agreements. Written agreements provide the producer with the maximum flexibility by allowing them to obtain crop insurance coverage, but not requiring the coverage of both the spring and winter crops as in permanent double crop counties. 
  • RMA will also work with the crop insurance industry and farm organizations to highlight the availability and improvements in written agreements as an option for any farmer that grows a crop outside the area where a policy is automatically offered.   

 USDA may add additional counties as it explores these options with farmers this summer, with the final rules being locked in by the fall. Since farmers need to plan ahead for adding a winter crop to a rotation, USDA wanted to make sure they had time to consider this option and consult with local extension and agriculture experts and their crop insurance agent.   

Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator. Producers can learn more about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net at

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