During a recent visit to Oregon, USDA’s Director for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Max Finberg, visited the Food Innovation Center in Portland, where researchers are helping producers get local edibles on the shelf.
The Food Innovation Center (FIC), an experiment station administered jointly by Oregon State University and the Oregon Department of Agriculture, works extensively with USDA to help agricultural producers and food businesses get local foods to market. To make this possible, the FIC conducts a variety of studies related to product development, packaging, shelf life, consumer acceptance, economic feasibility and product marketing. Read more »
North Dakota produce at a local farmers market. Photo Courtesy of Sue Balcom. Used with permission.
A growing consumer appetite for foods grown in their region was the focus of a recent Food and Agricultural Council (FAC) meeting in Valley City, North Dakota. FAC Chairman, Jasper Schneider, also state director of USDA Rural Development, invited healthy food activists to share the ups and downs of this growing movement. Read more »
One of the most satisfying aspects of my job has been to hear the various ways USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grant program is making a positive difference in our rural economy. I’m pleased to announce new funding efforts by the Obama Administration to create jobs and foster new business opportunities in rural America.
Rural Americans take pride in and depend on the farmers, ranchers, and locally-owned businesses that provide fresh foods for their communities. Despite the important role of these rural businesses and cooperatives, it can be difficult for them to begin marketing or distributing their products without financial support. Read more »
I recently began the Know your Farmer, Know Your Food College tour, and one of the locations I visited was a farmer’s market in North Carolina. Many of the regionally and locally produced products we see at farmer’s markets have a helping hand from USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grant program.
Sometimes it’s tough for a small or beginning rural business or cooperative to come up with the money for a feasibility study, marketing or packaging. That’s where USDA’s Value Added Producer Grant program can help. Read more »
Farm owner Andy Dunham (wearing cap) explains his crop production system to John Whitaker, FSA Iowa State Executive Director
Recent estimates indicate only nine percent of family farm income comes from farming and fewer than half of our nation’s farmers and ranchers list farming as their primary occupation. Read more »
A Slice of Vermont for Winter: Champlain Orchards boxed pumpkin pie
This list of ingredients was enough to get my mouth watering: Champlain Orchards’ apple cider syrup, local butter and heavy cream, and the star of the show – Vermont pumpkin puree. Champlain Orchards in the beautiful Lake Champlain Valley of Vermont is making its first pumpkin pies this year, just in time for Thanksgiving. Read more »