Rio Grande Colonias USDA Regional Food Business Center
The Rio Grande Colonias USDA Regional Food Business Center is one of 12 Regional Food Business Centers nationwide funded by the USDA and launched in July 2023. The 12 Centers support all 50 U.S. States and Territories and will serve as regional hubs, providing localized assistance to address the needs of small and mid-sized food producers and food business in three key areas: Coordination, Technical Assistance, and Capacity Building.
The Rio Grande Colonias Center will serve small and mid-sized food producers and food businesses in Texas and New Mexico, with focused support to Colonia counties in both states. By promoting increased collaboration between rural and urban areas, producers, aggregators, distributors and other key players along the agricultural supply chain, the Center aims to fortify the regional food system and increase economic opportunity throughout the region.
The Center will be led by Texas A&M AgriLife and is headquartered at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center in El Paso. This 5-year project is a cooperative agreement with the USDA and several Key Partner and Collaborator agencies in the region. Key Partners on the project are: La Semilla Food Center, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Advancement, The UTHealth Houston Center for Community Health Impact, People Fund, and Feeding Texas. Collaborators on the project include: Desert Spoon Food Hub, The University of Texas at El Paso, Border City Distribution, and El Paso County.