New Markets, New Opportunities: Strengthening Local Food Systems and Organic Agriculture
A powerful local and regional food movement is growing inside the United States; a movement that directly connects consumers with how, where and by whom their food is grown. It forges new pathways for rural families to stay on the farm and attracts new producers to farming and food-related businesses. It brings about a new appreciation for rural production and entrepreneurship among top chefs, food companies and grocers large and small.
It connects schools and our nation’s children with fresher, healthier food to give them the energy they need to be successful into the future. And for all those reasons, it has become one of the four foundational pillars on which the U.S. Department of Agriculture bases its policies and programming.
But let’s take a moment to look back at how we got here. Today, USDA supports and invests in local and regional food projects from coast to coast, in every state — but that wasn’t always the case. When President Obama took office in 2009, “local food” was still a relatively new concept. Right out of the gate, USDA gave new priority to giving consumers what they had been asking for: a stronger connection to their food.