Evaluation of Rural Development Investments in Food Supply Chains

Grants and Contracts Details


The University of Kentucky will serve as the lead to assist in determining the overall impact of USDA Rural Developments investments in building a resilient food supply chain in Rural America. Speci?cally, Extension colleagues with the support of research sta? will conduct the following ac vi es over the course of a 3-year period. ? Build a body of evidence of performance, develop a methodology for a poten al impact evalua on, and conduct the analysis. This segment of the review will help USDA answer the following ques ons for each stage of the food supply chain and the RD programs that have supported food supply chain development/enhancement. ? How much has USDA/RD invested for the past ?ve years and through which mechanisms (e.g., loans, grants, loan guarantees, and technical assistance), including investments made during the COVID-19 pandemic? ? Using an evidence-based approach, to what extent have the programs met their goals and objec ves? What have RD’s programs contributed to each stage of the food supply chain? ? What types and magnitude of outcomes and bene?ts did the programs generate for producers, processors, aggregators and distributors, and consumers? What types and magnitude of bene?ts were realized by socially disadvantaged farmers and female, Tribal, and Veteran farmers? ? To what extent can observed changes in the relevant food supply chains be a ributed to RD’s investments? For meat and poultry programs (no closed projects yet): ? How are food supply chain program awardees using their funds and for what purposes? ? What challenges, if any, have food supply chain program awardees encountered in the process, both engaging USDA in the applica on and award processes and the implementa on of the projects? ? Are there other points of interven on that USDA should consider for improving the food supply chain? ? Are there any early indicators that the investments are having, or will have, an e?ect on the local or regional food supply chain systems? ? What indicators could be tracked over me to understand the extent to which an investment in processing capacity has on the food supply chain system? ? What factors or set of factors are most likely to contribute to or hinder achieving the goals and objec ves of RD’s programs? B. Deliverables • Dra and Final Reports with recommenda ons and ?ndings. • Regional or local food system maps that iden fy key food and agricultural actors in a food supply chain, their roles and business rela onships, and opportuni es and constraints that arise in building or expanding a food supply chainRegional or local food system needs assessments to inform future funding requests. • A descrip ve summary and visual representa on of the programs in the scope of this evalua on, their goals and objec ves, target audiences, key strategies, and intended outcomes. • Set of descrip ve sta s cs and visual representa on for a representa ve sample of regional food systems, preferably using a geospa al mapping tool that can be used for addi onal analysis.
Effective start/end date10/2/239/30/26


  • Rural Development: $750,000.00


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