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USDA Partners with Kentucky to Award Over $7 Million to Strengthen Food Supply Chain Infrastructure
Kentucky Ag Connection - 02/09/2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced it has a cooperative agreement with Kentucky under the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI). Through this agreement, USDA and Kentucky are working together to offer over $7 million in competitive grant funding for projects designed to build resilience across the middle of the supply chain. Kentucky is accepting applications for this Infrastructure Grant funding through April 5, 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. Updates for each state’s Request for Applications for the RFSI program are available on the AMS website.

‚ÄúThis partnership between USDA and Kentucky is allowing critical funding to reach areas of the supply chain that need it most,‚ÄĚ said USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt. ‚ÄúThe projects funded through this program will create new opportunities for the region‚Äôs small and midsize producers to thrive, expand access to nutritious food options, and increase supply chain resiliency.‚ÄĚ

Using RFSI funding, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture will fund projects that increase cold storage, expand processing capacity, upgrade information technology systems within the supply chain, and improve product aggregation at wholesale and collection points. The department will give priority consideration to projects supporting horticulture and value-added dairy products. The state’s priorities are informed by stakeholder engagement and outreach to underserved producers to better understand their needs.

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