The Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) Grant Program offers designated grants for businesses and organizations operating in the middle of the food supply chain in Minnesota.

The purpose of the funding is to invest in infrastructure for aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, and distribution of locally and regionally produced food intended for human consumption, including specialty crops, dairy, grains, aquaculture, and other food products (except meat and poultry, which are funded through other programs).


Informational webinar

We're hosting an informational webinar at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, February 28, 2024. We'll provide an overview of the RFSI Grant Program, information on the application process, and answers to common questions. Submit your questions when you register so we can try to answer them all during the presentation.

Register for the RFSI Grant webinar.

Spanish interpretation will be available.

Seminario web informativo

Vamos a ofrecer un seminario web informativo a las 12 p.m. el miércoles 28 de febrero de 2024. Brindaremos una descripción general del programa de Becas Para Infraestructura de Sistemas Alimentarios Resistentes de Minnesota (RFSI), información sobre el proceso de solicitud y respuestas a preguntas comunes. Envíe sus preguntas cuando se registre para que podamos intentar responderlas todas durante la presentación.

Regístrese para el seminario web sobre subvenciones RFSI.

Habrá interpretación en español disponible.


Eligibility and funding priorities

Eligible applicants must be operating middle-of-the-food-supply-chain activities for the benefit of local and regional producers. This includes aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, and distribution of food meant for human consumption (but not meat or poultry). Eligible entities include:

  • Agricultural producers or processors, or groups of agricultural producers and processors (including cooperatives or associations)
  • For-profit entities
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Local and tribal governments
  • Institutions such as schools, universities, or hospitals that are bringing producers together to establish cooperative or shared infrastructure or invest in equipment that will benefit middle-of-the-supply-chain activities for multiple producers

All for-profit entities must qualify as small businesses based on U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Size Standards. Check if your business qualifies, using the SBA's Size Standards Tool.

All applicants must have a federal Unique Entity ID (UEI). If your organization does not have a UEI and plans to apply for a RFSI grant, you should request one online now. Requesting and getting a UEI is free.

This grant program will prioritize:

Amount available

We expect to award approximately $9.6 million in this round of grant funding using a competitive review process.

The smallest award will be $100,000 and the largest will be $3 million. Although you may request up to $3 million, you should expect that very few, if any, applicants will receive the largest award amount. We expect to award between 25 and 40 grants, but the final number of grants will depend on the size of each grant award.

Match requirements

  • You must supply matching funds to receive an RFSI Grant.
  • The default match requirement is 50% of the total project cost.
  • The match requirement is reduced to 25% of total project cost for the following groups:
    • Historically underserved farmers and ranchers
    • Small disadvantaged businesses (51% or more owned and controlled by one or more socially disadvantaged persons)
    • Women-owned businesses (51% or more owned and controlled by one or more women)
    • Veteran-owned businesses (51% or more owned and controlled by one or more military veterans)

Applying

  • Applications are due by 4 p.m. Central Time on April 3, 2024
  • Apply for the RFSI Grant using our online application system
    • If you are a new user, you will need to create an account.
    • Once you are logged in, select "2024 Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Grant."
  • Before you apply, read the 2024 Request for Proposals (PDF) for program guidelines and eligibility rules. 

Contact us if you need this information in an alternative format.

Technical assistance

We are working with local organizations that may be able to assist applicants in developing their grant project proposals as well as to supply ongoing administrative and technical assistance once awards are received. We anticipate details on this assistance to be finalized by mid-February, and we will update this page with full information on how to contact these organizations at that time.

Program background

The Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure program is funded by a cooperative agreement between the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS) and the MDA. Through this program, we will work in partnership with USDA AMS to make competitive subaward grants to build resilience across the middle of the food supply chain in Minnesota. We will also use a part of the funds to provide targeted market development services for local and regional food products.