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Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Grant Program

Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) Program

Applications are now closed for the RFSI Program.

The purpose of the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) program is to build resilience in the middle of the food supply chain, to provide more and better markets to small farms and food businesses, to support the development of value-added products for consumers, fair prices, fair wages, and new and safe job opportunities. 

Funds will support expanded capacity for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, and distribution of locally and regionally produced food products, including specialty crops, dairy, grains for human consumption, aquaculture, and other food products excluding meat and poultry. This program is intended to provide similar support to other programs which provided USDA funding for meat and poultry processing, but this program is focused on sectors other than meat and poultry.

Eligible entities include agricultural producers, processors, nonprofit organizations, for-profit entities, local governments, tribal governments, and institutions.

For the purpose of the RFSI program, the “middle-of-the-supply-chain” refers to processing, aggregation, and distribution.

Learn more about the RFSI program from USDA resources by clicking the buttons below.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture (Department) has received $5.6 million from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) program to improve food supply chain operations and strengthen local food systems throughout the state.

The Department is offering two grant types under the RFSI program. Applicants may apply for one grant type only. 

Infrastructure Grants

Project proposals range from a minimum of $100,000 to a maximum of $3,000,000 and require a match of 50% of the project cost. For underserved applicants, a reduced match of 25% is required. More detail on the requirements for the Infrastructure Grant applications can be found at the USDA resources listed above.

The Infrastructure grant is a two-step process. The first application is for project concept proposal. Applications will be reviewed by an independent committee. Concepts that are selected by the review committee are then invited to the second stage to submit an application with more detail.

Simplified Equipment-Only Grants

The simplified equipment-only grant is offered to eligible farmers. The Department’s plans are to provide a walk-in cooler to eligible farmers for the Simplified Equipment-Only Grant. The cooler must be for middle-of-the-supply-chain use only. There is no match required for the Simplified Equipment-Only grant. More details can be found on the Request for Applications.

All applicants are required to have a Unique Entity ID for their application.

RFSI Infrastructure Grant Proposal Requirements

The RFSI program focuses on small-to medium sized businesses. Click below to learn more about SBA’s Size Standards.

Infrastructure Grants require evidence of critical infrastructure. Click below for the Evidence of Critical Infrastructure template.

Infrastructure Grants require a match. See USDA resources above for match details. Click below for the Match Verification Letter template.

Infrastructure Grants must follow guidance on Build America, Buy America (BABA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Details below.

Questions?

Contact Karen Reynolds

RFSI@agriculture.arkansas.gov

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