From a USDA news release
The USDA is initiating a new effort to further support the U.S. specialty crops sector and increase the competitiveness of its products as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to build new, more and better markets that catalyze opportunity for American farmers.
“We all count on America’s specialty crops for reliable access to nutritious, fresh foods,” said USDA Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small. “Specialty crop producers are hard at work to keep operations profitable while implementing sustainable practices, and President Biden is proud to invest in innovation within the industry to remain competitive domestically and in markets across the world.”
As part of this new effort, USDA conducted a departmentwide review of its current services and programs that support the specialty crops industry and compiled the information into a Specialty Crops Resource Directory (PDF, 1.6 MB). The directory, being launched today, is a one-stop shop for the sector and contains a comprehensive snapshot of USDA’s resources and services for specialty crops producers and businesses in one convenient location.
Additionally, over the next several months, USDA leadership will engage directly with the specialty crop industry and producers to gain feedback on how the Department can better address gaps in services and better meet the industry’s needs. Dates and locations of roundtables and other live opportunities for stakeholder feedback are to be announced.
USDA also encourages U.S. specialty crops stakeholders to submit comments on how USDA can better support and meet the needs of the industry. To submit a comment, visit the Request for Information posted in the Federal Register. Comments are due by March 8, 2024. A new specialty crops-dedicated webpage designed to provide information on the initiative is available at www.usda.gov/specialty-crops.