USDA Rural Development Texas State Director Paco Valentin announced funding today for the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) to conduct an Organic Food Hub Feasibility Study.
“As consumers are becoming more conscious of the environment and the food we eat, access to fresh organic foods has become a widely sought commodity,” said Paco Valentin, USDA Rural Development Texas State Director. “We are pleased to offer funding to the National Center for Appropriate Technology for a feasibility study to determine the sustainability of an Organic Food Hub in Guadalupe County.”
USDA Rural Development has approved a Rural Business Enterprise Grant of $87,330 to conduct an Organic Food Hub Feasibility Study to identify opportunities for the distribution of locally grown foods to assist small and emerging private businesses in rural Texas. Large farming operations generally sell their produce to chain grocery and retail stores due to the volume they are able to produce. Smaller farmers in South Texas have limited choices to market their produce, such as Farmer’s Markets and roadside stands. The hub in Guadalupe County would be a gathering place for farmers to bring their produce to combine together, creating volume and enabling them the opportunity to sell to the larger markets.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. For information on this and other USDA Rural Development programs in Texas, visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/TXHome.html.