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USDA Local Food Initiatives

Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is working to support communities as they build local and regional food systems.

Here are some programs relevant to this effort that are part of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service

National Farmers Market Directory

The Directory lists markets that feature two or more farm vendors selling agricultural products directly to customers at a common, recurrent physical location. Maintained by the Agricultural Marketing Service, the Directory is designed to provide consumers with convenient access to information about farmers market listings to include: market locations, directions, operating times, product offerings, accepted forms of payment, and more.

National Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Directory

The CSA Directory lists farm or network/association of multiple farms that offer consumers regular (usually weekly) deliveries of locally-grown farm products during one or more harvest season(s) on a subscription or membership basis. Customers have access to a selected share or range of farm products offered by a single farm or group of farmers based on partial or total advance payment of a subscription or membership fee.

National Food Hub Directory

The Food Hub Directory lists businesses or organizations that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified food products to multiple buyers from multiple producers, primarily local and regional producers, to strengthen the ability of these producers to satisfy local and regional wholesale, retail, and institutional demand.

National On-Farm Markets Directory

The On-Farm Market Directory lists markets managed by a single farm operator that sells agricultural and/or horticultural products directly to consumers from a location on their farm property or on property adjacent to that farm.

Farmers Market Promotion Program

The Farmers Market Promotion Program is a component of the Farmers Marketing and Local Food Promotion Program, which is authorized by the Farmer-to-Consumer Direct Marketing Act of 1946, as amended (7 U.S.C. 3005). The two competitive grant programs that are available include: the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP).

The goals of FMPP grants are to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets by developing, improving, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to, or assisting in the development, improvement, and expansion of, domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. The maximum amount awarded for any one proposal cannot exceed $100,000; the minimum award is $15,000.

Federal State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP)

The Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) provides matching funds to State Departments of Agriculture, State agricultural experiment stations, and other appropriate State agencies to assist in exploring new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products, and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the marketing system.

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)

States administer grant program to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops (fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, nursery crops, and floriculture), including locally grown and consumed specialty crops