Funding has recently been announced that will help producers in the Northeast get their farm equipment out to produce food for local consumption.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is giving $230,000 in funding for studies that will help determine the region's ability to produce food for itself, rather than rely on food that is transported from other parts of the country. The funds are part of the USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food program, which was also recently announced.
"The lessons that we learn and the information that we glean from this project also will give us important insights into how we build and sustain local production systems elsewhere in the United States and abroad," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.
The funds will be used for a variety of projects, including $200,000 going to hiring two scientists at the USDA's Agricultural Research Service labs in Orono, Maine, and Beltsville, Maryland. The scientists will study soil in the region to see how well they can support agricultural growth. They will also study land availability in the Northeast.
Tufts University in Boston will receive $30,000, which will help fund an examination of marketing and processing capabilities for local food production.
The USDA also recently announced $4.8 million in other awards as part of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Program, funds that will go to organizations located in 14 different states.