Program Name: Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program
Organization: Illinois Department of Agriculture
Address: 801 E Sangamon Ave
Springfield, IL 62702
Phone:
Fax:
TDD:
Email: agr.rfsi@illinois.gov
Website: https://agr.illinois.gov/assistance/grant-programs.html
Briefly Describe the Purpose of the Program
The purpose of the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure (RFSI) program is to build resilience in the middle of the food supply chain, to provide more and better markets to small farms and food businesses, to support the development of value-added products for consumers, fair prices, fair wages, and new and safe job opportunities.

The RFSI purpose is expanding middle of the food supply chain capacity for locally and regionally produced foods, to offer better market opportunities and new streams of revenue to small and mid-sized agricultural producers (including those who may not have access to value-added opportunities or processing to meet market demand for premium or value-added products, such as underserved producers).

RFSI projects should expand the capacity and market opportunities for local and regional producers in the middle of the food supply chain. The food supply chain involves the following stages: 1. Production, 2. Processing, 3. Aggregation/Distribution, and 4. Markets/Consumers. For the purposes of RFSI, “middle-of-the-supply-chain” refers to the middle stages: 2. Processing and 3. Aggregation/Distribution.

Year Program Established:
Eligibility Requirements or Restrictions
Those eligible to apply will be:

Agricultural producers or processors, or groups of agricultural producers and processors
Nonprofit organizations operating middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, distribution of targeted agricultural products
For-profit entities operating middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, or distribution of targeted agricultural products, whose activities are primarily focused for the benefit of local and regional producers, and that meet the eligibility requirements of the SBA small business size standards are eligible. *
Local government entities operating middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, distribution of targeted agricultural products
Tribal governments operating middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, distribution of targeted agricultural products.
Institutions such as schools, universities, or hospitals bringing producers together to establish cooperative or shared infrastructure or invest in equipment that will benefit multiple producers middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, distribution of targeted agricultural product.
*For-profit entities must meet the eligibility requirements of the SBA small business size standards matched to industries described in the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). For more information on these size standards, please visit SBA’s Size Standards webpage. For a quick check on whether your business qualifies, please use the Size Standards Tool.

Application Deadline: 3/15/2024

Program Start Date: 9/30/2024

Program End Date: 5/24/2027

Application Guidelines:
Please see https://agr.illinois.gov/assistance/illinoisfarmprograms/speciality-crop-grants/proposal-submission-details.html
Funding Cap Per Application or Fiscal Year Program Funding: $100,000.00 for equipment only or $3,000,000.00 for infrastructure applications
How Must Funds Be Used:
The Illinois Department of Agriculture will award funds to support projects that:
Enhance and establish capacities for processing, storage, aggregation, and distribution to scale up local food in Illinois;
Develop and enhance capacity for value-added products and cottage food entrepreneurship to meet demand for new markets and consumers;
Strengthen and develop organizational capacity to increase social networks and collaboration among farmers and local food supply chain actors to achieve operational efficiency and expand new market opportunities.
Enhance and establish on-farm sustainable/renewable energy systems for processing, storing, and value-add products while reducing food waste and ensuring food safety;
Historically underserved populations will be a funding priority in alignment with the goals of the RFSI program. (see below for definition of historically underserved populations)