Federal Agencies to Partner on Local Food, Rural Economy Initiatives

Federal Agencies to Partner on Local Food, Rural Economy Initiatives

Updated Farm to School Census data finds strong participation among schools in local food procurement

On behalf of the White House Rural Council, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday announced Local Food, Local Places, a federal initiative that will provide technical support to rural communities for building local food systems as part of a larger economic plan.

Under this effort, a team of agricultural, transportation, environmental, and regional economic experts will work directly with local communities to develop comprehensive strategies that use local food systems to meet a variety of needs.

Related: White House Introduces Made In Rural America Initiative

Updated Farm to School Census data finds strong participation among schools in local food procurement

The announcement included Vilsack, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe, and other regional representatives.

"Buying locally is one of the best things a community can do to grow its economy. Partnerships like Local Food, Local Places help rural leaders develop strategies for promoting farm products grown by people right in their own communities," Vilsack said.

"The demand for local food is growing rapidly nationwide, creating more opportunities for American farmers and ranchers and growing the entire country's rural economy."

During the White House Rural Council event, Secretary Vilsack also announced updated results from the USDA Farm to School Census.

According to the updates, U.S. school districts around the country purchased more than $386 million from local farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food processors and manufacturers during the 2011-2012 school year.

Related: USDA, Farm Credit Partner for Rural Business Investment Fund

The report also found that more than half of participating school districts report that they will buy even more local foods in future school years, and an additional 13% have plans to implement local food purchasing in the future.

National, state, and school district level results from the Farm to School Census are available on www.data.gov and on the Farm to School Census website.

Source: USDA

TAGS: USDA
Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish