Local News

Plans for Northeast Indiana Foodshed to Be Unveiled

ROANOKE, Ind. (WOWO): Plans for a regional food shed planned for Northeast Indiana are coming into focus.

The USDA announced Tuesday it was awarding $43,000 in grants to develop a plan for the Northeast Indiana Regional Foodshed. In February, economic development officials unveiled plans for a multiple purpose facility in Bluffton that would serve as an incubator for development food-related business in Northeast Indiana. (Click here for more)

At that time, it was described as a product development, education and research hub that would link farmers with local businesses.  

A number of groups including the Northeast Regional Partnership, USDA and other economic development leaders will unveil the plan Wednesday morning. 

Here's the original press release from  USDA

Wells County Receives USDA Rural Development Funding

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (WOWO): USDA Rural Development has announced the selection of Wells County Revitalization, Inc. as a recipient of a $43,000 Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG). Today’s announcement is one part of the United States Department of Agriculture’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

This project will develop a Northeast Indiana Regional Foodshed Development Strategy. Funds will be used to create a regional Foodshed profile and create its own study-specific data including survey responses, community input, and feedback collected.

Northeast Indiana is home to a network of food businesses that provide a vibrant food economy and enhances the quality of life. A collaborative regional approach to the food network will capitalize on the region’s agricultural strength and create opportunities for future growth.

Philip Lehmkuhler, USDA Rural Development Indiana State Director said, “The funding represents the ongoing efforts to create economic and job opportunities in rural areas by ensuring that strategic investments are made in our small towns and cities. Rural businesses drive community revitalization by providing products and services to local residents as well as throughout the country and world. Projects like this spur important economic development and strengthen communities across Indiana.”

USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business Development Grant is a competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues. Programmatic activities are separated into enterprise or opportunity type grant activities.

President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

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