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Congressman Panetta Announces Rural Development Federal Grants for California FarmLink

October 9, 2018
Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) announced that California FarmLink received federal grants and loan capital totaling over $1,086,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Rural Development.

California FarmLink received an Intermediary Relending Program loan totaling $1,000,000 to relend for business and community development initiatives in rural areas of Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and surrounding counties.  The funds will support at least 40 small businesses in rural California, which will help create 80 rural jobs and save 200 rural jobs.

The organization also received a $50,000 Rural Business Development Grant to provide technical assistance and access to loan capital to low-income, immigrant, and beginning farmers, as well as a Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program Grant totaling $36,523 to provide technical assistance to microentrepreneurs and microenterprises across the central coast of California.

"These USDA investments will help California FarmLink provide opportunities for the next generation of farmers, ranchers, and small business owners in rural communities throughout the Central Coast," said Congressman Panetta.  "I will continue to work in Congress to ensure that federal programs supporting beginning farmers and rural communities remain strong.”

Reggie Knox, executive director of FarmLink said, "We are grateful that USDA’s Rural Development office has recognized and invested in FarmLink’s work to support the next generation of farmers and ranchers in California.  These hard working and innovative entrepreneurs are critical to healthy regional food systems, local economies, and the stewardship of natural resources."