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Posts tagged: Rayne Pegg

Meet Your Future USDA Employees

Fresno State University students, from left, Caitlin Guest, Aki Dionisopoulos and Amanda Jo Bettencourt received scholarship assistance from USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) on May 5 in Fresno, California.

“Since 2005 we have been proud to work with Fresno State to create a program that establishes a pipeline for future employees,” said Rayne Pegg, AMS Administrator. “In addition, we would like to see the program substantially increase the overall diversity of our agency’s programs.” Read more »

AMS Continues Successful Relationship with Local School

As part of a flourishing partnership, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently hosted students from Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC) in Washington, D.C., for what proved to be an action-packed shadowing day at USDA Headquarters.

From this local high school to the most remote rural areas, AMS is answering Secretary Tom Vilsack’s call to develop a diverse workforce by teaching students about careers in agriculture. Read more »

Earn Your Healthy Eating Badge and Check In with the USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory

Screenshot of CNN showing the USDA Farmers Market Directory

Screenshot of CNN showing the USDA Farmers Market Directory

As part of CNN’s week-long series “Eatrocracy: Mind, Body and Wallet,” the USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory is featured in a unique way to encourage consumers to use farmers markets as a source of fresh, local and healthy food.  The series showcases our database of more than 6,200 farmers markets currently listed in the USDA Farmers Market Directory with the social networking and geo-locating mobile application, Foursquare. The series debuted yesterday  and will continue to run through the week on CNN. We’re thrilled to see several “Healthy Eating Badge” check-ins already! Read more »

Survey Says: Farmers Markets on the Rise

Written by Rayne Pegg, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service

We are proudly in the middle of the eleventh annual National Farmers Market Week as declared by USDA.  This year, Secretary Vilsack marked this important milestone with an official Declaration acknowledging the role farmers markets play in stimulating local economies, strengthening communities and supporting farmers.

As part of National Farmers Market Week, we’re also announcing the results of our latest farmers market survey, and the numbers are impressive: 6,100 farmers markets are now operating across the country – a stunning 16% growth from last year!  These markets are bringing folks together in cities, towns, suburbs and rural areas of every state in the nation, and they have on offer the freshest produce, meats, cheese, flowers, breads, and other products from their surrounding farms and ranches.

Read more »

KEEP THEM COMING! USDA NATIONAL FARMERS MARKET DIRECTORY EXTENDS COUNTING FOR 2010 THROUGH JUNE 4!

 The USDA National Farmers Market Directory, affectionately called the “farmers market census” has extended its deadline for receiving information about the country’s farmers markets through June 4.  In 2009, the USDA counted over 5,200 operational farmers markets in the country. Thanks to the diligence of dedicated market managers, state Departments of Agriculture, state farmers market associations and others, the USDA has already heard from several hundred new markets, indicating that the farmers market industry is continuing to thrive in 2010.

Farmers market managers, state Departments of Agriculture, state farmers market associations, and other farmers market operators can continue to list their markets at the 2010 USDA Farmers Market Directory Website.

“[The USDA National Farmers Market Directory]” is a snapshot of what is happening in farmers markets, and demonstrates how the industry is growing and expanding,” wrote Rayne Pegg, the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) (the USDA agency that maintains the Directory) in a recent open letter to market managers.  “[The Directory] illustrates where the markets are, how big they are, how often they operate and other valuable information for policy makers, researchers, advocates, government officials, media and consumers.”

The official results of the USDA 2010 National Farmers Market Directory will be released later this summer and include data about farmers markets that have registered with the Directory up until June 4. In addition to knowing where and when farmers markets are operating, the National Farmers Market Directory also lists what federal nutrition assistance nutrition programs (like SNAP, WIC, SFMNP) are accepted at which farmers markets.  This is a critical way to map how farmers markets are making fresh, healthy, local food more accessible to more Americans.

The bell has rung and farmers market season has now begun! (from L to R): Chef Jose Andres, Vice President of Operations Partner with Stir Food Group Ralph Rosenberg, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Farmfresh Director Ann Yonkers, and Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Administrator Rayne Pegg open the Fresh Farm Market on Vermont Avenue near the White House. The bell has rung and farmers market season has now begun! (from L to R): Chef Jose Andres, Vice President of Operations Partner with Stir Food Group Ralph Rosenberg, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Farmfresh Director Ann Yonkers, and Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Administrator Rayne Pegg open the Fresh Farm Market on Vermont Avenue near the White House.

Farmers Market Fever: Needs More Cowbell

By Amanda Eamich, Director of New Media

Crowds drew near as Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan joined FRESHFARM Markets co-directors Ann Yonkers, Bernadine Prince and Chef Jose Andres for the grand re-opening of the 2010 season. At 3 PM, Merrigan and others raised their cowbells high and signaled that the market is open for business.

Behind the procession of local officials, chefs and market owners, Chef Andres’ team prepared the eight-foot copper pan to prepare giant paella for visitors and passersby.

After the opening march, market co-director Ann Yonkers introduced Merrigan to this season’s farmers and purveyors offering seasonal fruits and vegetables, meats, artisan cheeses, seafood, baked goods, flowers and more. Award winning cheeses, refreshing gelato and sausage samples filled the air with rich aroma.

At each vendor, Merrigan wished vendors a happy season and personal thanks for their support of the local market.

The FRESHFARM Market provides double dollars for food assistance recipients through a public-private partnership.  This is a great example of building upon federal programs with private assistance. USDA provides grant opportunities and resources to farmer’s markets nationwide.

Today’s opening is a reminder of the Department’s efforts to update the Farmers Market Directory. If you participate or know of a market that isn’t listed, help us by completing the survey by May 14!

 

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan opens the Freshfarm Market on Vermont Avenue in Washington, D.C., near the White House on Thursday, May 6, 2010.  (L to R  Chef at Potenza Jason Mayle, Farmfresh volunteer, Chef at Ici Urban Bistro Olivier Perret, Superstar Chef Jose Andres, Vice President of Operations Partner with Stir Food Group Ralph Rosenberg, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Farmfresh Director Ann Yonkers, Vice President of Operations Partner with Stir Food Group Ralph Rosenberg, Farmfresh volunteer, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Administrator Rayne Pegg, Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans, Farmfresh volunteer, Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner 2B Mike Silverstein, and Downtown DC Business Improvement District (BID) Executive Director Richard Bradley). USDA photo 10di1348-56.
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan opens the Freshfarm Market on Vermont Avenue in Washington, D.C., near the White House on Thursday, May 6, 2010.  (L to R  Chef at Potenza Jason Mayle, Farmfresh volunteer, Chef at Ici Urban Bistro Olivier Perret, Superstar Chef Jose Andres, Vice President of Operations Partner with Stir Food Group Ralph Rosenberg, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Farmfresh Director Ann Yonkers, Vice President of Operations Partner with Stir Food Group Ralph Rosenberg, Farmfresh volunteer, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Administrator Rayne Pegg, Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans, Farmfresh volunteer, Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner 2B Mike Silverstein, and Downtown DC Business Improvement District (BID) Executive Director Richard Bradley).

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan wishes a vendor at the  Freshfarm Market on Vermont in Washington, D. C.,  Avenue by the White House good luck on his sales
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan wishes a vendor at the Freshfarm Market on Vermont Avenue in Washington, D. C.,  by the White House good luck on his sales.