USDA will award matching grants for 22 projects under the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program to help create economic opportunities for American farmers and ranchers.

USDA will match nearly $1.2 million in grants for state departments of agriculture and state universities in 18 states and the District of Columbia. The projects will enable states to research new opportunities, and spark innovation in the marketing, transportation and distribution of U.S. agricultural products.

“The agricultural economy is resilient and remains strong and these investments will help increase economic opportunity for producers and increase access to healthy food for consumers,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “By partnering with states and universities on these projects, we hope to generate new ideas and create new marketing channels that will help our farmers and ranchers and create an even stronger rural America.”