WASHINGTON — A new initiative — ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ — will begin a national conversation to help develop local and regional food systems and spur economic opportunity.
To launch the initiative, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recorded a video to invite Americans to join the discussion and share their ideas for ways to support local agriculture.
The video, one of many means by which USDA will engage in this conversation, can be viewed at USDA’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/usda.
Producers and consumers can comment on the ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ YouTube playlist, as well as submit videos or provide comments on this initiative by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ initiative, chaired by Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, is the focus of a task force with representatives from agencies across USDA who will help better align the department’s efforts to build stronger local and regional food systems.
Approximately $65 million in funding is available for ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ initiatives.
In the future, cross-cutting efforts at USDA will seek to use existing USDA programs to break down structural barriers that have inhibited local food systems from thriving.