Five grant programs through USDA will award farmers, ranchers and other growers with $102.7 million. These grants will support locally-led projects that help expand markets for local food promotion and specialty crops.
“Every state has agricultural priorities that contribute to the well-being of farm families, consumers and the economic health of rural America,” said Under Secretary Greg Ibach in a recent press release. “These programs target resources to the state, local and regional level where the people who understand the issues best can find solutions that help everyone.”
Resources to be allocated include:
- $72.15 million is directed to state departments of agriculture in 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to support farmers growing specialty crops, including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops. States use the grant to fund research, agricultural extension activities and programs to increase demand for agricultural goods of value to farmers in the state or territory.
• $13.35 million is directed to 49 projects supporting direct producer-to-consumer marketing projects such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands, and agri-tourism through the Farmers Market Promotion Program.
• $13.45 million is directed to 44 projects to support the development and expansion of local and regional food businesses to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets through the Local Food Promotion Program.
• $2.67 million is awarded to six projects through the Acer Access and Development Program. This funding supports the efforts of states, tribal governments and research institutions to increase market opportunities for the domestic maple syrup industry.
• $1.1 million is awarded for nine projects through the Federal State Marketing Improvement Program to assist in exploring new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the marketing system.
For more information about these programs visit www.ams.usda.gov