17 January 2024, US: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has a cooperative agreement with Idaho under the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI). Through this agreement, USDA and Idaho are working together to offer over $5.5 million in competitive grant funding for projects designed to build resilience across the middle of the supply chain. Idaho is accepting applications for this Infrastructure Grant funding through March 15, 2024.
In May 2023, USDA announced the availability of up to $420 million through RFSI to strengthen local and regional food systems. Through this program, AMS has entered into cooperative agreements with state agencies, commissions, or departments responsible for agriculture, commercial food processing, seafood, or food system and distribution activities or commerce activities in states or U.S. territories. RFSI is authorized by the American Rescue Plan. Updates for each state’s Request for Applications for the RFSI program are available on the AMS website.
“This partnership between USDA and Idaho is allowing critical funding to reach areas of the supply chain that need it most,” said USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt. “The projects funded through this program will create new opportunities for the region’s small and midsize producers to thrive, expand access to nutritious food options, and increase supply chain resiliency.”
Using RFSI funding, the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) will develop and administer equipment and infrastructure grant programs to expand capacity for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling and distribution of Idaho food products. ISDA will develop state led initiatives to support identified funding priorities in the areas of transportation, distributor development, and retail market development. The state’s priorities are informed by stakeholder engagement and outreach to underserved producers to better understand their needs.
Those interested in receiving a subaward should apply directly through ISDA by March 15, 2024. AMS encourages applications that serve smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, underserved producers, veteran producers, and underserved communities.
Through the program and in addition to the Infrastructure Grant funding, ISDA will support supply chain coordination and technical assistance to farmers and food businesses operating in processing, aggregation and distribution—all critical activities to support access to more and better markets for farmers.
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