If you’re looking to start a Farmer’s Market or a local food system hub in your area, Cathy Isom lets you know toolkits are available at your fingertips for starting your own farmer’s market or other local food activity. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
Every community wants to support initiatives that promote economic growth and create new jobs, but sometimes it can be hard to decide on the best way to accomplish these goals. Now there is a new resource to help communities make the economic case for investments in local food. Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of “The Economics of Local Food Systems: A Toolkit to Guide Community Discussions, Assessments and Choices” at the Good Food Festival’s Financing and Innovation Conference in Chicago. Secretary Vilsack highlighted USDA’s continued support of local and regional food systems, much of which is coordinated through USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative.
At USDA, we’ve seen how increasing consumer demand for locally-produced food is creating market opportunities for farmers, ranchers, and businesses throughout the supply chain. The toolkit will help local food stakeholders tell the story of how investing in strong local and regional food systems – including farmers markets, food hubs, and other local food outlets – can revitalize rural and urban economies across the country. The Local Food System Toolkit – developed by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) – allows communities to conduct reliable economic impact assessments of investing in local food system initiatives. It includes seven modules and guidance to evaluate investments in local and regional food systems.
Also, learn about the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program.