1/28/2013 10:47:00 AM ADVANCING FARM TO CAFETERIA Regional Farm to Cafeteria workshop planned for March 7.
Apples, cucumbers and tomatoes are the top three most popular Minnesota fruits and vegetables among K-12 students, according to an Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy survey of school food service leaders. A statewide effort is underway to make locally produced fruits and vegetables served in schools, childcare centers, restaurants and hospitals. "When schools buy food from nearby producers, their purchasing power helps create local jobs and economic benefits, particularly in rural agricultural communities," said USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. "Evidence also suggests that when kids understand more about where food comes from and how it's produced, they are more likely to make healthy eating choices."
To help build relationships between farmers and local buyers, regional Farm to Cafeteria Workshops are taking place across the state. The southeast workshop is scheduled on March 7 from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Ramada Inn in Rochester. A late afternoon time is being offered to accommodate farmers, schools and business schedules.
This workshop will provide practical information for navigating the ins and outs of farm to cafeteria, such as liability and food safety. Presenters include area farmers, food service directors and food safety specialists. The workshop will also include a farmer-buyer "speed-dating" session where farmers and institutional buyers can find their next supplier/buyer. Anyone is welcome, especially local businesses who wish to purchase local foods and producers who wish to sell locally. For more information and to register, visit: www.extension.umn.edu/go/1132.
The workshops are coordinated by the University of Minnesota Extension in partnership with the Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, Renewing the Countryside, and funded by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Statewide Health Improvement Program-Olmsted County.
Contact Jan Joannides, firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-251-7304 for more information on the Farm to Cafeteria event.
For information on Minnesota Farm to School, visit www.extension.umn.edu/farm-to-school/.