USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and White House Director of Public Engagement Jon Carson in a live Google+ Hangout
What’s the common link between eastern Oregon rancher Cory Carman, Oklahoma Farm to School Coordinator Chris Kirby, New Mexico Food Policy Council leader Pamela Roy, Muckleshoot Tribal member Valerie Segrest, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and Sue Noble, Director of Wisconsin’s Vernon Economic Development Association? Read more »
Screen shot of the newest version of the KYF2 Compass map.
Today, I am proud to announce the release of a new version of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. But before I tell you what makes it new, I want to invite you to join us live at 3pm EDT to hear about it directly from me, from the White House, and from some of the many people whose stories are featured in the Compass guide and map. Read more »
In every state, people are connecting directly with their food each time they bite into a local apple, grill a local steak or create a salad with local ingredients. Local food is about the products that farmers and ranchers grow and raise. It’s about the businesses that bring food from farms to our tables, and efforts to connect consumers with producers like farm to school and agritourism. And it’s about the sense of pride behind campaigns like “Buy Fresh, Buy Local,” “Appalachian Grown,” or “Idaho Preferred” that let consumers know their food dollar is flowing back into their local economy. Women play a prominent role in developing local and regional food systems that are creating jobs, pulling new people into agriculture, connecting communities, and improving health.
On Tuesday, July 17th at 3:00pm EDT, Jon Carson, White House Director of Public Engagement, and I will join inspiring women leaders in the field of local foods through a Google+ Hangout to hear their stories and answer your questions. It’s also a chance to see more stories like theirs when we unveil the 2.0 version of the USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. An innovative digital guide and map, the KYF Compass highlights USDA-supported local food projects around the country. The 2.0 version features thousands of local food projects in all 50 states and includes keyword and zip code search features. Read more »
Understanding a community’s food environment is key to understanding a community’s identity. But what can a “food environment” tell us?
A community’s food environment is a technical term for assessing information about the who, what, where, and how of food availability in a given community: Who are the people in the community?
What kinds of food outlets are available in their area? How accessible are grocery stores and supermarkets? What are some of the health statistics? Read more »
One of the best things about working for USDA as a deputy under secretary for Rural Development is the ability to meet with so many brilliant business leaders from around the country. Last week, at the White House, I met with dozens of folks to discuss economic development and community renewal efforts.
We talked about Regional Innovation, one of several topics the Obama Administration is emphasizing to revitalize rural areas. Improving access to capital, building out broadband, developing renewable energy and establishing regional food systems will increase productivity and economic growth in rural America. Read more »
On Monday I accepted the challenge for USDA to donate more than 1.8 million pounds of food this summer through the 4th annual Feds Feed Families Food Drive (FFF). Game on!
If each USDA employee donates just two pounds of food per week, we will contribute more than 2 million pounds and help our hardworking neighbors put food on the table during these tough economic times. FFF began four years ago to help fill a gap during the summer months, when food banks and pantries struggle with an increase in demand from families and individuals, but a decrease in donations. Each year of the food drive, USDA employees have stepped up to the plate: in 2011, USDA employees organized over 2,000 food drives across the country and collected 1.79 million pounds of fresh and shelf-stable food.
Read more »