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USDA funds Dakotas food supply systems and local farmers



Minot, North Dakota – USDA is launching federal food business centers.

To address rural producer supply chain bottlenecks, national groupings will collaborate.

Quinn Renfandt, a farmer, struggles with distribution.

He describes Minot’s warehouse pilot project’s benefits.

“Having a shared space that we would be able to evaluate our production, washing, packing, possibly processing lightly, like cutting up basic fruits and vegetables to be stored longer term, also having that as a key point that links into some type of distribution network,” said Renfandt.

The north-central food business center will serve the Dakotas and Minnesota.

The Minnesota-based Region Five Development Commission will bring together dozens of non-profits, co-ops, and other organizations to help local farmers acquire money and expertise.

The USDA’s coordinated effort to fund our three-state region is encouraging. FARRMS Non-Profit executive director Stephanie Blumhagen claimed that financing will help grow local food systems.

Minot’s warehouse was one of many nationwide.

States will meet four times a year in an online hub.

“Losing food access makes it hard to attract new people and families. Lori Capouch, rural development director of the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives, hopes for a vibrant local food supply chain so all communities may obtain healthful foods.

Capouch said these efforts will boost North Dakota farmers.

Stakeholders will set targets and determine funding in the following months.

Capouch said the web portal might launch within a year.