FAQ: I grow vegetables and fruit and sell at a local farmers market. Where can I get information about additional marketing opportunities and ideas from other producers regarding how they are marketing their specialty crops?
Answer: USDA recently unveiled an updated version of its Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. The KYF Compass is an interactive web-based document and map highlighting USDA support for local and regional food projects through successful producer, business and community case studies.
"Local food is a rapidly growing trend in American agriculture. It offers additional market opportunities for farmers, ranchers and food business entrepreneurs while enabling consumers to develop a deeper understanding of where their food comes from and how it is produced," says USDA Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan. "The new stories and data in the 2.0 version of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass offer a comprehensive look at the impact local food is having across the country."
Updated Compass offers new case studies, updated map data and enhanced search functions
The updated version includes new case studies and additional mapped data, including locations of farmers markets, food hubs, and meat processing facilities. The map also features enhanced search functions that allow for easier navigation.
To celebrate the release of the Compass 2.0, USDA and the White House Office of Public Engagement co-hosted a Google+ Hangout on Tuesday, July 17. The event was moderated by Deputy Secretary Merrigan and White House Director of Public Engagement Jon Carson. The Hangout featured women leaders in local food from around the country and can be viewed on www.Whitehouse.gov/live or on the White House Google+ Page.
USDA will hosted a follow-up #ASKUSDA Twitter chat on local food and the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative on Thursday, July 24, at 1:30 pm.
What is Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food? Is it a new program?
In September 2009, USDA launched the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative to coordinate USDA resources and expertise on local and regional food systems. In February, 2012, USDA first released the KYF Compass to document the ways in which USDA has collaborated across its 17 agencies and additional offices, enhanced transparency and met congressional mandates from the 2008 Farm Bill on local and regional food. KYF is not a separate USDA program or agency. It is a management initiative to increase inter-agency coordination.
For more information, visit the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food website at www.usda.gov/knowyourfarmer or join the conversation on Twitter by using the hash tag #KYF2.