Funding available to local markets
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing supplemental American Rescue Plan Act funding for the Local Agriculture Market Program. The program will receive $130 million in funding to promote competition and create more and better markets for local and regional food producers. The supplemental funding is divided into $65 million each for fiscal years 2022 and 2023.
The Local Agriculture Market Program in fiscal year 2022 will receive a total of $97 million in competitive grant funding to help local and regional food entities develop, coordinate and expand producer-to-consumer marketing, local and regional food markets, and local food enterprises. The total includes the first $65 million of supplemental American Rescue Plan funding and $32 million in funds provided through the 2018 Farm Bill.
Of the $97 million, the Local Agriculture Market Program’s Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program will receive $57 million. The Regional Food System Partnerships will receive $40 million.
The Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program is implemented through two funding opportunities – the Farmers Market Promotion Program and the Local Food Promotion Program. The first supports direct-to-consumer markets. The second supports indirect-to-consumer markets, such as food hubs and value-added product incubators. Both programs require a 25-percent cash or in-kind match of the federal portion of the grant.
The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service encourages applications that serve smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, underserved producers, veteran producers, and-or underserved communities.
Applications are due by 10:59 p.m. Central Time May 16. Applications must be submitted electronically. Visit grants.gov for more information.
Hemp webinars offered
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and Cornell University have launched a webinar series on hemp research. The purpose of the series is to broaden the scope of training, education and connectivity within the hemp community.
Zachary Stansell, a geneticist at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and acting hemp curator, said that hemp is rapidly emerging as a critical multi-use and economically significant crop. The webinars are designed to increase the diversity, equity and inclusivity of the agency’s mission while providing hemp-specific education, training and networking opportunities to historically underserved communities, he said.
Lectures will be given by various hemp-research experts from academia, research laboratories, production facilities and private industry.
- April 6 – Hemp Food Science, Hunter Friedland, CEO, Cirona Labs
- April 20 – Hemp Diversity/Genetics, Daniela Vergara, Harvest New York
- May 4 – Economics of Hemp Production, Tyler Mark, associate professor of agricultural economics, University of Kentucky.
Study analyzes sector values
Thirty food and agriculture groups recently released the sixth annual Feeding the Economy report. It’s a farm-to-fork economic analysis revealing how the food and agriculture sectors influence the local and broader United States economies.
Seven percent of the nation’s economy and 29 percent of American jobs are linked to the sectors, either directly or indirectly, according to the analysis. Amidst the global supply-chain and inflation crises, the sectors also exported about $183-billion worth of goods. In 2021 the sectors contributed more than $3 trillion to the U.S. economy. Key findings are listed.
- Total jobs – 43,464,211
- Total wages – $2.3 trillion
- Total taxes – $718 billion
- Exports – $182.9 billion
- Total food and industry economic impact – $7.4 trillion
The analysis also features the direct and indirect economic activity surrounding the industries. For example, when a farm-equipment dealer hires new employees because farmers are buying more tractors, experts consider the new salaries an indirect impact. Similarly when a retail associate spends her paycheck, an induced economic impact occurs. Together they have a multiplier effect on the existing direct impact of food and agriculture. Visit FeedingTheEconomy.com for more information.
Pork producers appointed
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently appointed 150 producers and five importers to the 2022 National Pork Producers Delegate Body. Representing Wisconsin are Ryan Cain of Osseo, and Alicia Prill-Adams of Platteville. They will serve one-year terms.
Delegates meet annually to recommend the rate of assessment, determine the percentage of assessments that state associations will receive, and nominate producers and importers to the National Pork Board. Representation on the delegate body is based on annual net assessments collected on sales of domestic hogs within individual states.
The Pork Board and the Delegate Body were established by the Pork Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act of 1985. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service oversees operations of the Pork Board and the Delegate Body. Visit ams.usda.gov for more information.
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