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Taking Advantage of USDA’s Local Food Data & Resources

Posted by Mia Finley, Agricultural Marketing Specialist, Local & Regional Foods Division, Transportation and Marketing Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA in Farming Research and Science
Aug 09, 2023
Local Food Directories graphic

Over the past several years, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has conducted research on local and regional food systems to better understand the relationships, processes, and lessons learned in developing increasingly resilient food supply chains. The Local & Regional Foods Division within AMS has published more findings and tools that combine data analytics with real world case studies. As we celebrate National Farmers Market Week, we want to share these publicly available resources that support producers and consumers involved in farmers market operations.

  1. Check out the new Food & Agriculture Mapper & Explorer (FAME) – FAME is a data visualization tool to help communities more easily access local and regional food system data. FAME can be used by markets and market managers to learn, assess, and build upon their region’s local food scene and find community connections nearby.
  2. Learn about alternative market models from the Local & Regional Food System Response to Covid Recovery and Resilience project – This Innovation Brief shares various adaptations farmers markets made during the pandemic and how this can better prepare us for times of disruption.
  3. Share the NASDA Group GAP Toolkit with producers – The Grower and Stakeholder toolkits, produced in partnership with NASDA Foundation, explains Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and GroupGAP advantages and resources, and serves as a guide for effective farmer outreach.
  4. Discover the relationships between farmers markets and businesses operating out of shared kitchens in these Case Studies – These stories illustrate the role of shared kitchens in local food systems and how value-added products developed and produced in these spaces are frequently launched at farmers markets.
  5. And lastly, don’t forget the Local Food Directories! – These directories offer an easy way to locate local food retail, wholesale, agritourism, and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs in your region. You can search market names, product availability, payment methods, and more, and its easily accessed through a web browser or your mobile phone.

For more information on local food research and contacts for each of the projects listed above, visit the Local Food Research & Publications page on the AMS website. We hope that you share these easily accessible, web-based tools with your own market networks and help us spread this knowledge to stakeholders nationwide!

Category/Topic: Farming Research and Science