Farmers and ranchers selling into local and regional food systems have unique needs – from seeds and breeds and production systems to on-farm risk management and food safety activities. USDA has a variety of tools to help food producers grow and raise products for local and regional markets. At newfarmers.usda.gov you will find resources to assist with all aspects of local food production, including resources to get started as a new farmer.
Monthly webinars offered through the AMSTA project will take place from November 2018 through May 2019, and will cover topics including:
- Institutional Sales and Dining Service Contractors
- Retail Metrics
- Farmers Market Promotion
- Reporting with Results: How to plan, create, and deliver grant reports that pave the way for future funding
Sign up here to receive email updates about webinars as they are scheduled.
In the meantime, check out the webinar below (recorded in 2014) on the role of local cooperatives in food systems development, and the list of archived webinars offered by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.
Introduction Webinar – November 15, 2018
Introducing the AMSTA program, the website, resources, and the partnership with the Wallace Center’s Food System Leadership Network and the discussion group for FMPP & LFPP grantees.
“Institutional Sales: High Volume, High Hurdles” – December 5, 2018
If your organization is looking get local food into institutions such as schools or hospitals, you’ll want to view this webinar. Presented by Sarah Fritschner, Value Chain Coordinator from Custom Food Solutions.
“Understanding & Improving Your Customer Expansion or Retention Strategy,”- January 16, 2019
What are you trying to achieve with your FMPP grant? Add more new customers? Increase sales of those already shopping? Which demographic are you targeting and why?
Join us as Darlene Wolnik discusses steps to creating a focused strategy that will help you meet your FMPP goals.
“Convening Events: An Effective Tool for Matchmaking and Raising Public Awareness” – February 2019
Convening events can be a useful tool for supporting a local food system. They provide a valuable opportunity for matchmaking between farmers and wholesale buyers, and raising public awareness about the good food movement. In this webinar we will review the 6 steps to holding a successful convening event, explore the role of sponsorship in event planning, and discuss the challenge of balancing the needs of industry and the general public. Presented by Ann Karlen, University of Vermont, Kitchen Table Consultants and former Executive Director, Fair Food Philadelphia
“REACH OUT” – A Community-Centered Approach to Farmers Markets Promotion & Outreach – March 6, 2019
Explore the dynamics of farmers market promotion and outreach when shifted to a community-centered approach. Through an exploration of community assets, reimagination of strategic partnerships, and an investigation of barriers to engagement, learn how to REACH OUT to the community you serve and open doors for success. Farmers market challenges transform into opportunities for collective benefit when you adopt the mindset that the people are the money! Presented by Nykisha Madison-Keita, Farm Manager for Urban Tree Connection and Penn State Urban Ag Coordinator, and PA WAgN staff, Dorothy Cross
“FMPP & LFPP Foundational Strategies for Project Evaluation” – April, 2019
Using the context of the FMPP & LFPP project narrative, this webinar will discuss the basics of evaluating your project, including why and when to conduct evaluations. In addition, commonly used evaluation methods will be covered and several tips for evaluation shared. Presented by Rebecca Sero, Ph.D., Evaluation Specialist at Washington State University
PDF of the Slides, “Evaluating Your Program – FMPP & LFPP”
Developing Evidence-Based Insights: How to Use Your Farmers Market as a “Living Lab” – May 22, 2019
Learn from a Delaware Farmers’ Market’s experience collecting concrete evidence and testing ideas about what really works to increase sales at a farmers market. This webinar will cover the methodology used to identify a study question, select a test approach and report results, as well as how to ensure maximal impacts from your sharing your results. Presented by Nancy Staisey and Helaine Harris, Historic Lewes Farmers Market
“Reporting Your Grant Results” – June 19th, 2019 at 1pm ET.
This webinar will help grant recipients plan for and produce compelling grant reports that accurately convey the scope and impact of their projects. The webinar will discuss the importance of effective grant reports, how to plan for successful reporting early in the grant period, common pitfalls and best practices, and recommendations for reporting to AMS, and will address participants’ specific questions and concerns about grant reporting. Presented by Addie Candib
From rooftop gardens to aquaponics centers in old warehouses to growing crops on abandoned properties, urban agriculture may provide many benefits to a community, including closer neighborhood ties, greater economic empowerment and self-sufficiency, education and job training opportunities, and greater access to fresh produce for low-income neighborhood residents.
AMS’s Marketing Services Division (MSD) has taken the lead at USDA in conducting groundbreaking analysis of promising commercially oriented urban agriculture practices in collaboration with Cornell University’s Small Farm Program. A final research report is currently in editorial clearance.
MSD’s staff architect and one of its marketing specialists also provide technical assistance regarding the use, cost-effectiveness and conservation benefits of green roofs/rooftop gardening.
The Department has also developed a general toolkit on available urban agriculture resources and services.
One useful tool in writing your FMLFPP final performance report is to see the final reports of other projects.
Viewing other FMLFPP Final Reports will help you find:
- Similar project activities and lessons learn
- Projects within your state for possible collaboration
Find them here: