Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced Friday more than $19 million in grants have been awarded to universities across the country to solve critical organic agriculture issues through the integration of research, education and extension projects.
Oregon State University received two grants, for $522,108 and $317,182.
"These grants are an important part of USDA's new "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative, which will help develop local and regional food systems and spur economic opportunity by assisting organic producers with new production and marketing practices to meet rising consumer demand," Merrigan said.
Launched in September 2009, the "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative emphasizes the need for a fundamental and critical reconnection between producers and consumers. The initiative includes such major agricultural topics as supporting local farmers and community food groups; strengthening rural communities; enhancing direct marketing and farmers' promotion programs; promoting healthy eating; protecting natural resources; and helping schools connect with locally grown foods.