© 2024 WMKY
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kentucky applications open for agricultural grants through USDA


The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $8.6 million to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture under their Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program.

Jay Hall is the Executive Director of Marketing for KDA. He said the RFSI Program is a national initiative to address problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It aims to strengthen local food systems by focusing on building up projects that fall between the production and sale of agricultural goods.

“None of our farmers stopped farming during COVID,” he said. “Productions kept rolling just like it always had, but we had significant supply chain issues, and one of the reasons for that was because of a lack of the ability to aggregate and to process those commodities.”

Hall said the money given to KDA will be distributed to eligible projects in the form of grants, and applications are open now. To qualify, projects must focus on the middle of the supply chain rather than production.

“Anything related to aggregation, distribution and processing of those commodities would be an eligible expense,” he said. “Also, anything that would be packaging and storage, such as a walk-in cooler or a cold packing facility, would also be eligible.”

Hall said there are two types of grants interested parties can apply for. Equipment-only projects can qualify for grants between $10,000 and $100,000 for equipment purchases, with no match required. Infrastructure applicants can request a minimum of $100,000 and a maximum of $3 million dollars, and a 50% match with federal funding.

The application window closes on April 5, and selections will be made sometime in the early summer.

More information is available on the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s website.