WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the agency is making investments in 185 projects worth nearly $196 million to create new and better market opportunities for producers and entrepreneurs across the country. The funding includes $2,247,000 for Vermont and New Hampshire businesses through Value Added Producer Grants, a Rural Business Development Grant and Business & Industry Loan Guarantee.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is championing America’s farmers and ranchers by helping to expand businesses, support more robust American supply chains and save jobs,” Vilsack said. “Today’s investments in agricultural producers and rural entrepreneurs will create better economic opportunities that spur competition and bolster food supply chains across the country. This will result in more affordable prices and choices for consumers, as well as more opportunities and revenue for farmers.”
“Vermont and New Hampshire are states with strong agricultural backbones,” said Sarah Waring, State Director for USDA Rural Development in Vermont and New Hampshire. “With today’s announcement of more than $2.2 million invested, we celebrate the innovation and hard work of farmers, food producers, and our local supply chain. Rural Development’s business programs support this supply chain to be more efficient and more carbon neutral, while reducing costs to rebuild our local economies. Because of the Biden-Harris Administration’s demonstrated commitment to agricultural producers and entrepreneurs, our rural communities are becoming healthier and more resilient by the day.”
Local projects in include:
• $250,000 Value Added Producer Grants for three farms in Vermont and one in New Hampshire;
• A $1,200,000 Business & Industry Loan Guarantee to finance a 788 kW solar array farm in Georgia, Vermont, expected to power the equivalent of 88 homes annually; and
• A $47,000 Rural Business Development Grant for Merrimack County Conservation District, to help Brookford Farms in Caterbury, NH, improve its product marketing and create three new jobs.
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 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.