Local & Regional Food Systems


$37 Million Available for Value-Added and Local Food Projects

January 14, 2020

SAVE the DATE: On January 23, 2020, at 2:00pm EST, USDA Rural Development will be hosting a webinar for prospective applicants. You don’t have to register just click here a few minutes before 2:00pm EST on January 23, 2020. “Value-added” foods and goods are made from raw agricultural products (e.g., vegetables, grains, or dairy) that […]

Congress Clears FY 2020 Appropriations Packages

December 20, 2019

This week, after months of delay, Congress passed a much-anticipated deal to fund the government through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2020. FY 2020 runs through September 30, 2020. The $1.4 trillion package of discretionary spending bills, which was divided up into two “minibuses”, was finally delivered this week after months of rigorous advocacy […]

$23.5 Million to Support Local Food Projects Awarded

December 18, 2019

When consumers connect with farmers from their region, they not only get access to the freshest fruits, vegetables, and value-added goods, they also help to drive economic opportunity in rural and food producing communities. Developing the farm to fork supply chains that make those connections possible, however, is no small task. In order to help […]

COMMENT: FY 2020 “Minibus” Bolsters Farm Bill Wins for Sustainable Agriculture

December 17, 2019

The final appropriations package builds upon the sustainable agriculture community’s hard-fought farm bill wins and delivers much-needed support to family farmers across the country at a time when good news is increasingly hard to come by.

VAPG Helps Farm and Food Entrepreneurs Bring Home the Bacon

December 3, 2019

Editor’s Note: On December 11, 2019 USDA Rural Development announced the availability of at least $37 million and a 90 day application period for VAPG grants. Stay tuned, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) will publish more information, including its updated Farmers’ Guide to Applying for the Value-Added Producer Grant Program in the new year. The […]

USDA Awards Over $41 Million for Healthy Food Access Projects

November 19, 2019

When it comes to food production, the United States is a land of abundance and plenty. On the food access front, however, the numbers are not very encouraging. One in 10 American households is struggling with food insecurity, meaning that over 100 million low-income, urban and rural Americans cannot afford or have trouble affording healthy […]

Kentucky Farmers Plant the Seeds for Farm to School

October 24, 2019

Editor’s Note: This blog post is the second in a multi-part series which highlights the experiences of Farm to School grant recipients and how these grants have impacted their communities around the country. While a serious topic, healthy school food in Kentucky isn’t taking itself too seriously. Between in-school snacks and visits to local farms, […]

Farm to School Grant Request for Applications Released During National Farm to School Month

October 17, 2019

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the opening of fiscal year (FY) 2020 Farm to School Grant Program request for applications (RFA), which is a welcomed start to National Farm to School Month. The Farm to School Grant Program was first established in the 2012 Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA), and provides farmers and […]

Farm to School Advocates Kick Off Farm to School Month in DC!

October 9, 2019

Editor’s Note: This blog post is the first in a multi-part series which highlights the experiences of Farm to School grant recipients and how these grants have impacted their communities around the country. In September, the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) brought three farm to school advocates to Capitol Hill to share the amazing […]

The Untold History of Federal Farm to School Support and its Impact on Local Food Research

October 4, 2019

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Debra Tropp, former Deputy Director, Local Food Research and Development, Agricultural Marketing Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Debra retired from USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service in January 2019 after 26 years of service. She continues to keep her hand in local and regional food issues through her appointments […]

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