SuperTalk Mississippi

Deadline approaching for $5.8 million grant opportunity to strengthen local food supply chain

Mississippi farm

The deadline is quickly approaching to apply for grants being facilitated by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) to strengthen the local food supply.

MDAC entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to administer $5.8 million in grants through the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) Program. The goal of the program is to create additional and better processing options for local producers across the state’s food supply chain.

According to a release from MDAC, those eligible will be looking to:

  • Expand capacity for processing, aggregation, and distribution of agricultural products.
  • Construct and expand infrastructure facilities.
  • Modernize equipment.
  • Purchase refrigerated trucks.
  • Implement new technology systems.

Qualifying beneficiaries include agricultural producers and processors, schools, universities, hospitals, nonprofit entities, for-profit entities, and local and tribal governments operating middle-of-the-supply-chain activities.

Products that qualify for the grants include specialty crops, dairy, grains for human consumption, aquaculture, and other food. Meat and poultry, wild-caught seafood, exclusively animal feed and forage products, fiber, landscaping products, tobacco, and dietary supplements are excluded under the USDA grant guidelines.

RFSI funds will be awarded as Infrastructure Grants or Equipment-Only Grants. Infrastructure Grants will be awarded at a minimum of $100,000 and a maximum of $3,000,000. Equipment-Only Grants will be awarded at a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $100,000. Infrastructure Grants require a 50% match contribution to match federal funds. Historically underserved farmers and ranchers and other qualifying socially disadvantaged businesses are required to contribute a reduced 25% match. Equipment-Only Grants do not require a match.

The deadline to apply is March 15 by 5 p.m. CT. To learn more or to get started on the application process, click here.

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