The USDA has announced the award of over $52 million in support of the growing organic industry and local and regional food systems through five grant programs. The grants come through the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) Farmers Market Promotion Program and Local Foods Promotion Program, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture's (NIFA) Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and Community Food Projects (CFP), and AMS's Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP). Details on the grant programs and the projects that were selected for funding are available online.
“Local and regional food systems are one of the pillars of our efforts to revitalize rural economies,” said Secretary Vilsack. “Consumers are increasingly demanding more local and organic options. Investing in local and regional food systems supports the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers, especially smaller operations, while strengthening economies in communities across the country. Today's announcements also improve access to fresh, healthy food for millions of Americans.”
Most of the grants announced today were authorized through the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill), including the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) Farmers Market Promotion Program and Local Foods Promotion Program, and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture's (NIFA) Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) and Community Food Projects (CFP) grant program. Also announced today are grants from AMS's Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP). Together, these investments represent USDA's commitment to strengthening organic and local and …
The new Farm Bill will allow USDA to continue record accomplishments on behalf of the American people, while providing new opportunity and creating jobs across rural America. It will enable USDA to further expand markets for agricultural products at home and abroad, strengthen conservation efforts, create new opportunities for local and regional food systems and grow the biobased economy. It will provide a dependable safety net for America's farmers, ranchers and growers. It will maintain important agricultural research, and ensure access to safe and nutritious food for all Americans.
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