Vilsack says Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food an opportunity for farmers & ranchers

Opportunity in local and regional food in America

by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

Two and a half years ago, I announced a new initiative here at USDA called Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food.

It’s the public face of our commitment to help farmers and ranchers of all sizes take advantage of new opportunities, meet the growing demand for local and regional food and succeed in America’s diverse marketplace.

Last week, USDA unveiled new tools showcasing what we’ve accomplished over the last few years as local food sales have expanded as a multi-billion dollar industry.

The Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass is an electronic document and interactive map you can access online.

It can help you navigate USDA resources that support local and regional food systems. It introduces farmers, ranchers, businesses and communities around the country that are tapping into these opportunities to improve incomes and create jobs. It is a jumping off point so you can join the national conversation about where our food comes from.

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Ohio Farmers Union Ad in latest Edible Columbus

OFU President Roger Wise wants to let the foodies, slow food devotees and farmers market supporters in Columbus know that the Ohio Farmers Union is an organization that they should know about.

OFU is running an advertisement in the summer edition of Edible Columbus – a beautiful magazine circulated around the capital city and read by gourmands and others who enjoy eating out and dining at home when local food with a conscience is on the menu.

“From time to time we need to think about the final link in the food chain – the consumer,” said Wise

“We chose to advertise with Edible Columbus because they highlight locally grown and produced food and the restaurants that use local ingredients. There are also two articles in the latest edition of the magazine that feature family farms in Ohio,” he added.

Edible Columbus is part of Edible Communities Publishing a publications and information company that produces editorially rich, community-based, local-foods publications in distinct culinary regions throughout the United States and Canada.

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Home Grown Cow Helps Family Farmers Market Directly to Consumers

The National Farmers Union has created an online partnership with Home Grown Cow to give Ohio Farmers Union members an opportunity to market certain farm products directly to consumers.

NFU announced this new partnership June 1.  Home Grown Cow gives consumers an opportunity to browse products by location and farming style.

“This is a great opportunity for family farmers and ranchers to create additional revenue and market their meat, poultry, and cheeses to a larger market,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “This also gives consumers an opportunity to know the farmer they are purchasing from and what practices he or she uses. It is a very transparent marketplace that benefits both producers and consumers.”

The website helps connect producers directly to consumers. Many consumers are unsure of how to purchase directly from farms, and farmers and ranchers sometimes struggle to find new customers.

“NFU has been a very strong advocate of connecting producers and consumers, and that is exactly what Home Grown Cow does,” said Home Grown Cow CEO John Aikman. “This opens up many new markets for family farmers and ranchers, providing them with additional sources of revenue. At the same time, it offers consumers an opportunity to know exactly where their food is coming from, so they can be more connected to their food and become more knowledgeable consumers. Everybody wins.”

Visit Home Grown Cow’s website at