U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters in Washington. (Douglas Rissing/Getty Images)

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Virginia has partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer $6.3 million in supply chain grants to expand transportation options and increase cold storage and flash-freezing facilities.

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“There are approximately 41,500 farm operations in the commonwealth, with the vast majority of these being family-owned. To help local and regional farms and food businesses achieve scale and efficiencies, we must invest in supply chain infrastructure and help facilitate market access,” said Joseph Guthrie, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services commissioner.

More than $6.3 million is now available in competitive infrastructure grants for projects that build resilience across the middle of the supply chain. The deadline for applications is April 15.

Projects will be funded under Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services “that increase cold storage and flash-freezing facilities, provide more transportation options, modernize equipment for value-added processing and expand capacity for aggregation,” according to USDA.


The cooperative agreement announced March 15 with USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service will provide federal dollars under the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program, authorized under the American Rescue Plan.

“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,” noted a grant description at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website at vdacs.virginia.gov/food-food-distribution.shtml.

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USDA’s AMS has entered into cooperative agreements with state agencies, commissions or departments responsible for agriculture, commercial food processing, seafood, or food system and distribution activities in states.

“This partnership between USDA and Virginia is allowing critical funding to reach areas of the supply chain that need it most,” said Jenny Lester Moffitt, undersecretary of USDA’s marketing and regulatory programs. “The projects funded through this program will create new opportunities for the region’s small and midsize producers to thrive, expand access to nutritious food options and increase supply chain resiliency.”


States that will soon open up requests for infrastructure applications under the same USDA program are Florida, Maine, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming.

Other states with March deadlines approaching are Georgia, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire (March 29), Pennsylvania (March 30) and Utah (March 31). Those with April deadlines are Minnesota (April 3), Kentucky (April 5), Connecticut (April 10), Louisiana (April 15) and Delaware (April 30).

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