Hello Farm to Fork Friends, The long-awaited results from the 2019 USDA Farm to School Census are here. This is currently our only source of comprehensive, statewide farm to school data, and we’ll be using it to inform future programming. You can check out Utah’s stats at https://farmtoschoolcensus.fns.usda.gov/census-results/states/ut. One that we’d like to highlight is that 47 food service programs in Utah began participating in farm to school activities in the past three years. That’s some great growth! If you recently got started with farm to school, we’d love to hear what motivated you and how it's going.
What to Harvest This Month
Peaches might be one of Utah’s most well-known (and well-loved!) crops—Brigham City and Hurricane both hold annual summer Peach Days festivals—but did you know this delicious fruit has been grown in our region by Native American tribes for hundreds of years? Reagan Wytsalucy and the San Juan County USU Extension team have been researching traditional peach varieties in order to create a seed bank and also preserve the cultural practices that go along with growing this crop. Read more about their work here, and then get busy eating as many ripe peaches as you can this month.
Get Involved Save the Date for the Greatest Crunch on Earth!
Save the date—the 5th annual Utah Apple Crunch will be held on October 20th, 2021. We’ll have registration, an updated crunch guide, and additional information posted at https://www.utfarmtofork.org/utah-apple-crunch later in August. We encourage you to celebrate in-person if possible, but we’ll be keeping our virtual resources from last year as well in case you need to make a quick pivot. Remember, if you participate in the National School Lunch Program, Utah apples purchased for this celebration count towards your local purchase total for enhanced reimbursement.
Be a Featured Farmer We’re highlighting Utah farmers and ranchers on our social media all summer long. Fill out this short form to be featured on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Webinars and Trainings Tips and Strategies for Purchasing Directly from Local Producers
There are many ways to bring local products into your cafeteria—buying from a distributor or processor, forming a co-op with other schools, or just purchasing directly from the farmer. This one-hour recorded webinar from the Institute of Child Nutrition features panelists from the food service community sharing their tips and strategies for incorporating farm-direct purchases into their operations. Access the webinar here.
Improving Equity The True Cost of Food in the United States
Food is relatively cheap in the US—at least at the cash register. But there are hidden costs associated with our current food production system. This report from The Rockefeller Foundation outlines the true cost of food, which includes the impacts on our health, the environment, biodiversity, livelihoods, and much more. (Spoiler alert—it’s at least three times as big). What’s more, these hidden costs disproportionately burden communities of color, who face higher rates of diet-related diseases, have reduced access to water and sanitation, and often lack livable wages as producers and workers in the food system. Farm to school is one tool we can use to help transform our food system into one that is sustainable and equitable
Job Opportunities Woodland Biscuit Company, Woodland Woodland Biscuit Company serves local grass-fed beef, dairy, eggs, and of course delicious biscuits made from local flour at the food of the beautiful Uinta mountains. We are searching high and low for servers and line cooks. Any time commitment from full-time to one shift per week is available. Please contact Laurel at email@example.com to apply.
Funding Opportunities Local Food Hub Startup and Development Fund This fund is a one-time legislative appropriation of $112,500 that will give one or more food entrepreneurs access to see funding to use toward the development of a food hub that connects farm fresh food to consumers along the Wasatch Front. Applicants must be one of the following: Utah based for-profit business, Utah based non-profit organization (with existing 501-c3), Utah farmer or group of farmers, Utah rancher or group of ranchers, agricultural industry group, or an agricultural marketing entity. The application deadline is Friday, August 27, 2021, at 5 pm. Learn more and apply here.
Be sure to share your upcoming events, grant opportunities, and jobs with us so that we can share them here!