USDA: 5,200 farmers markets now open by ProQuest

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									Cooperative Extension and the UC            both companies. “P.H. Konrad will be a           USDA awards $4.8 million
Small Farm Program, with funding            credible outlet for CRI genetics                for co-op development
from the California Communities             throughout Poland. At the same time,                  Agriculture Deputy Secretary
Program.                                    CRI will share its expertise derived               Kathleen Merrigan in September
                                            from experience as a major global                  announced that 28 organizations in 21
USDA: 5,200 farmers                         player in the field of bovine genetics.”           states have been selected to receive $4.8
markets now open                            P.H. Konrad was established in 1995 as             million under the Cooperative
    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack       a marketing firm for dairy and beef                Development Grant program of USDA
has announced that the number of            breeding stock. In 2002, the company               Rural Development. The announce-
farmers markets in the United States is     expanded its services into the genetic             ment was made as part of the “Know
up more than 13 percent from a year         sector to create access for Polish                 Your Farmer, Know Your Food”
ago. The online Farmers Market              producers to the world’s best genetics.            initiative, a USDA-wide collaboration
Directory now lists 5,274 markets           It is the largest importer of bovine               that connects people more closely with
nationwide, up from 4,685 in 2008.          semen in Poland.                                   the farmers who supply their food and
    “Farmers markets assure that                CRI has also entered into a long-              increase the production, marketing and
consumers have easier access to local       term agreement with Flying Crane                   consumption of fresh, nutritious food
fruits and vegetables and this growth       Dairy, one of China’s largest producers            that is grown locally in a sustainable
demonstrates incredible interest            and distributors of premium infant                 manner.
consumers have in purchasing from           formula and milk powder. According to                 “The cooperative business model
local producers,” said Vilsack. “Farmers    a report in the “Business Journal of               continues to be successful in creating
markets also connect the community to       Milwaukee,” CRI will advise Flying                 wealth in rural communities and can
the local farmers who produce the fresh     Crane as it constructs 10 dairy farms to           also play an important role in
food, and play an important role in the     house 10,000 dairy cows. CRI will                  strengthening our food systems,”
direct marketing of produce to local        provide Flying Crane with expertise in             Merrigan said. “USDA is proud to be a
consumers.”                                 farm construction, dairy production                partner in the effort to bolster these
    Since USDA’s Agricultural               technology, advanced operation                     cooperatives and help them increase the
Marketing Service began to track            concepts and farm management.                      value and appeal of the products and
farmers markets in 1994, the number                                                                           services they deliver.”
has grown by nearly 4,000 nationwide.                                                                         
								
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