USDA marketing grant applications open
For the Basin Business Journal | April 12, 2022 1:00 AM
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for a new round of grants designed to help local farmers market their produce.
According to a USDA press release, congress has approved $97 million in funding for the Local Agricultural Market Program to help food producers at the local and regional levels sell their produce primarily to local institutions like schools and hospitals.
“This is about supporting capacity to help farmers reach more markets,” said USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jennifer Lester Moffitt.
Moffitt said the program was inspired by the response from local producers during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic to focus on local and regional food production and distribution. For example, farmers or smaller organizations in Grant County could use a USDA grant to help create a distribution system to sell potatoes to local school districts.
“It’s about bolstering supply chains and enhancing them from the middle out,” Moffitt said.
The Local Agricultural Market Program will also accept applications to help bolster support for farmers markets and other means growers use to reach a local or regional customer base, according to the press release.
To apply for the marketing grants, go to www.grants.gov, click on the search tab, enter “Regional Food System Partnership,” and click on the grants with the closing date “05/16/2022.” Applications are made online and due by May 16, 2022.
According to Moffitt, USDA will review all applications and should announce recipients by late summer or early fall.
“It takes time. We have a review panel, and there is project criteria,” she said.
Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at email@example.com.