USDA Partners with Vermont to Award Over $2 Million to Strengthen Food Supply Chain Infrastructure

Wednesday, April 17, 2024 - 1:30pm
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WASHINGTON, April 17, 2024 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has a cooperative agreement with Vermont under the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI). Through this agreement, USDA and Vermont are working together to offer over $2 million in competitive grant funding for projects designed to build resilience across the middle of the supply chain. Vermont will accept applications for this Infrastructure Grant funding beginning May 1, 2024, through June 5, 2024. The state will accept applications for the $1.2 million available for simplified equipment-only grants at a later date.

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 Vermont 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 Vermont Agency of Agriculture Food and Markets (VAAFM) will fund projects that build resilience in the middle of the food supply chain, support market development for small Vermont farms and food businesses, and promote development of Vermont value-added products. The state’s priorities are informed by stakeholder engagement and outreach to underserved producers to better understand their needs.

“These grants will help strengthen our food supply chain that helps feed us,” Vermont Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts said. “Strengthening these important links will help build resiliency and prosperity in Vermont’s working lands. This was a recommendation of Governor Scott’s Future of Agriculture Commission. It’s great we are acting on this recommendation.”

Those interested in receiving a subaward should apply directly through VAAFM. Applications will be accepted beginning May 1, 2024, through June 5, 2024. Applications that serve beginning, veteran, and limited resource farmers or ranchers are encouraged.

Through the program and in addition to the Infrastructure Grant funding, VAAFM 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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