USDA awards more than US$32M for 98 grant projects to expand and strengthen local and regional food systems and increase the availability of locally grown agricultural products

Sample article from our Government & Public Policy

October 30, 2023 (press release) –

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service today awarded more than $32 million for 98 grant projects to expand and strengthen local and regional food systems and increase the availability of locally grown agricultural products. The funding will be distributed through the Local Agriculture Market Program's (LAMP) Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Programs (FMLFPP) and the Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP) grant program.

 

"These grant programs support local and regional food producers by broadening marketing opportunities, such as farmers markets, local food hubs, and farm-to-institution programs," said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. "Not only do these channels provide consistent and profitable revenue streams to famers, they also increase consumer access to fresh, locally sourced foods across the nation."

 

Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP)

 

FMLFPP is implemented through two grant programs, the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP). The goal of the programs is to strengthen local and regional food systems through projects that support farmers through the creation of targeted marketing capabilities, training on topics such as record keeping, pricing, family-friendly marketing and agritourism activities, and strategies to retain vendors and consumers.

 

This year, FMPP is funding 55 projects that support producer-to-consumer markets such as farmers markets, roadside stands, agritourism activities, community-supported agriculture programs, and online sales.

 

Project Highlight: The Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, will assist farmers market producers in diversifying and expanding their direct-to-consumer market channels. Through subawards, partner organizations will provide training adapted for central Appalachian producers and serve both rural and urban farmers.

Through LFPP, 33 projects have been funded to support local and regional food businesses that engage as intermediaries in indirect producer to consumer marketing. The awarded projects focus on activities such as supporting the processing, aggregation, distribution, and storage of local and regional food products; developing value-added products; and facilitating regional food chain coordination.

 

Project Highlight: First National Development Institute, a national nonprofit Native American organization, will support 13 organizations based in seven states to increase food sovereignty and food security within their native communities. The project will create a peer support network for producers and provide expert assistance on expanding market networks and improving overall food safety.

Through RFSP, funds will support 10 partnerships across eight states and the District of Columbia. RFSP supports the development of relationships between local and regional food businesses and institutions, such as schools, hospitals, and governments to increase locally sourced food in institutional cafeterias and meal programs.

 

Project Highlight: The Building an Arkansas Agricultural Network Development (BAAND) project will build on its existing local and regional food system value-chain work by establishing a statewide working group consisting of food producers, food systems practitioners, institutions of higher education, government agencies, industry partners, and community groups.

LAMP and its accompanying grant programs are funded through the 2018 Farm Bill and Fiscal Year 2023 annual appropriations.

 

AMS supports U.S. food and agricultural product market opportunities, while increasing consumer access to fresh, healthy foods through applied research, technical services, and congressionally funded grants. These projects will support the development, coordination and expansion of direct producer-to-consumer marketing, local and regional food markets and enterprises and value-added agricultural products.

 

To learn more about AMS's investments in enhancing and strengthening agricultural systems, visit www.ams.usda.gov/grants.

 

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USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America's food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

 

Get the latest Agricultural Marketing Service news at www.ams.usda.gov/news or follow us on Twitter

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Dan Rivard
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