25 Mar '13, 10am

Sustainable food loses its biggest champion in Washington, D.C.

Sustainable food loses its biggest champion in Washington, D.C.

The Obama administration is losing its most powerful supporter of local and organic foods. Kathleen Merrigan, the No. 2 official at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, announced last week that she would be leaving her post as USDA’s deputy secretary. Sustainable agriculture groups responded with dismay and disappointment to what the Columbus Dispatch described as her “abrupt” departure. The food industry publication The Packer speculated that this could spell “the end of local food at USDA .” Merrigan is best known for her local foods initiative called Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food , which brought all of the agency’s efforts to improve regional and local food systems under one conceptual roof. It was a modest program in terms of budget – its funding was measured in mere millions while agribusiness reaped tens of billions in subsidies – but it was the first effort of its...

Full article: http://grist.org/food/sustainable-food-loses-its-biggest-...

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