‘Kids eat local’ bills may be part of child nutrition overhaul

Companion bills introduced in the House and Senate would make it easier for schools to buy locally produced foods to serve to their students, said sponsors on Thursday.

Madison looks at former meat factory for wholesale food market

Madison, Wisconsin, was hit particularly hard by the 2015 merger of Kraft and Heinz and its accompanying layoffs. Now, the city is assessing whether the former meat processing site could be repurposed into a food terminal for regional producers. If the terminal is approved, the city will join others who are building infrastructure for medium-scale regional food distribution.

California avoids the SNAP snafu engulfing farmers markets

California offers an example of how to avoid the electronic equipment snarl that threatens SNAP sales at 40 percent of farmers markets across the nation, says The New Food Economy. "Their method? Creating a system partially, if not fully independent of the federal system."

Foraging, the newest step in hyper-local craft beer

In the small town of Ava in southern Illinois, brewers Marika Josephson and Aaron Kleidon take a look outside when they need ingredients for their brewery. With a garden on their property and a "commitment to sourcing their hops and malt close to home," Scratch Brewery "is part of a new movement of breweries that want to use foraged beers—beverages brewed with wild ingredients sourced hyper-locally—to educate drinkers about agriculture," says Civil Eats.

Highly educated urbanites head back to the land

The great majority farmers under the age of 35 hold a college degree, significantly higher than the U.S. average. It is a cohort that "is already contributing to the growth of the local-food movement and could help preserve the place of midsize farms in the rural landscape," says the Washington Post. It cites the 2012 Census of Agriculture as saying the number of farmers under the age of 35 is increasing for only the second time in a generation.

Companion bills encourage sale of local food

With an eye toward the 2018 farm bill, congressional backers of regional food marketing efforts filed bills in the House and Senate that would expand local and direct sales of food, which were estimated at $8.7 billion in 2015.

Regional food systems spur economic growth, Fed says

In a lengthy report, the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank identifies regional food systems as "a promising avenue for economic growth for both rural and urban communities through the creation or enhancement of existing jobs and businesses."

Lawmaker, chef, food activists win Beard Leadership award

The James Beard Foundation announced six winners of its Leadership Award this this year, saying they are "pioneers in their areas of work, including reducing food waste, environmental protection, local and national advocacy, and workplace safety." The winners are Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine, chef Dan Barber, author Joan Gussow, food advocate Olivier De Schutter, and the directors of the Food Chain Alliance, Joann Lo and Jose Oliva.

What will the USDA budget mean for local food?

The release of a President’s budget proposal triggers a lengthy sausage-making process. As we continue examining the 2018 skinny budget proposal released by the Trump White House earlier this spring, it’s important to keep that in mind: the final 2018 budget will probably not look a lot like the President’s proposal, if history is any guide.

Farms tally $8.7 billion in local sales of food

Growers in California reaped one-third of the $8.7 billion in direct marketing of food nationwide, said USDA in its first-ever Local Foods report, based on 2015 sales of fresh and value-added products. Farms who sold directly to institutions or intermediaries, such as wholesalers or food hubs, took the largest share, $3.4 billion, of the U.S. total.