If you are looking for grant and loan programs to incubate your local food and farm initiative or enterprise, this graphic from USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food site may be of interest. The color coding refers to the specific USDA agency that manages the grant or loan program (i.e., USDA – Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA – Farm Service Agency, USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service, etc.).
If you have specific questions and would like to talk with someone about the different programs, please visit your closest USDA Service Center or Virginia Cooperative Extension office for further guidance.
USDA Grant and Loan Programs in support of Local Food System Development.
For Virginians to eat foods produced and processed as close to their homes as possible can we encourage movement and momentum towards a goal of 10% local food production and consumption in the next 5 to 7 years.
There is unprecedented demand for local foods across Virginia and the United States. Presently, the demand appears to be greater than the supply of locally-grown and identified foods. Many groups, organizations, and universities are looking to scale up local foods to meet the demand and strengthen the overall food system so local foods are available and accessible to more people of all socioeconomic levels. In 2009, the University Wisconsin’s Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems identified 10 keys to scaling up to meet the demand for local food: