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USDA invests over $15 Million to boost market opportunities for U.S. Agriculture
Indiana Ag Connection - 09/22/2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced the allocation of over $15 million for 22 grant projects aimed at promoting the maple syrup industry and enhancing market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products. These funds will be distributed through three grant programs: the Acer Access and Development Program (Acer), the Federal State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP), and the Micro-Grants for Food Security Program (MGFSP).

USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt expressed the significance of these grant programs, stating, "USDA’s investment in these grant programs will not only benefit local and regional producers but also improve access to locally sourced food for underserved communities. We look forward to seeing the positive impacts these projects will have on the U.S. food and agricultural industry."

Through the Acer program, AMS is allocating $6.4 million to fund 13 projects that support the maple syrup industry. These projects aim to enhance consumer awareness of the industry and provide valuable resources to maple syrup producers. The funds will be used for nine projects focused on enhancing consumer knowledge and understanding of the maple syrup industry and its products, and four projects dedicated to expanding market opportunities for domestic maple syrup producers. Acer funding was authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill.

AMS is providing $1.1 million to support five projects through FSMIP. These projects are designed to explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products, as well as encourage research and innovation to enhance marketing system efficiency and performance. FSMIP supports state departments of agriculture, state agricultural experiment stations, and other relevant state agencies. This program is funded by the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946.

Under the MGFSP, AMS is awarding $7.6 million to agricultural agencies in Alaska, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and Hawaii. These funds will support projects aimed at increasing the quantity and quality of locally grown food through small-scale gardening, herding, and livestock operations. Recipients will subaward funding to projects that assist communities facing food insecurity and significant food imports. MGFSP is funded through the 2018 Farm Bill.

AMS plays a vital role in enhancing market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products, simultaneously improving consumer access to fresh and healthy foods through applied research, technical services, and grants supported by Congress. To learn more about AMS’s efforts to strengthen agricultural systems, visit

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