Local & Regional Food Systems


USDA Awards $4 Million for Rural Development Projects Including Local Food Hubs

July 30, 2015

On Wednesday, July 29, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $4 million across 71 projects through the Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG) progarm. The program provides competitive grants to governmental entities, Indian tribes, and nonprofit organizations for planning, technical assistance, job training, and acquisition of land, capital, equipment and other business development needs. Food […]

Ready or Not, Here Comes FSMA! – Part 1

July 27, 2015

All eyes are on Washington as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prepares to publish final food safety requirements for produce farms and food processing facilities this fall. These rules are just a few of the many new requirements that FDA will be finalizing in the coming months as part of the Food Safety Modernization […]

Release: FSA Financing Options Improving for Produce Farmers

July 22, 2015

Washington, DC, July 22, 2015 – For fruit and vegetable growers, especially operators of small and mid-scale family farms, packing and storage sheds serve as critical pieces of their farm operations, allowing fresh produce to be safely washed, sorted, graded, labeled, boxed up, and stored before it heads to market. In an effort to better […]

Improved Financing Options Available for Produce Farmers!

July 22, 2015

Most produce farmers rely on some combination of cold-storage, washing, and packing equipment to keep food fresh and safe prior to marketing. Whether selling to a regional wholesaler or trucking down to the weekend farmers’ market, the ability to safely wash, package, and store any commodity produced on-farm is a critical component of nearly every […]

Food Hub Report Series Launched by USDA

July 17, 2015

Filling a gap in information on operations and best practices from food hubs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development mission area launched a new technical report series called Running a Food Hub with the first report, Running a Food Hub: Lessons Learned from the Field, Vol. One (hereafter Lessons Learned) on July 15. Yesterday’s release of […]

Local Food is Taking Root in Michigan Schools

July 15, 2015

With Farm Fresh Food Days and school gardens, these Michigan schools are changing the way their students eat, one bite a time! Once a month, students at Dexter Community Schools see a table spread in their cafeteria that looks more like it belongs at a farmers’ market than a school. Students are drawn to the […]

Study Aims to Help Food Hubs Become More Profitable

July 15, 2015

To help regional food hubs to grow, it’s important to have data for baseline performance measures – data that can help assess successes, needs, and opportunities. A new report on food hubs released yesterday, July 14, 2015, provides just such data. COUNTING VALUES: Food Hub Financial Benchmarking Study draws on 2013 data from 48 diverse and […]

DC School Demonstrates Farm to School Success With the Help of Farm to School Grant

July 7, 2015

For many schools with summer sessions, June means farm to school activities running in high gear. At Walker Jones Education Campus in the nation’s capital, summer brings students outside and onto the farm (“K Street Farm”) for lessons in agriculture, food, and nutrition while allowing them to enjoy an abundance of local food through its […]

Funding for Risk Management Education Available – Includes Whole Farm Revenue Protection Training

July 2, 2015

Risk Management Education Partnerships On Wednesday, July 1, USDA’s Risk Management Agency announced via website press release its Request for Applications (RFA) for the Risk Management Education Partnerships Program. Approximately $2.0 million in funds is available for the program. The RFA itself is available on the RMA website as well as on grants.gov here. The […]

USDA Compass Tool Highlights Local Food Programs

July 1, 2015

Under the Obama Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has focused in a consistent and substantive way on investments in local and regional food systems. Its innovative online tool — appropriately named the “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass Map” — allows organizations and individuals to search an online database and map to […]

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