USDA Regional Food Business Centers Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service

$15,000,000.00

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), requests applications for the fiscal year (FY) 2022 USDA Regional Food Business Centers (Regional Food Centers). The Regional Food Centers will serve as the cornerstone of USDA’s development of local and regional supply chains. They will offer coordination, technical assistance, and capacity building support to small and mid-sized food and farm businesses, with the goal of creating a more resilient, diverse, and competitive food system. AMS will award cooperative agreements to regionally based partners to support USDA’s work on regional food supply chains. USDA is using approximately $400 million in funds authorized under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Pub. L. No. 116—260, Division N, Title VII, Subtitle B, Section 751 to develop and implement the program, with approximately $360 million going directly to fund the Regional Centers.

Description

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), requests applications for the fiscal year (FY) 2022 USDA Regional Food Business Centers (Regional Food Centers). The Regional Food Centers will serve as the cornerstone of USDA’s development of local and regional supply chains. They will offer coordination, technical assistance, and capacity building support to small and mid-sized food and farm businesses, with the goal of creating a more resilient, diverse, and competitive food system. AMS will award cooperative agreements to regionally based partners to support USDA’s work on regional food supply chains. USDA is using approximately $400 million in funds authorized under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Pub. L. No. 116—260, Division N, Title VII, Subtitle B, Section 751 to develop and implement the program, with approximately $360 million going directly to fund the Regional Centers.

Through this solicitation, AMS will fund at least six USDA Regional Food Centers. There are three High Priority Areas that will each have at least one Regional Center specifically serving all or part of that area: Colonias (counties on the US/Mexico border), high need areas of the Delta and the Southeast, and the high need areas of Appalachia. In addition, there will be one national Tribal Center. There will also be Regional Food Centers that serve other areas of the country beyond these High Priority areas and the Tribal Center.

This announcement identifies the eligibility criteria for USDA Regional Food Centers, and the application forms and associated instructions needed to apply for a USDA Regional Food Center agreement.

This program is intended to benefit small and mid-sized producers, processors, aggregators, and distributors that sell into all types of markets, including local and regional markets. This program is inclusive of all types of products produced locally or regionally, including fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, grains, and dairy. Applicants are required to prioritize service to underserved communities and businesses. Applicants to be USDA Regional Food Centers should engage and involve these beneficiaries when developing projects and applications.

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