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USDA grant awarded to 21 Acres and education partners

The Woodinville Weekly of Woodinville, Washington

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With the need to support and expand local and regional food systems, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced its grant awards for the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP). 21 Acres and its education partners received an approximately $100,000 grant for their project, "Food Safety and Market Development in Support of Puget Sound Region Student, Beginning and Experienced Farmers."

21 Acres is a community-based, bio-diverse farmstead demonstrating highly productive, small scale, sustainable, organic farming practices. It also serves as a vital educational resource in the local and regional community. Included in the award announcement were partners Edmonds Community College, which offers an innovative Urban Agriculture program, and Viva Farms, a Skagit Valley farm incubator organization.

The project partners are focused on several key objectives:

Addressing gaps in food storage and safety with regards to basic food processing capabilities;

Obtaining Good

Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP) certification at all partner farm locations;

Expanding distribution of fresh food;

Educating and training students, farmers and customers to improve consumption and access to regionally produced agricultural products.

Through 2016 and 2017, activities within the scope of the grant will improve farm infrastructure to more effectively deliver fresh produce, expand the capacity for handling fresh food, and increase new markets for produce distribution.

The presence of the Puget Sound Food Hub is critical to reaching new markets as it will provide reliable access to sales outlets through its regional distribution network. By engaging in efforts to improve the quality of fresh produce reaching consumers, 21 Acres and its partners look forward to integrating best agricultural practices in order to attain the highest quality food standards.

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Original Publication Date: November 2, 2015

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