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The impetus for this guide and the work it reflects originated with the establishment of USDA's "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" (KYF2) Initiative. Launched in 2009, the mission of KYF2 is to strengthen the critical connection between farmers and consumers and support local and regional food systems. As such, it is closely aligned with the broader mission of USDA to support agriculture, rural development, and healthy nutrition. While there is no office, staff, or budget dedicated to KYF2, Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan chairs a task force of USDA employees representing every agency within the Department in order to break down bureaucratic silos, develop commonsense solutions for communities and farmers, and foster new partnerships inside USDA and across the country.