USDA Awards Grants to Strengthen Agricultural Markets
USDA awarded $11 million to 21 grant projects to strengthen and explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products. The funding is made possible through three funding programs administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service: Acer Access and Development Program (Acer), Federal State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP), and Micro-Grants for Food Security Program (MGFSP). Acer, authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill to increase market opportunities for the domestic maple syrup industry, awarded $5.4 million to eleven projects. FSMIP awarded $1 million to five projects 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. Meanwhile, the Micro-Grants Program awarded $4.6 million to agricultural agencies or departments in Alaska, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and Hawaii to support communities that have significant levels of food insecurity and import significant quantities of food.