2010-04-15 / Community News

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative

The U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan recently announced a new initiative - ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ - to begin a national conversation to help develop local and regional food systems and spur economic opportunity. “An American people that is more engaged with their food supply will create new income opportunities for American agriculture,” said Vilsack. “Reconnecting consumers and institutions with local producers will stimulate economies in rural communities, improve access to healthy, nutritious food for our families, and decrease the amount of resources to transport our food.”

The ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ initiative, chaired by Deputy Secretary 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. “Americans are more interested in food and agriculture than at any other time since most families left the farm,” said Merrigan. “‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ seeks to focus that conversation on supporting local and regional food systems to strengthen American agriculture by promoting sustainable agricultural practices and spurring economic opportunity in rural communities.”

As the ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ initiative evolves, USDA will continue to build on the momentum and ideas from the 2008 Farm Bill and target its existing programs and develop new ones to pursue sustainable agriculture and support for local and regional food systems.

For more information, go to www.usda.gov and click on Newsroom and select Release No. 0440.09.

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