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Learn about FARRMS Role

North Central Regional Food Business Center

The North Central Regional Food Business Center (NC-RFBC) focuses on expanding small and mid-sized agricultural value chains in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. The goal is to support smaller, more resilient farm and food practices and strengthen local food businesses, specifically focusing on the development of critical infrastructure for small and mid-size livestock processing, fruit and vegetable processing and warehouse space and storage operations.

Through the North Dakota Local Food Development Alliance's key partner role in the project, FARRMS has been hired to fulfill The Alliance’s role in the NC-RFBC for the first year because of our existing connections to local food businesses and through our business planning education, one-on-one technical assistance, and micro-loans to grow local food businesses. In several regions the regional planning councils are hiring FARRMS to support the planning, outreach, and facilitation of community input meetings. FARRMS will also prepare and distribute an annual survey to local food businesses to gather input on the unique needs and assets of each region. The community input meetings and survey will inform the development of the regional and statewide local food action plans. FARRMS will also provide education and technical assistance to local food businesses in alignment with the regional and statewide action plans.  

North Dakota Statewide Local Foods Action Plan

The North Dakota partners of the North Central Regional Food Business Center (RFBC) have developed a statewide local foods action plan that provides key objectives, strategies and tasks to be carried out by the partner organizations. The plan’s goal is to build the food value chain in North Dakota by supporting producers and providing them greater market access opportunities.

This plan is intended to be a living roadmap for the 11 North Dakota organizations funded by the USDA as part of this initiative. The plan and its activities will be maintained and carried out by those partnering organizations.

View the Action Plan 

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture and its North Central Regional Food Business Center are offering $600,000 in Business Builder Grants to aid small and mid-sized farm & food businesses!


This grant is open to applicants in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, with grant opportunities for other regions coming soon. This initiative supports projects that meet regional needs and will help businesses boost their income or find potential investors. The NC-RFBC is now accepting proposals targeting specific market bottlenecks, expanding markets to institutions, and more. Check out the center’s website for more information on how to apply at


Deadline for applications: April 30, 2024.

Business Builder Sub-Award Grants: Q&A Session

Watch the Recording

Meeting Slides

What to Expect:

  • NDRFBC Partners with expertise relevant to your project will attend based on the information you provide about your region & topic.

Our Goals:

  • Provide personalized assistance to address your specific questions and concerns.

  • Connect you with the appropriate TA Staff who can offer ongoing support for your application and future projects.

This session is designed to help potential applicants understand the grant program, eligibility criteria, and application process.

The session is free, open to all, and will be recorded. Registration is not required. This event is hosted by the North Dakota partners of the NC-RFBC and facilitated by Economic Recovery Corps Fellow, Felicity Merritt. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Thank you for your dedication & interest in local foods! Read the Community Input Meeting summaries below. If you have additional input, take the survey at the bottom of the page. 


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See Summary Below


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Summary Coming Soon


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Meeting later this year.


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See Summary Below


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Summary Coming Soon

Attended a meeting and have some additional thoughts or ideas? Let us know by clicking the button below

Meeting Recap Photos & Notes 

Region 1

Region 2

Region 3

Region 6

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