In March, I wrote about how The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is “stepping up its online engagement and open data efforts.” Now, they are taking it one step further.
On Tuesday, July 17, USDA will launch an updated version of Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass (KYF), a digital resource detailing USDA’s involvement in local and regional food through interactive maps, data sets, photos, video content, and business and community case studies. KYF 2.0 will feature new data layers from 18 USDA programs supporting local food, including farmers market, food hub, wholesale market and meat processing facilities locations, as well as SNAP redemption at farmers markets and other nutrition programs.
In conjunction with the launch, USDA is inviting the public to join them for their first-ever Google+ Hangout where USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and White House Director of Office of Public Engagement Jon Carson will be speaking with six women leaders – producers, small business owners, and others – about local food. The Hangout can be viewed on http://www.whitehouse.gov/live or on the White House Google+ Home page live, on July 17 at 3 pm ET. The public is invited to participate by sending twitter questions using #KYF2 or #WHHangout or on the White House Google+ page.
Then, on Tuesday, July 24 at 1:30 ET, the public is invited to ask USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan questions directly during a follow-up Twitter chat about local and regional food, using #KYF2 or #ASKUSDA.