USDA Pushes $27 Million in Grant Funds Toward Local Food Sector

What Programs are Likely to Be Awarded?

Likely projects for funding are innovative projects designed to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses. As stated in the USDA announcement, “USDA’s support for the local food sector as an important strategy for keeping wealth in rural communities…”

Three specifically:

1. Farmers Market Promotion Program – The purpose of the program is to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. Funds are for direct farmer-to-consumer marketing projects such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands, and agritourism.

2. Local Food Promotion Program – (25% match required) This program’s purpose is much like the Farmers Market Promotion purpose, but applicants can either apply for a planning or a implementation grant:

a. LFPP Planning Grants are used in the planning stages of establishing or expanding a local and regional food business enterprise. Activities can include but are not limited to market research, feasibility studies, and business planning.

b. LFPP Implementation Grants are used to establish a new local and regional food business enterprise, or to improve or expand an existing local or regional food business enterprise. Activities can include but are not limited to training and technical assistance for the business enterprise and/or for producers working with the business enterprise; outreach and marketing to buyers and consumers; and non-construction infrastructure improvements to business enterprise facilities or information technology systems.

3. Federal State Marketing Improvement Program – Generally provides matching funds for State Departments of Agriculture and other agencies (i.e., State universities, State colleges, State government entities, etc.). Funds will support research projects to address challenges and opportunities in marketing, transporting, and distributing U.S. agricultural products domestically and internationally.

Who Can I Talk with to Learn More?

About the Author

Toni Scott is a principal at Morrison, which provides business planning (including budgeting, cash flow forecasting, and strategic planning), feasibility studies, interim executive services, recruitment, competitive grant writing and special projects that don't fit into any conventional category. You can contact Toni directly at tscott@morrisonco.net or via telephone at 530-893-4764 ext. 205.

To see the full announcement, click here.

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