Nebraska Family farms and local independent meat processors stand to benefit from a bill introduced in the state Legislature, according to the Nebraska-based Center for Rural Affairs. Passed unanimously in 2021, legislation established the Independent Processor Assistance Program, which provides a roadmap for increasing local processing capacity and expanding market access for small producers. However, the bill did not include funding for the program, as lawmakers recognized it would be an ideal match for the federal relief dollars flowing to the state. How to spend those relief dollars is a question being addressed in the 2022 state legislative session. A new bill seeks $10 million in State Recovery Funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to fund the assistance program. Officials in 18 states, including those bordering Nebraska, have developed their own grant programs. The Center for Rural Affairs says those programs show that the Independent Processor Assistance Program can help the supply chain in Nebraska.