USDA assessing supply chain funding needs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is exploring how the agency can support food supply chain resiliency long-term.

Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Farah Ahmad tells Brownfield, “Strengthening the resilience of America ‘s food supply chain—we know that’s vital to everyone in our country and frankly it’s vital to our national security.”

Ahmad says the U.S. needs to be prepared for future market disruptions but program funding beyond the American Rescue Plan for the middle of the supply chain is unclear.

“I think the future is still a little bit unknown, but I think seeing the success of many of these processors, many of these middle of the supply chain companies is really going to do a lot to tell the story about why this kind of funding is really important,” she says.

Brownfield interviewed Ahmad this week following her visit to Verndale Products in Detroit.  Verndale recently received a $5 million Food Supply Chain Guaranteed Loan from USDA to purchase new equipment and double production capacity of its whole milk powder formulated specifically for chocolate makers.

AUDIO: Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Farah Ahmad

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