Local & Regional Food Systems

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 […]

Farm to School Grant Funding Now Available

September 16, 2016

Farm to school programs are a win for kids, farmers, and communities. They empower our children and their families by informing them about their food system and giving them the tools and confidence to make healthy choices. At the same time they support local farmers financially by connecting them to new market opportunities. In March, […]

States Receive $22 Million for FSMA Produce Rule Implementation

September 13, 2016

With FDA’s new food safety rules finalized and compliance clocks ticking, one of most common questions we hear is: who is going to be enforcing these new rules on farms, and how? While many of the details surrounding how exactly the rules will be implemented remain uncertain, last week FDA took a step toward answering […]

Welcome Back, Congress

September 7, 2016

Congress returns to Washington, D.C. this week with less than a month left to wrap up business for the current fiscal year (FY). Members are back in town until the end of the month, though many could leave even earlier to begin their fall campaign breaks. With so much to do in so little time, […]

FDA Extends Compliance Deadlines for New Food Safety Rules

August 31, 2016

This fall, many food and farm operations subject to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FMA) Preventive Controls Rule were expected to be coming into compliance with the new food safety requirements for food facilities. However, with significant confusion persisting, particularly over whether a farm is or is not a facility […]

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