KYF Compass - The What and Why of Local Foods | USDA
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The What and Why of Local Foods

Recent growth in the demand for locally- and regionally-produced food has opened up new market opportunities for farmers, ranchers and food businesses. Americans are interested in learning more about where their food comes from, a trend that benefits all of U.S. agriculture. Learn more about local and regional food systems, who participates in them, and their role in economic and community development in this section of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. Then see USDA-supported local and regional food projects across the country by visiting our interactive map.

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In Iowa, Local Food Systems Mean Economic Development
In Northeast Iowa, Farmer Vince Spain shows kids the seeds he uses to grow produce for their cafeteria. Farm-to-school programs can increase healthy food access while teaching young people about agriculture.
USDA's Economic Research Service finds that on the farm, local food systems are generating 13 farm operator jobs per 1 million in sales.  In 2011, 54 out of 55 U.S. states and territories requested USDA funding for local food system projects through the Specialty Crop Block Grant program.