The Department of Agriculture Tuesday announced $11.5 million for research to ensure small and medium-sized farms become more profitable. Announced on National Ag Day, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the funding “will give these family farms the tools they need to be more sustainable, profitable and productive as they face agricultural and economic challenges.
USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded 24 grants to 20 universities and organizations through their Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, the nation’s leading and largest competitive grants program for agricultural sciences. These research efforts focus on alternative crop enterprises, marketing, and scaling up fruit and vegetable production to overcome marketing constraints. By focusing on these key elements, USDA says small and medium-sized farm operators can increase their competitiveness in local markets and can provide greater access to food for their communities, something USDA says is extremely critical as we build back a stronger, more equitable food and farming system.