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2013 December/January
Pg 8 - The Sunshine Express
Big Food & Water Conference
The Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum
will take place Sat, January 11, at the Montrose
Pavilion, 1800 Pavilion Dr, Montrose. The Confer-
ence features speakers from throughout Colorado
discussing Crop Production, Livestock Produc-
tion, Ag Marketing and Management, and Ag
Specialty Areas. With this year¡¯s theme, Making
Every Drop Count, we will highlight the critical
role water plays in the future of agriculture and
in day to day operational decision making.
The conference seeks to improve the sustainable
production, marketing and consumption of local
The 2014 conference theme is Making Every Drop
Count, and will highlight the critical role water
plays in the future of agriculture and in day to
day operational decision making.
Some of the workshop topics:
-Cover crops to improve soil health
-Effective grazing management through effective
water management
-High altitude lavender production
-Efficient irrigation systems
-Hydro-power for small and mid-sized farms
-Understanding the new food safety regulations
-Effective money management to build long term
-Integrating cover crops and livestock
-Low impact hops horticulture
-Compost tea: low-cost yield builder
How it works:
Attendees will be able to attend 4 one hour ses-
sions. At each session attendees can choose from
one of the following five focus areas:
-effective water management
-maximizing crop production
-optimizing livestock production
-innovative ag marketing and management
-ag specialty areas (such as lavender and compost
Keynote Speaker Eric Kuhn will present between
Online registration closes January 6. Day of regis-
tration is $65 (lunch not guaranteed). To sign up
go to:
The Conference is for anyone with an interest
in the future of agriculture, including: ranchers,
farmers, gardeners, students, restauranteurs.
Whether you¡¯re looking to improve or innovate
on your existing practices, hoping to start an
organic orchard, or have an interest in Colo-
rado Water Law, the conference has a myriad
of resources and networking opportunities.
sessions. In addition
to workshops and
speakers there will be
opportunities for net-
working and time to
visit booth displays.
For those that regis-
ter before January 6,
lunch is included with
your registration. Pine
Cone Catering will
be serving delicious
cuisine prepared with
local products. Get the
early bird discount!
Register by Decem-
ber 13 and pay only
$45 (includes lunch).
From December
14-January 6, pay $55
(includes lunch).
USDA Announces Additional Support
to Help Schools Buy Local
Washington: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
announced on November 19, grants for 71 proj-
ects spanning 42 states and the District of Colum-
bia that support the U.S. Department of Agricul-
ture¡¯s (USDA) efforts to connect school cafeterias
with local farmers and ranchers through its Farm
to School program.
USDA¡¯s Farm to School Program is part of the
Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which autho-
rized USDA to provide grants and technical as-
sistance to help schools gain better access to local
foods. It is also a core element of the USDA¡¯s
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative,
which coordinates the department¡¯s work on lo-
cal food systems.
Selected projects will serve more than 13,000
schools and 2.8 million students, nearly 45 per-
cent of whom live in rural communities.
¡°In rural and urban communities across the
country, Farm to School programs teach stu-
dents where food comes from, while providing
healthy foods that are grown locally on farms and
ranches across the nation,¡± said Vilsack. ¡°These
programs also create new market opportunities
for local farmers and ranchers interested in part-
nering with nearby school districts, and by help-
ing to create an even more diverse and thriving
agriculture sector, Farm to School efforts hold
Know Your Food Initiative
potential to create new jobs in rural areas.¡±
USDA Farm to School grants help schools re-
spond to the growing demand for locally sourced
foods and increase market opportunities for pro-
ducers and food businesses, including food pro-
cessors, manufacturers, and distributors. Grants
will also be used to support agriculture and nutri-
tion education efforts such as school gardens,
field trips to local farms, and cooking classes.
Colorado grantees include:
** Colorado Foundation for Public Health and
the Environment Denver, Grant Type: Support
Service; $98,880.
This project proposes to expand the dissemina-
tion of an existing farm to school evaluation
toolkit and training, already developed, piloted,
and refined by the Colorado Farm to School
Task Force. Regardless of size, farm to school
programs benefit from conducting evaluations
of their efforts. The primary focus of the project
will be to build capacity in schools and school
districts to undertake evaluation related to their
farm to school efforts. To accomplish this goal,
the toolkit will be disseminated through webinars
and in-person trainings at existing national or
regional events. Additional technical assistance
will be provided to up to 25 school districts to
use the toolkit. This project is ready to hit the
ground running. The toolkit and training already
exist and have been tested. Our program can
make a meaningful difference for school districts
throughout the country as they seek to expand,
improve, and sustain their farm to school efforts.
** Durango School District 9-R Durango, Grant
Type: Implementation; $99,998.
This project will take an existing space within the
Durango School District and repurpose it into an
aggregation center that will service the Durango
School District and four surrounding districts.
It will allow access to more nutritious, locally
grown foods in meals, allow for larger purchases
of local foods, and allow for greater control in
inventory, food safety, and trackback. Most im-
portantly, this project will provide the infrastruc-
ture necessary to continue to expand the farm to
school programming in the southwest.
For a complete list of FY14 Farm to School grant
recipients, please see:
USDA is focused on improving childhood nutri-
tion and empowering families to make healthier
food choices by providing science-based informa-
tion and advice, while expanding the availability
of healthy food.
America¡¯s students now have healthier and more
nutritious school meals due to improved nutri-
tion standards implemented as a result of the
historic Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food
Initiative. Visit:
Food & Garden
¡°Popcorn for breakfast! Why not?
It¡¯s a grain. It¡¯s like, like, grits, but
with high self-esteem.¡± - James Patterson