May 15, 2024
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces $14.7 Million to Strengthen New York’s Food Supply Chain Infrastructure Through Partnership With U.S. Department of Agriculture

Governor Hochul Announces $14.7 Million to Strengthen New York’s Food Supply Chain Infrastructure Through Partnership With U.S. Department of Agriculture

Regional Food Systems Infrastructure Program Offers Competitive Grants for Projects Designed to Build Food System Resilience

Applications Open Now and Available Here

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a cooperative agreement between New York State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service that will offer over $14.7 million in grant funding to provide technical assistance to farmers and food businesses operating at the middle of the supply chain, helping to enhance coordination throughout the food system and improve access to markets for farmers. Applications for the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program are open now through Friday, June 28.

“Thanks to our partnership with USDA, we are Strengthening the Resilience of the Food Supply Chain here in New York State,” Governor Hochul said. “The Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program provides critical funding to support our food supply chain by investing in projects that modernize agricultural facilities, improve training, and facilitate the purchase of new equipment.”

USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt said, “This partnership between USDA and New York State is allowing critical funding to reach areas of the supply chain that need it most. 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.”

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (AGM) will partner with Farm and Food Growth Fund, Inc (FFGF) to administer the grant program and to fund projects that expand statewide capacity and infrastructure for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storage, transporting, wholesaling, or distribution of targeted local and regional agricultural food products (excluding meat and poultry products). Successful projects will focus on increasing the supply of New York-sourced food products available in New York markets and will benefit multiple producers and multiple markets.

AGM will also partner with Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust to provide technical assistance to producers to improve supply chain coordination activities. Additionally, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Harvest New York Program will conduct an updated assessment of New York State processing infrastructure to identify barriers and opportunities for growth, as well as an analysis of the State’s institutional purchasing to provide market information to New York State producers.

Two grant opportunities will be available for New York agricultural businesses:

Infrastructure Grants: This competitive opportunity is focused on funding infrastructure for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, or distribution of agricultural food products (excluding meat and poultry products). Applications may be submitted for projects ranging from $100,000 to $3 million.

Equipment-Only Grants: This competitive opportunity is focused on funding equipment for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, or distribution of agricultural food products (excluding meat and poultry products). This opportunity will be released separately in 2025. Eligible applicants may request awards in the amount of $10,000 to $100,000.

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “With this RFSI funding, we have an opportunity to make a real impact on the resilience of New York State’s food system – modernizing and supporting the construction of agricultural facilities, improving training, supporting the purchase of new equipment, and so much more. Designed based on a robust response from our agricultural community, and on the work we’ve accomplished so far in this area, these programs are set to make a difference in our state. I thank the Governor for her support in this important work and the USDA for its great partnership and forward-thinking programming, giving us an extra boost in our work to support New York farmers and agribusinesses statewide. I look forward to awarding the funds to businesses and organizations operating at the middle of the supply chain who connect the state’s farmers to consumers.”

President and CEO of Farm and Food Growth Fund Todd Erling said, "The collaboration between federal, state, and local partners is critical for resiliency and the successful implementation of food system infrastructure investments that support increased access to fresh local products for all. The RSFI funding of middle chain capacity will not only expand, but also protect, the supply of New York food to our communities and families."

Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust’s Land Network Services Co-Director Dr. Gabriela Pereyra said, “The construction of agricultural facilities and modernization of equipment that supports access to nutritious food, as well as rural development, will benefit substantially from the RSFI funding. We hope this funding will address the crucial need across the middle of the supply chain and foster a more inclusive and sustainable food system.”

Eligible applicants may visit the FFGF website for more information about RFSI requirements, program resources, application details, and to access the application portal. The deadline for infrastructure grant applications is June 28 at 5:00 pm.

For more information on program details and how to apply, applicants may view a recorded webinar online at ffgrowthfund.org/rfsi. Potential applicants may also join the RFSI team at two open office hour events to ask questions about the program. Office hours will be held on May 29 and June 12 from 12pm-1pm. More details will be posted on the FFGF website.

AMS encourages applications that serve smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, underserved producers, veteran producers, and underserved communities.

For more information, visit AGM’s website and USDA’s AMS Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure webpage.

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.

New York State’s FY 2025 Budget includes additional support in key areas to continue to strengthen the agricultural community, provide a boost to New York’s farmers, and create a stronger, more resilient food supply chain. This includes first time investments of $55 million to bolster New York’s dairy industry, over $60 million in local assistance to support farmers and producers, $50 million for the continuation of the successful Nourish NY program, a five-year extension of the sale of to-go alcoholic beverages at restaurants and bars, and more. New York State continues to prioritize increasing access to food for all New Yorkers through efforts including the FreshConnect Fresh2You initiative, the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programs, the Urban Farms and Community Gardens Grants Programs, and more.

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