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* AgPlus Food and Beverage Manufacturing Consortium

The Central Valley AgPlus Food and Beverage Manufacturing Consortium was granted an Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) Designation by the U.S. Economic Development Administration in July 2015, one of 24 such regions across the United States. This designation gives the 28-county Central Valley priority consideration for federal grants and technical assistance from the federal government related to the food and beverage manufacturing supply chain. Designated communities receive support from 11 federal agencies with more than $1 billion available in economic development assistance.

What is the goal?

The goal of the federal IMCP program is to accelerate the resurgence of American manufacturing by investing in economically distressed manufacturing hubs across the country. IMCP regions have been designated for food processing, aerospace manufacturing, chemical engineering, and more.

Why is this important?

California is the largest agricultural economy in the U.S. and among the top 10 globally. The Central Valley – 28 counties located in California’s heartland – plays a dominant role in this economy as America’s Farm to Fork Capital.

The AgPlus Consortium’s will advance the region’s agriculture-related manufacturing economy, transforming raw goods into value-added products. The work serves to catalyze the growth and creation of food and beverage manufacturing businesses and middle-skills jobs in the Central Valley, one of the most economically distressed regions in the country.

Innovative technologies that improve use of water and energy, reduce waste and improve food safety are being incubated in the Valley. In 2015, Consortium members were investing nearly $150 million in the AgPlus ecosystem, with implementation commitments of around $6 million.

What is Valley Vision doing about it?

Valley Vision received funding from the Economic Development Administration to coordinate activities for the entire 28-county area with a focus on the seven counties in the Sacramento sub-region. Our activities include ongoing communication with federal agency representatives involved in IMCP, mapping of supplier networks in the Valley, development of a regional finance fund for food and agriculture entrepreneurs, and research and modeling related to aligning workforce development strategies in the food and ag economic cluster.

Valley Vision also received funding from USDA Rural Development California to hold a series of workshops connecting rural food and ag businesses with financing information and other business development resources. Valley Vision also helps businesses connect with technical assistance, financing and business development opportunities.

Valley Vision's partners are the Center for Economic Development at Chico State (coordinating the North State AgPlus sub-region), the Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority (coordinating the Tuolumne and Yosemite sub-region), and the Office of Community and Economic Development at Fresno State (coordinating the San Joaquin Valley sub-region).

What is our desired impact?

To improve the livability of the Sacramento region. By coordinating with our surrounding food and ag-producing regions, we can strengthen manufacturing across California’s entire Central Valley that delivers a 21st Century agricultural workforce and a sustainable, economically viable manufacturing ecosystem with ample opportunities for entrepreneurs and future generations.

How does this effort affect triple-bottom-line objectives?

Economy: The Central Valley had a 2013 farm gate value of $40.7 billion, which is 68% of California's total and greater than 19 U.S. states combined. Our work to boost manufacturing in our region and across the Valley ensures economic opportunity, job growth, and increased investment.

Environment: A modern manufacturing ecosystem means a more sustainable manufacturing ecosystem. Increasing investment for green technologies, deploying on-farm broadband, securing funding for new, cleaner processing facilities, and related activities improve our farmland preservation efforts, increase the abundance of water, and increase our air quality.

Equity: Agricultural and food service workers are among the lowest paid professions in the nation. Facilitating job growth and improved wages among these groups reduces income inequality and works toward a more equitable future for all of us.

When?

Valley Vision began implementation of the AgPlus IMCP Strategy in July 2015 with renewed efforts in late 2016 upon being funded by EDA and USDA. Activities will continue through mid-2018 and mid-2017, respectively.