The work of the Heartland Regional Food Business Center is to grow farm and food enterprises, markets, and community connections needed to make local food an everyday, easy choice.
Local and regionally produced food is fundamental to ensuring people eat well and communities are food secure.
The Heartland Regional Food Business Center is funded to work across Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, northwest Arkansas, and a designated tribal trade coalition. Our team is comprised of 14 key partners and more than a dozen collaborating organizations. Funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture supports the business center’s core services – technical assistance, resource coordination, and building local and regional food system capacity.
- Heartland Food Business Center partners provide direct services to farm and food entrepreneurs, including training and technical assistance, one-on-one business counseling, help accessing financing, and building supply chain connections.
- The Center supports diverse talent, skills, and vision in the food system with an emphasis on reaching and serving underrepresented and underserved groups, from small rural and urban farms to indigenous and minority communities.
- The Heartland Food Business Center partners help farm and food entrepreneurs connect with other businesses and solve problems they encounter on their way to market, such as distribution and storage gaps. Such “food value chain coordination” is key to building strong local and regional links in the food system.
- The Center acts as a regional hub, coordinating support services and helping entrepreneurs connect with local, regional, and national resources, including USDA programs.
- The Heartland Food Business Center provides grant funding, or Business Builder Subaward (expected late 2024), to support farm and food entrepreneurs in making next-step investments.
- Helping rural and urban communities build their food system capacity is a fundamental part of the Heartland Food Business Center’s work to build resilient, responsive, and competitive markets for local and regional farm and food entrepreneurs.
To learn more about the Heartland Food Business Center’s design and structure, click here.
To view other Regional Food Business Centers and learn more about the United States Department of Agriculture’s Regional Food Business Centers Program visit: www.ams.usda.gov/regionalcenters or contact USDA via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org