DANR Accepting Applications for Food System Infrastructure Grants

Article Body

For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 18, 2024

Media Contact: Dana Munyon, dana.munyon@state.sd.us


DANR Accepting Applications for Food System Infrastructure Grants


PIERRE, S.D. –The South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (DANR) is partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service to offer $2.9 million in competitive grant funds for projects to strengthen the middle of the food system supply chain in South Dakota.


Applications will be accepted through March 10, 2024.


The South Dakota Resilient Food System Infrastructure (RFSI) program supports expanded capacity for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, and distribution of locally and regionally produced food products including specialty crops, dairy, grains for human consumption, aquaculture, and other food products, excluding meat and poultry.


“Agriculture is our number one industry in South Dakota and the RFSI is an exciting opportunity to bridge the gaps in our food system between our producers and businesses and their markets,” said DANR Secretary Hunter Roberts. “We look forward to seeing the RFSI investment benefit South Dakotans through projects that bring those products to consumers across the state.”


Using crucial input on key South Dakota food system needs provided to South Dakota agriculture industry partners and stakeholders during the summer of 2023, DANR will focus on addressing supply chain gaps through processing capacity to enable increased and value-added production, commercial kitchens, cold storage, aggregation and transportation points for market access, and equipment upgrades and modernization. By focusing on these needs, DANR will ensure RFSI delivers a significant impact for producers, businesses, consumers, and rural communities statewide.


Infrastructure project awards will be at least $100,000 with equal applicant match. Historically underserved producers and small disadvantaged businesses qualify for a reduced contribution requirement of 25% of the project cost. Equipment-only project awards may be $10,000 - $100,000 for amounts equal to the cost of the equipment, with no match required.


Interested applicants can join DANR RFSI Office Hours to learn more about the opportunity. DANR will host informational sessions on Wednesday, January 17, 2024, 2:30 – 3:30 CT and Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 2:00 – 3:00 CT. Please reference the Request for Proposals or contact Timothy Schoonhoven at timothy.schoonhoven@state.sd.us or 605-773-5559 for attendance information.


The application period opens January 10 and closes March 10, 2024, at 11:59 pm CT. Eligible applicants include South Dakota’s agricultural producers and processors, for-profit entities meeting Small Business Administration small business size standards, local or tribal government entities, institutions, or nonprofit organization operating middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, or distribution of targeted agricultural products.


Following submission, project proposals will undergo a competitive review by an independent panel of experts from the South Dakota agricultural community. Projects may receive funding for up to three years, beginning May 25, 2024, and extending through May 24, 2027.


The deadline for applications is March 10, 2024, at 11:59 pm CDT.


Applications should be submitted via email to timothy.schoonhoven@state.sd.us. The Request for Proposals and application materials are available at https://danr.sd.gov/Press/RFSI.aspx.


For additional project information, please contact Timothy Schoonhoven, Policy Advisor, at 605-773-5559.


- 30 -