Blog Archive

Thursday, January 26, 2012

USDA issues new nutrition standards for school meals


After much anticipation, the USDA released the new nutrition standards for school meals yesterday. Part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, these standards mark “the first major changes in school meals in 15 years”, according to the USDA, by increasing offerings of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limiting amounts of sodium, saturated fat and trans fats among other changes. The new standards will be phased into school meals programs over three years, beginning with the 2012-2013 school year. See the final rule here and the USDA press release here. Click on the links to see articles about the nutrition standards from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Associated Press.




Colleen Matts

Farm to Institution Specialist

CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems

Michigan State University



Sunday, January 22, 2012

All About Food Conference in Macomb County - 2/8/12

Hi all,

I’m sorry missed one event in the last e-newsletter! Attached you’ll find a brochure and registration information for the All About Food: From Farm to Fork conference in Macomb County coming up on February 8th. Farm to School is on the agenda!


Colleen Matts

Farm to Institution Specialist

CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems

Michigan State University



Monday, January 16, 2012

Michigan Farm to School News

Happy New Year and Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day! Due to the holiday break, this newsletter includes information from last month and this month. Enjoy!



Midwest Schools Find Benefits in Serving Local Foods
Check out this USDA Blog featuring a story about the contributions that Farm to School programs in the Midwest, including Michigan, have made to local economies and connecting youth with their food sources.

Info Sheet: Fresh Produce Pilot for Schools in Michigan & Florida
Click here to see the revised info sheet on the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Pilot, which clarifies GAP documentation requirements. Click here to see a flow chart illustrating how solicitation, contracting, and product distribution will proceed under the pilot. The pilot is currently on hold as the USDA manages a protest filed against it. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.


Values-Based Supply Chains Research

Researchers from the Southwest Marketing Network, Colorado State University and UC Davis have identified issues and keys to success for maintaining values associated with food products as they move through supply chains. Download the initial summary of findings here.


How the Food Industry Eats Your Kid’s Lunch
Read this NY Times Opinion piece about the connection between school food service companies and food manufacturers that feed children through federal Child Nutrition programs.


Lines Grows Long for Free School Means, Thanks to Economy
The economic crisis has contributed to a significant increase in the last five years in the number of students receiving free and reduced-price school meals. Read the full story from the NY Times.


Evaluation of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program: Interim Report
This report presents results from the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) evaluation for the 2011-2012 school year, and indicates that schools participating in the program increased student consumption of fruits and vegetables by about 15%, on average, as compared to consumption in non-FFVP schools. Check it out here, along with a progress report about Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program and other Child Nutrition reports.


National Farm to School Month Poster Contest Winners Announced
Congratulations to the three winners of this poster contest! With the support of Annie's Root 4 Kids, the poster contest winners received prize packs and cash prizes for their schools' Farm to School programs. The winning posters which will be used to promote Farm to School Month 2012. 




Back to Basics: How to incorporate scratch cooking techniques into your school kitchen
This webinar from the National Food Service Management Institute showcases school nutrition directors and chefs who address the benefits and potential challenges of including scratch cooking in school meal preparation. The webinar also includes a 30-minute video training session on basic knife skills, sautéing, and cooking grains.


Farm to School Toolkit
Check out this toolkit created by the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition designed to serve as your one-stop resource to get started or expand farm to school programs. 

Model School Board Resolution

Public Health Law & Policy
offers a Model School Board Resolution in Support of Establishing a Farm to School Program, which can be downloaded at this link.


New Risk Management Tool to Help Producers Achieve GAP Certification
The free online tool—developed by with funding from USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA)—includes a comprehensive framework customize on-farm food safety plans.




Gladwin Community Schools is looking for more food products from local growers! See attachment to learn more.


FoodCorps is seeking a Research & Evaluation Manager to facilitate the measurement and analysis of FoodCorps’ impact. Applications will be accepted through Jan. 20, 2012 or until a suitable candidate is identified. See the full job description here.



Flint Food For Change Summit
January 21, 2012
MTA Conference Center in Flint, MI
Find us on Facebook at!/events/145369318900297/

Register online


Wisconsin Farm to School Summit
January 25, 2012
Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan, WI
Register online


Northern Michigan Small Farms Conference: Growing a Regional Food & Farming Legacy

January 28, 2012

Grayling High School in Grayling, MI

Register online


Everybody Eats: Cultivating Food Democracy Conference

February 10 – 11th, 2012

East Lansing, MI

Register online


Michigan Farmers Market Association Conference

March 6 – 7th, 2012

Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in East Lansing, MI

Register online





Colleen Matts

Farm to Institution Specialist

CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems

Michigan State University



Thursday, January 12, 2012

Speak up about the Farm Bill this Sat in Battle Creek!

Hello my name is Melissa Hornaday. I am an organic farmer here in Michigan that is working with Organic Farming Research Foundation on the Farm Bill campaign. I am reaching out now to make sure you know about two important opportunities this week to voice your concerns about the next Farm Bill.


At this year's Michigan Family Farms Conference, you will have an opportunity to speak with Senator Stabenow's Office about the 2012 Farm Bill.  Farmers in Michigan are in a unique place to influence the Farm Bill debate, as our own Senator Stabenow is the Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Participation in this session at the Michigan Family Farms Conference is a great opportunity to represent the diversity of organic and sustainable agriculture in Michigan.  Please register for the conference today and make your voice heard in the 2012 Farm Bill debate. To see other sessions and to register follow this link:


How the 2012 Farm Bill Will Affect You 

3-4:20 pm Sat January 14th at Lakeview High School Battle Creek, MI

David Schweikhardt, Michigan State University 

Jacqlyn Schneider, Senator Stabenow's Office 

Find out what is the latest regarding the 2012 Farm Bill and how it will affect your farm operation. Make sure that your voice is heard with Senator Stabenow's Office.


For more information about the 2012 Farm Bill please or how to get involved please contact me or follow this link 


Melissa Hornaday, Great Lakes Organizer
Organic Farming Research Foundation
4751 Trumbull St Detroit, MI 48208

Join the OFRF Action Network Today!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

FW: [MIDMICHIGANFOOD] Battle Creek area farmers, suppliers, distributors invited -- Breakfast at Michigan Family Farms Conference, Jan 14th


Jekeia Murphy
Academic Specialist
CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems 
Michigan State University
309 Natural Resources bldg.
East Lansing, MI  48824
P: 517-432-0308
F: 517-353-3834 

From: "Danley, Cheryl" <danleych@ANR.MSU.EDU>
Reply-To: "Danley, Cheryl" <danleych@ANR.MSU.EDU>
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2012 16:21:29 +0000
Subject: [MIDMICHIGANFOOD] Battle Creek area farmers, suppliers, distributors invited -- Breakfast at Michigan Family Farms Conference, Jan 14th

Battle Creek area farmers, suppliers, distributors invited -- Breakfast at Michigan Family Farms Conference, Jan 14th
-- Please circulate to interested parties --

Dear Battle Creek area farmers, farm operators, suppliers, and friends,

I am making a special invitation to you meet us for Breakfast at 8:00 at the Michigan Family Farms Conference on January 14 at Lakeview High School. The conference begins at 9:00. As you may be aware, I am working with the Good Food Battle Creek stakeholder group to conduct a Community Food Assessment. We want to get your opinion about building the local agri-food sector in the Battle Creek area.

If you have not registered for the conference, there is still time. In addition, the conference organizers have just announced that Sen. Stabenow has been invited to give the closing statement.

If you need a scholarship  please RSVP by Today, Friday, January 6th directly to:

Emily (Buckham) Beutel
Communications Manager
Michigan Food & Farming Systems - MIFFS
Bringing Farmers and Communities Together

172 Natural Resources Building
East Lansing, MI 48824
Ph: (517) 432-0712
Fx: (517) 353-7961 <>

If you have questions, or you are a maybe, you can email or phone me directly.

Cheryl Danley
313-492-3496 (cell)

Cheryl Danley
Food  and Community Fellow
C.S. Mott  Group for Sustainable Food Systems

Dept of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies (CARRS)
Michigan State University
309 Natural Resources Building
East Lansing, MI. 48824-1222
Phone: (517) 432-0309 * Cell: (313)492-3496
Fax: (517) 353-3834
email: <>
website: <>
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