Chicago Construction News staff writer
Saline River Farms joined local leaders and partners to break ground on a new USDA meat processing facility.
“This facility will soon become a state-of-the-art, 60,000 sq. ft. USDA meat processing plant — simultaneously improving our nation’s food supply by producing hundreds of thousands of pounds of beef a day while creating good-paying full-time jobs,” Gov. JB Pritzker said in a statement. “More food getting to consumers’ grocery aisles and more jobs for hard-working Southern and Central Illinoisans is a win-win.
“This groundbreaking brings Creal Springs and its surrounding communities an opportunity to rebuild and revitalize, and I’m grateful to USDA and Williamson County for working together to make today possible.”
Designed to support independently owned meat and poultry companies to bolster the supply chain, the Meat & Poultry Grant program will provide additional capital to help Saline River Farms build capacity through improvements and an expansion of an existing facility. As part of the program, Saline River Farms is investing a total of $34.5 million to repair and expand its existing 60,000 sq. ft. facility.
Launched in 2022, the Meat and Poultry Supply Chain Capital Grant Program aims to support communities by helping independently owned companies build capacity, create jobs, and strengthen our meat processing supply chain in Illinois, thereby making food products more affordable and accessible.
In order to meet these goals, eligibility for this program is restricted to plants that are not operated by the four largest meat processing companies that own most of the nation’s meat processing market share.