Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is making a historic $78 million investment in local and regional food systems, including food hubs, farmers markets, aggregation and processing facilities, distribution services, and other local food business enterprises. $48 million in loan guarantees for local food projects is now available through USDA's Rural Development's Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program, and $30 million is available through competitive grants via the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) Farmers Market and Local Foods Promotion Program. Details on how to apply for local food funding through the Business and Industry program are available on the Rural Development website. Click here for information about how to apply for the Agricultural Marketing Service's Farmers Market and Local Foods Promotion Program.
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USDA Funding Available for Local Food Enterprises
Leadership Cohort Plans Human Sundial Installation
Members of the second cohort of the Forest Grove Ford Institute Leadership Program revealed their plans to create an interactive art installation featuring a human sundial in Thatcher Park later this year. The public art installation will feature an eight foot high column that would draw people’s attention to the structure, and the sundial could serve as a tourist attraction. The project is part of the RDI-delivered Ford Institute Leadership Program; a program that is based on the belief that vital rural communities develop from a broad base of knowledgeable, skilled, and motivated leaders. The installation is planned to be completed by December. Click here to read more about the project in the Oregonian.