USDA Partners with Connecticut to Award Over $2.1 Million to Strengthen Food Supply Chain Infrastructure

Wednesday, February 7, 2024 - 3:00pm
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WASHINGTON, February 7, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has a cooperative agreement with Connecticut under the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI). Through this agreement, USDA and Connecticut are working together to offer over $2.1 million in competitive grant funding for projects designed to build resilience across the middle of the supply chain. Connecticut is accepting applications for this Infrastructure Grant funding through April 10, 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 Connecticut 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 Connecticut Department of Agriculture will fund projects that increase aggregation of farm products through food hubs and informal producer networks, increase delivery infrastructure, expand cold storage for produce, dairy, and aquaculture products, and increase the number of and access to, processing facilities including commercial kitchens and co-packers, to preserve farm products and create value-added food products. The state’s priorities are informed by stakeholder engagement and outreach to underserved producers to better understand their needs.

“The RFSI program enables strategic investments in Connecticut’s food supply chain infrastructure, expanding farm and food business market access and further developing value-added agriculture to ensure a vibrant and resilient food system statewide,” said Connecticut Department of Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “We have prioritized these types of projects in our previous grants, and now we are able to further that effort and increase the financial support available. We are grateful for the partnership with USDA to implement this program which will expand consumer access to CT Grown farm products throughout the state.”

Those interested in receiving a subaward should apply directly through the Connecticut Department of Agriculture by April 10, 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, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture 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.

For more information, visit the AMS Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure webpage

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