The Easton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) was awarded $383,673.00 from USDA from its Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) for the implementation of “Chesapeake Harvest: Connecting Farmers to Markets” program. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced more than $56 million in grants this week to strengthen local and regional food systems, support farmers markets, and fund organic research, including the LFPP grant for the Easton Economic Development Corporation. “Since this Administration launched the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative in 2009 to coordinate USDA efforts to support local and regional food systems, there has been a dramatic increase in consumer demand for buying local,” said Vilsack. “Over the years, we’ve seen how these new market opportunities are helping to drive job growth in agriculture, increase entrepreneurship in rural communities, and expand food access and choice. This latest round of grants will expand the capacity of farmers and businesses to serve this growing market, help revitalize local economies around the country, and support efforts around the country to provide fresh, healthy food to all Americans.”
Herb Miller, the Chairman of the Easton Economic Development Corporation stated, “This is a jobs machine for our Town. We are incubating several projects, which will bring more jobs to Easton. Our job is to create jobs. Chesapeake Harvest will do that by expanding market opportunities for our community.”
Chesapeake Harvest: Connecting Farmers to Markets will fund critical infrastructure and technical assistance to enable farmers on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia to expand market reach, increase the supply of healthy foods to the region, and create market opportunities for small and mid‐size farmers.
Anthony “Tony” Kern, Chairman of the Chesapeake Harvest Advisory Committee and member of the Easton Economic Development Corporation’s Board of Directors stated, “Many people and organizations from around the community, the region and State have contributed their time and expertise to make Chesapeake Harvest, and ultimately this USDA grant, come to fruition. Chesapeake Harvest looks forward to strengthening and growing these partnerships to advance a growing local food economy that will benefit the region and the Town of Easton and it’s citizens.”
The Easton Economic Development Corporation, formed in 2013, was created to drive economic vitality, smart redevelopment, and business formation in order to foster a healthy quality of life for all generations. The EEDC works towards maintaining Easton’s continued growth as a diverse, healthy and smart town, leading innovation where the land and water meet.