Food & Farm News
November 20, 2013
Agriculture secretary pushes for farm bill
Renewing his call on Congress to pass new federal farm legislation, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told an audience in Fresno Tuesday that the bill has widespread benefits. Vilsack said the farm bill oversees not just farm programs, but food aid, research, conservation and other subjects. During an appearance at Fresno State University, Vilsack urged students to put their energies and talents to work in rural America.
Districts earn farm-to-school grants
Students in Oakland schools will enjoy “California Thursdays” in their lunchrooms, and students in five other California districts will see more locally grown foods at school as the result of grants announced Tuesday. The U.S. Agriculture Department issued farm-to-school grants for 71 projects nationwide. Along with the Oakland project, schools in Chula Vista, Grass Valley, Modesto, Pasadena and Pittsburg will benefit from this year’s grants.
UC reports new interest in home canning
Home canning and other forms of food preservation have seen a surge of attention in California. People who teach food preservation for University of California Cooperative Extension say young people have shown particular interest in learning how to can, freeze and otherwise save foods. Along with traditional jam-making and canning, master food preservers teach how to make spice blends, stews and other preserved foods.
Mobile site locates farmers markets
If you’re on the go, looking for fresh food and have your smartphone handy, there’s a new resource for finding the nearest California farmers market. The state Department of Food and Agriculture has developed a mobile website that uses geographic-positioning technology to locate the markets nearest you. The site also provides market times and contact information. It can be found at the California Mobile Gallery at www.ca.gov/mobile.