USDA Partners with Virginia to Award Over $6.3 Million to Strengthen Food Supply Chain Infrastructure

Friday, March 15, 2024 - 12:00pm
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WASHINGTON, March 15, 2024 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has a cooperative agreement with Virginia under the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI). Through this agreement, USDA and Virginia are working together to offer over $6.3 million in competitive grant funding for projects designed to build resilience across the middle of the supply chain. Virginia 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 Virginia 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 Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) will fund projects that increase cold storage and flash freezing facilities, provide more transportation options, modernize equipment for value added processing, and expand capacity for aggregation. The state’s priorities are informed by stakeholder engagement and outreach to underserved producers to better understand their needs.

“There are approximately 41,500 farm operations in the Commonwealth with the vast majority of these being family owned. To help local and regional farms and food businesses achieve scale and efficiencies, we must invest in supply chain infrastructure and help facilitate market access,” said Joseph Guthrie, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Those interested in receiving a subaward should apply directly through VDACS 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. 

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