Three Million Dollars In Grants to Be Awarded to Iowa Farmers and Producers

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Applications for the Iowa Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) Program are open. Funding for the Iowa RFSI is made possible through Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS). The IDALS program is being managed in partnership with Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development.

The purpose of the RFSI Program is to support the middle of the supply chain by expanding capacity and infrastructure for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, and distribution of locally- and regionally-produced food products, including specialty crops, grains for human consumption, aquaculture, and other value-added food products. Funding for the program is provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The RFSI Program has two grant tracks, the Infrastructure Grant and the Equipment-Only Grant. Applicants may only apply for one track.

Infrastructure Grants will range from $100,000 up to $1 million. This grant can fund capital investments such as construction, equipment (e.g. delivery vehicles, frozen or refrigerated storage, value-added food processing equipment, or other equipment for middle-of-the food supply chain activities), and building renovations. Infrastructure Grants can also fund facility design or engineering, staff time, modernizing systems (e.g. tracking, storage, information technology, etc.), plan development (e.g. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point plan), and market development. A match is required for Infrastructure Grants and starts at 50% of the total project cost. However, if the main applicant qualifies as underserved, the match requirement will be reduced to 25% of the total project cost.

Equipment-Only Grants can range from $10,000 up to $100,000. This grant can only fund equipment (examples provided above). Equipment may be new, used, or refurbished. A 10% match is required for Equipment-Only Grants.

A total of $3 million will be awarded through a competitive grant process. Pre-proposals are due February 23rd for Infrastructure projects and March 8th, 2024 for Equipment Only Projects.

Iowa Valley RC&D Executive Director Jason Grimm says “We are excited by the impact this funding will have on Iowa’s farm and food businesses and the overall food system infrastructure across Iowa. These infrastructure improvements will improve Iowa’s resilience and the availability of Iowa grown and processed foods in restaurants, grocery stores, schools, colleges, daycares, and more.”

More information can be found at www.iowarfsi.org. If you have questions about the program, email info@iowarfsi.org.

Date of Publication: 
January, 2024