We, the people…and the Farm Bill.

Growing up in Massachusetts means a special kind of connection to the Fourth of July. Along with Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July is one of two holidays all Americans can claim as our own. Both were born in Massachusetts: Thanksgiving in Plymouth around a communal dining table and the American Revolution, which started with the [...]

Farm and Food Bill on the Senate Floor

The Senate began consideration of a farm and food bill yesterday. The biggest issues on the threshing floor of the Senate is separating wheat from chaff between Northern and Southern farmers over safety net programs and the question of costs for the federal food stamp program, which makes up about 80 percent of the $100 [...]

Update on Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act

It’s growing season again – time to go out in search of farm markets and farm stands to purchase yummy local ingredients for your table. Besides treating your tasebuds to the freshest best tasting foods, supporting local farms and farmers keeps your food dollars in your community. And that is exactly what the Local Farms, [...]

Just In: USDA Farm to School grant applications available

USDA request for applications (RFA) are now available for the new Farm to School grant program. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 is in its first funding cycle for grants planning or implementing new or expanded Farm to School programs. USDA expects to award up to $3.5 million to support access to local foods [...]

Ranking Democrat on House Ag Committee says GOP plan cuts to ’50-50′ odds of Farm Bill in 2012

U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, told Mike Adams of AgriTalk that House Republicans’ budget outline “is going to cause big problems” for passage of a new Farm Bill this year. They are asking for a reconciliation process to avoid defense cuts, and they want them before [...]

Healthy, Hunger Free Kids

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson The title of this post has a ring to it, don’t you think? Wouldn’t you be proud to live in a country where all children are healthy and no child goes hungry? Well, that’s the goal of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act that President Obama signed into law on Monday. [...]

A Taste of Farm-to-School

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson  I got curious last week about how prevalent farm-to-school programs are, and how well they’re being covered in the news media. So I set up a search on the term. I’m blown away by how many programs there are, and the innovative approaches I see in evidence. Below is just a [...]

USDA Awards Specialty Products Block Grants

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson  The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has announced $55 million in Specialty Crops Block Grants to support 827 projects in the specialty crop industry – people who produce fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops, including flowers. Block grants go to states to fund projects proposed by local entities [...]

Twenty-four Gold Stars

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH09), the longest-serving woman in Congress, has filed a bill meant to increase the supply of fresh produce in America’s cities. H.R. 4971, the Greening Food Deserts Act, was filed March 25 with 23 co-sponsors. It’s now on the docket of both the Education and Labor and Agriculture [...]

Hungry for a Better School Lunch? Pick Up the Phone

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson While school is in session — and, in some places, through summer vacation, too — about one-third of the energy a child takes in during the day should come from the lunch he or she eats at school. And the food that provides that energy shouldn’t be all starch and fat.  [...]