Workshop helps small business owners join the local-food movement
“Things have changed,” said Winifred McGee, organizer of Food for Profit, a workshop designed to help entrepreneurs start their own small-scale food businesses. “It used to be small businesses didn’t have prestige, but now with the local-food movement, that is not as big of a challenge.” McGee and a panel of business and food experts dished up advice for local foodies looking to start their own businesses with the Food for Profit workshop last week at the Adams County Agricultural and Natural Resources Center in Gettysburg. McGee and the Penn State Extension have been hosting the workshop for the past 25 years, and with the growing popularity of the local-food movement, McGee has noticed a big change in both the popularity and style of emerging small-scale. The Evening Sun story.
Campaigner backs festive Shop Local retail call
The Shop Local initiative aims to provide a timely boost for the region’s economy in the countdown to the festive season. Suffolk local food campaigner Lady Caroline Cranbrook has backed the East Anglian Daily Times campaign. She said: “Suffolk is one of the most important food producing areas in England and we are lucky to live here. “Shopping locally has many advantages. There’s an amazing choice of fresh, high-quality food and drink at affordable prices. East Anglian Daily Times story.
USDA Launches First-Ever Round of Farm to School Grants
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the recipients of the first-ever round of Farm to School Grants. The awards span 68 projects in 37 states and the District of Columbia and total $4.5 million in funding. The Farm to School Grant Program provides competitive grants to schools, nonprofits, state and local agencies, agricultural producers and Indian tribal organizations to increase local food procurement for school meal programs and to expand educational agriculture and gardening activities. National Hog Farmer story.
Cooking Local in the Classroom – Local Food Procurement
In this section, you’ll find information on how to procure produce in bulk for your classroom. We’ve included a guide to navigating the farmers’ market and tips on how to store your produce. We encourage you to use the “Ingredient Substitutions” page when produce is out of season or unavailable in your region. Reap Food Group manual.
L.A. school board adopts comprehensive food policy
In line with its previous commitments to balanced nutrition, the Los Angeles school board voted Tuesday to implement one of the largest and most comprehensive food procurement polices of any school district. The policy calls for using the $100 million the Los Angeles School District spends annually on food as leverage to ensure that food service providers comply with fair workers’ rights, provide organic and sustainable farming, and protect animal welfare. Los Angeles Times blog.
Two West Coast Cities Lead the Way in Supporting Local Farmers
As American Meat gears up for traveling to several more states in the nationwide Young Farmer Screening Series, we are pleased to see that two locations on our itinerary are taking remarkable steps to support local farmers. Both Seattle and Los Angeles have recently passed policies moving the cities toward local food sourcing as the norm. Seattle’s Food Action Plan will emphasize farmland preservation, environmental sustainability, regional economic development, and better food access. Mayor Mike McGinn’s office shared this statement: “The action plan creates the path for our City’s food future. It will help strengthen our food economy, ensure that more people can grow food locally, and improve access to for everyone in our community to affordable healthy food.” American Meat film post.
Shoppers urged to keep it local
Irish consumers are being asked to put their money where their mouths are in the run-up to Christmas by supporting local artisan producers as part of a campaign launched by a leading independent retailer in the south east. The “Take Ours Back to Yours” initiative aims to encourage more consumers to sample local food and sustain local jobs through in-store tastings and meet-and-greet sessions with local producers. It is the brainchild of Colin Jephson whose family have run the Ardkeen Quality Food Store in Waterford for 45 years. Irish Times story.
Local food initiative conference set for next week
A smorgasbord of local farming topics will be offered next week at the Farm to Table Conference at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave. The program, titled “Food & Farming at a Profitable & Sustainable Scale,” begins at 9 a.m. both Wednesday and Thursday. “The first day is all about sustainable agriculture…discussing the question how we can grow more food while we take care of our natural resources here in the valley,” said Francie Kennedy, project coordinator for Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Buy Fresh Buy Local initiative. “It will be geared toward mid-level farmers. On the second day, we will be looking at ways entrepreneurs can finance their food as a business.” Northern Virginia Daily story.
The Huffington Post Top 10 Cities for Local Food: Finding It Once You Get There
For the last few years, the Green page on the Huffington Post has put out a ranking of the ten best cities for local food. It’s a good list, but there’s no real criteria given for how they decided on which cities to include. More than that, how do you find great farm-to-table restaurants, farmers’ markets, and other local fare once you get to one of these bastions of the local and artisanal? That’s where FarmPlate, the largest directory of sustainable food businesses on the Web, comes in. FarmPlate blog.
Keep the Preservation Pipeline Flowing
We New Jerseyans are an enthusiastic bunch when it comes to preserving land. Thirteen times since 1961, our state’s residents have voted “yes” on Green Acres and farmland preservation ballot questions, making us a national leader. Now it’s time for the Garden State to lead again. The New Jersey Legislature is about to allocate the last of the remaining funds from the $400 million referendum approved in 2009. New Jersey Today post.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
The Farmers Apprentice is Farmers Weekly’s (UK) response to the challenge of recruiting fresh talent into agriculture and helping young people from across the UK get a foot on the farming ladder. So far, we’ve scoured the country for 10 stand-out farming hopefuls between the ages of 18-25, put them through a week long farming business bootcamp and filmed their every move. Now we are launching a 5-part series, the Farmers Apprentice which will reveal how they got on. The documentary promises a unique examination of what it takes to succeed in farming – head, hands and heart in equal measure. Be sure not to miss it. The person who impressed our judges the most at bootcamp will win £10,000 cash to help kick-start a career in farming. Website.