Kansas Food Systems grants have provided more opportunities for recipients

Kansas ag producers who received grants during the COVID-19 pandemic to help secure local food systems say the funds expanded their ability to reach customers and meet demand. 

Aaron Moreland with Cedar Vale Locker says he used the money to, “hire new staff and our production has gone up about 80 percent, which gave us the ability to hold more animals, process more animals and it has been a challenge but we’re moving along.”

The Securing Local Food Systems grants were created to support Kansas meat processing facilities, food processors, food banks, local direct-to-consumer producers, and retail outlets to increase capacity of Kansas’ local food systems.

Jason Schmidt with Grazing Plains Farm LLC in Newton says he expanded his on-sight creamery. “We’re still only using a small portion of our cows milk for the creamery but trying to figure out how in the world to ramp this thing up,” Schmidt says.

Michelle Canny raises grass fed beef in Johnson and delivers it across the state and U.S. “We also were able to purchase a delivery truck so we can deliver all over the state of Kansas and to Colorado and we go to farmer’s markets.

The Cares Act Fund provided $12 million dollars for these grants in the following areas: slaughter and processing facilities, direct to consumer, dairy food and meat processing, grocery stores, food bank, pantry or soup kitchen and farmer’s markets.

The recipients made their comments during the 2021 Kansas Governor’s Virtual Ag Summit.

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