Posted April 18, 2024 at 01:04pm by Kelly Nottermann

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets announces new grant targeting the "Middle of the Supply Chain" to build food systems resiliency

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USDA Resilient Food System Infrastructure Grant will distribute $3.2 Million to Vermont Businesses

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets is releasing grant details for a new USDA initiative to build resilience in the food supply chain, provide more and better markets to farms and food businesses, support the development of value-added products, and promote equitable and safe jobs. These Resilient Food System Infrastructure grants, or RFSI, will reach all 50 states and territories. Vermont is awarding over $3.2 million in grants, broken into two rounds, to Vermont businesses and organizations that strengthen local and regional food systems.  

Grants will support critical sectors of the “middle of the supply chain,” meaning everything between farm production and selling in stores. This includes aggregation, distribution, manufacturing, processing, storage, transportation, and wholesaling of Vermont food products. RFSI’s goal is to reduce bottlenecks and offer more infrastructure to get quality, Vermont made products to customers.  

“These grants will help strengthen our food supply chain that helps feed us,” Vermont Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts said. “Strengthening these important links will help build resiliency and prosperity in Vermont’s working lands. This was a recommendation of Governor Scott’s Future of Agriculture Commission. It’s great we are acting on this recommendation.”

This grant program supports products such as specialty crops, dairy, grains for human consumption, aquaculture, and value-added products. Per USDA requirements, meat and poultry are excluded from this opportunity.  

The first round of RFSI grants will be for infrastructure projects for things such as increasing processing capacity; modernizing storage, tracking, and IT systems; constructing new facilities; increasing dry and cold storage; installing climate-smart equipment; or modernizing facilities to ensure food and worker safety. Details for this grant are announced today in the Request for Application which can be found online, along with a FAQ that will be updated periodically. There is approximately $2 million available for this round. Grants will range from $100,000 - $500,000 with a 50% match (25% reduced match available). Projects will run from Fall of 2024 to early 2027. 

The second round of RFSI grants will be for equipment-only projects that fall within the program’s goals of enhancing the middle of the supply chain. Approximately $1.2 million will be available for this round, with grants ranging from $30,000 to $100,000 with no match requirement. Full grant details will be available in August 2024 and projects will begin in early 2025. 

To review the RFSI program and begin the application process, visit the program website here:

Applications are due via WebGrants by June 5, 2024 at 1:59pm. Contact Julia Scheier with any questions at or 802-522-7042.