Vilsack is getting positive feedback on new food framework
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack tells Brownfield he’s getting positive comments about how the new food system framework announced Wednesday will help farmers expand their markets. “So whether it’s expanded processing capacity that gives them additional markets or whether it’s the ability to identify a portion of their operation as organic or a portion of their operation linked to a local or regional food system where they sell directly to a restaurant or a school.”
The Secretary says funding to kickstart the new framework is coming from pandemic relief dollars and the Commodity Credit Corporation. “Resources that are being allocated now in order to establish a foundation for conversation and discussion by members of Congress as they begin the 2023 farm bill.”
Vilsack says the U.S. is at a pivotal point in food and agriculture to understand the significant disruptions that occurred because of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. “All of that I think has sort of put an emphasis on the need for us to have a resilient system, so I think as policymakers begin the process of discussing the farm bill, they need to look and see how they might be able to continue to support initiates that support a local and regional food system.”
Vilsack says the new framework will not require growers to change their production practices but will give them more options that might make products more marketable locally. He says the framework also helps by creating ways to reduce the cost of converting to organic farming and incentives for non-meat and poultry processing.