Regional Know Your Farmer Resources
The USDA setup a know your farmer resources program 2 1/2 years ago. This new initiative called Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food has been growing across the country. It is setup up with a commitment to help farmers and ranchers of all sizes take advantage of new opportunities, meet the growing demand for local and regional food and succeed in the diverse marketplace.
Over the past two years great accomplishments have been made with new tools have been developed. One is the Know Your Farmers, Know Your Food Compass, an electronic document and interactive map. By eliciting the national conversation about where our food comes from, it show cases farmers, ranchers, businesses and communities around the country that are tapping into these opportunities.
A good example of where our food comes from Butler ‘s Orchard in Montgomery County, Maryland. Since launching Know Your Farmer, USDA has helped almost 4,500 farmers extend their growing seasons using seasonal high tunnels. In the Know Your Farmer Compass, you’ll learn how much more about that USDA is doing.
The USDA is supporting new infrastructure like cold storage warehouses, commercial kitchens, local slaughter facilities and retail outlets to create jobs and connect farmers and ranchers with local markets, thereby improving their incomes. They are compiling data on local and regional food and making it available for web developers to turn into apps, virtual sales platforms and other tools.
Also in the works is expanding farmers’ markets and ensuring that people at all income levels can access locally-produced food. There are now more than 7,000 farmers’ markets across the country; a third of them accept electronic nutrition benefits like SNAP. Now we can all shop there.
This work is possible because USDA took a chapter from the history of American agriculture innovating to meet new demands. In launching Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food, it encourages USDA employees across the Department to break down barriers and collaborate, to find ways to work more efficiently, and to provide transparent data and information to the public.
You can Learn more about our diverse farm industry, the opportunities to tap into local markets by exploring the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. Find your community on the map. Read stories about your state. And learn how you can get to know your farmer and your food.