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ODA secures $12.6 million to support Ohio's food supply chain

Alejandro Figuera

The Ohio Department of Agriculture has announced a new business grant for farmers and food producers.

The $12.6 million grant will pay for projects that support supply chain coordination, create more and better food processing centers, and increase efficient distribution of farm products.

The money is from the federal Resilient Food System Infrastructure Program, which aims to support growth in the middle-of-the-food-supply-chain and strengthen local and regional food systems by creating new revenue streams for Ohio producers.

“This grant is for increased capacity of production,” said Terry Gearheart, the Chief of Food Safety at the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

"It is for the middle where they're putting out added value or aggregation of crops moving the product in some manner from the farm to the end consumer.”

The equipment grants are $10,000 to $100,000, and the infrastructure grants are $100,000 to $3 million.

The ODA department will conduct a workshop at its Reynoldsburg office on February 7th to help people finish their applications and provide any guidance they might need. 

Those interested in receiving funding should apply directly through ODA by March 15, 2024. ODA encourages applications from smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers, underserved producers, veteran producers, and underserved communities.

Ngozi Cole is the Business and Economics Reporter for WYSO. She graduated with honors from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York and is a 2022 Pulitzer Center Post-Graduate Reporting Fellow. Ngozi is from Freetown, Sierra Leone.