Streaming Live from the White House: #KYF2 Tweet Out

WhyHunger participated in yesterday’s “tweet out” (#KYF2) hosted by USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative and Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan during a White House live stream event to release the results of a 3-year project called “Compass.”  The Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass is a comprehensive report with an accompanying interactive map cataloging USDA’s work in local and regional food systems across the U.S.

Know Your Farmer, Known Your Food Compass

The Compass is meant for farmers, ranchers, food entrepreneurs, community leaders, and consumers to learn about how the USDA’s 17 agencies invest in and support local and regionally-produced food and the rebuilding of local food and farm economies.  According to the USDA’s website: “The Compass is an online multi-media narrative with stories, pictures, and video about USDA’s support for local and regional food systems and an interactive map of USDA-supported local and regional food activities in all 50 states. With the Compass, you can navigate USDA resources for local and regional food; meet farmers, ranchers, businesses and communities in your state that are participating in local food chains; and learn about local and regional food projects across the country.”

The tweeting was fast and furious yesterday during the live streaming of the White House event as farmers, community organizations, chefs (#SamKass), artists (@jason_mraz ), non-profits, food entrepreneurs and others jockeyed to tweet or retweet (in 140 characters or less!) original content from the event, relevant stats and stories, and examples from the field.

Some of the juicier tweets are below.  If you missed this virtual conversation on #KYF2 and want to tune in to capture a sense of the energy and excitement, checkout the video and learn more about Compass at //

On new farmers, youth and careers in agriculture:

@wholesomewave: Deputy Ag Sec. Kathleen Merrigan: Not everyone needs a lawyer, everyone needs a farmer.

@whyhunger: We want to talk abt the intersect Youth are critical to food justice movement. Check out Youth and the Food System: /portfolio?topicId=44

@BossyAcres: A kid (Orren Fox from @HappyChickens) helps other kids get involved, even on small scale…we each can do something!

On healthy food access:

@whyhunger: “I want to talk abt healthy food access” – Merrigan. Yes! We want to talk abt the intersect of healthy food and local farm economies!

@MichaelSorrell takes “farm2school” to a new level,ripped up a footbal field inTX 2farm!

@USDA: Dave Marvel: Biggest thing in local and regional foods is distribution, and being able to connect farm to institution.

@USDA:We’ve also seen the number of number of farm to school programs jump from 400 in 2004 to over 2,300 in 2011

On Food and Farm Entrepreneurship:

@USDA: Merrigan: 54% growth between 2008-2001 in farmers markets, helping to contribute to local economies.

@whyhunger: “On our radar at the USDA: Consolidation in the meat industry is a problem for small farmers and processors”

@USDA: USDA supported nearly 4,500 seasonal high tunnels (or “hoop houses”) to help farmers extend their growing seasons.

@USDA: number of operating farmers markets blossomed from 4,685 in 2008 to over 7,100 in 2011.

On Food and the Environment:

@cocoxochitl: Food is the most intimate relationship we have w/ the environment. Everybody eats.

@HappyChickens: Bees are required for 1/3 of what we eat RT @HavenBourque: A beekeeper in the house at #KYF2 talk! So important to have @USDA on #polinators

On Food and Farming at the White House:

@whyhunger: Bees have taken up residence at the White House. Kass jokes with secret service: Chickens are next!

@USDA: Sam Kass: FL added a garden to White House yard bc, as a mom, she knows its impt for kids to know where food comes from

@FarmAid: The White House has nvr had this much twitter action! Go farmers & foodie tweeps!

On USDA Resources:

@USDA I encourage everyone to check out – a great source to find and apply for federal grants

@ObamaFoodoramaThinking about becoming a farmer? Check out @USDA ‘s // for some tips

@whyhunger Check out the USDA-funded Community Food Projects working to rebuild local food systems at /cfp

@ObamaFoodorama: Merrigan suggests visiting // for food safety rubric to help small farmers create plans



Alison Cohen