Local & Regional Food Systems


Washington State’s Food System Gets Boost from Value-Added Grant

December 1, 2016

Editor’s Note: This profile is the final piece of a 3-part series highlighting the ability of the competitive Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program to support projects that promote local and regional economic growth. On October 27, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Business-Cooperative Service awarded 326 farm businesses a total of $45.6 million through VAPG. Visit […]

Expanding Producer and Consumer Choice through the Value-Added Producer Grant Program

November 22, 2016

Editor’s Note: This profile is part two of a 3-part series highlighting the impact of the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program in supporting projects that promote local and regional economic growth. On October 27, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Business-Cooperative Service awarded 326 farm businesses a total of $45.6 million through VAPG. Visit […]

RFA Roundup: Deadlines for Federal Food and Farm Program Grants

October 28, 2016

The start-up of the new fiscal year (FY) means that many food and farm programs have started to get out Requests for Applications (RFAs) for their grant programs. While a flood of grant program announcements is generally good news, with so many coming out in the midst of a busy election year, it can be […]

USDA Awards $46 Million for Farm Value-Added Business Development

October 27, 2016

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of three posts on the Fiscal Year 2016 awards for the Value Added Producer Grants program. This post provides an overview of the awards. A second and third post will dig deeper into specific awards. When farmers and entrepreneurs take raw agricultural products, like vegetables or […]

Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives Program Connects Low-Income Families with Healthy Options

October 21, 2016

Every family needs and deserves access to fresh, healthy foods, but for far too many Americans a healthy meal made from fresh ingredients seems like just a dream. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) was designed to help assist lower-income families with food purchases, but because benefit levels are low, purchasing fresh, local produce remains […]

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Awards $62.5 Million to 693 Food and Farm Projects

October 19, 2016

This week marked the final U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Fall Forum of the current administration. On October 17, 2016, local and regional food systems leaders and advocates gathered together at the New Hampshire Audubon Society to discuss how USDA can continue to support local and regional food systems. While attending the forum, USDA Agricultural […]

Additional Guidance On the FSMA Farm Definition: Farm vs. Facility Activities

October 4, 2016

Under the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), not all farms are created equal. Some farms are just farms, and fall under one set of new rules, while other farms (farm mixed-type facilities to be exact) are also deemed to be facilities and fall under an additional set of rules. As of […]

Comprehensive Urban Agriculture Bill Can Help Grow More Sustainable Cities

September 29, 2016

Americans’ interest in knowing more about where, by whom, and how their food is produced has been steadily building over the last decade. As the local food movement has grown, so too has interest in urban agriculture. Urban agriculture gives city dwellers a chance to purchase foods from farmers not just in their state, but […]

Millions Awarded for Local Food and Direct Market Projects

September 29, 2016

Local and regional food systems are expanding nationwide; supporting job growth in agriculture, revitalized rural and urban communities and increased consumer access to healthy sustainable local food and farm products. Developing markets for local and regionally produced food – building connections between farmers and consumers is no small task. That’s why the U.S. Department of […]

USDA Invests in Tribal Food Business Development

September 27, 2016

Small rural businesses are vital to growing and sustaining rural jobs and economies, but starting and growing them isn’t easy. That’s why the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) operates the Rural Business Development Grant Program (RBDG), which awards grants on a competitive basis to support the development and growth of rural small and emerging businesses […]

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