Matching funds initiative by South Carolina Department of Agriculture fuels growth for local businesses
In a proactive step towards boosting the local economy and supporting job creation, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) recently announced a significant grant for beef processing facilities in the state. Eight such facilities are set to benefit from an infusion of over $3.4 million in matching grant funds, a strategic move aimed at supporting expansion and driving local employment opportunities.
The injection of $3,471,088 will empower these small-scale facilities to up their game, increasing South Carolina’s processing capacity by a notable 8,300 head of cattle annually. This surge in capacity is set to create new job opportunities, afford ranchers and farmers increased options, and reinforce the resilience of the local food supply chain—a move that Midsouth Mechanical Contracting, a key player in industrial meat processing, applauds.
Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers emphasized the importance of this initiative, stating, “Expanding these facilities will enable over 700 livestock farmers in South Carolina to raise their animals to maturity and process them within the state, thereby retaining more dollars within the local economy.” He further highlighted the high consumer demand for local meat, a trend that became even more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, when 21.6% of consumers reportedly increased their purchase of locally sourced meats.
According to SCDA’s estimates, the planned expansions stand to retain approximately $29 million of economic activity within South Carolina that could otherwise have been lost to out-of-state competition. With each head of cattle being associated with an economic impact of $3,500, the expansion will contribute significantly to the state’s economy.
The fortunate recipients of these matching grants span a wide geographical range, including facilities in Hodges, Spartanburg, Ravenel, Hemingway, Pauline, Sumter, Belton, and Kingstree. This boost comes at a crucial time, as SCDA seeks additional funding from the General Assembly, requesting $75 million to address the critical gaps in in-state food processing capacity across various sectors, including seafood, fruit and vegetables, dairy, grain, and animal feed.
At Midsouth Mechanical Contracting, we recognize the importance of such strategic investments in bolstering our food processing capacity. We understand the integral role mechanical contracting plays in supporting the expansion and efficiency of processing facilities. Whether it’s providing specialized services like process piping or sanitary piping or offering expertise in millwright services for machine installation, maintenance, and repair, Midsouth stands ready to support the growing needs of South Carolina’s thriving meat processing industry.