FOG: Organic Certification Cost Share Applications Due October 31

Uncategorized

No Comments

The Following Text via Florida Organic Growers
————————————————————————————
FOG, in cooperation with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), is pleased to once again administer the 2017-2018 National Organic Certification Cost Share Program in Florida.
The Organic Certification Cost Share Program provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program (NOP).
To be eligible for reimbursement the operation must have received or renewed organic certification on or between October 1, 2017 and September 30th, 2018. The amount of reimbursement is 75% of certification costs (maximum of $750) per scope of activity. Instructions can be found on the application and all questions can be directed to our Cost Share Coordinator at costshare@foginfo.org or by calling 352-231-7116.
Please note: this application must be signed and be postmarked no later than October 31st, 2018.
————————————————————————————
End Text via Florida Organic Growers

Food Dignity

Uncategorized

No Comments

The Following Text via Food Dignity

————————————————————————————

The Food Dignity team is pleased and proud invite you to explore the:

new Food Dignity website: www.fooddignity.org
Food Dignity special issue (with open/public access) of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development: https://www.foodsystemsjournal.org/index.php/fsj/issue/view/food-dignity-issue
From 2011 to 2018, five US community-based food justice organizations collaborated with academic partners on a research, action, and education project we called “Food Dignity: Action research on engaging food insecure communities and universities in building sustainable community food systems.”

We asked how communities work to build sustainability, equity, and food security through food system work. We also sought means of creating more equitable community-university partnerships. We learned about both by doing, and also by tapping the collective decades of expertise the five community-based organizations brought to the table. We had five funded years, with nearly $5 million from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture AFRI program (competitive grant no. 2011-68004-30074).

Explore our results, partners, and partnership on the website. Words from some of the 21 titles in this (277-page!) special issue include: Costs of Community-based Action Research, Follow the Money [to] Academic Supremacy, Visualizing Expertise, What Gardens Grow, Community-Designed Minigrant Programs, Social Movement Frames Used by Collaborators, Triple-Rigorous Storytelling, and five community essays on Entering into a Community-University Collaboration. This marks the official end of the Food Dignity project, though we will have a series of additional papers in this journal over the next few years and we will be adding new results, learning guides, and details about the work of communities remaking food systems to the website.

Over three dozen members of the co-investigation team have done this work. This included people from Blue Mountain Associates (Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyoming), Dig Deep Farms (Cherryland and /Ashland, California), East New York Farms! (Brooklyn, New York), Feeding Laramie Valley (Laramie/Albany County, Wyoming), Whole Community Project (Tompkins County/Ithaca, New York), University of Wyoming, Cornell University, Ithaca College, and University of California Davis.

As collaborators imprinted on a plaque they gifted to me at our last team meeting in January 2016, Food Dignity was a five-year action research project; food dignity is an aspiration for a lifetime.

————————————————————————————

End Text via Food Dignity

Introduction to the Coalition of Community Gardens Tampa Bay

Member Updates

No Comments

It was very rewarding to meet people from all over Florida, working in a wide range of overlapping fields at the recent Florida Food Policy Council. The Coalition of Community Gardens – Tampa Bay attended for the first time and looks forward to introducing ourselves to you. We are a network of 25+ community gardens in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties. Our mission is to support the success of community gardening. We meet quarterly to visit each other’s gardens and to share information. Find more information on our website: www.coalitionofcommunitygardens.weebly.com

The Coalition of Community Gardens – Tampa Bay is a partner in the Healthiest Cities/Counties Challenge which is sponsored by the American Public Health Association and funded by the Aetna Foundation. 50 Cities/Counties were awarded the opportunity to participate in this challenge to improve the health of our community. We have been working to establish community gardens in the areas in the city of Tampa which are considered by the USDA to be “food deserts”. We recently held Pop Up Garden Events to boost awareness and enthusiasm in two identified neighborhoods. (pictures attached).

The Coalition of Community Gardens – Tampa Bay held the first annual conference on Growing Community Gardens this past April. Save the date for the second conference, April 5-7, 2019. Rick Martinez, respected founder of the Sweetwater Farms, Community Supported Agriculture, will be the keynote speaker.
Central to the mission of our challenge is engaging the larger system of food access in our region. We are looking forward to collaborating and supporting the Florida Food Policy Council.
Kitty Wallace
Coalition of Community Gardens – Tampa Bay

community garden image

Press Release from Kai-Kai Farm

Member Updates

No Comments

The Kai-Kai owners are learning what it takes to build a licensed commercial (farm) kitchen on well and septic in a Florida county which historically has opposed any commercial development in areas zoned “agricultural”. Florida Agritourism Law 570-85 FS has started the conversation about food hubs and food processing on farms. The major hurdles are rules for septic tank construction designed for urban uses like restaurants. Other challenges include occupancy of public spaces by customers and this relates to the Florida Fire Code. Finally, a public water supply system is necessary and expensive; these are regulated by FDEP. Probably the biggest planning/permitting obstacle is relating farm water use of a kitchen, which may or may not include restaurant-like services, to Florida Rule 64E-6 “Standards for OSTDS”. A significant amount of regulatory discretion lies in the county office of the Florida Department of Health. There are no categories that fit a food processing farm kitchen. If there is disagreement with the local health official it is unclear what if any appeal process to Tallahassee exists. Unfortunately, all this interaction with multiple agencies turns out to be quite expensive; this helps explain why few small farms ever attempt a licensed commercial kitchen on well and septic.

Hello Sanford!

Uncategorized

No Comments

On this historic day we are standing shoulder to shoulder with the resolve to do something about the food situation both locally and statewide!

FLFPC Welcomes a new Council Administrator – Mary Meade

News

No Comments

Mary Meade is a content creator based in Tallahassee, FL, with a degree in International Affairs from Florida State University. As a communications specialist, she loves connecting individuals to ideas and developing community through diversity. She is most passionate about bridging the gaps between social and environmental justice through mission-driven businesses and organizations. Her favorite pastimes are hiking and camping in nature.

FLFPC Welcomes New Board Member – Laureen Husband

News

No Comments

LAUREEN HUSBAND

Laureen Husband, E.D., is the Director of Community Planning & Assessment at the Florida Department of Health in Duval County, and provides oversight over coalitions under Healthy Jacksonville within the department. She joined FDOH-Duval in June 2010 to oversee and facilitate local dialogue and engagement around chronic conditions and illnesses such as childhood obesity, food insecurity, asthma, diabetes, and worksite wellness through public/private partnerships.

Before joining Healthy Jacksonville, Husband was the Senior Program Manager for Polk County Health Department’s HIV/AIDS Program. Prior to that, Husband developed, implemented and managed programs addressing the wellbeing and welfare of children and women in the nonprofit sector. She has extensive experience working with community groups to address socio-economic security as well as health disparities. Husband’s areas of expertise include community development, food policy, grant writing, education, cultural competency, fiscal management, and resource development after natural disasters.

Husband has published a dissertation on the lived experiences of women on poverty. She was educated at the University of West Florida, University of Kentucky, and Berea College. She grew up in a small village in Kenya, East Africa.

FLFPC Welcomes New Board Member – Anthony Olivieri

News

No Comments

Anthony Olivieri, MURP
Founder, FHEED LLC

Anthony Olivieri is the founder of FHEED LLC, a food systems planning consultancy based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He has a Masters in Urban & Regional Planning from Florida Atlantic University (2011).

Passionate about food justice, Anthony specializes in conducting GIS-assisted food system assessments and workshops using diabetes disparities and food environment data. Anthony’s clients include the Broward Regional Health Planning Council, the Health Foundation of South Florida, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the United Way of Palm Beach County. Anthony has presented his work on food and health disparities to the Florida American Planning Association, American Public Health Association, and the Florida Redevelopment Association.

In addition to his consultancy, Anthony was a full-time instructor with the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida Atlantic University, where he developed and taught the region’s first urban planning course on community food systems (2014-2015). A Fort Lauderdale resident since 1998, Anthony is originally from Cambridge, Massachusetts and has a B.A. in psycholinguistics from the University of Southern California (1994).

Website: http://www.FHEED.com

Perdue Announces USDA’s Farm Bill and Legislative Principles for 2018

Uncategorized

No Comments

Release No. 0008.18

Contact: USDA Press
Email: press@oc.usda.gov

Perdue Announces USDA’s Farm Bill and Legislative Principles for 2018

(Mifflintown, PA, January 24, 2018) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Bill and Legislative Principles for 2018 during a town hall at Reinford Farms in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania.

“Since my first day as the Secretary of Agriculture, I’ve traveled to 30 states, listening to the people of American agriculture about what is working and what is not. The conversations we had and the people we came across helped us craft USDA’s Farm Bill and Legislative Principles for 2018,” said Secretary Perdue. “These principles will be used as a road map – they are our way of letting Congress know what we’ve heard from the hard-working men and women of American agriculture. While we understand it’s the legislature’s job to write the Farm Bill, USDA will be right there providing whatever counsel Congress may request or require.”

(Secretary Perdue holds a town hall meeting at Reinford Farms where he rolled out USDA’s 2018 Farm Bill and Legislative Principles)

Download USDA’s 2018 Farm Bill and Legislative Principles

farm bill

USDA’s 2018 Farm Bill and Legislative Principles:

FARM PRODUCTION & CONSERVATION

  • Provide a farm safety net that helps American farmers weather times of economic stress without distorting markets or increasing shallow loss payments.
  • Promote a variety of innovative crop insurance products and changes, enabling farmers to make sound production decisions and to manage operational risk.
  • Encourage entry into farming through increased access to land and capital for young, beginning, veteran and underrepresented farmers.
  • Ensure that voluntary conservation programs balance farm productivity with conservation benefits so the most fertile and productive lands remain in production while land retired for conservation purposes favors more environmentally sensitive acres.
  • Support conservation programs that ensure cost-effective financial assistance for improved soil health, water and air quality and other natural resource benefits.

TRADE & FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL AFFAIRS

  • Improve U.S. market competitiveness by expanding investments, strengthening accountability of export promotion programs, and incentivizing stronger financial partnerships.
  • Ensure the Farm Bill is consistent with U.S. international trade laws and obligations.
  • Open foreign markets by increasing USDA expertise in scientific and technical areas to more effectively monitor foreign practices that impede U.S. agricultural exports and engage with foreign partners to address them.

FOOD, NUTRITION, AND CONSUMER SERVICES

  • Harness America’s agricultural abundance to support nutrition assistance for those truly in need.
  • Support work as the pathway to self-sufficiency, well-being, and economic mobility for individuals and families receiving supplemental nutrition assistance.
  • Strengthen the integrity and efficiency of food and nutrition programs to better serve our participants and protect American taxpayers by reducing waste, fraud and abuse through shared data, innovation, and technology modernization.
  • Encourage state and local innovations in training, case management, and program design that promote self-sufficiency and achieve long-term, stability in employment.
  • Assure the scientific integrity of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans process through greater transparency and reliance on the most robust body of scientific evidence.
  • Support nutrition policies and programs that are science based and data driven with clear and measurable outcomes for policies and programs.

MARKETING & REGULATORY PROGRAMS

  • Enhance our partnerships and the scientific tools necessary to prevent, mitigate, and where appropriate, eradicate harmful plant and animal pests and diseases impacting agriculture.
  • Safeguard our domestic food supply and protect animal health through modernization of the tools necessary to bolster biosecurity, prevention, surveillance, emergency response, and border security.
  • Protect the integrity of the USDA organic certified seal and deliver efficient, effective oversight of organic production practices to ensure organic products meet consistent standards for all producers, domestic and foreign.
  • Ensure USDA is positioned appropriately to review production technologies if scientifically required to ensure safety, while reducing regulatory burdens.
  • Foster market and growth opportunities for specialty crop growers while reducing regulatory burdens that limit their ability to be successful.

FOOD SAFETY & INSPECTION SERVICES

  • Protect public health and prevent foodborne illness by committing the necessary resources to ensure the highest standards of inspection, with the most modern tools and scientific methods available.
  • Support and enhance FSIS programs to ensure efficient regulation and the safety of meat, poultry and processed egg products, including improved coordination and clarity on execution of food safety responsibilities.
  • Continue to focus USDA resources on products and processes that pose the greatest public health risk.

RESEARCH, EDUCATION & ECONOMICS

  • Commit to a public research agenda that places the United States at the forefront of food and agriculture scientific development.
  • Develop an impact evaluation approach, including the use of industry panels, to align research priorities to invest in high priority innovation, technology, and education networks.
  • Empower public-private partnerships to leverage federal dollars, increase capacity, and investments in infrastructure for modern food and agricultural science.
  • Prioritize investments in education, training and the development of human capital to ensure a workforce capable of meeting the growing demands of food and agriculture science.
  • Develop and apply integrated advancement in technology needed to feed a growing and hungry world.

RURAL DEVELOPMENT

  • Create consistency and flexibility in programs that will foster collaboration and assist communities in creating a quality of life that attracts and retains the next generation.
  • Expand and enhance the effectiveness of tools available to further connect rural American communities, homes, farms, businesses, first responders, educational facilities, and healthcare facilities to reliable and affordable high-speed internet services.
  • Partner with states and local communities to invest in infrastructure to support rural prosperity, innovation and entrepreneurial activity.
  • Provide the resources and tools that foster greater integration among programs, partners and the rural development customer.

NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT

  • Make America’s forests work again through proactive cost-effective management based on data and sound science.
  • Expand Good Neighbor Authority and increase coordination with states to promote job creation and improve forest health through shared stewardship and stakeholder input.
  • Reduce litigative risk and regulatory impediments to timely environmental review, sound harvesting, fire management and habitat protection to improve forest health while providing jobs and prosperity to rural communities.
  • Offer the tools and resources that incentivize private stewardship and retention of forest land.

MANAGEMENT

  • Provide a fiscally responsible Farm Bill that reflects the Administration’s budget goals.
  • Enhance customer service and compliance by reducing regulatory burdens on USDA customers.
  • Modernize internal and external IT solutions to support the delivery of efficient, effective service to USDA customers.
  • Provide USDA full authority to responsibly manage properties and facilities under its jurisdiction.
  • Increase the effectiveness of tools and resources necessary to attract and retain a strong USDA workforce that reflects the citizens we serve.
  • Recognize the unique labor needs of agriculture and leverage USDA’s expertise to allow the Department to play an integral role in developing workforce policy to ensure farmers have access to a legal and stable workforce.
  • Grow and intensify program availability to increase opportunities for new, beginning, veteran, and underrepresented producers.