Local Food Research & Development

Farmers Markets and Direct-to-Consumer Marketing: conducts regular data collection and analysis of farmers market operations and other direct-to-consumer marketing outlets (Community Supported Agriculture, food hubs, on-farm markets) to help market managers, planners, and researchers better understand the impact of these outlets on food access and local economic development, and help the public easily find sources of fresh, local food.

Food Value Chains and Food Hubs: studies “food value chains”, an innovative business model in which agricultural producers, processors, buyers, and other supply chain members form collaborative, transparent partnerships that intentionally attempt to combine financial success with social benefit.  “Food hubs”, a subset of these innovative enterprises, work to ramp up the availability of local food in wholesale marketing channels by offering affordable aggregation, distribution and marketing services to small and mid-sized producers.

Wholesale Markets and Facility Design: provides targeted site assessment and design services for food market planners, managers and community stakeholders to improve the efficiency of permanent food market facilities.

USDA Farmers Market: The Department’s own “living laboratory” for farmers market operations, the farmers market at USDA headquarters has been running strong for 24 years and counting on a seasonal basis, and currently operates throughout the year in both outdoor and indoor locations. Posted here are schedules of upcoming market days and special programs/events for USDA headquarters along with materials that provide transferable lessons about market management, layout and organizational self-assessment for use by farmers market stakeholders across the country.

AMS Grant Programs: AMS administers five grant programs to help farmers and ranchers market the food they produce, including programs that further farmers markets, specialty crops such as fruit and vegetables, local food marketing, and cost-share programs to help farmers become organic.

View: Grant & Opportunities Fact Sheet

Contact Information

Main Office

USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service
Transportation and Marketing Programs
Marketing Services Division
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Room 4509-S, Stop 0269
Washington, DC 20250-0269
Phone: 202.720.8326
Fax: 202.690.0031

Ken Keck, Director

Carlos Coleman, Agricultural Marketing Specialist

Ronald Batcher, Architect, Assoc. AIA

Jeff O'Hara, Agricultural Marketing Specialist

Edward Ragland, Economist

Samantha Schaffstall, Management and Program Analyst

Americo J. Vega-Labiosa, Agricultural Marketing Specialist