August 2020 Utah Farm to Fork Newsletter
Hello Farm to Fork Friends,
Summer is flying by, and with all our farmers being crazy busy harvesting delicious food, and food service folks getting ready for the upcoming year, I’m sure August and September will be no exception. So be sure to save the date for Apple Crunch Week, October 12-16, 2020. Yes, that’s right—we’ve changed our annual celebration to a full week this year to give everyone added flexibility, and we’ll have lots of great digital resources for you, including some virtual farm tours. In the meantime, August 2-8 is National Farmers Market Week. Which Utah market is your favorite?
What to Harvest this Month
Everything! We’re exaggerating, but only a little. August is a great month to eat locally in Utah. All the summer garden superstars are ready—tomatoes, squash, eggplant, peppers, peaches, and more. For a fun at-home project, you could use a gallon of Utah milk to make your own mozzarella, then add tomatoes and basil for a delicious all-local caprese salad. How do you know where your milk is from? The secret is in the code stamped on the carton! If it begins in 49, it’s from Utah cows.
Call Your Senators
The Senate is currently discussing new COVID-19 relief bills—and their proposals don’t go far enough to support kids, farmers, teachers, or school nutrition professionals. Call Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney and ask for the following things to be included in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation:
Fully fund universal free school meals this next school year.
Provide immediate funding support to early care and education centers.
Create a set-aside small business relief fund for farmers of color.
Support the Local FARM Act (S. 4140).
If you work in a position that does not allow you to lobby, you can still call them to share information about farm to school and the needs in your community—everyone is allowed to educate and share information.
We are working to develop an exciting Harvest of the Season program, and we need recipes! If you have an NSLP or CACFP standardized recipe that kids love and features one of our seasonal crops, please send it our way for inclusion in the Harvest of the Season Toolkit.
Help with Produce Safety Research
If you purchase fresh produce for a school or childcare center, researchers from Michigan State University Extension would like to hear from you before August 31, 2020. This multiple-choice survey aims to gather data on accepted food safety verification programs for fresh produce, awareness of the program’s requirements for farms, and confidence in these verification programs. Responses are anonymous and the survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete.
Webinars and Trainings
Horizon Organic Dairy Summer Camp
Horizon Organic is opening up the barn doors for Summer Camp! Kids and families are invited to tune-in to this summer camp video series to get a behind-the-scenes look at farm life, including creative ways to upcycle milk cartons, how to milk a cow, and a farm tour. You can watch the whole video series on YouTube.
Children’s Books about Farmworkers
Books can be a great way to help kids understand where—and who—their food comes from. This blog post contains a great list of children’s books about farmworkers, as well as some other tips for teaching kids how to honor and support farmworkers.
Farmer’s Market Booth Manager, Canyon Meadows Ranch, Salt Lake City
Canyon Meadows Ranch is looking for a Farmer’s Market booth manager who will attend farmer’s markets each Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday to sell CMR grass fed beef, restock & prepare for each market ahead of time and maintain cleanliness of the FM vehicle and equipment. This is a part-time position that pays $12-$15/hour plus commission. Learn more and apply here. The application deadline is August 10, 2020.
Farm Laborer, Utah State University, Lewiston
USU is looking for someone who is able to move hand-line and wheel-lines, work with large animals such as beef cattle and sheep, and knows how to operate large equipment such as tractors. This is a part-time job that pays $12/hour. Learn more and apply here.
Farm Worker, Utah State University, Kaysville
USU is also seeing a part-time farm worker to help with the research objectives of the Kaysville Agricultural Experiment Station. The farm worker will help with the development and maintenance of cherry, peach, and apple orchards. This position pays $10/hour. Learn more and apply here.
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
Farmers, ranchers and other producers can now apply for direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). We recommend reviewing this brief from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to determine whether applying makes sense for you. You’ll need to contact your local Farm Service Agency to apply. The sign-up window is open now through August 28, 2020, but funding is first-come, first-served.
Annie’s Grants for Gardens
Keep an eye out for the annual Annie’s grant application to open—it should be any day now. These grants can be used to support edible garden activities at public and private schools (but unfortunately, not preschools). The application closes November 2020. Learn more here.
Kate Wheeler, MPH
Farm to School/FFVP/Procurement Specialist
Utah State Board of Education
Our office building is currently closed to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Please contact me on my cell phone (call or text): 404-492-4584
For additional information and resources, visit schools.utah.gov/coronavirus.