USDA Sets Aside $400 Million to Create Regional Food Business Centers
Last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of approximately $400 million to create USDA Regional Food Business Centers. The centers will provide local and regional food systems coordination, technical assistance, and capacity-building services.
Vilsack said, "Regional Food Business Centers will serve as USDA's cornerstone in the development of the local and regional supply chains."
USDA will fund at least six regional centers, including a national tribal center and at least one center serving each of three targeted areas. The targeted areas include counties on the U.S./Mexico border, persistent poverty communities in the Delta and the Southeast, high-need areas of Appalachia, and centers in other regions.
USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Undersecretary Jenny Lester Moffitt added the new centers “will decrease barriers and improve supply chain linkages.” The effort seeks to help farmers and businesses access new markets and navigate federal, state and local resources.
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