On June 1, Secretary Vilsack announced a new framework to transform the food system. It is incredible to finally see these much needed investments to support regenerative producers and develop more resilient food systems. The $2.095 billion in new funding will make our food systems much more resilient to future pandemics and the impacts of climate change by bolstering local and regional food system infrastructure, promoting fair markets for producers, increasing access to local food, and providing technical assistance and resources to farmers transitioning to regenerative and organic practices.
- Highlights of the announcement include:
$300 million for a new Organic Transition Initiative and $75 million to support urban farmers transitioning to regenerative practices
- $200 million to help specialty crop producers expand pathways to existing markets
- $375 million to support independent meat and poultry processing plants that fill a demonstrated need for more diversified processing capacity, as well as increased technical assistance and financing options to regional meat processing facilities.
- Up to $600 million in financial assistance to support food supply chain infrastructure
- $400 million to create regional food business centers
- $50 million for the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program
- $40 million in the GusNIP Produce Prescriptions Program; and $60 million to leverage increased commodity purchases through Farm-to-School
- $25 million to support SNAP technology improvements to modernize the delivery of incentive programs–all of these programs will help consumers and institutions purchase more healthy foods from farmers in their own communities
- Up to $90 million to prevent and reduce food loss and waste, with an an additional $30 million in the Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction Program
We look forward to keeping this positive momentum up as we gear up to develop the next Farm Bill! On June 17, the Senate Ag Committee will hold the second hearing on the 2023 Farm Bill: Perspectives from the natural State. The hearing will be held at the Arkansas State University Fowler Center, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, or it can streamed here. Regenerate America staff will be attending and look forward to reporting back to you.