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USDA Pilot Factories

March 15, 2023

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) operates pilot plants that manufacture products for small businesses. These facilities provide small businesses with access to equipment and resources that they may not be able to afford on their own. Here is what you need to know about USDA facilities that manufacture products for small businesses in a pilot plant:

Purpose: The USDA pilot plants are designed to help small businesses develop and produce new food products, or improve existing ones, by providing them with access to equipment, technical expertise, and regulatory support.

Location: The USDA operates several pilot plants across the United States, including in California, Illinois, and Iowa.

Services: The services offered by the USDA pilot plants vary depending on the specific facility, but they typically include product development, process optimization, testing and analysis, and regulatory compliance.

Equipment: The USDA pilot plants are equipped with a variety of food processing equipment, such as mixers, grinders, homogenizers, and filling machines. They also have specialized equipment for specific food products, such as dairy, meat, and bakery items.

Staff: Each USDA pilot plant has a team of experts who can provide technical assistance and guidance to small businesses. These experts include food scientists, engineers, and regulatory specialists.

Cost: The cost of using a USDA pilot plant varies depending on the specific services required and the length of the project. However, the USDA strives to keep costs as low as possible to make these facilities accessible to small businesses.

Benefits: The USDA pilot plants provide small businesses with the resources they need to develop and produce high-quality food products that meet regulatory standards. They also help businesses save money on equipment and infrastructure costs.

In summary, USDA facilities that manufacture products for small businesses in a pilot plant provide essential support and resources to entrepreneurs looking to develop and improve their food products. With access to specialized equipment, technical expertise, and regulatory support, small businesses can create high-quality products that meet industry standards and regulations.

The USDA has a website dedicated to their pilot plants program where people can find more information. The website is https://www.ars.usda.gov/services/pilot-plants/. On this website, you can find a list of USDA pilot plants, their locations, and the services they offer. You can also learn more about the program’s goals, eligibility criteria, and the application process. Additionally, the website provides contact information for each facility, so you can reach out to them directly if you have any questions or are interested in using their services.

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