WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced $8 million awarded to 21 grant projects to strengthen and explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products. The funding is made possible through four programs administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS): Acer Access and Development Program (Acer), Dairy Business Innovation (DBI) Initiatives, Federal State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP), and Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program (SPMGP).
The awarded amounts are:
- $3.6 million awarded to eight projects through Acer, which was authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill to increase market opportunities for the domestic maple syrup industry.
- $1.4 million awarded to three entities through the DBI Initiatives. This new program, authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, specifically focuses on diversifying dairy product markets to reduce risk and develop higher-value uses for dairy products; promoting business development to diversify farmer income through processing and marketing innovation; and encouraging the use of regional milk production.
- $1.1 million awarded to nine projects through FSMIP to explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving marketing system efficiency and performance. FSMIP was authorized by the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946.
- $1.9 million awarded to one project through SPMGP, which was authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill to strengthen and enhance the production and marketing of sheep and sheep products in the United States.
AMS supports U.S. food and agricultural products market opportunities, while increasing consumer access to fresh, healthy foods through applied research, technical services and Congressionally-funded grants.
To learn more about AMS grant funding to enhance and strengthen agricultural systems, visit www.ams.usda.gov/grants.
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