Eight South Carolina beef processing companies will receive more than $3.4 million in grant funding to expand their processing capacity.
The South Carolina Department of Agriculture is awarding a total of $3,471,088 in matching grant funding to the companies. Expanding these small facilities will increase the state’s processing capacity by 8,300 head of cattle per year, creating new jobs and strengthening the local food system, according to a news release.
Companies selected to receive the funding are Back 40 Butchery in the Greenwood County town of Hodges; Brown’s Meat Market in Spartanburg; Cordray’s Processing in Ravenel near Charleston; Hemingway Locker Plant in Hemingway; Knockout Butchery in the Pauline community of Spartanburg County; Neverdun Farms of Sumter; PF Meat Company in Belton and Williamsburg Packing Co. in Kingstree.
Each head of cattle has an estimated $3,500 of economic impact, and agriculture officials estimate the expansions will keep about $29 million in economic activity in South Carolina that would otherwise have gone out of state, according to the release.
“Helping these facilities expand will allow more of South Carolina’s 700-plus livestock farmers to raise their animals to maturity and have them processed in the state, keeping dollars in the local economy,” said South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “We know there’s high consumer demand for local meat, and I’m proud of the way we’re working together to address it.”
The small grant program which provided funds for the beef processors is part of an ongoing effort to keep more South Carolina products in state for processing and packaging. The Department of Agriculture recently requested an additional $75 million in funding from the General Assembly to address the lack of in-state food processing capacity for seafood, fruit and vegetables, dairy, grain and animal feed sectors.