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News

Thu Feb 23
USDA grants help the local food movement grow

As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food effort, USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan recently announced the largest allotment of grants for value-added producers in recent history...
...nearly 300 grants across 44 states and Puerto Rico - to the tune of $44 million. Value-added foods - products like jam, flour, beef jerky, and pickles are “at the core of what it will take for the local food movement to mature," says an article in Grist.

“Without these higher-value, less perishable products, farmers and ranchers working at a small, sustainable scale and selling their products locally can rarely make a real living," the article continues. "In addition to the home food preservation trend, small businesses are also working to fill the gaps that exist between heavily processed, industrial foods and local produce - and the result is often minimally processed ‘value-added products.’

Such products allow farmers to extend their season, providing a way for locavore consumers to, say, eat peaches in February, and - perhaps more important - providing a product for farmers to sell long after peach season is gone.” Read more here.