Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI) The purpose of the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI) program is to develop and administer state-coordinated initiatives to build resilience across the middle of the State’s food supply chain for food crops. Funds will support expanded capacity for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, and distribution of locally and regionally produced food products, including specialty crops, dairy, grains for consumption, aquaculture, and other food products, excluding meat and poultry. DEM will work in partnership with USDA to make competitive sub-award investments in middle of the supply chain infrastructure (Infrastructure Grants) to domestic food and farm businesses and other eligible entities. More information Visit the RFSI website for additional information and resources at: www.ams.usda.gov/rfsi. For questions about Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI), please email RFSI@usda.gov. Resilient Food System Infrastructure Program Webinar Date: September 27, 2023 — 2:00pm to 3:00pm Join this webinar to learn about a new grant and technical assistance program through RIDEM’s Division of Agriculture and USDA to expand the capacity for aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, distribution and wholesaling of locally and regionally produced foods (excluding meat, poultry and seafood products). Grants will be available for equipment, infrastructure and capacity building. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hyYgQF1ORqOB_SC_vmo9MA#/registration RFSI Frequently Asked Questions PDF file, less than 1mbmegabytes RFSI Equipment Only Grant Template PDF file, about 3mbmegabytes RFSI Infrastructure Grant Template PDF file, about 3mbmegabytes Who is eligible? DEM will enter into a cooperative agreement with USDA-AMS. What is the maximum grant amount? Up to $420 million will be awarded to all States divided based on formula funding. AMS is providing a minimum funding allocation of a minimum of $2 million for all States regardless of the size of their production. Infrastructure Grant applicants can apply for a minimum of $100,000 and a maximum of $3 million. Is there a cost share or match required? Infrastructure Grant Recipients are required to contribute 50% of the total proposed project cost as a match to federal funding. This applies to all applicants except those who qualify for the reduced match described below. For historically under-served farmers and ranchers, or for other businesses that qualify under SBA categories of Small disadvantaged business, women-owned small business, or veteran-owned small business, the required match funding Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Grant (RFSI) contribution or cost share is reduced to 25% of the project cost. States must require that applicants self-certify in their RFSI Infrastructure Grant Proposal Template applications that they are eligible for this reduced match. What can I use the funding for? RFSI will focus on funding Infrastructure Grant activities in each State that: Expand capacity for processing, aggregation and distribution of agricultural products to create more and better markets for producers; Modernize manufacturing, tracking, storage, and information technology systems; Enhance worker safety through adoption of new technologies or investment in equipment or facility improvements; Improve the capacity of entities to comply with federal, state, and local food safety requirements; Improve operations through training opportunities; Support construction of a new facility; Modernize or expand an existing facility (including expansion and modifications to existing buildings and/ or construction of new buildings at existing facilities); Construction of wastewater management structures, etc.; Modernize processing and manufacturing equipment; and Develop, customize, or install equipment that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, increases efficiency in water use, improves air and/or water quality, and/or meets one or more of USDA’s climate action goals. Grantee Resources Collaborating Organization Template Word file, less than 1mbmegabytes Critical Resource Infrastructure Template Word file, less than 1mbmegabytes RFSI Proposal Template Word file, less than 1mbmegabytes Verification of Matching Funds Template Word file, less than 1mbmegabytes Can infrastructure grant recipients apply for equipment-only projects that total less than $100,000? Yes, Lead State Agencies may issue Simplified Equipment-Only Projects. These projects offer a simplified application to fund smaller grants between $10,000 and $100,000 for equipment purchases. The Simplified Equipment-Only option is a Fixed Price Grant, meaning it will fund only equipment purchases (and not associated facility upgrades, staffing, or other costs), and the amount awarded will be equal to the cost of the equipment up to $100,000. No match is required for this grant type. Using a USDA provided template, applicants are required to submit a project narrative that describes the overall scope of the project and how it aligns with the program goals and priorities. The narrative must include an estimated increase in production and who will benefit from the overall project. Applicants must attach documentation to substantiate the costs of each piece of equipment, which can include contracts, catalog pricing, or binding quotes provided by license commercial entities.