Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan unveiled the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass Wednesday. This interactive web-based document and map highlights USDA support for local and regional food projects and successful producer, business and community case studies.
While hosting a live webinar, the Secretaries emphasized how local and regional food systems across the country create additional economic opportunities for farmers, ranchers and food entrepreneurs, expand healthy food access and meet growing customer demand.
"USDA works every day to strengthen American agriculture, drive job growth and support farm-family income," said Vilsack. "The KYF Compass highlights how USDA support for local and regional food systems has brought additional opportunities to our country's farmers, ranchers, processors, distributors and food entrepreneurs. The stories and maps in the Compass underscore how diverse and innovative American agriculture can be."
The KYF Compass consists of an interactive U.S. map showing local and regional food projects and an accompanying narrative documenting the results of this work through case studies, photos and video content. The KYF Compass organizes USDA's work on local and regional food systems into seven thematic areas.
"By encouraging all Americans to know their farmer, USDA is helping consumers learn more about agriculture and the people producing your food," said Deputy Secretary Merrigan. "The Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative helps farmers and ranchers tap into a vibrant, growing market opportunity. And it's also stimulating a broader national conversation about where our food comes from and how important agriculture is to our country."
A large selection of USDA-supported programs and projects is also visible on the KYF Map, which can be displayed by theme, program, or recipient type. Both the KYF Compass and map will be regularly refreshed with new data and case studies.
For more information and to join the national conversation, please visit the 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' website, at www.usda.gov/knowyourfarmer.