JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack visited Mississippi on Friday to discuss the new U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Delta Regional Food Business Centers.

USDA officials said the department will fund $400 million to the Regional Food Business Initiative. This means 12 organizations will lead efforts in their region and will support producers by providing localized assistance to access a variety of markets.

“The power of this idea is designed in part to give people options and choices and to make sure that under served producers are incorporated in all of this. We got a lot of  programs to provide support and help. Here as we look at the minority producers, veterans coming back from military service going into farming. And as we look at beginning farmers to just getting started, they need help. They need markets. They need technical assistance. They need direction,” explained Vilsack.

According to Vilsack, Mississippi will receive two of the 12 projects.