USDA invests in American food and agriculture supply chains
USDA has announced that it is making investments that will strengthen American food and agriculture supply chains, expand markets for agricultural producers, and lower food costs.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is championing America’s farmers and ranchers by helping expand businesses and supporting more robust American supply chains,” U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack said.
He also noted that the investments in both “agricultural producers and rural entrepeneurs will create better economic opportunities that bolster food supply chains across the country and increase competition.”
USDA is making investments in 185 projects worth nearly $196 million to create new and better market opportunities for producers and entrepreneurs. The investments are being made through six programs designed to create economic opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas.
Rural Business Development Grants assist with economic development planning and/or the financing or expansion of rural businesses by providing technical assistance and training for small rural businesses.
The Value Added Producer Grants Program helps farmers and ranchers venture into new markets by adding value to their bio-based products that will increase their revenue. Funds may be used to process or market these products. For example, a grape farmer may use funding to produce and market wine.
Business and Industry Loan Guarantees help improve rural economic health by increasing access to business capital, allowing commercial lenders, like banks and credit unions, to offer affordable financing to eligible rural businesses. This program was authorized by the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act.
The Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program supported investments in infrastructure for food processing, manufacturing, storage, transportation, wholesaling, aggregation and distribution to increase capacity and create a more resilient, diverse and secure U.S. food supply chain through the American Rescue Plan Act.
The Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program provides funding for rural projects through local utility organizations. USDA provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which, in turn, lend the funding to local businesses to support projects that will create and keep jobs in rural areas.
For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.