holding signs saying we are no longer a food desert Cairo IL grocery store openingValue-Added Sustainable Development Center

Regional Food Economic Development

Financial stability on the supply side of the regional food system equation is critical for the local food system to grow economically. To address this need, the Value-Added Sustainable Development Center launched Project ReFED, an initiative to increase job growth and business sustainability in the local food sector by providing business training for, and connections between, local farmers, food aggregators, and retail locations. The ReFED Project’s mission is to create economic growth in rural areas by providing business development assistance to beginning farmers, food processors, food hubs, food cooperatives, and independent grocers.

Below are a few of the areas that the initiative can assist local food producers, small farmers and ranchers, and small meat processors. If you are interested in hosting or attending a workshop on one of the areas below – or have a related topic that you would like to learn more about – please contact us.

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Funding for Project ReFED was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.