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USDA grant funding for food system resilience

USDA grant funding for food system resilience

By Blake Jackson

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced a significant cooperative agreement between New York State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service, providing over $14.7 million in grant funding for the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program.

This initiative aims to support farmers and food businesses operating in the middle of the supply chain, facilitating market access and enhancing coordination across the food system. Applications for the program are now open until June 28, offering opportunities for technical assistance and infrastructure development.

The program reflects Governor Hochul's commitment to strengthening New York's food supply chain and promoting sustainability. By investing in projects that modernize agricultural facilities, enhance training, and facilitate equipment purchases, the initiative aims to optimize operations and reduce energy costs for farmers and food businesses statewide.

USDA's Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt highlighted the importance of this partnership in addressing critical needs within the supply chain, particularly benefiting small and midsize producers.

The funded projects will create new opportunities for producers to expand their reach, increase access to nutritious food options, and improve overall supply chain resiliency.

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (AGM) will administer the grant program in collaboration with Farm and Food Growth Fund, Inc (FFGF). The focus will be on expanding statewide capacity and infrastructure for aggregation, processing, storage, transportation, and distribution of local and regional agricultural food products, excluding meat and poultry.

AGM will also partner with Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust to provide technical assistance aimed at improving supply chain coordination activities. Additionally, Cornell University's Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Harvest New York Program will conduct assessments of processing infrastructure and institutional purchasing to guide market information for New York producers.

The Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program offers two grant opportunities: Infrastructure Grants and Equipment-Only Grants.

These opportunities will empower agricultural businesses to invest in essential infrastructure and equipment, fostering innovation and sustainability in the food system.

Governor Hochul emphasized the impact of this funding on New York's agricultural community, supporting modernization efforts and boosting the resilience of the state's food supply chain. With a focus on promoting local products and expanding market access, the initiative aligns with broader efforts to enhance food security and economic vitality across the state.

Interested applicants can find more information on the FFGF website and participate in upcoming office hour events for program details and application guidance.

Photo Credit: usda

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Categories: New York, Government & Policy

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