At USDA, we know that local and regional food systems are an important part of America’s diverse agriculture sector. Local and regional food is a multi-billion dollar market opportunity for America’s farmers, ranchers and food businesses. From the produce vendor at one of the nation’s 8,100 farmers markets to the operating 220 food hubs across America to the robust farm to school activities in each state, the expanding market opportunity for local and regional food continues to gain momentum
USDA stands ready to aid and assist America’s farmers and ranchers who want to participate in this growing sector. We’ve been coordinating our work via the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative. However, our ability to continue supporting the local and regional food marketplace is at stake without the passage of a Food, Farms and Job Bill.
Join me on Thursday, November 21, at 2pm ET, as I host a Google Hangout about local food. We will discuss what the market opportunity for local and regional food has become, where it is going and what the USDA can do to help. We will also talk about what role the current Food, Farm and Jobs Bill plays in USDA’s work on local and regional food systems. Featuring local food farmers, food businesses, and students all actively engaged in the local/regional food system, the Hangout will also include YOUR questions and comments.
Participate in the Hangout on Thursday by logging in through your Google+ account or watch it live on our USDA Google+ page. You can send me questions in advance or share your story by using #myfarmbill on twitter, youtube or facebook.
See you Thursday!