Posted on Tue, September 15, 2009 by Jerusha Klemperer
5 Comments | Categories: Events, Farms and Farming, News, Current Events, Policy, Take Action,
by Gordon Jenkins
This week, the USDA is unveiling its new Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, which Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan has created to help re-connect American families to American family farmers, as a step towards building vibrant local and regional food systems. Each day this week, the USDA web site is celebrating a theme that underscores the need for local food:
This initiative marks an outstanding new commitment to local food on the part of the USDA, which usually puts its resources towards propping up big, industrial farms. Many attribute the new interest to the Obama Administration, which appointed Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture and directed him to get more local fruits and vegetables into Americas schools and institutions. Vilsack subsequently tapped Merrigan, a longtime local food advocate, as his Deputy. We at Slow Food USA hope that Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food is the start of many more good programs to come.
*Thank you to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalitions weekly newsletter for providing most of this information.