Ag News

USDA awards $90.2M in grants to strengthen local and regional markets

IARN — The USDA Tuesday announced a $90.2 million investment to help strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food businesses.

The funding is made possible through grant programs administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) as part of the Local Agriculture Marketing Program (LAMP): the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Programs (FMLFPP) and the Regional Food System Partnerships (RFSP).

USDA Under Secretary of Agriculture Jenny Moffitt made the announcement to members of the media on Tuesday.

“USDA is awarding a total of $90.2 million to support local and regional food systems through LAMP,” said Moffitt. “This is a historic level of funding. It is the most funding for local and regional food system grants ever awarded in a single year by USDA. In total, the $90.2 million will support 203 projects across the country. What COVID unveiled is the need to invest in multiple different layers of the food system.”

In a printed statement, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said the grants will help build a more transparent food system rooted in local and regional production where businesses can compete fairly. Moffitt talks about how these grant projects will help agricultural businesses.

“Improve the income and economic opportunities for producers and food business through job creation,” Moffitt said. “And then they are also developing ways to expand and strengthen local and regional portions of the country’s whole supply chain, which is basically how food moves from farm to table.”

LAMP was established in the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 and received a supplemental appropriation through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. For a list of grant recipients and to learn more about these investments, visit www.ams.usda.gov/grants.

Moffitt made her comments in an interview with USDA Radio.

Story courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

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