Two local projects funded for local food system infrastructure projects

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has awarded $1.5 million in Local Food System Infrastructure Grants to support local food system infrastructure, supply chains, and market access for farms, food processors, food distributors, and meat processors. 

WSDA funded a total of 40 projects that strengthen linkages along the regional food supply chain, encourage collaboration, and create new market opportunities for farmers, ranchers and food businesses entrepreneurs.

Grays Harbor saw two projects funded in this round for marketplaces. 

  • 2 Rivers Cattle Company in Brady will receive $43,635 to expand their meat storage capacity and serve as an aggregation point for the Southwest Washington Food Hub. 
  • Grays Harbor Conservation District was awarded $41,020 to acquire the necessary permits and pay for equipment needed to ensure that the Aberdeen Sunday Market can run and be promoted. 

No Pacific County projects were on the award list in this round of funding.

There were 337 applications submitted, with requests totaling nearly $19 million dollars– more than 10 times the available funding.

Applicants ranged from farmers, ranchers, food processors, food distributors, and other small businesses and organizations that aggregate, process, manufacture, transport, store, or sell foods that have been grown, caught, or raised in Washington state.

“We continue to be inspired by how these grant projects are developing the capacity of our regional food economy,” Laura Raymond, manager of the WSDA Regional Markets Program said. “We really wish we could fund many more of these worthwhile activities; each proposal represented an opportunity to build a more vibrant and resilient local food system.”

Grant amounts ranged from $7,000 to $75,000. Recipients will use these grant funds to improve local food system post-harvest infrastructure and market access with equipment, facility improvements, supply chain and market access coordination, food safety improvements, workforce development, and related operating costs.

“Small farms, ranches, and food business entrepreneurs play an important role in maintaining Washington’s vibrant regional food economy,” Washington State Department of Agriculture Director Derek Sandison said. “The high level of interest in WSDA programs demonstrates the clear need for continued business supports, including technical assistance, publications, market access development and grant awards.”

Both Washington state and the federal government are creating new grants and providing technical assistance to help fulfill this need for stronger local food system infrastructures that can support local economies and foster healthy communities.

Local Food System Infrastructure Grants and Local Meat and Poultry Assistance are projects of the Regional Markets Program that contribute to WSDA’s Focus on Food Initiative, ensuring that safe, nutritious food is effectively produced and distributed throughout Washington.

For future grant opportunities, visit agr.wa.gov/grants.