USDA Unveils Plan to “Transform the U.S. Food System”
A $2.6 billion framework USDA release outlines a focus on four elements of the food system. “The food system transformation that needs to take place has to be comprehensive, touching on all elements. I believe there are four basic elements: production, processing, distribution and aggregation, and market development,” said Tom Vilsack, secretary, USDA. “The transformed food system needs to be one that through all four elements sustainably grows and raises commodities and livestock with net zero greenhouse gas emissions, while also raising farm and rural incomes.” USDA will invest in a beginner organic mentoring program. According to Vilsack, additional organic production will hasten the day when the food transformed system gets to its net-zero emissions future. USDA is also going to expand cold storage for non-meat and poultry sectors and invest in workforce development for the meat and poultry industry. Congress will be required to integrate a few of these incentives and programs in the next farm bill.