WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture here has unveiled its new Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food “Compass.” The compass is an map highlighting USDA support for local and regional food projects, as well as an interactive online portal featuring case studies of small farmers, ranchers, businesses and communities that are using local food initiatives to generate jobs and economic growth.
“The KYF Compass shares the stories — with narrative, an interactive map, photos and video — of Americans that are innovating and taking advantage of these opportunities to create jobs and chart a stronger future for American agriculture,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack wrote last week on the Huffington Post.
“It is a tool to help navigate USDA resources that support local and regional food systems. And it is a jumping off point so you can join the national conversation about where our food comes from.”
The new site, at www.usda.gov/KYFcompass, also details local food infrastructure at the farm, distributor and retail level, and discusses the development of regional supply chains for meat, poultry and eggs.
“Local and regional food systems are about opportunity,” Vilsack wrote. “The opportunity for our country’s farmers, ranchers and growers to meet growing customer demand and to expand access to healthy foods.”