a national information resource for value-added agriculture
Agricultural Marketing Resource Center

Blog Home Page

April 10, 2014

Blog article written by Don Hofstrand, retired ag economist and co-author of the AgMRC Renewable Energy & Climate Change newsletter. dhof@iastate.edu Over the last several years the rapidly expanding market for ethanol has increased the demand for corn resulting in an increase in corn price.  During this same time period...

March 21, 2014

Whole Planet Foundation has committed more than $5 million to fight poverty in the U.S. through its partner, Grameen America, a nonprofit microfinance organization that offers microloans, training and support to help women who live in poverty build small businesses to create better lives for their families. The money will...

March 12, 2014

In remarks at the National Farmers Union National Convention, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new and expanded efforts to connect small- and mid-sized farmers and ranchers with USDA resources that can help them build stronger businesses, expand to reach new and larger markets, and grow their operations. Efforts include improved...

February 27, 2014

A new report from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture shows that institutional purchases of local food added nearly $9 million to the Iowa economy in 2012. What’s more, the report points out enormous opportunities for local foods in Iowa that could benefit rural communities and farm-based businesses. Investigators measured...

February 12, 2014

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the creation of the first ever Regional Hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change at seven locations around the country. "Climate Hubs" will address increasing risks such as fires, invasive pests, devastating floods, and crippling droughts on a regional basis, aiming to translate...

January 30, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently launched MarketLink, a website that provides farmers’ markets and direct-marketing farmers with a new, streamlined process for becoming authorized Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) vendors and information about obtaining the equipment needed to...

January 27, 2014

Blog article written by Dr. Michael Boland, University of Minnesota, boland@umn.edu As I wait on my group of grants to review for the VAPG program this winter, my graduate student has put the finishing touches on his Master’s degree thesis looking at the VAPG program over time. He updated a...

January 17, 2014

Our Food Link, a new year-round program that county and state Farm Bureaus can use to reach consumers of all ages and backgrounds with information about today's agriculture, was launched during the American Farm Bureau Federation's 95th Annual Convention.   "Consumer outreach is more important than ever because the average...

January 9, 2014

Registration is now open for the joint 16th Annual National Value Added Agricultural Conference and the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development's What Works Conference Series at the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland May 13-15, 2014 This conference is open to researchers, extension educators, teachers, students, Small Business...

January 2, 2014

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) each year prepares its What’s Hot culinary forecast of menu trends for the coming year. The NRA surveyed nearly 1,300 professional chefs – members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) – to find which food and beverage items will be hot trends on restaurant menus...

November 25, 2013

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of nearly $10.5 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities designed to give them a competitive business edge.   The funding is being made available through the Value-Added Producer Grant program. Grants are available...

November 5, 2013

The North Central Risk Management Education Center in conjunction with the Northeast, Southern, and Western Regional Centers, administers awards which fund 12-month risk management education projects. The award year runs from July 1 to June 30 annually. The 2014 application period is now open! Read the 2014 RFA. The application...

October 24, 2013

Nationwide Census on Farm to School Activities Identifies Over 38,000 Schools with 21 Million Students Serving Over $350 Million in Local Food       Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted important strides made in offering healthy, local food to millions of school children through USDA's Farm to School program, and emphasized...

October 17, 2013

USDA's website has been partially restored, making available some resources and department notices for the first time in two weeks. The site was taken offline as part of the government shutdown, keeping users from seeing historical supply and demand information on countless agricultural products and services the department regulates. The...

October 3, 2013

Cover crop adoption has been increasing rapidly in the last 5 years, with an estimated 1.5 to 2.0 million acres of cover crops planted in the U.S. in 2012. During the winter of 2012-13, the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) carried out a survey of farmers who have grown cover...

September 25, 2013

USDA will invest $52 million in grants to support America's specialty crop producers through the 2013 Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) Program awards. The funding includes 54 block grants to U.S. states and territories that will support 694 initiatives nationwide. These grants will assist producers of fresh fruits and vegetables...

September 9, 2013

The 2014 North Central Region - Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) Farmer Rancher Grant Call for Proposals is now available. Farmers and ranchers in the North Central region are invited to submit grant proposals to explore sustainable agriculture solutions to problems on the farm or ranch.  Proposals should...

August 30, 2013

News from the Associated Press - As the local food movement gains steam, northern New England farmers are steaming mad about proposed regulations they fear will leave them unable to meet growing consumer demand for their produce. Andre Cantelmo of Heron Pond Farm in South Hampton helps run Eastman’s Corner,...

August 19, 2013

USDA recently announced the availability of loan and grant funds to support rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises. USDA's Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) was established under the 2008 Farm Bill to support the development and ongoing success of rural microentrepreneurs and microenterprises, which are defined as rural businesses with 10 or...

August 14, 2013

The City of Minneapolis, through the department of Community Planning & Economic Development (CPED) in partnership with the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD), has established the Homegrown Business Development Center to provide financing and technical assistance for Minneapolis based businesses that process and manufacture local food products. The purpose...

July 31, 2013

For years a group of Wisconsin collaborators explored pasture-based systems as a source of ‘specialty milk’ for value-added dairy processing. The final report of this research, possible through a North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Grant, is now available. The project included four years of research by farmers,...

July 25, 2013

U.S. apple production should be up in 2013-14, according to a recent estimate from the annual Fruit Crop Guesstimate, conducted by Michigan Frozen Food Packers Association. An estimated 251 million bushels of fresh-market and processed-market apples are expected to ship next season, up from 215 million bushels this season, according...

July 15, 2013

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated eight new biobased product categories for preferred Federal procurement. The announcement furthers the goals of last year's presidential memorandum designed to increase rural job creation through procurement of biobased products and increase the number of biobased product...

June 26, 2013

Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson has announced the recipients of the state’s latest round of Livestock Investment Grants. Nearly 100 producers were selected to share $1.1 million in grants aimed at boosting the state’s livestock sector. “Livestock production and processing pumps $11.6 billion into our state economy so it’s important...

May 15, 2013

 How does your state stack up against all the others when it comes to availability and consumption of locally-produced foods? Strolling of the Heifers has the answer. The Vermont-based local food advocacy group has released its second annual Strolling of the Heifers Locavore Index, ranking the 50 states and the...

 

USDA Rural DevelopmentPartially Funded by USDA Rural Development
...and justice for all.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Many materials can be made available in alternative formats for ADA clients. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964.
 

Iowa State University

The names, words, symbols, and graphics representing Iowa State University are trademarks and copyrights of the university, protected by trademark and copyright laws of the U.S. and other countries.