Know Your Farmer Know Your Food
Know Your Farmer Know Your Food
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) strengthens the critical connection between farmers and consumers and supports local and regional food systems. Americans are interested in learning more about where their food comes from, a trend that benefits all of U.S. agriculture. Recent growth in the demand for locally- and regionally-produced food has opened up new market opportunities for farmers, ranchers and food businesses.
Seasonal High Tunnels
NRCS' Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) offers high tunnels, or hoop houses, to assist local producers. High tunnels are effective in reducing pesticide use, keeping vital nutrients in the soil, increasing yields, and providing other benefits to growers. High tunnels extend the growing season, a critical income booster for local food producers; help protect natural resources; and improve community access to healthy, local food earlier and later in the year. In Ohio, NRCS has provided funds to producers for approximately 200 high tunnels. Applications are accepted throughout the year.
NRCS helps certified organic growers and producers working to achieve organic certification install conservation practices for organic production. New for fiscal year 2012, applicants will be evaluated continuously during the ranking periods.
NRCS supports beginning farmers and ranchers, many of whom sell into local and regional markets. Beginning farmers are eligible for a higher EQIP cost share than are experienced farmers. Many new farmers selling locally are taking advantage of NRCS resources.
Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP)
NRCS is protecting farmland from development on the urban fringe, where local food marketing opportunities are strong. Across the country, farmland is disappearing. The problem is particularly severe near cities, where development pressure and high land values make it hard to secure access to farmland. But these areas are some of the best for local food production due to their proximity to large population centers. NRCS’s Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program works with states, local groups, and volunteer landowners to purchase conservation easements and make sure that farms threatened by development pressure can afford to keep farming.
On February 12, 2009, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack commemorated President Lincoln’s 200th birthday by creating the first USDA People’s Garden at the “People’s Department.” People's Gardens are USDA’s way of walking its talk by providing an example to the rest of the country. Thousands of USDA employees and over 700 local and national organizations are participating in over 1,500 gardens nationwide. Learn more about a local People's Garden in Dublin, Ohio.
The KYF2 Compass is an electronic resource to showcase USDA’s accomplishments related to local and regional food systems over the last three years. The Compass consists of an interactive U.S. map showing local and regional food projects funded by USDA, and an accompanying narrative containing resources, case studies, photos and video documenting the impacts of this work.
For More Information, Contact:
Assistant State Conservationist for Field Operations
6090 Wedgewood Road, Medina, Ohio 44256