WASHINGTON -- A new feature on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Know
Your Farmer, Know Your Food web site will include real-world success stories
about marketing locally grown fresh produce, Agriculture Secretary Tom
Vilsack announced July 14.
The Obama administration launched the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food
initiative Sept. 15, 2009, to help connect consumers with the farmers who
supply their food and to increase the production, marketing and consumption
of locally grown produce.
"By developing our local and regional food systems, we can spur job growth in
our rural communities and ultimately strengthen American agriculture," said
Sec. Vilsack. "This showcase will serve as a hub of ideas, local success stories
and USDA resources that showcase and strengthen the link between local
production and local consumption that benefits producers of all sizes."
The web site will include examples of "dedication, entrepreneurship and
support for agriculture that are taking place every day across the country,"
according to the USDA.
In the meantime, produce trade associations, such as the Produce Marketing
Association, are watching the program closely. In a recent meeting, PMA
leaders reminded USDA officials that all growers in the fresh produce industry
have a story to tell, regardless of the size of the farm.