The mission of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is to provide leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management. Through its several agencies, offices, programs and services, the USDA provides a wide variety of financial resources. These financial resources, including tax incentives, grant, loans, capacity building, among others, are provided in order to assist the economic development of rural communities, conservation of natural resources, improving housing options, and strengthening local and regional food systems.
Department of Ag. Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
Awards to state departments of agriculture to administer grant programs that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops—fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, horticulture, nursery crops, and floriculture—including those that are locally grown and consumed.
The Farmers’ Market Promotion Program
Grants to help communities support direct producer-to-consumer opportunities such as farmers’ markets, roadside stands, community supported agriculture, and agritourism. Grants increase access to local foods by low-income consumers, allow growers to market their products directly to consumers, and raise awareness of local products through promotion.