From our colleagues at USDA-Rural Development and Food & Nutrition Services. There are a number of rural health and infrastructure funding opportunities in the first half, and then the second half focuses on resources, funding and educational opportunities around local food systems. Enjoy!
Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) is a new provision from the 2014 Farm Bill that prioritizes projects which support the implementation of multi-jurisdictional plans whose long-term community and economic growth strategies reflect stakeholder collaboration and the unique strengths of rural communities. SECD sets aside up to 10 percent of program funds in Rural Development's Community Facilities, Water and Environmental Programs, Business & Industry Guaranteed Loans, and Rural Business Development Grants for these purposes.
Community Science is seeking two communities to pilot a framework for collaboration around data access, use, and sharing to end health disparities. This work is being conducted to support the mission of the Office of Minority Health within the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, to end health disparities. Up to $20,000 is available to selected communities to serve as pilot sites. In addition to the funds, technical assistance and training will be provided by Community Science and the Community Indicators Consortium from May 1, 2016 until May 31, 2017 to support community collaboration for data access, use, and sharing. For additional information on the opportunity and the online application, see the attached Solicitation for Pilot Communities. In case the link in the PDF does not work, you can access the application directly by clicking here and following the instructions. We encourage you to forward information about this opportunity through your networks. The application, including any supporting materials, is due by April 7, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of up to $260 million for partner proposals to improve the nation's water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability. The funding is being made available through USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) innovative Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) and applicants must be able to match the federal award with private or local funds. Created by the 2014 Farm Bill, RCPP investments of nearly $600 million have already driven 199 partner-led projects. The program leverages local leadership to establish partnerships that can include private companies, local and tribal governments, universities, non-profits and other non-government partners to work with farmers, ranchers and forest landowners on landscape- and watershed-scale conservation solutions that work best for their region. This will be the third round of funding through RCPP, helping USDA build on record enrollment in all voluntary conservation programs, with more than 500,000 producers participating to protect land and water on over 400 million acres nationwide.
US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the availability of credit assistance for critical infrastructure projects across the country through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program. Secretary Foxx encouraged states and cities across the country to submit letters of interest for direct loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit through TIFIA as a result of the recently enacted Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act).
What's Working to Help Kids Across America Eat Healthy?
Mar 9, 2016 – RWJF announces $2.6 million in funding to support the Healthy Eating Research program which is one of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's national programs that builds evidence to guide their work in addressing obesity among children. Highlights how research in this area helps address challenges to securing nutritional and healthy foods for children within rural, American Indian, and Asian/Pacific Islander populations.
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
TIGER Discretionary Grants
Awards grants for transportation projects that better connect communities to centers of employment, education, and services and that hold promise to stimulate long-term job growth, especially in economically distressed areas. Applications may include linkages between transportation improvements, including walking and bike trails, and overall community wellness, health, and livability.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Apr 29, 2016
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Transportation
Household Water Well System Grants
Provides funds to create lending programs for homeowners to borrow funds for the construction or repair of household water wells.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: May 9, 2016
Sponsor: USDA Rural Utilities Service
Healthy Eating Research - Building the Evidence to Prevent Childhood Obesity
Supports research on environmental and policy strategies designed to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity, especially among groups at highest risk for obesity: Black, Latino, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander children, and children who live in lower-income communities.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Letter of Intent (Required): May 11, 2016
Application Deadline: Jul 20, 2016
Sponsor: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP)
Offers grants to projects that assist in the development, improvement, and expansion of domestic farmers' markets, roadside stands, community‐supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer‐to‐consumer market opportunities.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: May 12, 2016
Sponsor: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service
Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program: Tribal Transit Program
Funding to support planning, capital, and operating assistance for Tribal public transit services. Among other things, this funding supports partnerships working to expand access to health, medical, and social service providers.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide
Application Deadline: May 13, 2016
Sponsor: Federal Transit Administration
On February 24, 2016 the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) released Fulfilling the Dream: Aligning State Efforts to Implement Olmstead and End Chronic Homelessness, a policy brief encouraging states to coordinate efforts to implement the Olmstead community integration mandate and to end chronic homelessness. The document provides seven key strategies to guide states in developing an action plan to achieve both an end to chronic homelessness and compliance with the mandate issued through the U.S. Supreme Court's Olmstead ruling.
"New state and federal P3 resources and political and legislative support, combined with a strong underlying legal framework for contractual enforceability and a deep capital market ready to finance projects," will help to drive this projected surge in P3s, according to Moody's.
The Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) works every day to ensure that products with the USDA organic seal meet consistent, uniform standards. In addition to its rigorous certification process and oversight to protect the integrity of the organic seal, the program also connects organic farmers and businesses with resources to help them understand and comply with the standards. To help our Spanish speaking stakeholders, AMS has already translated the USDA organic regulations and the Program Handbook to Spanish. The agency also conducted the first training for certifying agents in Spanish in Costa Rica in 2014, and has translated 17 training modules for certifying agents into Spanish. Now, under the Sound and Sensible initiative, AMS has significantly expanded the resources available to Spanish speakers who seek information about organic certification. Under the initiative, which focuses on making organic certification more accessible, attainable, and affordable, AMS and its partners created an array of specialized tools and resources for producers, including templates, decision-making tools, trainings, guides, tip sheets, and videos. Among these are a number of resources in Spanish that help remove barriers to certification and simplify the certification process to ensure that organic is an option for more Spanish speaking farmers and businesses.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has just released an updated edition of its 2006 Community Developments Insights report titled Commercial Lending in Indian Country: Potential Opportunities in a Growing Market. This report explores the commercial lending environment in Indian Country, including the relationship between the commercial lending business and Native American governmental, legal, and institutional structures. The report shows that despite improvements in the economic and business climate in Indian Country in the past three decades, significant gaps remain in all facets of the economy of Indian Country, including commercial lending, which represents an opportunity for banks interested in expanding their lending portfolios.
CDFA has released its 2016 Policy Agenda. The agenda outlines CDFA's advocacy focus for the upcoming year and highlights the importance of the development finance industry.
Mar 16, 2016 -- The newly released 2016 County Health Rankings compare a variety of health measures between rural and urban counties across the country, including rates of smoking, obesity, child poverty, premature death, teen births, and uninsured adults.
Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
CDC Has Advice For Primary Care Doctors About Opioids
Mar 15, 2016 -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidance on prescribing opioid painkillers. This article interviews the director of CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control who has been involved in the development of the guidelines, specifically questioning how these guidelines will impact access to needed painkillers in rural and remote areas.
Rural Healthcare's Broadband Gap Widens
Mar 15, 2016 -- Describes a recent study that found broadband access disparities between rural and urban healthcare facilities are growing after analyzing connectivity speeds across the country.
Source: The Daily Yonder
Counties Accept Challenge to Combat Rural Poverty
Mar 7, 2016 -- Reports the announcement of the Rural Impact County Challenge made by U.S. Secretary of Agricultural Tom Vilsack during the White House Rural Council's Poverty Summit. The Rural Impact County Challenge asks for commitment from rural counties across the country to take meaningful steps towards addressing child poverty.
Source: National Association of Counties
Indian Affairs: Key Actions Needed to Ensure Safety and Health at Indian School Facilities
Results of a GAO examination of the health and safety at Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools. Includes recommendations to conduct required annual inspections at all BIE schools and develop a plan to build schools' capacity to address health and safety concerns in a timely manner, among others.
Sponsoring organization: Government Accountability Office
Geographic Variation in the Profitability of Urban and Rural Hospitals
Analyzes and compares the 2014 profitability margins of rural and urban hospitals by census region, census division, and by state. Information on rural hospitals is broken down by Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) and "other rural hospitals" (ORH), which includes Medicare Dependent Hospitals, Sole Community Hospitals, and rural PPS hospitals.
Sponsoring organization: North Carolina Rural Health Research Program
Rural Public Health
A policy paper discussing the critical need for public health services to positively impact the current health issues contributing to health disparities in rural communities. Offers recommendations to address the lack of adequate public health services by developing partnerships, supporting public health education and training, and strengthening communication and technology systems.
Sponsoring organization: National Rural Health Association
During this CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast, hear from food systems experts as they share financing options available for development in the local and sustainable food industry.
CDFA // BNY Mellon Webcast Series: Development Finance Solutions for Disaster Resiliency
April 19, 2016 - 1:00 pm EDT
Over the past decade, extreme weather events have caused major catastrophes to cities large and small. From vulnerable energy grids to aging infrastructure, communities are susceptible to disasters in multiple ways, and the aftermath of the clean-up and redevelopment can affect a region for years. During this webcast, explore financing programs and structures for disaster resiliency, partnerships, and collaborative efforts to identify financing solutions.
Energy Investment Partnerships Webinar Series
March 22, April 26, May 19 - 1-4pm Eastern
The Energy Investment Partnerships Webinar Series is a tailored four-part webinar series designed specifically for states and stakeholders working to develop or enhance an Energy Investment Partnership (EIP). The webinar series will provide research-based education on EIPs and how development finance agencies, public entities, foundations, energy organizations, and the financing community can work together to achieve greater program and project success to drive clean energy deployment.
To subscribe or unsubscribe, please send an email to RDCED@wdc.usda.gov with your name, title, organization, and email address.
Newsletters and email from which we gather this information include:
v Foundation Center RFP Service - To subscribe visit: http://foundationcenter.org/newsletters/
vTo subscribe to the RAC Health Listserv - click here to go to the subscription form.
v Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City newsletter: http://www.kansascityfed.org/alert/'
v Blue Avocado Nonprofit Magazine - They have a newsletter on boards and nonprofit management, down-to-earth and useful. http://www.blueavocado.org/
v Rural LISC e-newsletter - http://www.lisc.org/rural
v National Association for Development Organizations (NADO) – www.nado.org
v ERS - A notification service is provided by USDA's Economic Research Service for Charts of Note and other research to keep you informed of the latest and most relevant research on the topics that interest you. You can subscribe at http://www.ers.usda.gov/Updates/
v Orton Family Foundation – email sign-up - http://www.orton.org/sign_up
We've got some news and info to share, along with agenda items for our Thursday, March 24th and subsequent meetings. All meetings are 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM Central Time. We'll send out final information including call-in and Live Meeting details closer to the meeting date.
March 24 Agenda - Women in Agriculture. For this meeting, we'll be showcasing model women farmers and discussing women in agriculture. We plan to have a discussion afterward. USDA's Penny Weaver will facilitate this meeting.
1. Lisa Kivirist, Senior Fellow, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, Inn Serendipity Farm, MOSES Rural Women's Project, Minnesota.
2. Barbara James Norman, Barbara James Norman Blueberry Farm, Michigan.
3. Chris Sukalski, Land O'Lakes member-owner, Reiland Farms and Quality Dairy, Minnesota.
4. Katy Clarke, Edgewood Farm Organics, Illinois.
5. Gwenne Godwin, Farm Operations Manager for Growing Solutions Farm (Julie and Michael Tracy Family Foundation), Illinois.
April 28 Agenda
1. Connie Maxim-Sparrow, Grants Coordinator with Muskegon County Administration, Michigan. Muskegon County works to address food insecurity, honing in on access and literacy as a part of the Way to WellVille. Muskegon and its five metro cities were chosen to participate in a healthcare demonstration project with HICCUP that challenges five communities in the United States to completely transform their long term health outcomes in just 5 years. In year one it is already making great strides towards comprehensive, innovative planning to improve food insecurity. As one of the largest food deserts in the United States, Muskegon must make food security a priority. Access and literacy are the focus of planning initiatives in the coming year.
2. Kyle Cox, Owner and Founder, Cox Sweet Corn, South Dakota.
3. Jennifer Holmes, Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago and Kinzie Industrial Development Corp, Illinois, will share information on the organizations' role as a food incubator.
4. The Nature Conservancy has been working to improve water quality and agriculture practices. Carrie Vollmer-Sanders, the Conservancy's Western Lake Erie Basin Project Director, will discuss her work to promote sustainability and its connection to Lake Erie and agriculture.
5. Sam Wortman, Assistant Professor of Urban Food Production at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, will talk about his lab's research in hydroponic systems, organic crop pest control, and environmental considerations in urban agriculture.
May 26 Agenda
1. Aster Bekele, Executive Director at Felege Hiywot Center in Indiana.
2. Joel MicKinney, Five Loaves Two Fish and Two Fishes Food Bank, West Virginia.
3. Nora Gordon, Health Specialist, Minneapolis Health Department, Minnesota, will talk about the city's recent Staple Foods Ordinance (SFO). The ordinance requires grocers to carry staple foods in 10 basic categories like whole grains, low-fat dairy, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
4. John Murray, Director and Producer of "A Farmers Road", a documentary about two PhD soil scientists who traded the security of academic tenure to operate a goat dairy and farmstead creamery in Illinois. Their mission is to educate the public about how sustainable small farms can change the American food system one meal at a time.
5. USDA's Penny Weaver will share information about USDA's Summer Food Service Program & Farmers Markets. The summer program provides meals for kids when school is out and it provides an opportunity for farmers markets to serve the community and be a destination for kids.
6. Martin Richards or Valerie Horn, Community Farm Alliance (Farmers market/Summer Food Program), Whitesburg/Letcher County Farmers Market (tentative, awaiting confirmation from Jenie).
June 23 Agenda This meeting will focus on food sovereignty and local food systems in First Nations.
1. Joanie Buckley, Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.
Events & Opportunities
1. How to Break into Wholesale Markets Purpose: Farmer producers can learn tips about wholesale marketing presentation, standards, and pricing from experienced farmers. Event is coordinated by Colleen Matts, Farm to Institution Specialist with MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. Date: Register by March 17, 2016. Event is on March 18, 2016. Location: Allen Market Place, Lansing, Michigan.
2. NRCS Supporting Urban Agriculture in Northeastern IL Through EQIP Purpose: The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is offering a funding opportunity via the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for agriculture-producing individuals or groups in northeastern Illinois to improve natural resources while growing fruits and vegetables, especially in urban areas. Dates: Funding cycle deadlines: March 18, 2016. Location: Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties, Illinois.
3. Meet the Buyer Purpose: Farmers can meet with buyers and learn how to do business with grocery and food service who are interested in buying locally and regionally. Event is hosted by the Illinois Farm Bureau and Illinois Department of Agriculture. Date: Register by March 18, 2016. Event is on March 22, 2016. Location: Northern Illinois Food Bank, Geneva, IL.
- New! 2016 Emerging Leaders Class, Small Business Administration (SBA) Purpose: Federal seven-month training initiative for C-level executives of established small businesses in historically challenged, distressed communities. The training uses a research-based curriculum to help small businesses in underserved areas generate new jobs, attract investment, and provide a more sustainable economic base. Please note details on eligibility at the link provided. Dates: The application deadline for Chicago's Emerging Leaders Class is March 20th, 2016. Classes will begin on April 4th, 2016, and occur every other Monday (excluding national holidays). Please click here to register. Location: Please see link for locations nationwide.
5. A Farmers Road Film Screenings Purpose: Two PhD soil scientists trade the security of academic tenure to operate a goat dairy and farmstead creamery in Illinois, and to embody responsible, sustainable farming that can change the American food system one meal at a time. Dates & Locations: Good Food Festival, Chicago, IL (March 26); International Film Festival, North Hollywood, CA (April 28); and Green Top Grocery Annual Meeting, Bloomington-Normal, IL (May 24).
6. New! Opportunities in Local and Regional Foods Conference Purpose: Highlight resources available to all stakeholders: restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, food producers, farmers, economic or community developers, bankers or investors, military veterans, government entities, or community leaders, to meet growing demand for local and regional foods. Date: March 29, 2016. Location: Edwardsville, IL.
7. New! Food and Farming Convening Purpose: Convene Champaign/Urbana residents to discuss growing, distributing, and processing locally grown foods; and how to promote communities through local food production. This event is hosted by the Lumpkin Family Foundation, the Illinois Farm Bureau, Champaign Local Foods Policy Council, the University of Illinois, Urbana Farmers Market, Feeding Illinois, and the Land Connection. Please RSVP by calling 217-352-5235. Date: March 31, 2016. Location: 801 N. County Fair Dr., Champaign, IL.
8. 4th Annual Farmer Talent Show Purpose: Showcase farmer talents in poetry, performance art, and fashion. Dates: April 9, 2016. Location: Chicago, IL.
9. New! Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) webinars Purpose: Webinars review various aspects of GAP including: Intro: Food Safety- Why Now?; Soil Amendments; Worker Health and Hygeine; Traceability, Recalls, and Records; Water Quality; Harvest and Post-Harvest Food Handling; Animal Management, Land Use; Writing a Food Safety Plan; and What is in an Audit? Webinars are hosted by University of Illinois Extension. Please register to attend. Dates: April 12, 19, 26; May 3, 2016. Location: Online.
10. New! Meet the Buyer Purpose: Farmers can meet with buyers and learn how to do business with grocery and food service who are interested in buying locally and regionally. Event is hosted by the Illinois Farm Bureau and Illinois Department of Agriculture. Registration and more information coming soon. Date: October 10, 2016. Location: St. Louis, MO.
11. National Small Farm Conference Purpose: Hosted by Virginia State University College of Agriculture and USDA, this annual conference highlights: best practices, success stories, and research that benefit small farmers and ranchers. Dates: September 20-26, 2016. Location: Virginia Beach, VA.
12. New! Local and Regional Food Conference Purpose: Discuss strategies for producers, processors, and food hubs to meet demand for local and regional food. Date: November 15, 2016. Please register by November 10, 2016. Location: Marion, IL.
13. Growing Power Urban and Small Farms Conference Purpose: Mobilize all stakeholders in Good Food to create a new food system that promotes better health and more closely-knit communities. Date: November 18-20, 2016. Location: Milwaukee, WI.
14. GroupGAP Food Safety Certification Purpose: Allows group certification of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). GroupGAP allows groups of producers to choose and implement the food safety standard most suited for buyers' needs and size of farms. This is a USDA/Wallace Center pilot project. Dates: GroupGAP will begin April 4, 2016. Location: Nationwide.
15. USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Purpose: USDA's Farm Service Agency provides financial and technical assistance to address agriculture conservation practices related to: drinking water protection, reducing soil erosion, preserving wildlife habitats, preserving/restoring forests/wetlands, and aiding farmers whose farms are damaged by natural disasters. On February 16, USDA announced its intent to help fund and assist organic farmers to establish 20,000 acres of new conservation buffers and other practices on and near their farms. Date: CRP continuous enrollment is ongoing. Location: Nationwide.
16. Homegrown By Heroes is a label that gives farmer veterans point-of-sale visibility, business planning and food safety support from the Farmer Veteran Coalition, and an avenue to share the veteran's story. The program is a marketing initiative started by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and expanded nationally by the Veteran Farmer Coalition to Apply via the link. Dates: Annually renewable. Location: Nationwide.
17. Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Purpose: Provides risk management safety net for all commodities on the farm under one insurance policy. This insurance policy is available to farms with less than $8.5 million in total revenue. The policy is also available to specialty and/or organic commodity farms or local or regional producers. Dates: See website. Location: Nationwide.
18. The Good Food Fund in Michigan Purpose: Makes available $30 million to supply loans, grants, and new market tax credits for the Good Food Sector. Priority is given to enterprises benefitting low and moderate-income food-insecure Michigan communities. The effort is jointly sponsored by Fair Food Network, Capital Impact Partners, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food, and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Dates: See website. Location: Michigan.
19. Annual Agriculture Loans Purpose: Helps farmers pay annual start-up costs associated with seed, fertilizer, plants, crop insurance, and other expenses. Funding is available through the Ag Invest Annual interest rate reduction program from the Illinois Treasurer's Office. Dates: See website. Location: Illinois.
20. Affordable Care Act Gives New Farmers the Freedom to Farm Purpose: Provides a variety of affordable insurance plans specifically for rural Americans. An estimated eight out of ten may qualify for financial assistance to help pay for coverage. Dates: See website. Location: Nationwide.
21. Assistance to Conserve Monarch Butterfly Habitats Purpose: NRCS provides technical and financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, and Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. Dates: See website. Location: Nationwide.
22. Bridges to Opportunity Purpose: USDA Farm Service Agency has just made available this service bridges the gap between agricultural producers and non-USDA partner organizations. The service also provides a central location for producers to receive information. Bridges to Opportunity launched in select FSA county offices in Fall 2015. Dates: After Fall 2015. Location: See link for counties serviced beginning in Fall 2015.
23. Women in Agriculture USDA Fact Sheets Purpose: Highlight the important contributions of women in U.S. agriculture. The USDA has also established a Women in Agriculture mentoring network. Email AgWomenLead@usda.gov or follow the hashtag #womeninag.
School and Farm to School
1. Jump Start Your Garden Workshops Purpose: Workshop 1 will provide tips on starting plants from seeds, planting dates, great organic soil mixes, and how to create ideal conditions. Workshop 2 will provide tips on garden layout, companion plants, and how to plant your favorite fruits and vegetables. Workshops are hosted by Chicago Botanic Garden and PCC Community Wellness. Please register by emailing email@example.com or calling 773-413-1240 Dates: March 17, 2016, 12:00pm – 1:30pm CST (Workshop 1); April 1, 2016, 12:00pm – 1:30pm CST (Workshop 2). Locations: PCC Austin Family Health Center, Chicago, IL.
2. USDA Farm to School Webinar Series Purpose: USDA is hosting an 11-part webinar series calling "Planning for Farm to School Success." 30-minute webinars feature topics like: building a Farm to School team, procuring local foods, food safety, and more. Dates: The series runs until May 26, 2016. Location: Online.
3. New! Farm to School "One in Melon" Award Purpose: The USDA-FNS would like to recognize schools that demonstrate stellar farm to school efforts via: purchase of local products, helping students know their farmers, school gardens, and promotion of health and wellness. Vote online at the USDA FNS Farm to School census link provided. Date: Please submit votes by April 15. Location: Online.
4. Nature's Farm Camp Purpose: 5-day summer camp where kids can reconnect with nature on an Illinois farm. Dates: July, August 2016. Location: Antiquity Oaks, Cornell, IL.
5. 8th Annual National Farm to Cafeteria Conference Purpose: Enable United States cafeterias in schools, prisons, hospitals, and childcare centers to help end obesity and strengthen local food systems. Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, the conference mobilizes 1500 food service professionals, farmers, food producers, educators, policy makers, entrepreneurs, student leaders, nonprofit and government agency representatives, and public health professionals. The Network has posted an outreach toolkit that organizations can use to promote the event. Scholarships are available. Dates: June 2-4, 2016. Location: Madison, Wisconsin.
6. Let's Move! Salad Bars to Schools Purpose: Provides technical and financial support to install salad. The initiative is jointly sponsored by United Fresh, the White House, the Center for Disease Control, and others. Dates: rolling application. Location: Nationwide.
7. FNS Farm to School E-letter. Sign up at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. The Hatchery Chicago Food Business Incubator Events Purpose: Various seminars that highlight resources, opportunities, and financial, licensing, and marketing strategies for Chicago food and beverage startups. List of Spring 2016 events:
a. Starting a Food Business (March 31, 6pm-7pm)
b. Food and Beverage Best Practices in Marketing Materials (April 6, 5pm-7pm)
The Hatchery is a collaboration between the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago (ICNC) and Accion Chicago to bring education, capital, and support to the Chicagoland food entrepreneur community. Dates: See above. Location: Chicago, IL.
2. FamilyFarmed's 12th Annual Good Food Festival and Conference Purpose: Join USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and a number of good food organizations and businesses to celebrate the progress of the good food movement and good food policies. Learn about Good Food Financing and Innovation during Thursday's conference and Good Food Industry and Policy during Friday's conference; shop for local foods at the Good Food Marketplace during Saturday's festival; participate in chef demos with Rick Bayless, Paul Kahan, Matthias Merges, and Jason Hammel; explore the city's urban agriculture scene by registering for the Urban Farm Bus Tour; and introduce your kids to Good Food at the family-friendly festival. Dates: March 24-26, 2016 Location: UIC Forum, Chicago.
- New York Regional Summit: Diagnosis: Hunger Purpose: The summit will mobilize a broad coalition from healthcare organizations, faith-based groups, the education community, and governments to address hunger as a health issue. The summit will also highlight best practices, offer community connections and resources, and advocate for food-insecure individuals and families. Keynote speakers will include Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-2), USDA-FNS Administrator Audrey Rowe, Wholesome Wave CEO Michel Nischan, and American Hospital Association CEO of Health Research and Educational Trust Dr. Ken Anderson. The conference is hosted by Root Cause Coalition and the Alliance to End Hunger. Date: 8:00am – 3:00 pm EDT, April 4, 2016. Location: New York, NY.
- New! "Building and Benefitting Community through a Farmers Market" Purpose: Farmers market educational workshop hosted by the Illinois Farmers Market Association that will feature three educational sessions led by Rockford City Market, Rogers Park Market, and Loyola Farmers Market. These sessions will highlight the social, health, and economic relationships between farmers markets and their communities. The event will end with a tour of Loyola University Chicago's Institute of Environmental Sustainability. Date: 9:00am – 2:30pm CST, April 23, 2016. Please register at the link by April 4, 2016. Location: Loyola University, Chicago, IL.
- Native Youth in Food and Agriculture Great Lakes Summit Purpose: Bring together Indigenous youth from around the Great Lakes Region to learn about food business planning, culinary arts, seed saving, and other important agricultural and health-related topics. Dates: April 21-24, 2016. Location: Hopkins, MI.
6. New! Growing Food for Growing Cities Symposium Purpose: Symposium on global agriculture, food security, government policy, business investment, and international community food efforts. Leading up to the symposium, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs will conduct an 8-week blog series that explores: the consequences on global food security posed by urbanization; and the opportunities for small-scale urban farmers. Date: April 26, 2016. Location: Washington D.C.
7. Detroit Kitchen Connect Purpose: Allow Detroit community kitchen partners to network currently operating or developing shared-use kitchen projects in Michigan. Dates: Please contact DKC if you're interested in joining the shared-use kitchen network. DKC and partners meet annually, with meetings in 2016 taking place in March and June. Location: Detroit, MI.
8. New! Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food, Know Your Future Purpose: This conference will focus on growing local food opportunities for all related stakeholders, including: farmers, food businesses, food service directors, community leaders, producers, food entrepreneurs, policymakers, public health professionals, and university researchers. This conference is hosted by USDA's Rural Development and Food and Nutrition Service, the Illinois Farm Bureau, and Fresh Taste. Date: 9:00am – 4:00pm CST, July 14, 2016. Location: Chicago, IL.
9. Michigan Good Food Summit Purpose: Celebrate Michigan's Good Food progress; attend sector-specific breakout tracks; network with food consumers, growers, advocates, educators, and policymakers; and advance Michigan Good Food Charter goals for 2020. Conference is hosted by Michigan State University. Date: October 28, 2016. Location: East Lansing, MI.
10. Farmers Market Partners. FNS Public Affairs facilitates a collaboration with Midwest farmer's market coordinators to discuss challenges, successes, news, and events. Together we can learn ways to improve and increase markets. Conference calls are held every 3-4 months and info is shared via emails. Please email Penny Weaver at email@example.com if interested.
11. Interested in SNAP-authorizing your Farmers Market/direct retail? The USDA wants to attend Midwest Region trade shows and market events to help producers and processers expand their markets! Contact USDA FNS EBT/Farmers Market coordinator Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org
1. New! Healthy Eating Research Grants (RWJF) Purpose: Funds research that will enable advocates, decision-makers, and policymakers to more effectively implement cultures of health in underserved communities. Examples of research proposals may include: USDA Food and Nutrition Service programs, obesity-related research, healthy food access, and industry practices that influence diets. For more information, see the Request for Applications at the link provided. Funding: $2.6 million total: $100,000/yr for New Connections grants; $190,000/18 months for studies focused on underserved geographic regions or populations. Eligibility: Preference is given to public entities or 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations. Deadline: May 11, 2016 at 3:00pm ET.
2. Health Care Partners. FNS Public Affairs facilitates a collaboration with primarily health care partners (eg: Mayo Clinic, Blue Cross Blue Shield) who view hunger as a health issue. FNS holds conference calls every four months and sends monthly email blasts with news, resources, grants focused on FNS nutrition assistance programs, healthy food access, and work being done by health care companies and hospitals. Please email Alan Shannon at email@example.com if interested.
1. Ohio Food Industry Summit Purpose: Enable Ohio food manufacturers to strengthen industry. The summit will focus on new techniques, industry trends, and valuable resources. Speakers include Dr. Austin Kozman, director of open innovation and alliance management at PepsiCo. The event is hosted by CIFT. Date: Thursday, Mar. 17, 2016 Location: Nationwide Hotel & Conference Center, South Lewis Center, OH.
School and Youth
1. School Fruit and Veggie Grants Purpose: Awards school projects that help kids learn about and eat more fruits and vegetables. Grant is jointly sponsored by Skoop and Chef Ann Foundation. Eligibility: Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program. Project proposals should include all students in the school building. Funding: $2500/school. Deadline: Please check website.
2. Micro-Grants/Karma for Cara Foundation Purpose: To fund service projects in communities, with ideas including rebuilding a playground or turning a vacant lot into a community garden. Eligibility: For children 18 and under. Funding: between $250 and $1,000. Deadline: Rolling. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. USDA Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) Purpose: Provides loans and grants to Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDO's) to provide microloans, training, and technical assistance to microloan borrowers and micro entrepreneurs. Eligibility: See website. Funding: Up to $205,000 annually (with 15% matching); loans up to $50,000-$500,000 for MDOs; loans up to $50,000 to ultimate recipients. Deadline: Rolling (applications will be considered for next Federal fiscal quarter).
2. USDA Microloans Purpose: USDA's Farm Service Agency provides financial assistance for small, beginning farmer, niche and non-traditional farm ownership or operations. Non-traditional farm operations can include: truck farms, farms, direct marketing farmers, Community Supported Agriculture, restaurants and grocery stores, or those using hydroponic, aquaponic, organic, and/or vertical growing methods. Eligibility: Please see website. Funding: Maximum of $50,000. Deadline: Rolling.
Food Systems and Food Security
1. New! Nutrition Education Mini-Grant Purpose: Help RD/RDN, school nutrition professionals, chefs, or dietetic interns conduct a food demonstration and nutrition presentation for families utilizing a food pantry for emergency food assistance. The presentation should include any of the recipes listed on the link above; and should take place between June 1 and September 30, 2016. This mini-grant is sponsored by the Midwest Dairy Council. Funding: $200 (36 available). Eligibility: RD/RDN, school nutrition professionals, chefs, dietetic interns, or university extension nutritionists. Deadline: April 1, 2016.
2. Food to Market Challenge Purpose: Awards multidisciplinary team that designs the most innovative supply chain solution to boost the scale and efficiency of the Chicago region's local and sustainable food market. The award is sponsored by the Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust and Food:Land:Opportunity from the Kinship Foundation. Funding: $500,000 award. Eligibility: Must include a minimum of two organizations or individuals. At least one team member must be a local and sustainable food, livestock, or poultry grower. See website for more details. Deadline: Register to compete by April 26, 2016.
3. First Nations Grants Purpose: To support projects that aim to strengthen Native American sustainable food systems. Funding: Varies by Grant. Eligibility: U.S.-based, Native American-controlled, nonprofit 501(c)(3), tribal organizations, or Native American community-based groups committed to increasing healthy food access in rural and reservation-based Native communities and improving the health and well-being of Native American children and families. Deadline: See website.
3. Developing Healthy Places Purpose: The Kresge Foundation seeks to fund nonprofit or government initiatives that build healthier and more equitable food systems, transportation infrastructure, and land use. Eligibility: Nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations, government entities. Funding: Varies, based on proposal. Deadline: Rolling.
4. Jewel-Osco Community Grants Purpose: Fund organizations promoting nutrition education, healthy eating, and local/sustainable conscientiousness. Eligibility: 501(c)(3) organizations. Deadline: Rolling.
5. Surdna Foundation/Sustainable Environment Grants Purpose: Fund projects that: develop regional food infrastructure, reduce barriers to access, strategize financing, or link organizations to more effectively advance regional food efforts. Preference is given to projects that address low-income communities of color and combine food supply efforts with infrastructure construction. Eligibility: Non-profit organizations. Funding: Need-based. Deadline: Rolling.
USDA-NIFA Grants Purpose: To provide financial and technical support for food-related research that ensures the long-term viability of agriculture. Funding: Varies per grant. Eligibility: Varies. Deadline: Varies.
1. Telehealth Network Grant Program Purpose: Funds projects that develop innovative telehealth applications that connect health care to underserved populations in rural communities. Applicants are encouraged to improve quality of health care services by School-Based Health Centers. Funding: $6 million in total funding. Eligibility: Rural or urban entities that will provide services through a telehealth network. Services must be provided to rural communities. Deadline: April 8, 2016.
2. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Grant Purpose: Fund projects that build healthy places and communities; promote childhood education; and/or increase preventive health care. A webinar for prospective applicants will be hosted on March 30, 2016. Funding: $50,000 to $250,000 for up to 18 months. Eligibility: Organizations worldwide that conduct work in the United States. Preference is given to public, nonprofit, or nongovernmental organizations. Deadline: 3PM EST, May 31, 2016.
3. Charles A. Frueauff Foundation Grants Purpose: Funds education, human services, and health projects aimed at supporting vulnerable populations like at-risk youth, low-income families, seniors, and disabled persons. Funding: $10,000 or less. Eligibility: 501(c)(3) organizations in 27 states. Please see website for details. Deadline: July 1, 2016.
4. Walgreens Community Grants Purpose: Supports organizations improving: access to health and wellness in the community; pharmacy education programs and mentoring; civic and community outreach; and emergency and disaster relief. Funding: Varies. Eligibility: 501(c)3 organizations. Deadline: Rolling.
5. Every Kid Healthy Grants Purpose: Action for Healthy Kids provides funding and resources to schools that carry out nutrition and physical activity-related programs. Schools should be working towards USDA's Healthier US Schools Challenge certification. Funding: Varies by grant. Eligibility: All K-12 schools, especially those with >50% eligible for free/reduced price meals. Deadline: Rolling.
6. Voices for Healthy Kids (VFHK) Grant Purpose: Fund projects that: advocate policies related to child obesity and VFHK priorities; and support advocacy efforts. Grants are funded by the American Heart Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Eligibility: non-profit organizations. Deadline: Rolling.
Farmer, Rancher & Food
1. USDA New Farmer Outreach and Education Grant Purpose: Funds projects that educate new and underserved farmers about the 20 Farm Service Agency programs that provide financial, value-added production, property inheritance, production, disaster, or technical support. Eligibility: 501(c)3 nonprofits, institutions of higher education. Funding: Between $20,000 and $100,000 per applicant. Deadline: Application deadlines for each evaluation period are 3/18/16; and 5/27/16.
2. Wetland Protection Program Grant Purpose: Restores, creates, or enhances wetlands to mitigate unavoidable impacts to wetlands. These will allow agricultural producers to maintain eligibility for USDA programs. Funded by USDA-NRCS. Funding: $9 million total with a maximum award of $1 million. Eligibility: Tribal governments, recognized state and local governments, for-profit entities, and nongovernmental organizations. Deadline: 5pm EST, Mar 18, 2016.
3. Local Food Guidance to Promote Adherence to FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Purpose: Funds projects that help local producers understand and integrate federal food safety regulations. Projects can involve research, training, outreach, education, and technical assistance efforts. Funding: $1.5 million in total funding. Eligibility: Native American tribal governments and organizations; and local, state, or county governments. Deadline: April 21, 2016.
4. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Farmer Rancher Grant Program Purpose: Researches sustainable solutions to farm management. Funded by The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NC-SARE). Funding: up to $7,500 for individual grant projects and up to $22,500 for group grant projects. Deadline: Varies by region.
5. Specialty Crop Block grants Purpose: Increase specialty crop competitiveness. Interested applicants should apply directly through their state department of agriculture. Funding: $63.2 million total funding. Eligibility: Check with state department of agriculture. Deadline: Varies by state.
6. USDA Microloans-Rural Micro entrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) Purpose: Provides microloans and technical assistance for microenterprise startups. Funding: $50,000 - $500,000; 15% matching. Eligibility: nonprofits, Native tribes, institutions of higher learning. Deadline: See website.
7. USDA Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative Purpose: Assist producers to extend the growing season for high value crops in an environmentally safe manner. Eligibility: Individuals, legal entities, Indian Tribes, and joint operations engaged in agricultural production. Deadline: Varies by state.
8. Beginning Farmers Grants and ResourcesPurpose: Provide financial and technical assistance to new or beginning farmers or ranchers. Priority is given to veterans, socially disadvantaged and women farmers or ranchers. Farms or ranches cannot be greater than 30% of the average size farm per Census Agriculture measurements. Eligibility: See website. Deadline: See website.
1. Environmental Education (EE) Grants Purpose: Funds environmental education projects that increase public awareness of environmental issues and provides skills to responsibly address issues. Funding: $2.73 million nationwide (30 grants nationwide). Eligibility: Please see website. Grantees must capably match 25% of grant funding. Deadline: 11:59pm EST, April 8, 2016.
1. CommunityWINS Grant Purpose: Funds nonprofit projects that restore physical and economic infrastructure in underserved neighborhoods. Grant is administered by U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Wells Fargo Foundation. Funding: $3 million total Eligibility: non-profit organizations. Deadline: March 18, 2016.
2. Rural Health Info Grants Database Purpose: Compiles grants and opportunities for rural-based projects. Eligibility: Please see individual grants for details. Funding: Please see individual grants for details. Deadline: Please see individual grants for details.
3. Economic Development Assistance Programs Purpose: Provides financial assistance to projects that support: development and job creation in economically distressed areas. Eligibility: Tribal, state, local governments, educational institutions, non-profits with and without 501(c)(3) status. Funding: $100K to $3 million. Deadline: Rolling.
4. EDA Planning Program and Local Technical Assistance Program Purpose: Provides financial and technical assistance to plan and implement EDA projects. Eligibility: Tribal, state, local governments, educational institutions, non-profits with and without 501(c)(3) status. Funding: up to $300,000. Deadline: Rolling.
- Faced with Dropping Corn and Soybean Prices, Midwestern Farmers are Taking Aim at Lentils. Modern Farmer, 03/09/16. North Dakota State University predicts that pulses, a category that includes lentils, chickpeas, and yellow peas; mustard; and buckwheat could be much more profitable this year than corn and soy. These forecasts have caused some farmers to plant flex acres- land set aside for nonprimary crops- with pulses, which may be ideal for production in the Midwest and West.
- Morris Makes Healthy Eating the Easy Choice. The Land Online, 3/11/16. Two-thirds of Minnesotans are overweight or obese and obesity-related health conditions, especially for the one-third of Stevens County residents receiving SNAP benefits, are predicted to cost the state more than $3.7 billion. To address these needs, a number of state organizations: the University of Minnesota Morris; The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota; Stevens Community Medical Center; and Morris Area Farmers Market have partnered to promote healthy food access. Their efforts have centered around the Morris Area Farmers Market, a place where children, college students, seniors, young families, and farmers can meet and learn about how to build a healthy relationship with food.
- Seven Generations Ahead (SGA) Receives USDA Grant to Increase Local Foods in Schools. SGA press release, undated. SGA is one of 74 projects in 39 states receiving a USDA Farm to School grant. The grant, totaling $85,767, will fund efforts co-led with Kane County Health Department to build a local food hub linking Kane County schools and institutions serving low-income children to Kane County area local farmers. These efforts will continue the goals of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 to increase marketing opportunities for local farmers and ranchers; and giving children opportunities to choose a healthy eating lifestyle.
- Is Nutritious Food in Peril, Along with Pollinators? NPR, 03/01/16. In Europe, almost a third of bee and butterfly species are declining, with 9% threatened with extinction. However, according to a researcher at a leading university in Switzerland, the decline of bees in worldwide may not jeopardize the food supply. This is because foods, like corn, wheat, rice, and soybean, that the world typically consume for calories do not depend on pollinators to grow. However, foods like fruits, vegetables, and nuts, which comprise a healthy diet, depend heavily on pollinator health.
- Slice the Price of Fruits and Veggies, Save 200,000 Lives? NPR, 03/02/16. Researchers from the U.K. and Tufts have suggested in a new report that lowering the price of fruits and vegetables by 30% could save nearly 200,000 lives over 15 years. These findings echo conclusions from a previous study, which suggested that participants do purchase more fruits and vegetables when receiving an extra 30 cents to spend on fruits and vegetables for every dollar spent. The researchers suggest general farm and grocer subsidies; and grocery store bonus cards to provide lower prices. The researchers also suggest that policymakers divert subsidies from protein to fruits and vegetables (currently, the amount of funding for proteins is six times higher).
- USDA Announces Grants to Support Strategies to Reduce Child Food Insecurity in Rural Communities. USDA press release, 03/09/16. According to the USDA Economic Research Service, almost 85% of persistent-poverty counties are in rural areas. Twenty-five percent of children living in rural areas were considered poor in 2014. To address these challenges, the USDA recently awarded 17 grants totaling $1.3 million for rural communities. These grants would fund efforts to develop creative strategies for improving federal nutrition assistance to families and children. One example of the projects funded is an effort by Fulton County Schools in Kentucky, which will develop a mobile summer meals program to deliver food to congregate meals sites in underserved areas.
- Rescuing Untouched School Food. Nuvo news, 03/02/16. Every year, forty percent of edible food is wasted by Americans. In Indianapolis, John Williamson of Food Rescue has helped to pioneer food waste reduction by lobbying state legislators to establish guidelines for schools to donate unused foods. Now, almost 200 (of 2000) Indiana schools are involved in Food Rescue, which facilitates unused food donations to local food pantries. The effort also involves partnerships with food businesses, like the 21 Little Caesars and 11 Panera Breads in Indianapolis, which have joined to divert unused food to food pantries. These efforts have inspired states like Vermont and California to follow with similar food waste reduction practices.
- Interview: Des Moines Case Has "Changed the Conversation" on Water Quality. The Fern, 02/16/16. Recently Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) sued three Iowa county districts for not proactively cleaning Iowans' water of nitrates (from fertilizer runoff). According to DMWW, the lack of state support for to more aggressively curb fertilizer use has caused DMWW to spend $1 million to remove nitrates. The suit has prompted discussion between those who believe that the state should regulate fertilizer use; and those who believe that farmers should be encouraged to voluntarily reduce fertilizer application. Regardless of the outcome, many agree that planting cover crops may effectively capture nitrate runoff to mitigate the effect on the city's water quality.
- Four Key Strategies for Merchandising "Local" Foods. Progressive Grocer, 12/30/15. It's estimated that the $12 billion in local food sales in 2015 will approach $20 billion in 2019. A new study by Packaged Facts suggests a number of tips for retailers to market local foods: group local foods together, identify local products, highlight local farmers' stories, and use events to promote local products.
Resources, Tools & Technical Assistance
1. Safety Guidelines for Youth Working in Gardens from National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety.
3. Tips for Starting an Organic Garden Soil health, ecosystem conservation, and pest control tips by the USDA.
4. Let's Move! Gardening Guide by the White House.
1. Mapping Tool to Help Protect Drinking Water Sources allows users to learn about their water sources. Users can identify polluted sources and potential water-contaminating agents.
2. Farm Food Safety Planning per USDA certification by FamilyFarmed organization.
3. Large Compilation of Farmer Resources by Farm Commons.
4. Farmer Veteran Coalition Referral and Support Connection Resource library, career and legal services, USDA technical assistance, and more for members by the Farmer Veteran Coalition.
5. How to Sustainably Farm plain language guides by New Entry Sustainable Farming Project:
6. News, grants, resources, advice, and stories by Next Generation Farmers.
7. Todd's Farm Tools for crop planning and recordkeeping by Todd Jones.
8. Cover Crop Chart Farmers can identify which cover crops can function best given farm plot parameters. Created by USDA-ARS.
- Veterans' Transition to Farming Resources Assists veterans transitioning from active service to civilian life in agriculture. Programs include loans, grants, and training. Programs are facilitated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, USDA Farm Service Agency, and the Department of Defense.
10. Farm, food research grants by USDA-NIFA.
11. Organic Farming Handbook Information on nutrient released nutrient management, crop rotations, livestock grazing, pest management, and other community-supplied topics by USDA-NRCS.
12. Soil Health Conservation Tips Suggestions on increasing soil organic matter and improving microbe activity by the USDA-NRCS.
13. Why Go Organic and Where to Start Guides, videos, resources, certification tips by the USDA:
a. The Road to Organic Certification: Two farmers consider pursuing organic certification.
b. What's the Organic Value Proposition?: Organic farmers talk about why to go organic.
c. Organic Certification Made Simple: Farmers describe simple steps of organic certification.
d. Transitioning to Organic: Producers explain in this interactive video why it may be worth it for viewers to transition to organic operations.
e. Steps to Certification, Recordkeeping, and Preventive Practices: Three interactive videos with step-by-step instructions on getting certified, controlling pests, and keeping records.
- Expanded Crop Insurance Coverage for Organic Production In February, 2016, the USDA expanded the number of crops covered by organic crop insurance (57 crops) and increased the amount of insurance coverage. For example, a producer can now use a contract price for millet up to $7.34 per bushel (transitional) or $8.44 (certified organic), compared to past contract prices of $3.67 (for transitional) or $4.22 (certified organic). Press release by USDA-Risk Management Agency available here.
15. New Farmer Guide Compilation of resources for new and beginning farmers by the USDA.
16. Tools, Resources, Grants, News from Know Your Farmer website (USDA)
17. Economics of Cover Crop Decisions Tool by USDA.
18. Small and Mid-Sized Farmer Resources on accessing capital, risk management, marketing, land management, food safety, educational capacity, and more by USDA.
19. Resources for Organic Farmers Webpage by USDA.
1. Urban Resource Guide Growing compilation of Chicago urban agricultural resources by Advocates for Urban Agriculture.
2. Urban Agriculture Resources with recent academic publications by Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.
3. Urban Agriculture Resources with news, research, guidance, and reports by Resource centres on Urban Agriculture and Food security (RUAF).
4. Urban Agriculture Resources with best practices, marketing, and advocacy in the USDA National Agricultural Library.
1. Food Sovereignty Assessment Tools Resources for indigenous governments to plan, implement, collect data, and evaluate community food sustainability.
- Food Sovereignty Assessment Tool Published by the First Nations Development Institute and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
- The Power of the Tribal Dollar: Highlighting the Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project's Food-Purchasing Program by the First Nations Development Institute and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
- Report on the Navajo Nation Food System and the Case to Rebuild a Self-Sufficient Food System for the Diné People by the Diné Policy Institute, First Nations Development Instiute, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
2. Good Food Organizations Guide 2015 Directory of 1000 good, clean, and fair food organizations. Guide compiled by Food Tank and the James Beard Foundation.
3. Database of Food Policy Searchable collection of local public policies that explicitly support community food systems by Growing Food Connections organization.
4. Illinois Food and Agribusiness Guide List of companies or farms that produce, process, package, or headquarter in Illinois. This guide can help connect producers to restaurants and buyers. Guide is maintained by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
5. Selling to Restaurants Guide for food hubs by Local Food Marketplace.
6. Tools to Estimate Economic Impact of Public Markets by Project for Public Spaces.
7. Resources on Building Local and Regional Food Systems Resources on improving local food systems from: improving business capacity, marketing, distributing, food safety and processing, and building strong communities by Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education organization (SARE).
8. Food Hub Starter Kit Resources on infrastructure and logistics of food hubs by the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG).
9. Food Cooperatives Research and Resources by University of Wisconsin-Madison.
10. Food Hub Resource Guide Comprehensive handbook on food hubs by USDA-AMS, Wallace Center, National Good Food Network, National Association of Produce Market Managers, and Project for Public Spaces.
11. Local Food Resources Research and development on farmers markets and direct marketing, food hubs, wholesale markets and facility design, and USDA grants by USDA-AMS.
12. Local Food Directories, maintained by USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service:
- USDA's National Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) Enterprise Directory – A CSA is a farm or group of farms that offers regular delivery of locally-grown farm products during harvest.
- USDA's National Food Hub Directory – A Food Hub is a business that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of food products from many local producers to many local buyers.
- USDA's National On-Farm Market Directory – An On-Farm Market is a farm market managed by a single farm operator that sells agricultural products directly to consumers on-site or nearby.
- USDA's National Farmers Market Directory – Farmers markets feature two or more farm vendors selling agricultural products directly to customers at a common, recurrent physical location.
13. Incorporating Traditional Foods to Child Nutrition Programs Guide for tribal communities by the USDA.
14. Interactive Map for food-related entities in U.S. Know Your Farmer Compass Map: Food hubs, wholesale markets, meat infrastructure, federal investments, federal partners, schools, institutions, and farmers markets interactive map by the USDA.
15. Grantwriting Resource for all aspects of submitting federal grants in the local food sector by the USDA.
16. Good Food Economy Digest and resources by The Wallace Center.
17. Resources on Food Hub Economies Studies, recommendations, and support for maintaining food hubs by the Wallace Center.
18. Food Hub Tools and Resources Business assessment, tech guide, business planning, and geographic placement suggestions by Wholesome Wave.
Schools & Farm to School
1. How to Partner with Farm Credit for Farm to School Fund Farm to School efforts with this opportunity from Farm Credit and the National Farm to School Network.
2. Farm to School Indiana has two new farm to school resources with many links to resources and videos:
4. New! USDA School Garden Fact Sheet Provides guidance on using school garden produce in the cafeteria, planning for food safety needs, incorporating gardens into summer meal programs and early child care stings, staffing and funding gardens, and successfully sustaining garden efforts.
5. Farm to School and School Garden Expenses Q&As USDA-FNS answers questions on using school food service funds for farm to school efforts.
6. USDA Team Nutrition resources USDA-FNS farm to school curricula with materials for scavenger hunts, taste-testing stickers, popular events, and the Great Garden Detective Adventure.
7. Farm to School Planning Toolkit USDA-FNS guide and resources on growing a Farm to School program.
How to Use Food Hubs to Create Sustainable Farm to School Programs Report on how Vermont food hubs strengthened farm to school programs. Report is published by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.
Nutrition & Cooking
1. What's Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl Interactive recipes and How-To's on a budget for consumers, school food professionals, and community leaders.
2. SNAP-Ed Toolkit Guide for SNAP-ed educators involved in nutrition promotion at farmers markets. Includes helpful information on fruit and vegetable incentive programs. Guide created by Wholesome Wave and University of New England.
Data, Statistics & Reports
- New! Double Up Experience in Rural Michigan This is the newest of a series of reports on the effect of Double Up Food Bucks on customer health and the local Michigan farm economy. Double Up is a program sponsored by the Fair Food Network that gives customers one dollar for every SNAP dollar spent at a farmers market, with a maximum of $20 per market day. In 2014, 90% of 224 customers surveyed reported eating more fruits and vegetables. Sixty three percent of 356 farmers surveyed reported making more money and 46% reported being able to buy new equipment because of Double Up. In 2014, almost $300,000 in SNAP dollars had been spent at farmers markets, which helped contribute to the expansion of Michigan farmers markets. Reports by the Union of Concerned Scientists and Sustainable Seattle suggested that one farmers market can create an average of four new jobs. The 2014 farmer survey also showed that 10% of those farmers surveyed reported needing to hire extra workers because of the increased demand via the Double Up Program.
2. Exploring Economic and Health Impacts of Local Food Procurement The Illinois Public Health Institute, together with the Crossroads Resource Center, put together a report addressing different strategies for local food procurement in institutions. The mixed-method approach to the research, including expert interviews, quantitative analysis and five case studies from diverse communities across the country, provides a strong argument for the economic and health benefits from local food procurement.
3. Effects of the US Food System on Health, Economics, Environment, and Society Public access publication that discusses the health, environmental, and social/economic effects of the food system; and offers recommendations to achieving long-term solutions. Some challenges to achieve long-term sustainability include antibiotic and pesticide resistance, chemical contamination of air and water, soil erosion and degradation, water deficits, diet-related health effects, and food safety. The authors recommend more studies on human effects by these challenges to better inform policymakers. Publication by the Institute of Medicine.
4. The New Science of Sustainable Food Systems: Overcoming Barriers to Food Systems Reform Examines the policies, science, and social actors needed overcome barriers to build sustainable and equitable food systems. Report by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems.
5. An Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the U.S. Food System Review of peer-reviewed journal articles on food system structural racism that has historically disadvantaged African American farmers. Review is authored by Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.
6. New Report Finds 23 of 25 States with Highest Rates of Obesity are in the South and Midwest According to TFAH and RWJF, US obesity rates remained mostly steady- but still high- from 2014-2015. Arkansas ranked highest at 35.9% while Colorado ranked lowest at 21.3%. Southern states rank highest in diabetes. Nationally, the obesity rate for Blacks was 47.8%; Latinos, 42.5%; and Whites, 32.6%. The report recommends early childhood healthy eating and physical activity programs; and building healthy communities through small changes like making it easier and more affordable to buy healthy foods.
7. New! Fixing Food: Fresh Solutions from Five U.S. Cities (2016) Chronic disease arises from serious deficiencies in the United States' food system. In this food system, 30% of adults and 15% of children are obese. Only 24% of Americans consume the recommended amount of fruit; and 13% consume the recommended amount of vegetables. The effects by the American food system are especially pronounced in historically disadvantaged communities, which frequently have limited access to fruits and vegetables. This report by the Union of Concerned Scientists documents the healthy food access challenges faced by five cities: Oakland, Ca; Memphis, TN; Louisville, KY; Minneapolis, MN; and Baltimore, MD; and the ways that local policies and programs have worked to address these challenges.
9. Report on U.S. Family Farm Sizes This USDA Economic Research Service (USDA-ERS) report provides economic characteristics on U.S. family farms based on gross cash farm income (GCFI): small (less than $350,000), midsize (between $350,000 and $999,999), and large ($1 million or more) family farms.
10. New! Local Foods, Direct Marketing, and Farm Business Survival and Growth Report This report by USDA-ERS suggests a number of trends in direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales versus traditional marketing. In DTC marketing, producers engage with consumers directly at roadside stands, farmers markets, pick-your-own farms, farm stores, and community-supported agriculture arrangements. From 2007-2012, DTC showed significantly higher rates of business survival at all income levels compared to traditional sales. The authors credit higher DTC survival with less reliance on fluctuating market prices; and less of a need to invest as heavily in machinery, land, and loans. Despite DTC showing higher survival rates, DTC showed slower growth in sales (from needing to hire more labor to conduct sales) and reduced income. The authors suggest that these trends may arise from different attitudes between DTC and traditional farmers: DTC farmers enjoy substantial nonfinancial benefits from self-employment and engaging with consumers. This may provide incentive to remain in business despite lower business expansion possibilities.
11. Economic Incentives to Supply Safe Chicken to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) A report by USDA-ERS suggests that between 2006 to 2012, chicken establishments supplying to the NSLP through AMS safety standards showed modestly better performance compared to commercial-only establishments on Salmonella tests. Better performance may be attributed to NSLP suppliers being concerned about increased scrutiny by AMS. Taken together, these results suggest that inducing concerns about, rather than enforcing, standards may provide a less stringent and lower cost alternative to food safety.
12. Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America lists the latest statistics on rural America's people, jobs, agriculture, and county trends. Atlas is maintained by USDA-ERS.
13. ERS State Fact Sheets Provide information on population, income, poverty, food security, education, employment, organic agriculture, farm characteristics, farm financial indicators, top commodities, and exports. Updated items include Census of Agriculture data from 2012, education and poverty data based on the American Community Survey from 2010-2014, and earnings per job and per capita income from 2014 data.
14. 2016 Farm Income Forecast In 2016, net farm income is expected to fall by 3%, or $1.6 billion. These decreases are tied to predicted declines in lower livestock receipts (down by $7.9 billion) and crop receipts (down by $1.6 billion). Commodity crop specialization will rise, with wheat up by 10% and cotton/rice up by 23%, while specialty crop production will fall by 5%. Fortunately for farmers, input costs are expected to fall by $3.8 billion and government payments are expected to rise by $3.3 billion. These indicate that United States agriculture has leveled off at new price and production patterns. Despite this, farm household incomes have grown more rapidly that the U.S. median income since the recession. This is thanks to a 4% increase in off-farm income. Report by USDA-ERS.
15. New! USDA Farm to School Census 2015 Forty two percent of schools surveyed in the 2013-2014 school year reported having farm to school programs. Sixteen percent of schools surveyed are planning to implement F2S programs. In the 2013-2014 school year, school districts purchased almost $800 million (compared to $386 million in 2011-2012 school year) from local producers, ranchers, fishermen, and processers. This interactive report by USDA-FNS shows: each state's local food and farm to school spending; descriptions of the benefits enjoyed by F2S participants; and individual survey responses from F2S Census participants.
16. USDA Continues to Expand Local and Regional Market Data Consumer demand for local and regional food products continues to soar, with retail sales at an estimated $6.1 billion in 2012. USDA Market News has created a series of market reports on locally or regionally produced agricultural products.
17. USDA's Regional Climate Hub provides information on climate, weather, and agricultural practice.
18. USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Quick Stats Retrieves customized tables with census data at the national, state, and county levels. For more help view tutorial video.
- New! Retail Space Produce Manager, Local Foods Organization: Chicago's first local wholesale distributor, event space, and retail store, Local Foods also aims to highlight the stories of local producers. Position: The produce manager will maintain a clean, curated display. The manager will ensure that products are priced correctly, labeled properly; and lead the company's sales efforts by inspiring customer interest and providing excellent product knowledge. The manager will also lead produce purchase, receiving, and stocking; manage invoicing and billing; and ensure that grocery staff are trained. To apply, please visit link; or submit a cover letter and resume to email@example.com Location: Chicago, IL. Deadline: Open until filled.
- Service member, FoodCorps Organization: National service organization that connects kids to healthy food in school. Through an Americorps partnership, they train service members in limited-resource schools. Position: Help with: improving kids' healthy food knowledge, connecting kids to agriculture, and increasing the consumption of local foods in cafeterias. Service members serve a year-long term with benefits. Location: Nationwide. Deadline: Next applications cycle deadline is March, 31, 2016.
3. Urban Farmer in Residence (includes NY housing) Organization: Urby Staten is a housing developer Position: manage the complex's organic micro-farm, landscape, operate a compost facility, manage a roof beehive, and conduct community outreach. The position includes free housing in the complex. Location: Staten Island, NY. Deadline: The listing (posted Feb. 3, 2016) is available until filled.
4. Program Director, School Food Focus Organization: New-York based nonprofit that helps large school districts procure healthy, regionally sourced, and sustainably produced school meals. Position: Works with senior management and oversees staff to grow FOCUS Learning Labs; and related programs aimed at making schools meals more healthy, regionally sourced, and sustainably produced. Location: New York, NY. Deadline: Available until filled.
- Chicago Director, Regional Field Director, 2016 Field Organizers, and 2016 Organizing Interns, ServiceNation Organization: Nonprofit organization that connects non-school or nonworking youth to national service jobs. Position: See website for each opening's description. Location: See website. Deadline: See website.
- New! Executive Director, Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) Organization: Single site K-8 charter school that serves Chicago's southwest side. The school has won many awards for its environmental stewardship, health wellness, and global citizenship curricula. Position: The Executive Director will manage the school's operational budget; oversee planning of the new campus facility, which will include an early childhood center, teacher training institute, urban farm, and community wellness spaces; and train and lead AGC staff to fulfill school goals. Location: Chicago, IL. Deadline: Open until filled. Please see website.
- Various career opportunities, Chicago Council on Global Affairs Organization: Think tank that publishes research on many topics, including food systems, the economy, foreign policy, and national security. Position: See website for each opening's description. Location: Chicago, IL. Deadline: See website.
- Various career opportunities, Healthy Schools Campaign Organization: Chicago-based national nonprofit that works to ensure all children have access to a healthy school environment to learn and thrive. Position: Campaign manager/director, marketing/communications manager, community engagement manager. Location: Chicago, IL. Deadline: Please see website.
- Chicago Botanic Garden Organization: The CBG works to cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Positions: See website for each opening's description. Location: Chicago, IL. Deadline: See website.
- Good Food Jobs Organization: The Good Food search engine compiles career opportunities from across the Good Food sector. Positions: Search Good Food Jobs. Location: Varies. Deadline: See website.
Alan Shannon, Director
Food and Nutrition Service, Midwest Region
312-353-1045 / 312-886-6598 (Fax)
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