In 2023, the USDA Ag Marketing Service (AMS) expanded funding for Regional Food Business Centers (RFBCs) with a goal to coordinate, deliver and provide investments to farm, ranch and food enterprises throughout the U.S., with a focus on underinvested stakeholders. These Centers are one key piece of a broader Food System Transformation framework introduced by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack that included several food policy developments related to improving the resilience, functionality, and sustainability of agricultural supply chains. Vilsack shared this framework with Center leadership at a November 2023 meeting in Denver, Colorado.
As part of the network of USDA Regional Food Business Centers, the Northwest and Rocky Mountain Regional Food Business Center supports a more resilient, diverse, and competitive food system. This Center is designed to be a node for our region’s small and mid-tier food and farm businesses and local and regional food sector development initiatives by supporting cross-regional collaboration, providing and analyzing relevant and timely data, and serving as a gateway for USDA programs and other third-party funding opportunities, with a focus on underserved farmers, ranchers, and food businesses.
Learn more about our high-priority areas!
Latest From the Center
The Center’s leadership team, our six state teams of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming, our multi-state partners, high-priority theme areas, and a cohort of food sector leaders from underserved audiences help to frame and engage a diverse set of farm and food businesses throughout our region.
Register for this virtual four-part marketing workshop series to amplify your message, connect with customers, and grow your farm business. In this four-week workshop, you’ll create a personalized marketing strategy to grow your farm business. You’ll assess your current marketing, examine new strategies, and adapt those strategies to fit your business. Once you put them into action, you’ll […]
The first annual Northwest Intertribal Food Sovereignty Summit will bring together Tribal community leaders, youth, elders, Tribal food enterprises, Native food entrepreneurs, Native food producers, traditional food champions, funders, government agencies, and others to discuss, share and learn about Tribal food economies, small business development, climate resilience, and youth engagement in food systems and tradition. […]
The Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN), the Good Meat Project and Kitchen Table Consultants present the Western Meat School Business Accelerator Program, a 7 month, peer-to-peer learning experience for farmers, ranchers and meat brands that are scaling their production and sales with the intent to reach multi-million dollar goals while producing high quality local and regional meat products.
This immersive online small group business accelerator is designed to help producers solve the most challenging problems when scaling their meat business. The curriculum offers high touch, comprehensive experiential classes focused on organizing financial record keeping systems that help deepen knowledge, improve profit potential and understand demand forecasting. This course also gives participants step-by-step instruction on how to “level up” marketing and branding initiatives that connect with target customers, connect marketing initiatives to sales and build a brand that resonates with diverse consumers in multiple sales channels. Another integral feature of this program is that each participant will be paired with their own business coach and marketing coach for 10 hours of one-on-one consulting.
“If you have outgrown the farmers’ market and other local sales channels and want to get into wholesale, retail, and other larger markets with your meat brand, you will not find a better space to learn from other similarly sized operations as well as industry experts on how to scale without fail.”- Rebecca Thistlethwaite, Director of NMPAN
Spaces are limited, and a maximum of 20 similarly-sized producers will be accepted to the program. We encourage a diverse pool of applications from all over the country. Deadline to apply is February 2, 2024, with classes beginning in early March. Partial scholarships are reserved for BIPOC, tribal, and socially-disadvantaged operators.
NW & Rocky Mountain Region
The Connecting and Scaling Food Entrepreneurs theme team began our grant work by providing sponsorship for four exceptional and enthusiastic food entrepreneurs who are embarking on a transformative journey by participating in the “Get Your Recipe to Market Course” (GYRM) offered by SBDC at Portland Community College. As part of our collaborative effort, our dedicated theme team has chosen to fully cover the $1995 course fee for these entrepreneurs, enabling them to engage in this comprehensive 12-week virtual program aimed at equipping them with the essential skills and knowledge to refine their products for the marketplace. For the past 17 years, the GYRM program has been a trusted resource for emerging entrepreneurs, and by providing financial assistance, we aim to help connect these talented food entrepreneurs with potential buyers and nurture their growth as business-savvy leaders.