NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 27, 2023 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Tennessee State Director Arlisa Armstrong today announced that the department is making investments that will expand markets for agricultural producers and strengthen American food and agriculture supply chains in rural Tennessee.
“Under the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is partnering with entrepreneurs in rural areas to build brighter futures, connect business owners to new markets and create good jobs for generations to come,” Armstrong said. “We are excited to be investing $459,000 to help rural local farmers and ranchers venture into new markets by adding value to their products. These investments will help rural entrepreneurs and agricultural producers expand the production capacity of their businesses, save jobs, create jobs and more.”
Today’s announcement was made as part of the inaugural meeting of the new White House Council on Supply Chain Resilience which is part of President Biden’s agenda to bring down costs for American families and increase investment in America’s supply chains critical to economic and national security. Today’s funding builds on prior investments made by USDA under President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to increase competition, enhance independent meat and poultry and other diversified food processing capacity, strengthen local and regional food systems and expand domestic, innovative fertilizer production.
USDA is making investments in 185 projects worth nearly $196 million to create new and better market opportunities for producers and entrepreneurs in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Puerto Rico.
- Tennessee Grass Fed LLC will use a $209,000 Value-Added Producer Grant for working capital to expand their markets and sales of fresh retail cuts of beef to local restaurants and grocery stores. Funding this project will create four jobs and save five jobs.
- Southern Ridge Farm LLC will use a $250,000 Value-Added Producer Grant for working capital to Southern Ridge Farm LLC to expand their sale of retail cuts of grass-fed beef that is sold through their on-farm store and at their store front location in Columbia, Tennessee.
USDA and the Biden-Harris Administration are making these investments through six programs designed to create economic opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas.
Rural Business Development Grants assist with economic development planning and/or the financing or expansion of rural businesses by providing technical assistance and training for small rural businesses.
The Value Added Producer Grants Program helps farmers and ranchers venture into new markets by adding value to their bio-based products that will increase their revenue. Funds may be used to process or market these products. For example, an olive farmer may use funding to produce and market olive oil.
Business and Industry Loan Guarantees help improve rural economic health by increasing access to business capital, allowing commercial lenders, like banks and credit unions, to offer affordable financing to eligible rural businesses. This program was authorized by the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act.
The Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan Program supported investments in infrastructure for food processing, manufacturing, storage, transportation, wholesaling, aggregation and distribution to increase capacity and create a more resilient, diverse and secure U.S. food supply chain through the American Rescue Plan Act.
The Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program provides funding for rural projects through local utility organizations. USDA provides zero-interest loans to local utilities which, in turn, lend the funding to local businesses to support projects that will create and keep jobs in rural areas.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA Rural Development provides loans, loan guarantees and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.
USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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