INDIANAPOLIS — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering over $6.7 million in competitive grant funding for projects designed to build food supply chain resilience in Indiana.
Using funds from the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program, Indiana State Department of Agriculture will fund projects that help producers gain access to alternative markets by strengthening relationships with distributors, co-packers and aggregation centers.
• Purchase and upgrade of equipment, infrastructure and technology, including installation.
• Construction of a new facility or expansion of current facilities.
• Increasing storage space, including cold storage and addition of new product lines.
• Increasing packaging and labeling capabilities.
• Facility upgrades for climate-smart equipment.
The project performance period will be June 2024 through May 2027. Applicants must demonstrate how this project will improve resilience in the middle of the food chain.
“Our Hoosier farmers, producers, agribusinesses and consumers need a strong food supply chain system,” said Don Lamb, ISDA director.
“We are grateful that USDA recognized this need in Indiana and across the country and continues to work with us to enhance our middle-of-the-food chain businesses.
“These grants will go a long way in ensuring rural vitality and success for our small and mid-sized producers and processors, as well as Hoosier consumers.”
Applications will be accepted beginning Jan. 29 through March 8.
Officials encourage applications that serve smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, underserved producers, veteran producers and underserved communities.
Who is eligible: Indiana businesses and producers that work in the middle of the food chain sector, defined as “from the farm gate to the end retail market” or the processing and aggregation or distribution sector of the food chain. Eligible product ideas could include, but are not limited to, creating a produce packing line, value added dairy and egg products, establishing and expanding a co-packing facility or building a commercial kitchen.
Who isn’t eligible: Products including meat, poultry, wild-caught seafood, dietary supplements and food for animal consumption do not qualify in this program. Businesses may have the above listed product lines, but grant funds cannot be used to benefit these products. All for profit businesses must qualify as a small business by the Small Business Administration standards.
Those interested in receiving a subaward should apply directly through ISDA.