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Apply to the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Grant

Funds projects that build resilience across the middle-of-the-food-supply-chain.

Keri Cornman

The Details   of Apply to the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Grant

What you need   for Apply to the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Grant

**Note: MDAR hosted a webinar on 2/8 on the RFSI program. Click here to view the webinar and use passcode #f%x2f1d. To view the second webinar held on Tuesday, March 5th, 2024 at 12:00pm, click here and use passcode 1b$szzYX 

IMPORTANT: Please read and review the Request for Response (RFR) document linked above and below in the “downloads” section. This document contains the full program description, definitions, allowable/unallowable project types, proposal structure, evaluation criteria, and proposal submission instructions.

Background

The purpose of the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (“RFSI”) is to assist U.S. states and territories (“States”) to build resilience in the middle-of-the-supply-chain and strengthen local and regional food systems by creating new revenue streams for their state’s producers. USDA has awarded states funding, and states are to make subawards in the form of Infrastructure Grants and Simplified Equipment-Only Grants to middle-of-the-supply businesses to create more diverse local and regional market options and create more economic opportunities for communities, allowing them to retain more of the value chain dollar. RFSI investments aim to create a food systems infrastructure to support competitive and profitable market access for domestic farm products. 

The program also aims to:  

  • Support development of value‐added products available to consumers;  

  • Support proposals that provide fair prices, fair wages and new and safe job opportunities that keep profits in rural communities; and  

  • Increase diversity in processing options in terms of business model approaches, geography, and availability to underserved communities.  

Who May Apply?

Entities eligible for the RFSI Infrastructure Grants and Simplified Equipment-Only Grants:  

  • Agricultural producers or processors, or groups of agricultural producers and processors  

  • Nonprofit organizations operating middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, distribution of targeted agricultural products  

  • For-profit entities operating middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, or distribution of targeted agricultural products, whose activities are primarily focused for the benefit of local and regional producers, and that meet the eligibility requirements of the SBA small business size standards are eligible.  

  • For-profit entities must meet the eligibility requirements of the SBA small business size standards matched to industries described in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). For more information on these size standards, please visit SBA’s Size Standards webpage. For a quick check on whether your business qualifies, please use the Size Standards Tool.  

  • Local government entities operating middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, distribution of targeted agricultural products  

  • Tribal governments operating middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, distribution of targeted agricultural products.  

  • Institutions such as schools, universities, or hospitals bringing producers together to establish cooperative or shared infrastructure or invest in equipment that will benefit multiple producers middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, distribution of targeted agricultural product.  

How much funding is available?

MDAR  intends to fund $3,000,000 in projects through this competitive RFR process. Funding may be split between two funding opportunities within the RFSI program:

1. Infrastructure Grants - Max request $500,000

- 50% Match Cost Requirement

- 25% Match Requirement for Historically Underserved Farmers or Ranchers (See section 1F of RFR for more information)

2. Simplified Equipment-only Grants - Minimum request of $10,000 and a maximum of $100,000

- No match requirement

Request for Response (RFR)

See “downloads” below to download the Request for Response (RFR). This document outlines and explains all details, requirements, and instructions for the RFSI. 

Online Application

Use the online form to submit your application and supporting documents. You can find a list of supporting documents in the "Downloads" section of this webpage.   

Applications must be RECEIVED electronically by Friday, March 29, 2024, by 4:00pm.  

Late submissions will not be accepted.  Failure to provide any of the materials listed below may result in the disqualification of the proposal. Applications that are sent by email, mail, or fax will NOT be accepted. 

The Department will not accept submission or re-submission of incomplete or delayed applications after the posted deadline. Submissions that do not contain a complete Application Form will also not be considered.

How to apply   Apply to the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Grant

Download and review the RFR listed below, and submit your application online. Detailed instructions for application requirements can be found in the RFR.

Use the online application found at the below links to submit your application and supporting documents: 

For Infrastructure Grant application: https://www.mass.gov/forms/rfsi-infrastructure-grant-proposal-application  

For Simplified Equipment-Only Grant application: https://www.mass.gov/forms/rfsi-equipment-only-grant-proposal-application  

This program allows only for the submission of on-line applications. All applicants are advised to allow adequate time for submission of their proposal by considering potential on-line impediments like internet traffic, Internet connection speed, file size, and file volume.

All on-line submissions should generate a confirmation page as well as send a confirmation email. If you do not receive a confirmation, do not assume the application was received. Please reach out to Keri Cornman (Keri.Cornman@mass.gov) if you do not see a confirmation page for your application submission.

More info   for Apply to the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Grant

Applicants may submit questions regarding the RFR and application process.  

Please submit questions by email to: Keri.Cornman@mass.gov.  The deadline for questions is Friday, March 22 at 4:00 p.m.  Responses to questions, along with an FAQ, will be posted to the RFSI webpage and COMMBUYS.  

The RFSI Grant RFR and other supporting documentation and information is posted openly on Commbuys under Bid. It is the responsibility of every applicant to check COMMBUYS for any addenda or modifications to an RFR to which they intend to respond.

MDAR cannot assist in the preparation of grant applications. In order to maintain the integrity of the competitive grant process, MDAR cannot advise or provide individuals with any information regarding specific applications during the solicitation process. 

Two informational webinars will be held for interested applicants on the dates listed below. The webinars will be approximately 1 hour in length.  

The webinars will be recorded and made publicly available on MDAR’s RFSI Webpage prior to the application deadline so that all potential applicants who are unable to attend the webinar live or who wish to further review the webinar’s content may do so before submitting an application. 

  • Thursday, February 8th, 2024 at 12:00pm - To view the recording click here and use passcode:  #f%x2f1d.
  • Tuesday, March 5th, 2024 at 12:00pm - To access this webinar, register here

Downloads   for Apply to the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Grant

Contact   for Apply to the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Grant

Address
100 Cambridge Street, Ste 900, Boston, MA 02114

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