USDA Announces Availability of Funding for Regional Food Business Centers
Approximately $400 million is available through USDA’s new Regional Food Business Centers program to provide essential local and regional food systems coordination, technical assistance, and capacity building services. USDA will fund at least six regional centers, to include a national tribal center and at least one center serving each of three targeted areas: Colonias (counties on the US/Mexico border), persistent poverty or other communities of high need/limited resources areas of the Delta and the Southeast, and high-need areas of Appalachia, as well as centers in other regions of the country. The Regional Food Business Centers will provide coordination, technical assistance, and capacity building to help farmers, ranchers, and other food businesses access new markets and navigate federal, state and local resources, thereby closing the gaps or barriers to success. The Regional Food Business Centers will assist small and mid-sized producers and food and farm businesses with the goal of creating a more resilient, diverse, and competitive food system. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is soliciting applications from organizations across the nation to develop the Regional Food Business Centers that will be geographically based, serving regional needs. Applications must be submitted by November 22, 2022.