CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has been selected to co-lead a $30 million U.S. Department of Agriculture regional food business center that will support farmers, ranchers and other food-related businesses to access new markets and navigate federal, state and local resources.
The Northwest and Rocky Mountain Regional Food Business Center, which Oregon State will lead with Colorado State University, will serve Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.
It is one of 12 new USDA centers nationally that are part of a $400 million initiative that focuses on small and mid-sized farm and food businesses within local and regional food systems. The centers will focus on historically underinvested and underserved communities in their region.
“This is important recognition of the work we have been doing to build a strong local food economy in Oregon, in collaboration with farmers, food businesses, grassroots organizations, and many other partners around our state,” said Lauren Gwin, interim director of OSU’s Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems in the College of Agricultural Sciences and OSU Extension community food systems specialist. “We are excited to take this work to another level, here at home and across the West.”
The Northwest and Rocky Mountain Regional Food Business Center will focus on four areas that are priorities for the six-state region:
The Northwest and Rocky Mountain Regional Food Business Center will be supported by a regional steering committee with staff from OSU and Colorado State, teams from each of the six states and four priority areas, and community leaders from underserved and underinvested communities engaged at all levels in the center.
About the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences: Through its world-class research on agriculture and food systems, natural resource management, rural economic development and human health, the College provides solutions to Oregon’s most pressing challenges and contributes to a sustainable environment and a prosperous future for Oregonians.