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The Intertribal Agriculture Council conducts a wide range of programs designed to further the goal of improving Indian Agriculture. The IAC promotes the Indian use of Indian resources and contracts with federal agencies to maximize resources for tribal members.

USDA Announces $102.7 Million Investment to Expand Markets for Specialty Crop and Other Farmers

September 18, 2018

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2018 – Under Secretary Greg Ibach today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $102.7 million to increase opportunities for farmers, ranchers and other growers across the country through five grant programs. The funding supports a variety of locally-led projects intended to expand markets for local food promotion and specialty crops.

“Every state has agricultural priorities that contribute to the well-being of farm families, consumers and the economic health of rural America,” said Ibach. “These programs target resources to the state, local and regional level where the people who understand the issues best can find solutions that help everyone.”

The resources announced today are administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and include:

In Tennessee, the FY 2014 SCBGP enabled 14 projects selected by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture to prepare a manual for Christmas tree farmers; look at ways to help field-grown nurseries respond to fire ants; improve Northeast Tennessee buyer-producer networks; and examine ways to increase sales and income for Tennessee’s specialty crop producers.

A 2015 FMPP grant enabled the farmers market in Burkesville, Ky., located in Cumberland County with a total county population of 7,000, to expand the number of vendors at its market from 8 registered vendors in 2015 to a roster of 38 vendors in 2017.

A 2016 LFPP grant helped the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma conduct a feasibility study to research ways to strengthen and expand the food system for tribal members, families, and communities.

The maple industry is using several new practices and equipment improvements to increase sap yield.  The University of Vermont and State Agricultural College is researching ways to identify new maple tapping practices to increase and maintain yields and production given changing seasonal conditions.

Spotted winged drosophila (SWD) is an invasive fruit fly that lays eggs in ripening fruit just prior to harvest. As a result, growers often increase insecticide applications near harvest or accept increased loss of product in response to the damage caused by this pest. A 2014 FSMIP grant to Iowa State University of Science and Technology led to the development and publication in 2016 of a free guide for growers, Managing Spotted Winged Drosophila in Commercial Fruit Production.

USDA supports local and regional food systems and increases consumer access to fresh, healthy foods through applied research, technical services and Congressionally-funded grants administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). More information is available at:

The lists of FY 2018 grant recipients are available here:

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP)
Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP)
Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP)
Acer Access and Development Program (Acer)
Federal State Marketing Improve Program (FSMIP)

Get the latest Agricultural Marketing Service news at or follow us on Twitter @USDA_AMS. You can also read about us on the USDA blog.

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