Congressman Tim Ryan Announces USDA Grants to Promote New Economic Opportunity for Farmers and Ranchers through Local and Regional Projects

Sep 24, 2012 Issues: Helping Working Families

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 21, 2012
Contact: Ryan Press Office
202-225-5261
ryan.press@mail.house.gov

Congressman Tim Ryan Announces USDA Grants to Promote New Economic Opportunity for Farmers and Ranchers through Local and Regional Projects

Washington, D.C. -  Today, Congressman Tim Ryan was proud to announce USDA grants for two programs in Kent and Youngstown. The grants are intended to bolster the connection between agricultural producers and their consumers while improving access to healthy food and strengthening local economies.

“These USDA Grants are exactly the kind of investments we need in order to promote good health and economic growth by increasing access to fresh, affordable produce and supporting the work of local farms. Americans are moving consistently towards better health and lifestyle choices,” said Rep. Ryan. “The availability of local produce at affordable prices is essential to this future, as well as educating the public about access to these resources. The USDA awards support this positive direction and acknowledge the vital role that local farmers and ranchers have in keeping food affordable, healthy and accessible.”

The awards announced today are:

$38,855 to City of Kent, OH, to promote the use of EBT at the Haymaker Farmers Market, and educate low-income residents about the availability and use of EBT through newspaper and other print advertising.

$100,000 to Flying HIGH Inc., Youngstown, OH, to recruit and train young urban adults as farmers to grow and sell produce at new farmers markets throughout the City of Youngstown and Mahoning County by providing production and marketing education, technical support services, supplies, and professional development for entrepreneurs in market urban homesteads.

Ohio has a long tradition of local farmers pursuing direct-marketing opportunities in their operations. More than 6,800 Ohio farms sell directly to consumers.  These investments represent USDA’s efforts to strengthen local and regional food systems through projects that recruit and train farmers, expand economic opportunities, increase access to healthy foods and use social media to link markets and vendors.  This year, almost five percent of total funding will be awarded to six projects in the state.

In 2009, USDA launched the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative to strengthen the critical connection between farmers and consumers and supports local and regional food systems.  Through this initiative, USDA integrates programs and policies that stimulate food- and agriculturally-based community economic development; foster new opportunities for farmers and ranchers; promote locally and regionally produced and processed foods; cultivate healthy eating habits and educated, empowered consumers; expand access to affordable fresh and local food; and demonstrate the connection between food, agriculture, community and the environment. Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food also leads a national conversation about food and agriculture to strengthen the connection between consumers and farmers.

An interactive view of USDA programs that support local and regional foods, including FMPP, is available at the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. The KYF Compass is a digital guide to USDA resources related to local and regional food systems. The Compass consists of an interactive U.S. map USDA-supported local and regional food projects and an accompanying narrative documenting the results of this work through case studies, photos and video content.