Local & Regional Food Systems


VAPG Helps Farm and Food Entrepreneurs Bring Home the Bacon

December 3, 2019

What do a dairy farm in Alabama, a hog farm in Georgia, and a farmer-led cooperative in Minnesota have in common? A few things – they’re all farm operations, they all contribute to their local food economies, and in this case, all three have grown their operations through the Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. […]

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 […]

Regional Meetings Give Voice to Small Scale Meat and Poultry

August 16, 2019

The rising demand for local, niche meat and poultry over the past decade has led to ever-increasing reliance on the country’s few small-scale independent processing plants that operate outside of the broader commodity meat sector. When one of these small plants is shutdown or suspended, therefore, the impact can be resounding. The National Sustainable Agriculture […]

$9 Million in Farm to School Awards Brings Local Food to Schools, Bolsters Farm Sales

July 25, 2019

School is out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean efforts to connect schools with their local growers have stopped. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced a record level of funding – over $9 million – for projects funded through the Farm to School Grant Program. […]

RELEASE: Farm to School Act of 2019 Introduced with Bipartisan, Bicameral Support

June 27, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts:Anna MullenNational Farm to School Networkanna@farmtoschool.org / (515) 210-2483 Reana KovalcikNational Sustainable Agriculture Coalitionrkovalcik@sustainableagriculture.net / (202) 547-5754 Farm to School Act of 2019 Introduced with Bipartisan, Bicameral Support National Farm to School Network and National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition urge support for the Act, emphasizing farm to school’s proven impacts on health and […]

Appropriations Victories in Sight, Farmers Flock to DC to Keep Momentum Going

June 27, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Reana KovalcikNational Sustainable Agriculture CoalitionP: 202-547-5754, E: rkovalcik@sustainableagriculture.net Appropriations Victories in Sight, Farmers Flock to DC to Keep Momentum GoingNational Sustainable Agriculture Coalition fly-in participants hope to secure FY 2020 appropriations wins in final spending package Washington, D.C., June 27, 2019 – With big wins already secured for sustainable agriculture in […]

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