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 WHY SMART BUSINESS OWNERS 

ARE INVESTING IN WIND ENERGY 

 The prices of energy from conventional sources are on an ever upward spiral. As costs continue to increase, investments in energy alternatives become increasingly attractive. 

Wind energy is today’s leading alternative. Environmentally safe, technologically sound, and definitely renewable, energy from the wind is a technology whose time has come. 

We are dedicated to utilizing wind energy systems as attractive potential investments for today’s marketplace…and tomorrow’s energy. We deliver performance, not promises. 

SMART BUSINESSES RECOGNIZE ATTRACTIVE RETURNS 

It’s time to invest capital into Wind-Powered Assets, joining the growing chorus of smart business owners that have discovered the commercial wind benefits for business. 

If you’re a business owner, installing a wind turbine(s) might seem like a risky move in a complex and confusing market. You may have heard of significant Fortune 500 companies ‘Going Wind’ but thought it might not be feasible for your organization. 

It is time to shake off that old way of thinking and join the growing number of smart business owners who have discovered the commercial wind energy benefits for business. Businesses of all sizes capitalize on investing in Wind Energy’s financial opportunities, proving that a wind-powered energy structure is a critical strategic decision that virtually guarantees a solid financial return on your investment. 

The cost of buying and installing wind-powered energy has dropped considerably in the last five years, while electricity prices continue to skyrocket. This makes the economics of wind energy even more attractive. Businesses of all sizes see cost savings of 50% to 100% on their cost of electricity. 

WHY WOULD I INVEST IN A WIND ENERGY SYSTEM? 

Cut Operating Costs: Wind Power enables the business to lower current electricity costs significantly, by locking in electricity prices and controlling future electricity costs by hedging against price volatility and inflation. 

Increased Cash Flow: Lower electrical costs, the elimination of rate increases, and minimizing long-term expenses will increase revenue and create positive cash flow. 

Return On Capital: Financial incentives provided through the Federal Governments’ Wind Investment Tax Credit Program, Accelerated Bonus Depreciation and USDA REAP Grants all significantly reduce your cost of wind energy, providing a sustainable producing asset for decades to come. 

Return On Investment: Investment returns from cost savings, investment of free cash flow and government financial incentives can reduce wind energy costs by as much as 90%. 

Environmental: Wind energy systems do not produce air pollution or greenhouse gases and they preserve water and reduce climate change. 

Sustainability: Three different parameters determine sustainability: environmentally sustainability (means it doesn’t harm the environment), social sustainability (good steward of resources), and economic sustainability (unlimited renewable energy that is the lowest cost). 

WHY WIND? WHAT DOES “OWN YOUR POWER” MEAN? 

The answer is easy: You want to “own your power” for the same reason you want to own your own home. When you own your own home, your monthly mortgage payment goes towards building a long-term asset that increases in value over time. But when you rent a house that monthly rent payment is gone forever – you never get it back! 

The same is true when you pay your monthly electric bill to the electric utility company – that money is gone forever. With wind, however, you replace all or most of your electric bill with wind – an investment asset that immediately increases the value of your business and continues to pay above market returns for decades into the future. 

REAL CASE EXAMPLE: 

As you can see, the numbers add up – wind energy represents a very smart capital investment for businesses. It offers an extremely short payback period, very reliable financial returns, and helps protect business owners against rising energy prices. 

INVESTING IN WIND ENERGY IS AS EASY AS 1-2-3 

Step #1: Initial Consultation and Site Survey (Estimated 1-2 hours) 

  • • Gain an understanding of your business and your objectives 
  • • Gather information related to the energy usage of your facility 
  • • Analyze your site and determine the most efficient location 

Step #2: Presentation of Financial Benefits of Investing in Wind Energy (1-2 hours) 

  • • Annual Energy Savings 
  • • Tax Benefits from Federal Wind Energy Tax Credits and Bonus Depreciation 
  • • Review the USDA REAP Grant paperwork and process 
  • • Utility Interconnection Process 
  • • Return on Investment 
  • • Payback Period 
  • • Payment Terms and Conditions 

Step #3: Initial Deposit and The Planning and Completion of the Installation 

  • • Receive Initial 30% Deposit 
  • • Order Components 
  • • Install Foundation 
  • • Deliver Tower and Assemble 
  • • Deliver Turbine, Complete Installation and Perform Commissioning of your System! 

WHO WE ARE 

We are the Nation’s Largest Dealer for Bergey Windpower, the World’s Leading Manufacturer of Small Wind Power Systems for Businesses. 

Bergey was founded in 1977 and has shipped over 10,000 turbines to over 120 Countries and all 50 States. We installed our first Bergey in 1983 and since then have installed hundreds of systems throughout the United States. Our team brings performance certainty with detailed execution and professionalism to all of our wind power development opportunities. 

CONTACT US TODAY to obtain your personalized Wind Investment Benefit Analysis 

Toll-Free Phone: 833.GO4.WIND (464-9463) Email: info@american-windpower.com 

Send Us a Text for Information: 620.205.1080 Web: www.american-windpower.com 

Categories
Life News

10 Reasons to Support Farmers Markets

From savoring produce at the peak of freshness to meeting the people who grow your food, there are countless reasons to support farmers markets. Here are just a few!

Beautiful woman buying kale at a farmers market

1. Taste Real Flavors

The fruits and vegetables you buy at the farmers market are the freshest and tastiest available. Fruits are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to you—no long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, no sitting for weeks in storage. This food is as real as it gets—fresh from the farm.

2. Enjoy the Season

The food you buy at the farmers market is seasonal. It is fresh and delicious and reflects the truest flavors. Shopping and cooking from the farmers market helps you to reconnect with the cycles of nature in our region. As you look forward to asparagus in spring, savor sweet corn in summer, or bake pumpkins in autumn, you reconnect with the earth, the weather, and the turning of the year.

3. Support Family Farmers

Family farmers need your support, now that large agribusiness dominates food production in the U.S. Small family farms have a hard time competing in the food marketplace. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy.

4. Protect the Environment

Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate. All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels), contributes to pollution, and creates trash with extra packaging. Conventional agriculture also uses many more resources than sustainable agriculture and pollutes water, land, and air with toxic agricultural by-products. Food at the farmers market is transported shorter distances and is generally grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.

5. Nourish Yourself

Much food found in grocery stores is highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Some of it has been irradiated, waxed, or gassed in transit. These practices may have negative effects on human health. In contrast, most food found at the farmers market is minimally processed, and many of our farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable techniques, picking produce right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties.

6. Discover the Spice of Life: Variety

At the farmers market you find an amazing array of produce that you don’t see in your average supermarket: red carrots, a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, stinging nettles, green garlic, watermelon radishes, quail eggs, maitake mushrooms, and much, much more. It is a wonderful opportunity to savor the biodiversity of our planet.

Support Your Local Farmers Market

7. Promote Humane Treatment of Animals

At the farmers market, you can find meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics, who have grazed on green grass and eaten natural diets, and who have been spared the cramped and unnatural living conditions of feedlots and cages that are typical of animal agriculture.

8. Know Where Your Food Comes From

A regular trip to a farmers market is one of the best ways to connect with where your food comes from. Meeting and talking to farmers and food artisans is a great opportunity to learn more about how and where food is produced. CUESA’s seller profiles that hang at the booths give you even more opportunities to learn about the people who work hard to bring you the most delicious and nutritious food around. Profiles, articles about sellers, and a map of farms are also available on this website.

9. Learn Cooking Tips, Recipes, and Meal Ideas

Few grocery store cashiers or produce stockers will give you tips on how to cook the ingredients you buy, but farmers, ranchers, and artisans at the farmers market are often passionate cooks with plenty of free advice about how to cook the foods they are selling. You can also attend free seasonal cooking demonstrations by leading Bay Area chefs and evening classes on food preservation and other kitchen skills.

10. Connect with Your Community

Wouldn’t you rather stroll amidst outdoor stalls of fresh produce on a sunny day than roll your cart around a grocery store with artificial lights and piped in music? Coming to the farmers market makes shopping a pleasure rather than a chore. The farmers market is a community hub—a place to meet up with your friends, bring your children, or just get a taste of small-town life in the midst of our wonderful big city.

Source: CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food

Categories
News

Farming small with a recipe for profit

By Harris Ivens

Farming an acre of vegetables in Wilton, Ontario, Evan Quigley has always aimed to bring the highest quality and consistency to market with a keen eye on profitability. Evan has achieved high quality and yields with a combination of techniques and careful management at The Kitchen Garden farm. 

“After a lot of trial and error, I have come up with a simple cost-effective fertility system that grows high-yielding and high-quality crops,” Evan said. Running the gamut on fertility strategies, he has been improving the poor drainage of his loamy soil for over a decade. He studied with Hugh Lovel and Graeme Sait, read a ton of books, and, as he puts it, “dove way too deep down the rabbit hole of soil health.”

farming-small-recipe-profit
The Kitchen Garden’s farmers market stand. All images courtesy of the author.

Evan tried everything, from too much and too little compost, compost teas, rock dust, mineral balancing, as well as weekly foliar sprays and fertigation. “There were lots of successes with a labor and input-intensive system,” he explained. “But it was expensive, complicated to manage, and at the end of the day, just too much work.” 

In 2018, Evan scaled back from three acres to around an acre and decided to farm solo without employees. “I realized that I needed to simplify my systems and be as efficient as possible,” he recalled. “There was no way I was lugging wheelbarrows of compost or hauling around a backpack sprayer every week to foliar spray.” 

Cutting out tasks felt good, but yields dropped while disease pressure increased. So, he continued experimenting and researching with lots of trial and error to establish a high return on investment with a limited budget, and importantly, limited time. Over the next few years, the ongoing R & D paid off.

Recipe for healthy soil and great crops
Evan’s low-cost recipe for healthy soil and great crop quality: 

  • Longer rotations with cover crops (resting production fields every other year or more) and using silage tarps and minimal tillage techniques. 
  • Minimal compost applications (about 4 tons or fewer of farm-made vegetable-based compost per acre).
  • Correcting significant mineral deficiencies (Ca, P, K, Mg, S, B, Cu, Mn, Zn) based on soil test and off-farm mineral inputs like bone meal, potassium sulfate and lime.
  • Targeted slow-release nitrogen applications to meet crop needs using mostly feather meal. Put everything on pre-plant (no more foliar or fertigation routines).

farming-small-recipe-profitAnnual Inputs

  • Compost to hit P target based on soil test, for Evan ~ 8000 lbs/acre of compost 
  • Kelp 200 lbs/acre (biological stimulant)
  • Humates 200 lbs/acre (biological stimulant)
  • Wollastonite 500 lbs/acre (experimenting — biological stimulant, calcium and silicon)
  • N applications, in addition to N from compost, as 25% alfalfa, 75% feather meal to target:
    • 130 lbs/acre N for ‘extra’ high feeders in greenhouses
    • 100 lbs/acre N for regular greenhouse and field crops
    • 50 lbs/acre N for low feeders 

For ease and simplicity, compost, humates, and minerals are added to the vegetable beds at planting, spreading 5-gallon buckets down the bed. Extra slow-release N (feather meal) is added on a bed-by-bed basis for medium and high feeders only. This saves money and grows the best quality. All N is applied pre-plant for ease and labor savings.

Evan adds 5 to 10 percent field soil to his compost piles and covers it with landscape fabric to hold in water and reduce the need to turn the pile because it does not heat up as much. “The field soil addition makes the pile easier to manage, inoculates the pile with field-ready biology to make field ready compost and in theory helps fix more carbon, but that’s another story and needs some more research.”

“None of this is particularly new or ground-breaking,” he notes. “But when combined, these strategies are proving to be very efficient, productive and grow the best quality vegetables I have seen.”  

farming-small-recipe-profit
Evan Quigley with one of his very deeply taprooted carrots.

By contrast, Evan says that large compost applications can be highly wasteful from a labor and material standpoint and even reduce saleable crop yield and quality. “When everything is in balance and the soil’s physical, chemical, and biological properties are taken care of, a high-quality crop is possible,” he explained. “To ensure quality and yield, give the crop the nitrogen it needs when it needs it with a slow-release nitrogen source. You will get less waste, less pests, excellent yields and the awesome quality that customers want.”

But getting a crop to market takes more than good fertility. Evan calculates there are around 10,000 tasks a year on a diversified farm between harvests and tending the crops, which makes organization and transitions from task to task essential for profitability. 

Years ago, Evan and Harris Ivens, who lived nearby, started scheming about simplifying farm planning and management. Refinements over eight years led to the creation of VeggieCropper.

“After a lot of trial and error, VeggieCropper was built like your favorite tool, it’s easy to use and effective, so it’s not a burden to be organized and have good records,” Evan said. 

Now, he couldn’t farm without the task reminders and automated record-keeping. “I have time and mental space to stay focused on the big picture. I can easily order supplies on time and my bed prep stays on schedule. This gives each planting the best start and gets crops to market as early as possible.”

VeggieCropper reduced labor costs after Evan used the tool to carefully examine each crop and farm system for the weakest link and then rethink everything connected to that link.

farming-small-recipe-profit
Evan worked with the author to design the Veggie Cropper farm planning software.

Growing crops on geotextile fabric when possible reduces labor significantly, he said. Evan targets crops that gross $8 to $12 a bed foot for lettuce, carrots, chard, kale, and $15 to $30 for crops like tomatoes and eggplant that require special treatment, tunnels, trellising or extra washing and processing. Crops need to gross at least $4 a bed foot with good reasons (low labor, strong market, shoulder season) to make the cut. After developing efficient and consistent systems, Evan needed to go from theory to practice. VeggieCropper really shined and grew to be a favorite tool of the staff in the earlier years by providing a clear view of what was happening on the farm. It gave Evan more independence. 

VeggieCropper saved $1,500 a year just by eliminating morning meetings. The crew checked the tablet and headed straight to the fields. This gave Evan more time to check in and work alongside staff, offering tips on technique and workflow which increased efficiency and quality. There was no more standing around to discuss what was happening. There were more opportunities and time for training while providing the crew with greater independence, improved work satisfaction while automating record-keeping.

More recently, VeggieCropper continues to be central to his scaled-back farm model, ranging from part-time to full-time. “I can turn my farm brain off now because everything I need to do on the farm comes in an organized list,” Evan explains. “I can also plan my season out in a huge amount of detail to make sure I am maximizing my time and sales because there is little room for error at my scale. It’s been a game-changer that I think a lot of farms could benefit from. I’m just glad VeggieCropper is out there for people to check out.”

Early on, Evan tackled the cost of production, but in the end, the market dictates. “In my area, the market is limited so I can only grow so much of my most profitable crops,” he said. “So, I grow those as efficiently as possible. I grow some of the less profitable crops to make more profit overall.”

farming-small-recipe-profit
The Kitchen Garden farm in Wilton, Ontario, Canada.

While big profits remain elusive, Evan has found a balance to make market gardening work well enough to keep going. In addition to running VeggieCropper, he consults with other farms to improve profits while reducing costs and workload. “Profitability is essential to the sustainability of any business, and it is even more important for businesses that take care of the planet,” he said.

“There is no other job like this, nothing comes close. There is a craft and an art to growing vegetables that you can see and taste. So, at the end of most days, I find farming really gratifying work.”

Check out VeggieCropper.com and thekitchengarden.ca for more info.  

Copyright Growing For Market Magazine. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be copied in any manner for use other than by the subscriber without permission from the publisher. 

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News

Hemp Research Consortium Promotes Opportunities for Versatile Crop

Hemp is an environmentally and economically sustainable crop—it enriches soil, requires little water, can sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and has the potential for a wide range of applications. However, previous hemp prohibition limited research and experimental breeding. As a result, there is a critical need for research focusing on this resilient and viable crop for US growers. To advance science supporting a sustainable hemp industry, the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) is committing up to $2.5 million to establish the Hemp Research Consortium, a public-private partnership bringing together research-intensive and land grant universities with industry participants.

Consortium members, including Agilent TechnologiesIND HEMPInternational HempOregon CBDThe Scotts Company and U.S. Sugar, are contributing matching funds to the Consortium for highly collaborative research conducted at the Consortium member institutions of Cornell UniversityNC State University, and University of Kentucky, for a total investment of up to $5 million.

Common crops such as soy and corn have been bred over centuries to consistently produce high, quality yields from year to year. Due to previous restrictions affecting hemp, little information is available on production practices that can help hemp farmers match the success of other crops. Hemp must make up ground through dedicated genetic research and breeding to provide growers with locally adapted varieties that can meet regulations on THC levels. In addition, as an underutilized crop, the hemp product demand is unstable and still being developed. While there are several potential applications for hemp, their success requires developing a market chain and demand and infrastructure for processing the crop.

“Hemp is an incredibly versatile crop with significant potential,” said Dr. David Suchoff, director of the Consortium and assistant professor at NC State University. “The Hemp Research Consortium aims to conduct highly collaborative, transdisciplinary research that leverages the technical and intellectual resources across the academic and industry partners. In doing so, we will be able to address many of the challenges faced by this industry and help to accelerate it forward.”

Growing hemp is financially risky, and currently, much of the risk falls on growers. Hemp growers can’t be guaranteed of consistent yield, quality or THC levels that meet regulations. The Hemp Research Consortium is committed to making hemp a widely used crop by providing growers with the resources to ensure successful and profitable harvests.

DR. JEFFREY ROSICHAN
Director, Crops of the Future Collaborative Next Generation Crops

The Consortium is creating a safe harbor for growers and industry to de-risk investments in hemp development while contributing to the overall growth of hemp commerce. Focusing on addressing the immediate needs of a rapidly expanding hemp enterprise, the initial research priorities include breeding and genetics; hemp production systems, including pest and disease management; controlled environment production systems; novel product development and engineering; and training of a diverse workforce.

The Consortium provides advantages to a wide variety of stakeholders. Growers, processors, retailers and consumers benefit from a high-quality, resilient crop that offers opportunities for new food, health and personal care products; consumer textiles; and industrial applications. Hemp can also be a viable alternative crop for tobacco-dependent and economically distressed farmers. A strong hemp industry can have an important impact on global warming—during growth, hemp sequesters more carbon dioxide than any other agricultural crop.

“Our students are eager to apply the latest genomics technology to hemp breeding to quickly improve yield, uniformity and stability of hemp varieties to benefit growers, while meeting the needs of companies that want to use hemp in sustainable product development,” said Dr. Larry Smart, professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University. “The Consortium links our breeding program with end users for seed to sale solutions.”

“Hemp is a crop that can change the way we live. It provides an amazing food product that can feed the billions of people that call our world home, it provides a fiber product that is versatile to the point of creating millions of new jobs and it can help us clean up our environment that we’ve neglected for far too long,” said Ken Elliott, president of IND HEMP.

“We are extremely excited to be working in cooperation with so many great universities and private sector participants to create and develop hemp genetics here in the United States,” said Derek T. Montgomery, president/CEO of International Hemp.

“Hemp is a versatile crop with the potential to diversify the US agricultural portfolio if we can develop stable markets for hemp products. These markets will require a coordinated research effort across the entire supply chain to realize hemp’s potential. The Hemp Research Consortium connects industry and academic partners to identify and fill knowledge gaps,” said Dr. Bob Pearce, director of Hemp Programs, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Kentucky.

The knowledge generated by the Consortium will be publicly available through scientific publications, data-sharing and dissemination of research as appropriate, benefiting future public and private research efforts.

Image provided by Cornell University

###

About the Hemp Research Consortium

The Hemp Research Consortium is a public-private partnership created by the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research. The Consortium convenes stakeholders from across the agricultural spectrum to address research, market gaps and advance a sustainable hemp industry.

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News

Meat Institute Disputes White House Analysis of Packer Concentration

By GREG HENDERSON January 19, 2022

Rising retail meat prices coupled with historic packer margins and softer cash prices for cattle and hogs created what the Biden administration has called “exploitation” of consumers and farmers.

That view is disputed by the North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) which says “consumers saw increased meat prices in 2021 because of labor shortages, greater consumer demand, supply chain problems and other factors experienced by most sectors of the economy.”

In early January, President Joe Biden unveiled an action plan to boost competition for beef, pork and poultry processing that includes $1 billion for grants and loans for new independent processing plants, $100 million for worker training, new labeling rules and ways for farmers to report anticompetitive practices.

In December the White House published an analysis that the Big Four meatpackers – Tyson Foods, Inc., JBS SA, Marfrig Global Foods and Seaboard Corp – had tripled their net profit margins during the pandemic. Additionally, the administration and some producer groups have targeted meat industry concentration for livestock farmers receiving a smaller share of consumer dollars than a decade ago.

A Jan. 3, 2022, White House Fact Sheet claimed ranchers received 60 cents of every dollar a consumer spent on beef 50 year ago, compared to about 39 cents today. Similarly, hog farmers received 40 to 60 cents on each dollar spent 50 years ago, down to about 19 cents today.

In a statement released Wednesday, the Meat Institute says the administration’s numbers are wrong, arguing that beef packers’ share of consumer dollars are actually lower than the producer share.

“Unfortunately for the White House, the USDA database referenced by the White House Fact Sheet, updated with December 2021 data released by USDA, shows in 2021 beef packers’ share of the consumer dollar was 22.2 percent – lower than the producer share,” the Meat Institute’s statement said. “For pork, the packers’ average share of the consumer dollar was 18.9 percent in 2021, also lower than the producers’ share, which was 25.8 percent in 2021.”Share of dollars

“Inflation is hurting consumers by erasing the wage gains workers received due to the tight labor market and the pandemic,” said Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO of the North American Meat Institute. “It is no wonder the Biden Administration and some members of Congress would rather hold press conferences and hearings instead of addressing the labor shortage and supply chain bottlenecks.”

The Meat Institute submitted additional testimony for a hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law called, Reviving Competition, Part 5: Addressing the Effects of Economic Concentration on Americas Food Supply.

The Meat Institute provided important context to antitrust allegations in submitted testimony.

“The meat packing industry has been, and continues to be, one of the most highly scrutinized industries when it comes to antitrust review,” said Potts in the testimony submitted. “The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Packers and Stockyards Division (P&S) is uniquely charged, by statute, to provide on-going oversight for fair business practices and to ensure competitive markets in the livestock, meat, and poultry industries.  Additionally, any potential merger or acquisition regulators believe threatens ‘too much market power’ is subject to review by the Justice Department or the Federal Trade Commission.  The last proposed merger of two of the ‘big four’ fed cattle slaughterers occurred in 2008 – and it was blocked by the Department of Justice.”

Potts said much of the “rhetoric about concentration in the beef packing sector wrongly implies that consolidation is on-going and that packers’ market power is becoming more and more concentrated. That is not the case. The four-firm packer concentration ratio for fed cattle slaughter has not changed appreciably in more than 25 years.”

Categories
News

USDA Advances Market Opportunities through Farm to School Program

Posted by Cindy Long, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service in Food and Nutrition Jan 19, 2022

A person with gloves holding vegetables
Farm to School Program

It’s no secret that supply chain issues experienced across the country have created challenges with food accessibility. Rising COVID-19 cases along with severe weather complicated the flow of goods and services, yet USDA programs have responded with creative solutions to ensure Americans had access to healthy foods.

To make a national impact, FNS thought local. We implemented several programs that provide relief to schools, offer economic opportunities for farmers, and boost purchases of local and domestic agricultural products. And USDA’s Farm to School Grants represent a shining example of how we’re able to help nourish children during uncertain times.

In July, FNS awarded $12 million in Farm to School grants to 176 awardees, serving 6,800 schools.

In West Virginia, the grant enables students at Mountain View High School to work at the “Go Growcery” mobile market, which travels through communities providing residents fresh produce. The mobile market is funded through USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program and teaches students important skills in entrepreneurship, agriculture, retail, and marketing. USDA also works with McDowell County educators to create a garden-based curriculum.

Meanwhile, at Daleville Community Schools in Indiana, kindergarten students learn to sow fruit and vegetable seeds. Kids plant, grow, and harvest produce, which is then incorporated into school meals. The farm-to-school grant also helped the schools install greenhouses so students can tend to plants year-round. School Superintendent Greg Roach explained, “we want students to understand that food is often cheaper and readily accessible when it’s grown in a local garden.”

On the west coast, the California Wheat Commission has partnered with the Shandon Joint Unified School District to provide students bread, pizza, tortillas, and pasta, made with 100% locally sourced whole wheat.

Through USDA initiatives like the farm-to-school program, over 1.4 million children had access to healthy and nutritious foods in 2021.