WASHINGTON, February 7, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has a cooperative agreement with Delaware under the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI). Through this agreement, USDA and Delaware are working together to offer over $1.7 million in competitive grant funding for projects designed to build resilience across the middle of the supply chain. Delaware will accept applications for this Infrastructure Grant funding beginning March 12, 2024, through April 30, 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 Delaware 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 Delaware Department of Agriculture will fund projects that provide technical assistance to producers working to develop value-added products; expand access to climate-smart technologies for farmers and food waste management; and increase the number of facilities that support product aggregation, cold storage, warehousing, and distribution. The state’s priorities are informed by stakeholder engagement and outreach to underserved producers to better understand their needs.
“While interstate and international trade is extremely important, there is a significant need to build resilience in the middle of the food supply chain, provide more and better markets to small- and mid-sized farms and food businesses, and support the development of value-added products in Delaware to help feed our residents and grow jobs,” said Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael T. Scuse. “The Delaware Department of Agriculture is committed to helping farmers by participating in USDA’s Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program to support expanded capacity for processes like aggregation, transportation, and distribution of Delaware Grown products. We will also be able to increase the knowledge and resource access for our farmers and our communities. Programs like RFSI help make farming profitable so that producers remain in the business of producing food, which is important to all of us.”
Those interested in receiving a subaward should apply directly through the Delaware Department of Agriculture. Applications will be accepted beginning March 12, 2024, through April 30, 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 Delaware 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
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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