Local & Regional Food Systems


Farmers and Ranchers Awarded Value-Added Producer Grants

August 20, 2014

On August 19, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced Value-Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG) awards for Fiscal Year 2014 to 247 farm businesses in 46 states. The Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) program contributes to farmer-led job and business creation in rural areas, while enhancing food choices for consumers.  The program provides competitive grants to individual independent agricultural producers, groups […]

Release: Grant Awards for Farm Business Development Announced by USDA

August 20, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Eugene Kim, Ferd Hoefner, 202-547-5754 Grant Awards for Farm Business Development Announced by USDA Washington, D.C., August 19, 2014 – Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that over 247 farm businesses from 46 states, Puerto Rico, and Micronesia will receive $25 million in grants from the 2014 round of the Value-Added Producer […]

New Local and Regional Food Data Available from USDA Market News

August 13, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) recently announced that its free online Market News service will now include reports on local and regional food markets.  These reports, which are currently limited to a small number of states with more states expected to be added in the coming year, provide pricing and volume […]

Seeking Business Listings for Local and Regional Food Directories

August 12, 2014

Two recent announcements by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)  highlighted the agency’s progress in developing three new directories that will support local and regional food systems and updated data for the already established National Farmers Market Directory. The announcements included steps AMS is taking to launch three new local food directories: the National Community-Supported […]

USDA Announces Microenterprise Training Awards

July 31, 2014

On Thursday, July 31, USDA announced that it has provided $300,000 in grant funding to each of 10 organizations to provide training and technical assistance to rural micro-entrepreneurs who are seeking to start or grow rural small businesses.  The $300,000 is carry-over funding from previous years, not to be confused with the $1.5 million in […]

Senate Hearing on School Meals Highlights Challenges and Opportunities

July 25, 2014

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing entitled, “Meeting the Challenges of Feeding America’s School Children,” which examined the challenges and successes in serving healthier school meals across the country, as mandated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, also known as the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act […]

New School Lunch Pilot for Locally-Grown Produce Accepting Applications from States

July 22, 2014

Yesterday, July 21, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released a Request for Applications from states interested in participating in the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.  Kevin Concannon, the USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, announced […]

Seasonal High Tunnels Support Conservation and New Farmers

June 27, 2014

New updates on how the Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative has benefited new farmers and encouraged additional conservation efforts.

New Farm to School Census Shows Steady Growth

June 10, 2014

The updated Farm to School Census website reveals even more school district participation in farm to school programs than initially reported.

Technical Support Available to Strengthen Local and Regional Food Economies

June 9, 2014

On Monday, June 9, on behalf of the White House Rural Council, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Local Foods, Local Places, a new initiative that will provide direct technical support to rural communities to help them build strong local food systems as part of their community’s economic action plans.  USDA, the […]

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