Blog Archive

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



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