Yesterday in Washington, D.C., Tom Vilsack, the Agriculture Secretary and Kathleen Merrigan, the Deputy Secretary, announced a new USDA initiative
, "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food." Officials say the almost $65 million program will "begin a national conversation to help develop local and regional food systems and spur economic opportunity."
"An American people that is more engaged with their food supply will create new income opportunities for American agriculture," said Vilsack. He also posted a video on You Tube
outlining the details of the program. On a consumer level, part of this initiative means knowing where your food comes from, beyond the grocery store produce aisle, as well as bringing locally farmed fruit and vegetables to schools.
The program will also help smaller farmers ship meat and poultry across state lines, in order to boost rural economies and small agriculture businesses. There will be changes to existing USDA programs that cut down logistical and bureaucratic road blocks that make sustainable local agriculture more costly and more difficult.
Do you know your local farmer?
|Yes, I buy all my produce at her stand at the green market.||56 (52.3%)|
|Who? I do all my shopping at a big grocery store.||51 (47.7%)|