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USDA to conduct 2020 local food marketing practices survey

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Sat, Dec 12th 2020 07:00 am

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct the 2020 local food marketing practices survey, beginning in January 2021. First conducted in 2015, this census of agriculture special study will look at local and regional food systems and provide new data on how locally grown and sold foods in the U.S. are marketed. The results will be available in November 2021.

"Federal funding and policies for local and regional food systems were greatly expanded by the last three farm bills and it is our job as a federal statistical agency to help measure this part of the agriculture sector,” NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer said. “We are excited to provide the first official federal data on marketing practices for local foods since 2015 and therefore a five-year comparison point to inform policies and business in this area.”

The local food marketing practices survey will ask producers about their production and local marketing of foods during the 2020 calendar year, including the value of food sales by marketing channel such as farmers markets, restaurants and roadside stands. Other questions seek information on the value of crop and livestock sales, marketing practices, expenses and federal farm program participation.

Local foods are linked to many USDA priorities, including enhancing the rural economy, the environment, food access and nutrition, and strengthening agricultural producers and markets. Food and agri-businesses, researchers, policymakers, farmers and ranchers, and USDA use the resulting information in their work on local and regional food and agriculture systems. Examples of such uses include:

  • USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Farmers Market Promotion Program, Local Foods Promotion Program, Specialty Crop Block Grants Program
  • USDA Farm Service Agency’s Microloan Program
  • USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives Program, a collaboration between USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service
  • 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 2020 local food marketing practices survey are strongly encouraged to respond. Farmers and ranchers can fill out the survey online via a secure website, www.agcounts.usda.gov, or by mail. For more information about the 2020 local food marketing practices survey, visit www.nass.usda.gov/go/local-food.

NASS is also preparing for the 2022 Census of Agriculture, a complete count of all U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Anyone who did not participate in the last census of agriculture in 2017 can sign up at www.agcounts.usda.gov/static/get-counted.html.

NASS is the federal statistical agency responsible for producing official data about U.S. agriculture and is committed to providing timely, accurate and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture.

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