USDA’s investments strengthen American food and agriculture supply chains, lower food costs, and create economic opportunities for producers and entrepreneurs.
In a bid to strengthen American food and agriculture supply chains, expand markets for agricultural producers, and lower food costs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced investments totaling nearly $196 million. These investments, made as part of President Biden’s Bidenomics agenda, aim to bolster supply chain resilience and economic opportunities across the country. The funding will benefit producers and entrepreneurs in 37 states, including Puerto Rico, and will support a wide range of projects, from modernizing facilities to expanding marketing and sales.
Boosting Business Expansion and Modernization
In Texas, Lone Star Bakery, a third-generation family-owned business, will receive a $40 million Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan. The loan will be used to offset costs associated with purchasing and installing new equipment, making property improvements, upgrading technology, and refinancing. These investments will enable Lone Star Bakery to modernize its facilities in China Grove, meeting the needs of current and future customers. This expansion will not only create jobs but also contribute to the resilience of the food supply chain.
Supporting Local Agriculture and Organic Farming
Merchant’s Garden LLC, a hydroponic and aquaponic farm in Tucson, Arizona, will benefit from a $250,000 Value-Added Producer Grant. This grant will help the company expand its marketing and sales of prepackaged salad mixes, positioning them as a local supplier of organic leafy greens for southern Arizona. By supporting local agriculture and organic farming, these investments contribute to the availability of fresh, healthy produce and promote sustainable farming practices.
Enhancing Direct-to-Consumer Markets
Lot 279, LLC in Nebraska will utilize a Value-Added Producer Grant to process, market, distribute, and advertise their direct-to-consumer beef cattle cuts and shares. This project is expected to increase the company’s revenue by almost $600,000 annually and expand its customer base by 4,800 people. By investing in direct-to-consumer markets, USDA is empowering small businesses and farmers to reach a broader audience while creating economic opportunities and fostering local connections.
Promoting Sustainable Farming Practices
The Center for EcoTechnology Inc. in Massachusetts will receive a $24,355 Rural Business Development Grant to help small farmers decarbonize their farmwork. This assistance will be provided through outreach, technical assistance, training, and education across the Berkshire region. By promoting sustainable farming practices, USDA aims to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture while supporting small farmers and benefiting the local community.
Investing in Rural Economic Development
USDA’s investments are made possible through various programs designed to create economic opportunities in rural areas. The Rural Business Development Grants provide technical assistance and training for small rural businesses, supporting economic development planning and financing. The Value Added Producer Grants Program helps farmers and ranchers enter new markets and increase revenue by adding value to their products. Business and Industry Loan Guarantees improve rural economic health by increasing access to affordable financing for eligible businesses. The Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program supports investments in infrastructure to enhance the resilience and diversity of the U.S. food supply chain. Lastly, the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program provides funding for rural projects through local utility organizations.
The USDA’s investments of nearly $196 million in 37 states and Puerto Rico mark a significant step towards strengthening American food and agriculture supply chains. By expanding markets for agricultural producers, lowering food costs, and creating economic opportunities, these investments align with President Biden’s Bidenomics agenda. As the nation faces ongoing challenges, such as climate change and the need for a resilient supply chain, these investments play a crucial role in building a more sustainable and secure food system. Through a focus on local and regional food production, fair markets, and climate-smart practices, USDA is transforming America’s food system and paving the way for a more prosperous future for farmers, entrepreneurs, and consumers alike.