Monday, December 1, 2008

Welcome back!

We hope you had a delicious (and local) Thanksgiving holiday.

A few articles of note:

Americans' Food Stamp Use Nears All-Time High

Gleaning Gone Crazy - 40,000 Show Up to Pick Leftover Crops at Colorado Farm

Recap of "Future of Farming" Conference

Upcoming Event:

Making Local Farm-to-School Connections

A workshop for extension agents and other ag professionals

December 11, 2008

D.F. Allmendinger Center (videoconferencing available at other locations)

WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center

Farm-to-school connections are sparking interest around the state, as producers, advocates, educators and food service professionals see the potential for farm-to-school programs to expand local markets for farms and provide access to more fresh foods for children and youth in schools. This past year the Legislature passed the Local Farms-Healthy Kids Act, creating a Farm-to-School Program in the Washington State Department of Agriculture to support farm-to-school links and providing money to 25 schools around the state to buy Washington-grown fruits and vegetables. Those and other schools are now actively seeking produce from Washington farms to serve in their snack programs.

Join us for a workshop on Thursday, December 11, 2008 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the D.F. Allmendinger Center at the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center in Puyallup to learn how you can support successful farm-to-school connections in your community. Please let us know if you’d like to participate by video-conference at an Extension office in another part of the state—we can likely make that happen!

This workshop will provide the tools and resources for Extension educators and other agriculture professionals to facilitate successful buyer and seller relationships between farms and schools. We’ll provide information on food safety, certification and liability insurance issues for farms seeking to sell to schools. You’ll also gain resources and ideas to share with schools for teaching about the links between food, farming, health, culture and the environment.

Each participant will receive a Farm-to-School binder with reference materials, so that you can respond knowledgeably and easily to producers and school personnel seeking to implement or become involved in Farm-to-School programs.

The workshop is free, and lunch is provided (for those attending in person in Puyallup). Pre-registration is required. To register, please contact Maura Walsh at the WSDA Farm-to-School Program: mwalsh@agr or call 360-902-1935. For more information, or to request a videoconference in your area, please contact Tricia Sexton Kovacs at or 360-902-2029.

Brought to you by WSU King County Extension Farm-to-School Connections and WSDA Small Farm and Direct Marketing and Farm-to-School programs, with funding from a WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources SARE Professional Development Mini-Grant.

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