Newsletter Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Update August 2016

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Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) had a full summer and we hope you did too! This newsletter recaps some of our summer activities, and introduces the new Local and Regional Food System Policy Advisor, Tricia Kovacs. As always, if you have questions, concerns or input, please do not hesitate to email us at



The KYF2 Team


Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Hires New Local and Regional Food System Policy Advisor

In late July, AMS announced the selection of Tricia Kovacs as Local and Regional Food System Policy Advisor. Although she is housed under AMS, Tricia will serve as the main point of contact for local and regional food issues across the entire USDA.

Tricia comes to us from the Washington State Department of Agriculture where she spent the last eight years. She started there as the founding manager of Washington State’s Farm to School program. And in her time there she also led their small farms and local food efforts, focusing on issues such as food safety for small farms, local food infrastructure development, and farm to school. Before that, she served as an Extension educator.

Tricia’s experience in the field managing USDA grants and working with local farmers and ranchers to help them access USDA programs will be a great asset to the KYF2 effort. She also brings experience building coalitions and bringing people together around the common goal of supporting local food systems.  Monday, August 22, 2016 was her first day in the office!

KYF2 Summer Outreach

KYF2 team members recently met with USDA Rural Development State Directors and Farm Service Agency State Executive Directors during their summer fly-ins to Washington, DC. During these meetings, we provided updates on KYF2 efforts and asked for their continued help involving field staff in KYF2 outreach efforts.  We also provided similar information to Risk Management Agency and Natural Resource Conservation Service staff during regularly-scheduled conference calls. 

Along similar lines, KYF2 members met with Community Food Project and Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Project Directors to share information and offer resources to assist local and regional food system activities.

There’s Still Time to Visit Your Local Farmers Market!

USDA recently concluded another successful National Farmers Market Week. If you haven’t visited your local Farmers Market yet, there’s still time before the end of the summer! Click HERE to check out some of our NFMW blog entries.


Coming Soon: Grant Awardee Announcements

With the end of the Federal fiscal year approaching, several USDA grant programs are preparing to announce their awardee selections. Our grant programs are conducting their final administrative analysis of potential awardees and selections are scheduled to be announced in late September or early October for many programs including the:

Check out KYF2’s Revamped Website!


On April 21, the KYF2 Team rolled out our revamped Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food website.  The site was redesigned to offer a more user-friendly experience that makes it easier to navigate the wealth of USDA and partner resources. The KYF2 website has become an even better a one-stop-shop for information on USDA’s local and regional food systems work, including a new Urban Agriculture section, as well as the KYF2 Compass, where you can find USDA local and regional food system investments in your community, and beyond.  The Compass is currently undergoing an upgrade, and we look forward to including even more information soon.


The KYF2 website showcases USDA support for local and regional food systems across the entire supply chain including funding, technical assistance, and more.  We hope you will find this new website dynamic and intuitive, and that you’ll use it to identify resources to that can support the important work of small- and mid-sized producers, food entrepreneurs, and others in your community.


Have you used USDA’s Urban Ag Toolkit?


On April 29, Secretary Thomas Vilsack unveiled the USDA Urban Agriculture Toolkit to help entrepreneurs and communities interested in urban agriculture.  From neighborhood gardens on repurposed lots, to intensive hydroponic and aquaculture operations, urban food production is rapidly growing in cities across the country. 


USDA's Toolkit helps urban farms navigate more than 70 helpful resources, including technical assistance and financing opportunities. It focuses on some of the most pressing challenges confronting urban producers such as land access, soil quality, water resources, capital and financing, infrastructure, market development, production strategies, and connecting with local USDA offices.  Take a look and see what USDA has to offer urban producers and communities!


UC-Davis Researchers Find Benefits to Local Food Systems

A recent study by UC-Davis economists and Extension professionals found that Sacramento-area farmers and ranchers who sell their products directly to consumers generate twice as much regional economic impact per dollar of output as do area food producers who don’t engage in direct marketing. The newly released study of the four Sacramento region counties of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo found that direct-marketing food producers had a regional output multiplier of 1.86 compared to just 1.42 for producers not involved in direct marketing. More good news about the impact of KYF2-related work!

To view KYF-related blogs, please visit the USDA blog.

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