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 farmers market at USDA headquarters has been running strong for 25 years and counting! Join us Fridays from May-October at the corner of Independence Avenue and 12th Street, SW.

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
Ken.Keck@usda.gov
202.619.1741

Carlos Coleman, Agricultural Marketing Specialist
CarlosP.Coleman@usda.gov
202.350.5707

Ronald Batcher, Architect, AIA
Ronald.Batcher@usda.gov
202-690-1309

Jeff O'Hara, Agricultural Marketing Specialist
JeffreyK.Ohara@usda.gov
202.756.2575

Edward Ragland, Economist
Edward.Ragland@usda.gov
202.690.1327

Samantha Schaffstall, Agricultural Marketing Specialist
Samantha.Schaffstall@usda.gov
202.720.8426

LaTasha Thomas, Management & Program Analyst
Latasha.Thomas@usda.gov
202.720.8317

Americo J. Vega-Labiosa, Agricultural Marketing Specialist
AmericoJ.Vega-Labiosa@usda.gov
202.756.2578