FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, April 22, 2016
USDA seeks input from local food producers
Survey will collect data on marketing practices from producers nationwide
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking input from Minnesota local food producers. The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service’s first-ever Local Foods Marketing Practices Survey will collect benchmark data about local food from producers nationwide. The survey will produce information about the number of producers selling directly to local consumers, the value of local foods sales, and marketing practices and expenses.
The survey aims to provide a comprehensive look at the number of farms marketing local foods in Minnesota. The agricultural industry, all levels of government, and related businesses and organizations will be able to use information gained from the survey. This knowledge will help evaluate, inform, and implement many of the USDA programs that support the local foods sector. Results from the survey will be published in December of 2016.
The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported that Minnesota farm families sold $33.6 million dollars of agricultural products directly to consumers in 2012.
“This is more than three times the total value of the direct sales reported twenty years earlier in 1992,” said Dan Lofthus, State Statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Additional funding for local food sector sustainability was written into the most recent Farm Bill to help support farm-based businesses. Within the state, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture provides support for local foods through the Minnesota Grown, Farm to School, and the Organic and Diversified Agriculture programs.
Local food producers in Minnesota are encouraged to respond to the Local Foods Marketing Practices Survey. Responses are due by May 2, 2016. More information and the survey can be found at http://www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/Local_Food/.
CONTACT: Alauna Yust, MDA Communications
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