|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||4||$2,050,000|
|Regional Innovation Strategies||2||$736,946|
Since the early 1970s, Siete del Norte, a non-profit community development organization based in Embudo, New Mexico, has worked to combat poverty in rural New Mexico while seeking to preserve the area’s unique cultural, historical, and social traditions and ways of life. As a way of combating chronically high unemployment levels and significant out-migration of workers from Northern New Mexico, Siete del Norte created the Hunter Arts and Agricultural Center (HAAC), an unprecedented community collaborative project with a dual mission: to increase economic opportunities while promoting community engagement.
Upon completion, the proposed HAAC will provide healthy food accessibility and investment, retail space, and cultural and artistic engagement for the community. To support this effort, EDA invested $1.4 million to renovate an existing building into the Northern New Mexico Food Hub. The food hub will be an essential resource for small and mid-size farms to compete by lowering the costs of safe processing, packaging and distribution of locally-grown produce and products, increasing access to secondary markets, and offering affordable healthy foods and vegetables for Northern New Mexico families. In conjunction with the EDA-funded project, technical assistance and access to affordable capital will be offered through business ventures programs.
The proposed project will promote and support the sustainable production, aggregation and processing of agribusiness products. The food hub could also create up to 150 new full-time jobs with affordable living wages to be filled by low-income, unemployed, or underemployed individuals from the communities within the region. In addition, the EDA investment will create space both for retail and cultural and artistic engagement. Espanola Community Market, a retail grocer that sells local produce and value-added products from within a 60-mile radius of Espanola, will be the initial tenant.