Investing in Food Hubs and Rural Coops: 2012 RBOG and RCDG Awards Announced
October 17th, 2012
On Wednesday, October 17, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the recipients of USDA’s 2012 Rural Business Opportunity Grants (RBOG) and Rural Cooperative Development Grants (RCDG). Both of these programs seek to spur growth and create jobs in rural communities. Out of the 42 total RBOG projects funded, five projects address agricultural and food system development:
- Golden Hills Resource Conservation & Development Area in Iowa received a $50,000 to provide technical assistance to new and existing farmers and ranchers, with an emphasis on underserved populations.
- The New Jersey Department of Agriculture received a $44,000 grant to assess the feasibility of incorporating local shellfish into local food markets and to establish a sustainable business model.
- The Southern Tier West Regional Planning & Development Board received a $25,864 grant to establish a multi-county food hub in southwest New York.
- South Dakota State University received a $50,000 grant to establish a local foods center.
- Northwest Agriculture Business Center received a $50,000 grant to create agricultural processors and expand existing ones in northwest Washington.
Out of 35 total funded RCDG projects, the program awarded grants to 19 projects pertaining to socially disadvantaged farmers. In addition, several RCDG awards also dealt with agricultural development, including:
- The Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development received $108,000 to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged farmers in horticulture, aquaculture, and pastured poultry.
- World Farmers, Inc. in Massachusetts received $168,000 to help immigrant African farmes form a food cooperative.
- The Food Coop Initiative in Minnesota received $175,000 to provide training and technical assistance to create new markets for Minnesota farmers.
- The Tri-County Agriculture Cooperative and the North Delta Produce Growers in Mississippi both received $166,000 to provide technical assistance to their members.
- The Missouri IncuTech Foundation received $96,000 to assist farmers and low income communities form mutually-beneficial cooperatives.
- The Ohio State University received $175,000 to support a center to provide technical assistance to farmers and food hubs interested in forming into cooperatives.
- Rocky Mountain Farmers Union received $175,000 to support technical assistance to mid-scale family farm coops to supply healthy food.
- The Value-Added Agriculture Development Center in South Dakota received d$175,000 to support their center to expand farm product-based rural coops.
A complete list of recipients is available here.