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Farm-to-school efforts double in Minnesota


Fri, Mar 26th, 2010
Posted in Education

The number of Minnesota school districts purchasing fresh food from local farms has more than doubled in the last 15 months, according to a survey released today by the Minnesota School Nutrition Association (MSNA) and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).

Farm-to-school programs link school children with local farmers and farm products, including fruits and vegetables, meat, grains and other items. Farm to school provides fresh, healthy food choices, helps children develop healthy eating habits and supports small and mid-size farmers.

The survey gathered input from MSNA's membership, which includes foodservice professionals from nearly 100 public school districts serving approximately 550,000 K-12 students across the state. Sixty-nine districts reported purchasing Minnesota-grown products in 2009, more than double the figure from late 2008. Further, 77 percent of the districts now involved with farm-to-school initiatives expect to expand their activities in the upcoming school year, a sign that these programs are taking root and growing.

"Farm-to-school benefits our students, communities, farmers and the local economy throughout the state," said MSNA President Mary Anderson. "This is a very positive program on so many levels. The potential for growth is enormous."

"Parents, students and educators know that good nutrition is essential if our kids are to be healthy and ready to learn. Small and mid-size farmers, whose products have largely been absent from America's lunch trays, can offer our children fresh, fewer -processed choices and a chance to learn how and where their food is grown," said IATP's JoAnne Berkenkamp. "The momentum is rapidly building for farm to school programs and it's great to see schools and farmers embracing this opportunity."

Other key findings from the survey include:

• The most commonly used local foods were apples, potatoes, peppers, winter squash, sweet corn and tomatoes. A growing number of schools are also purchasing Minnesota-grown bison, wild rice, dried beans and grains.

• Nearly 43 percent of school districts purchasing Minnesota-grown food in 2009 did so by purchasing directly from a farmer or farmer co-op.

• While 84 percent of the survey respondents reported purchasing foods grown in Minnesota, 35 percent also purchased foods grown in neighboring areas of Wisconsin, Iowa and/or North or South Dakota.

• The big .....
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Fillmore Central small group contest

Tue, Mar 23rd, 2010
Posted in Education

Congratulations to the Fillmore Central High School Band department for its recent strong showing at the Minnesota State High School League Small Group Contest on Monday, March 16, 2010, in Austin, MN.

The band sent 16 entries, involving ove ..... 
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National Weather Service to hold Skywarn training

Tue, Mar 23rd, 2010
Posted in Education

The National Weather Service (NWS) will be holding a SKYWARN Severe Weather Spotter Training class in Harmony, MN, on Wednesday, April 7th. The training will be held at the Harmony Fire Station just south of town, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The c ..... 
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New and exciting happenings at the Harmony Public Library

Tue, Mar 23rd, 2010
Posted in Education

Thanks to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a generous donation to the Harmony Public Library by Tami Hoag, the Harmony Public Library will be getting three new public access computers and one Children's Learning Center computer this year, w ..... 
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School Readiness Program

Tue, Mar 23rd, 2010
Posted in Education

We are happy to invite you to attend Fillmore Central's 2010-2011 School Readiness Program for children 3/4 and 4/5 years of age.

School Readiness offers a preschool experience to students that are 3-5 years of age. The 3/4 year olds have t ..... 
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Help make a foreign exchange student's year a little brighter...

Tue, Mar 23rd, 2010
Posted in Education

Give by opening your hearts and homes to an international exchange student from abroad. The students are becoming more and more anxious to learn about the family they will be living with for the semester or school year. Students are between the ages ..... 
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Chatfield school board agrees on list of candidates for superintendent

Fri, Mar 19th, 2010
Posted in Education

At the Chatfield School Board's March 15 meeting, the list of fourteen candidates for superintendent was whittled down to six. The six will be interviewed soon. Chairman Jerry Chase said board members may have different parameters on what they are l ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson poised for growth with new developments

Fri, Mar 19th, 2010
Posted in Education

Several items headed the Monday, March 15th, meeting yet new developments and more positive growth for the district were likely the front runners.

The board unanimously approved the application of the district as a Charter School Authorizer ..... 
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Kingsland torn over budget

Fri, Mar 19th, 2010
Posted in Education

It was very clear that the Kingsland School Board wished there were other solutions to the problems associated with budget cuts and the hiring of administrative staff because of recent resignations. First, the principal and then the superintendent.< ..... 
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