American Farmland Trust Applauds USDA Framework to Shore up the Food Supply Chain and Transform the Food System
This statement can be attributed to John Piotti, AFT President and CEO
“The announcement today of the USDA Food System Transformation framework by Secretary Vilsack is an important step in building a fairer, more competitive and more resilient food system. The comprehensive program addressing production, processing, distribution and markets will benefit consumers, producers and rural communities.
“American Farmland Trust has been a strong advocate for increased business technical assistance to farm and food businesses and organized an effort last year with the Agricultural Viability Alliance to encourage USDA to do more in this space. We are pleased that USDA has heeded the call from 50 Members of Congress and more than 110 organizations to recognize the important role that customized business technical assistance can play in the viability of small and mid-size farm and food businesses. The Regional Business Development Centers announced today, along with the American Rescue Plan Technical Assistance Investment Program announced earlier this year, represent a significant new investment by USDA in dedicated business technical assistance that has proven effective at creating jobs and boosting business profitability.
“AFT and our partners provided input to USDA on the design of the Regional Food Business Centers, with a particular emphasis on the need for technical assistance to the farm businesses that represent the supply side of the food system. We look forward to engaging further with USDA on implementation of the Centers, which, according to the USDA statement, will ‘provide coordination, technical assistance, and capacity building support to small and midsize food and farm businesses, particularly focused on processing, distribution and aggregation, and market access challenges.’
“We are thankful to both Secretary Vilsack and Undersecretary Moffitt for their commitment to this important effort.”
American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families.