Local & Regional Food Systems


Direct Marketing and Local Food the Focus of House Agriculture Committee Hearing

February 3, 2016

Farmers, ranchers, and advocates from across the country gathered yesterday, February 2, 2016, to speak with members of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research about their experiences in direct farmer to consumer marketing, farm to institution marketing, and other local food strategies. The subcommittee convened six expert witnesses, with support from […]

Local Foods, Local Places Energizes Food Economies in 27 New Communities

January 27, 2016

The United States farm sector has been steadily shrinking for years. According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture the farming population shrunk by 4 percent between 2007 and 2012, while new farmers (farming for 5 years or less) declined by as much as 23.3 percent. And as the farmers go, so goes farmland; recent estimates […]

Innovative Grazing Apprenticeship Program Attracts Young Farmers  

January 26, 2016

The aging of America’s farmer population has become of increasing concern in the last several decades as older farmers retire without a new generation ready to take their place. Given the challenges inherent in farm life– hard work, high risk, and unreliable earnings– younger generations have been leaving rural areas for more secure career opportunities, […]

Child Nutrition Act Markup Finally On the Calendar

January 13, 2016

  Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) have announced the highly anticipated Senate markup for the Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization (CNR). The markup of the Senate’s draft bill, the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016, is scheduled for next Wednesday, January 20th at 10 a.m. […]

Top 15 Wins for Sustainable Agriculture in 2015

December 18, 2015

All that we have to be grateful for in 2015, from promoting conservation to empowering beginning farmers

What’s Up with USDA Food Labels? Changes Made to USDA Process Verified Program

December 8, 2015

This is the first in an occasional series we will be doing to report on some recent and pending changes to USDA food labeling programs. The fate of mandatory GMO labeling may still be unknown, but some companies are already using voluntary non-GMO labels through a third party certification or verification service, such as the U.S Department […]

Representative Pingree Takes on Food Waste

December 8, 2015

On Monday, December 7, Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME-1) introduced the Food Recovery Act (H.R. 4184) to curb food waste across the entire food system. She publicly announced the bill earlier the same day at the Portland Food Co-op in Portland, Maine. The Food Recovery Act targets food waste in four areas: farms, retail and restaurants, schools and other institutions, […]

Congress Reverses Crop Insurance Reform; Agriculture Appropriations and Nutrition Decisions Loom

December 7, 2015

Last week, Congress voted to reverse several basic reforms to the federal crop insurance program – reforms that both the House and Senate agreed to as part of a two-year budget deal signed into law by the President back in late October. That budget deal required the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to renegotiate its […]

Farm to School Awards Made Just as Congress Faces Last Chance to Pass A New Child Nutrition Bill

November 17, 2015

On Tuesday, November 17, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced more than $4.8 million in grants for 74 projects in 39 states through the USDA Farm to School Grant Program for fiscal year (FY) 2016. The Farm to School Grant Program promotes healthy kids through nutritious school meals and snacks from local and regional producers […]

Farm-Identified Turkey Operation Aided by Value-Added Grant

November 13, 2015

This post is the third in a series highlighting Value Added Producer Grants awarded in 2015. Visit our first post for an overview of this year’s awards, and our  second post  for another producer profile. This post features Peter Stone of Stonewood Farm in Orwell, Vermont. On November 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced awards totaling […]

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