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Friday, July 31, 2015
MI Farm to School News
Happy Friday network!
I hope you all are having a fabulous last day of July. I'm having trouble remembering where the summer went, but looking forward to the new school year to come and to opportunities to visit Farm to School programming around the state! Do you have innovative and exciting programming you want to showcase? Shoot me an email, I'd love to hear about it!
Improved financing options for produce farmers
Having food safety plans is an important aspect of many farm to school programs, and the ability to wash, package, and store on-farm products is critical for farmers wanting to reach institutional markets. This week, the US Department of Agriculture announced its intention to improve federal financing options available for cold storage and handling facilities and equipment. Check out the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's coverage of this new advancement
If you haven't heard about the Oregon legislature's move to expand farm to school throughout the state, now's the time! The legislature has expanded the Farm to School and School Garden programs by $4.5 million, with the majority going directly towards reimbursing the costs of getting Oregon foods into school meals. 20% of these funds will be used to support agricultural and farm education.
This decision tree is a simple tool to figure out how local foods can fit into your school food purchasing, highlighting different methods of procuring food including the new micro purchase threshold! Did you know that you can purchase products up to this threshold without obtaining bids? A great tool to use in your Farm to School procurement strategy!
On August 13, the USDA is hosting a webinar on how to become a UFP Pilot Project vendor. If you haven't heard about the UFV Pilot, you need to check out the USDA's website! Michigan is one of eight states selected to participate in this program, which aims to develop additional opportunities for schools to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables with entitlement funding.
FoodCorps is hiring!
FoodCorps has a variety of administrative positions open. Food corps places motivated leaders in limited-resource communities for a year of public service transforming school food. Visit foodcorps.hiringthing.com for more information. Did you know we have nine FoodCorps members here in Michigan?
And don't forget, if you have any tips, news, exciting projects, or meetings you would like me to know about or highlight in future updates, send them my way! Have a great weekend Michiganders!