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USDA partners with Texas to award $11.5 million to strengthen food supply chain infrastructure

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WASHINGTON, Dec. 19, 2023 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has a cooperative agreement with Texas under the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI). Through this agreement, USDA and Texas are working together to offer $11.5 million in competitive grant funding for projects designed to build resilience across the middle of the supply chain. Texas is accepting applications for this Infrastructure Grant funding through Feb. 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.

“This partnership between USDA and Texas 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 Texas Department of Agriculture will fund projects that develop more market opportunities for the processing of food products, increase the capacity for post-harvest storing and processing of food crops, and implement specialized equipment, including equipment and infrastructure for cold storage of food crops and products. The state’s priorities are informed by stakeholder engagement and outreach to underserved producers to better understand their needs.

“The Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure grant program is a great resource for hardworking Texas producers,” said Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. “I highly encourage all agricultural producers, processors, distributors, non-profit organizations, and all other eligible entities to apply.”

Those interested in receiving a subaward should apply directly through the Texas Department of Agriculture by Feb. 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, the Texas Department of Agriculture 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.