USDA conducting first local foods survey

From Fruit Growers News
-The USDA has begun conducting the 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is conducting this first-time survey to produce official benchmark data on the local food sector in the United States.

The Local Food Marketing Practices Survey will ask producers for information on their production and local marketing of foods during the 2015 calendar year. Information includes the value of food sales by marketing channel (i.e. farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSA) arrangements, restaurants, roadside stands, food hubs, and more), value of crop and livestock sales, marketing practices, expenses, Federal farm program participation, and more.

The data will be used for decisions and programs that support local and regional food systems, including:

  • USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Farmers Market Promotion Program
  • Local Food Promotion Program
  • Specialty Crop Block Grants Program
  • USDA Farm Service Agency’s Microloan Program
  • USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives Program
  • USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s efforts to expand EBT availability at farmers markets
  • State and local agencies’ support and promotion of local food markets
  • Farmers’ and ag organizations’ business and marketing strategies
    Researchers’, extension’s and university members’ local foods research
  • Producers who receive the 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey from NASS are strongly encouraged to respond, USDA said. Farmers and ranchers can fill out the survey online via a secure website, www.agcounts.usda.gov, or return their form by mail.

    For more information about the 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.