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USDA and New Mexico Invest $3.7M to Boost Food Supply Chain

USDA and New Mexico Invest $3.7M to Boost Food Supply Chain

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service today announced it has a cooperative agreement with New Mexico under the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI). Through this agreement, USDA and the New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) are working together to offer over $3.7 million in competitive grant funding for projects designed to build resilience across the middle of the supply chain. NMDA is accepting applications for this Infrastructure Grant funding through December 31, 2023.

In May 2023, USDA announced the availability of up to $420 million through RFSI to strengthen local and regional food systems. Through this program, 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 or commerce activities in states or U.S. territories. RFSI is authorized by the American Rescue Plan.

“This partnership between USDA and NMDA is allowing critical funding to reach areas of the supply chain that need it most,” said USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt. “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.”

Using RFSI funding, NMDA will fund projects that support growth and address current challenges within the middle of the state’s food supply chain. Funded projects will also increase opportunities for more value-added products to diversify offerings and extend availability, implement sustainable agricultural practices and climate smart technologies, bring food closer to where it is ultimately consumed, and provide hunger relief efforts for food insecure New Mexicans. The state’s priorities are informed by stakeholder engagement and outreach to underserved producers to better understand their needs.

“The New Mexico agriculture industry’s infrastructure priorities focus on modernizing equipment and facilities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure worker safety, food availability, food safety and efficient water use. Based on producers’ input, it’s critical that we expand processing capacities, packaging and labeling, tracking systems, information technology and increase access to training on specialized equipment,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte. “Prioritizing RFSI grant funding in these ways helps ensure that we’re thoroughly investing in local producers’ abilities to support New Mexico’s food system, diversify it and bring sustainable agricultural practices closer to where food is ultimately consumed.”



Photo Credit: USDA

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