WASHINGTON, February 7, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has a cooperative agreement with Louisiana under the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI). Through this agreement, USDA and Louisiana are working together to offer over $4.6 million in competitive grant funding for projects designed to build resilience across the middle of the supply chain. Louisiana is accepting applications for this Infrastructure Grant funding through April 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) will fund projects that increase the capacity for processing, distribution, cold storage, food preparation, and packaging. Additionally, LDAF will consider projects that improve worker safety conditions and implement staffing for middle of the supply chain infrastructure activities. The state’s priorities are informed by stakeholder engagement and outreach to underserved producers to better understand their needs.
“There are many people and steps needed to bring locally produced food to our tables. The RFSI grants will help fund those in our local supply chain that process, transport, and distribute our food,” remarked Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain. “This funding will create new opportunities, strengthen markets for local farmers, and increase stability for consumers. We look forward to seeing all of the great projects that come out of this partnership with USDA.”
Those interested in receiving a subaward should apply directly through LDAF by April 15, 2024. AMS encourages applications that serve smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, underserved producers, veteran producers, and underserved communities.
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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