In a recent visit to Florida, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan hyped the Know Your Farmer Know Your Food initiative, a Department of Agriculture program aimed at strengthening connections between farmers and local consumers.
Initially authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, the Know Your Farmer initiative seeks to break down barriers between local growers and local consumers, encourage small farming across the country, and promote better nutrition.
One of the principle ways, according to Merrigan, that consumers and farmers can build stronger ties is through school lunch programs. An important part of the Know Your Farmer initiative includes subsidizing schools that purchase produce from local farms and promote healthier eating.
In addition to better nutrition, Merrigan stated that the initiative could improve local economies.
“The Obama administration is working hard to find creative ways put people back to work and build an economy that works for everyone, not just a wealthy few,” said Merrigan. “Floridians can lay a new foundation for economic growth, build and revitalize critical infrastructure through supporting and establishing local and regional food, and ultimately create more good jobs and more agricultural products stamped Made in the USA.”
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer