ALBUQUERQUE – USDA Rural Development State Director Terry Brunner presented a certificate of obligation to the Acoma Business Enterprise, LLC to develop a business plan to expand the marketing the produce grown by Native American farmers through a food hub at the Southern Pueblos Council monthly meeting.
“The Obama Administration is working hard to create economic opportunities in rural tribal communities,” Brunner said. “This strategic investment will help Native farmers find new markets for their products and offers a path to sustainable farming in the 21st century.”
The $75,000 grant for this project was made available through the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program (RBEG), which promotes development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas. Specifically the RBEG funding will be used to develop a comprehensive business plan and marketing study to create a Native Food Hub, which will be the first of its kind in the nation.
The need to develop a marketing plan came about because the Native American farmers found at the end of the growing season they usually had an abundance of produce that was not being sold or utilized. A food hub will ideally offer a location where native producers can deliver their goods for processing and distribution to market.
The Acoma Business Enterprises was requested by the Southern Pueblo Council to apply for the funding because of the company’s capacity to create the plan and administer the implementation of the marketing of the produce grown in the ten pueblos.