The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a $90.2 million investment in 203 projects to strengthen and explore new market opportunities for local and regional food businesses. The funding is made possible through grant programs administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) as part of the Local Agriculture Marketing Program (LAMP): the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Programs (FMLFPP) and the Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP).
“These grants will help maximize opportunities for economic growth and ingenuity in local and regional food systems to kickstart this transformation. The Local Agriculture Marketing Program grants have a history of generating new income sources for small, beginning, veteran, and socially disadvantaged farmers and creating new market opportunities for value-added and niche products,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack “The new Regional Food System Partnerships grants will help build a fairer, more transparent food system rooted in local and regional production where businesses can compete fairly because a greater share of the profit will go to those growing, harvesting, and preparing our food.”
“The strength of America’s agricultural economy is our creativity and resilience. Whether it’s a farmers market in Lansing or a food business in Kalamazoo, local and regional food systems expand economic opportunities for farmers and secure healthy food supply chains for families,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
“These USDA local and regional food grants will help small and medium-sized agricultural businesses build, expand, and sustain the processing, distribution, and storage systems that will help move food from the farm to the table,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt.
For a list of grant recipients and to learn more about AMS’ investments in enhancing and strengthening agricultural systems, visit www.ams.usda.gov/grants.