Cover photo for Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program

Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI)

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

Closed April 29, 2024

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA AMS) is partnering with state Departments of Agriculture to invest in food supply chain resilience, market access, and value-added processing infrastructure through the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI).

The purpose of the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI) is to build resilience across Maine’s middle of the food supply chain. Funds will support expanded capacity for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, and distribution of Maine-produced food products, including specialty crops, dairy, grains for human consumption, aquaculture, and other food products, excluding meat and poultry.

The Maine Department of Agriculture (DACF) will work in partnership with USDA to make competitive sub-award investments in middle of the supply chain infrastructure (Infrastructure Grants) to domestic food and farm businesses and other eligible entities. Projects will begin no earlier than July 1, 2024 and must be completed by May 24, 2027.


Eligible Industry: Specialty crops, dairy, grains for human consumption, and other food products. Meat and poultry are ineligible industries/commodities. 

Eligible Applicants: 

  • **Agricultural producers or processors, or groups of agricultural producers and processors, nonprofit organization, local government entities and tribal governments ** operating middle-of-the-supply-chain activities such as processing, aggregation, or 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, or distribution of targeted agricultural product


  • RFSI Infrastructure Project Grant Awards

    • Project awards will range from $100,000 - $250,000

    • A 50% match of the total proposed project cost is required.

    • Match exception: historically underserved producers and small disadvantaged businesses can request to reduce the required match contribution to 25%.

    • In-kind funds may be allowed as a match if they are not already used as a match for another federal grant agreement. Indirect costs may also count towards the required match contribution.

  • RFSI Equipment-Only Grant Awards

    • Equipment-only awards will range from $10,000-$100,000

    • Designed for equipment purchases (not associated with facility upgrades, staffing, or non-equipment costs).

    • The total amount awarded will equal the cost of the special middle-of-the-supply-chain equipment, up to $100,000.

    • No matching fund requirement.

**Maine RFSI Priorities: ** RFSI Infrastructure Project grant applications must align with one or more of the following RFSI funding priorities:

  • Projects that will achieve on-farm facility infrastructure improvements (including expansion and modifications to existing buildings and/or construction of new buildings at existing facilities) to resolve middle-of-the-food-supply chain challenges.

    • The on-farm facilities to receive upgrades, repairs, or reconfigurations must be facilities that enhance middle-of-the-food-supply chain activities and not production related activities.
  • Projects that support processing and packaging improvements (including value-added processing, hiring term-limited personnel to assist with project implementation, co-packing and packaging investments, and processing, canning, and preserving as an area most in need of investment, drying, hulling, shelling, milling, cooking, baking, juicing, distilling, and fermenting).

  • Projects that support storage and distribution improvements (including cold storage, and aggregator warehouse and storage space and delivery and distribution investments).

  • Projects that directly benefit underserved or underrepresented food producers.

    • Applicants must indicate if their project will directly benefit underserved farmers and ranchers, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, veteran producers, or processors or other middle-of-the-supply chain businesses owned by socially disadvantaged individuals including Local Food Purchase Assistance (LFPA) Producer Partners.
  • Projects that demonstrate stakeholder support.

    • Applicants will be encouraged to describe the stakeholders that support the need for their project and why (other than the applicant and organizations involved in the project). Letters of support are encouraged.
  • **Projects that improve middle-of-the-supply-chain challenges within Maine’s targeted agricultural products **(specialty crops, dairy, grains for human consumption, aquaculture, value-added products).

Application Instructions

These USDA RFSI grant template forms represent only a portion of Maine's RFSI grant application package. There will be additional supplemental questions and application requirements required as part of the complete Maine RFSI application process. Note: RFSI Infrastructure Project grant applications will have a different RFA application process and deadline than RFSI Equipment-only applications.


Release Date

March 29, 2024


April 29, 2024

Financial Instrument


Minimum Award Amount


Maximum Award Amount


Total Program Funding


Updated April 8, 2024

Image Credit: mojo cp

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