By Hal Senal

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) announced on Wednesday a federal funding partnership that aims to strengthen the central portions of Minnesota’s food supply chain.

Senator Smith’s office says that the new funding should allow smaller farms and food businesses to gain more customers, as well as helping consumers hungry for more locally grown goods, which tend to be less expensive.

The four-year partnership between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is an attempt at create more opportunities for producers to sell their goods, better infrastructure for food businesses to work with, and more locally grown options for Minnesotans at the grocery store.

The funding was made possible via the American Rescue Plan, legislation that both Klobuchar and Smith supported.

“Farmers in Minnesota know firsthand the vulnerabilities of our food supply chain and the importance of making it more resilient in the long term,” said Smith. “This funding will help strengthen our food supply system and also expand opportunity for farmers in Minnesota and around the country by creating new and better markets for their products.”

The funding is just one of many actions executed under President Biden’s Administration, hoping to expand the capacity of processing, creating a freer market among competitive and resilient for producers.

The projects will help compile, process, store, transport, wholesale, and distribute regionally grown foods to bring them to the market more efficiently.