Though some Americans have an idea of what the agricultural sector is all about, as they may have used John Deere equipment or taken a class about farming, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has launched an initiative to help teach people about locally grown food.
According to an article written in the Huffington Post by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, the predecessor to the current program, helped to support the growth of farmers markets and agricultural operations of all sizes.
The article noted that the support of the initiative for local and regional food is helping recruit and retain a new generation of farmers and ranchers. Many young people in the industry started out in local markets, and while some move on to other areas, some stay there.
The USDA release noted that the new compass program has provided web programs that provide Americans with resources that include maps for food hubs, cold storage facilities, local food processors and other infrastructure.
"The KYF Compass highlights how USDA support for local and regional food systems has brought additional opportunities to our country's farmers, ranchers, processors, distributors and food entrepreneurs. The stories and maps in the Compass underscore how diverse and innovative American agriculture can be," Vilsack said in a statement.