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Help support healthy, food-secure communities and a thriving regional food system this New Year!

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far this year, because of your support we were able to meet our $1,000 matching goal! We are already over a quarter of the way to our year end goal, help us reach it by clicking here to donate. 

FaHN works hard to bridge connections between local agriculture, food security and healthcare so that all community members have access to nutritious food and local farms and businesses remain viable for many years to come. We have big plans for the coming year, and your contribution will help us continue to support collaborative regional projects like farm to school, development of the Food & Health Volunteer Corps, summer meals, and regional food assessments. Click here to read more about the impact of your support.

We invite you to join us in 2017 as a new or renewed member or sponsor and invest in your commitment to a thriving, healthy and food-secure regional food system!

Please visit our website to learn more about the work your involvement will support and the benefits available for members and sponsors. 

Students Vote "Yes" for Kale!

Throughout December, FaHN partnered with school districts across Broome and Tioga counties to hold taste tests featuring a fall kale salad made from local ingredients for students to sample during lunch in their school cafeterias.

The simple salad included apples, cranberries, and a dressing made of honey, lemon juice, canola oil, salt, and pepper. The kale was sourced locally from Main Street Farms out of Homer, NY and processed (chopped) by Crooked Carrot in Ithaca, NY. The apples were sourced through Russell Farms in Brackney, PA and the honey was from procured from both Babcock Farms in Nichols, NY and through Old Barn Hollow, a local food retailer that sources all of its products within a 100 mile radius. 

Students were given the opportunity to sample the fall kale salad and vote on their preferences. A student's vote yes indicated that the student liked the salad and would eat it again, while a student's vote no indicated they did not like the salad and would not necessarily try it again if it was featured for school lunches.

The idea behind the taste tests was to gauge student preferences and introduce local kale in a form simple enough to be replicated in the school lunch line and that students would also enjoy. Kale is a locally abundant, nutritious, and resilient product, with a longer shelf-life than most other leafy green vegetables. Introducing kale into schools would not only support local farmers, recycle money into the local food economy, and help move towards an environmentally sustainable regional food system in the Southern Tier, but also would introduce a nutritious super food to the diets of the student aged populations close to home.

The taste tests were an overwhelming success: 84% of the students who sampled the fall kale salad voted that they enjoyed the salad and would eat it again if it was featured in the lunch line, while only 16% of students indicated they did not like it. The numerical total was 642 votes yes to 123 votes no. Leftover salad was also featured in the school lunch line on the days following the taste tests and quickly ran out, often with students asking cafeteria staff if any more was available.

The Food and Health Network is looking forward to assisting school districts to work out the logistics of procuring kale from local farmers for future salads as well as holding taste tests with different local products in the upcoming months!

Farm Sponsor Spotlight: Shared Roots Farm

Our Farm Sponsor Spotlight is Shared Roots Farm in McGraw, NY. Tom Lewis, FaHN VISTA, spoke with Stephanie Roberts, a co-owner of the farm along with Bret Morris, to learn about the background of the farm and her thoughts on farming.
On the farm's background: 
Stephanie and Bret have been farming in the greater Binghamton area since 2010, but According to Stephanie, “Shared Roots Farm as Shared Roots Farm just finished its second full season”. However, that isn’t the full extent of their farming experience. “We had our first small market, and started growing for market in 2008. We started off really small with a half acre and have built up to where we are at currently, about twelve acres.” During that time from when they began farming they've gone from running a farm on land that they were leasing to buying their own land and farming at their current location in McGraw, NY.
Presently, they are raising diversified vegetables on their farm. “We grow about everything you can grow in New York State aside from sweet corn because of the labor and space demands”.
What she enjoys most about farming:
“There are so many aspects of it, I really enjoy the interactions with our customers, our CSA members and the community.” Along with the social connections that Stephanie gets to enjoy from owning a farm she also appreciates the planting and growing aspect of farming. “It is really fun to harvest from seed. Right now it’s winter and our fields are covered in snow. It’s always amazing to think as you are walking around the snow-covered fields how much food and nourishment comes from what seems like barren land.”

The biggest challenges of farming:
When discussing the biggest challenges that come along with farming, Stephanie felt that the small business aspect of owning a farm was one of the most difficult pieces. She also described how, “seasonal shifts are always difficult” and said that, “every year has it’s own unique challenges.”

On what is needed to support the local food system:
“I think we need a bigger customer base. There are some great groups out there like you guys (FaHN), and I really like working with VINES and their FarmShare program, to help diversify the people who are getting our produce. I think we have a decent supply in the greater Binghamton Area, we just need to have enough demand to support that supply.” To read the full article, visit our Food for Thought blog.

Food & Farm Policy

Hunger Solutions New York: Sign on to protect federal nutrition programs
There is still time to lend your organization’s support to call on the New York Congressional Delegation (House and Senate) to stand together to reject cuts or structural constraints (block grants) to our nation’s core anti-hunger programs. The deadline has been extended to January 9th to sign on to the open letter. To learn more click here.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's Top Wins of 2016: 
1: The USDA announced nearly $18 million in federal grant funding to be invested in 37 projects serving new and aspiring farmers and ranchers, 29 of which were community-based and non-profit organizations
2: Together with NSAC, the Organic Farming Research Foundation (an NSAC member) produced the Taking Stock report, a review of federal organic research programs and how well they are meeting the needs of organic farmers. 
3: The USDA announced exciting changes to their Microloan Program, including launching a new Direct Farm Ownership Microloan, which will streamline and quicken the loan approval process for smaller real estate loans. To read more of NSAC's top wins of 2016 click here.

January 11, 2017
Wednesday, 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM 
Nutrition Exploration at the Waverly Family Resource Center
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tioga County, Waverly Family Resource Center
Learn more here.
January 12, 2017
Catskill Regional Agriculture Conference
SUNY Delhi, Delhi, NY
Register here.
January 20-22, 2017
Friday - Sunday

2017 NOFA-NY: Organic Farming & Gardening Winter Conference
NOFA-NY, Saratoga Springs, NY
Click here for more information.
January 24, 2017 - February 21, 2017 
5 week course: Every Tuesday, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Developing your Farm or Food Business 
Groundswell Center, Just BeCause Center, Ithaca, NY
Register here.
January 24, 2017 & January 31, 2017 
2 week course: Tuesday, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Baskets to Pallets
Cornell Small Farms Program, Templeton Hall, Cooperstown, NY
Register here.
Save the Date! 
2017 NYS Anti-Hunger Conference
May 17, 2017
Albany Capital Center
Albany, NY
Click here for more information.

Chef Ann Foundation
Project Produce: Fruit & Veggie Grants for Schools. No application deadline.
Learn more here.

Grassroots Grant: Applications open January 2, 2017. Learn more here.

Community Foundation of South Central New York
Small Grants: January 15, 2017. Learn more here.

Ag Industry Enhancement Grant- Southern Tier
Period 3: January 16, 2017 - March 6, 2017. Learn more here. 

New York State New Farmer's Grant Fund 
Applications must be postmarked by January 27, 2017. Learn more here. 

American Academy of Pediatrics
Community Access to Child Health Program Grants (CATCH): Applications due January 31, 2017. Learn more here. 

Annie's Grant for Gardens
School Garden Grant, applications reopened in November 2016. Learn more here.

Administrative Assistant, NOFA-NY
The position provides general administrative and IT support to the NOFA-NY staff. Based in the NOFA-NY office in Farmington, NY, the General Office Aide/Bookkeeper reports to the Operations Director. Learn more here.

Communications Coordinator, NOFA-NY
The primary duties of this position include scheduling communication activities using a communications calendar, maintaining the website, posting regularly on social media and developing outreach materials that maintain consistent messaging. This position is also responsible for coordination of all event registration. Learn more here.

Farm Apprentice/ Co-Manager, Nook & Cranny Farm, Ithaca, NY
This is an educational position and the apprentice will be a farmer-colleague and will be expected to be involved with all aspects of small-scale organic vegetable production and animal management: greenhouse work, bed preparation, field planting, cultivation, trellising, harvesting, hoop house construction, irrigation system set-up, poultry and hog management, CSA share distribution, market and retail sales, crew management and business planning. Learn more here.

Urban Farm & Farm Share Food Systems Internships, VINES
The Urban Farm Intern will assist in the day to day work required during the growing season on an urban farm built on formerly vacant lots in downtown Binghamton and the Farm Systems Internship involves direct service in the community addressing food justice, agriculture, and community engagement. Learn more here.

AmeriCorps Positions promoting Food Access & Health! 
Fall positions available with a range of organizations. View positions and apply: Rural Health Service Corps website.

Organizational Members

Broome County Council of Churches
Broome County Health Department
Broome-Tioga BOCES Food Service
Cayuga Lake Food Buyers
Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE) 
Chenango County Health Department
Chenango County United Way, Inc 
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tioga County
Delaware Opportunities Inc.
Family Enrichment Network
Food Bank of the Southern Tier
Hatherleigh Foundation
Healthy Lifestyles Coalition (United Way)
Rural Health Network of South Central New York
Seven Valleys Health Coalition
Tioga County Hunger Coalition 
Tioga Opportunities
Tompkins County Food Distribution Network
United Health Services (UHS)
VINES: Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments
Individual Members

Susan Adair
Diane Albrecht
Richard Andrus
Donna Bates
Mark Bordeau
Jeanne M. Darling
Christine Day
Ann Denniston 
Ray Denniston
Nancy Eckstrom
Matthew Griffin
Kathleen Horner
Kevin Millar
Diane O'Hora
Peaceful By Nature Farm
Jeffrey Piestrak
Tony Preus
Amy Shapiro
Lauren Tonti
Rose Zonetti

Diane Albrecht & Jerry Albrecht 
Greg Albrecht & Victoria Zeppelin
Susan Beaudoin
Elizabeth Bossong
Christina Boyd 
Diane Crews
Ray & Ann Denniston
Nancy Eckstrom
Katelyn Gascon
Matthew Griffin
Johan Jelsma
Suzanne Lewis
Amelia LoDolce  
Katelyn Marsh 
Kate Miller-Corcoran
Larry and Denise Moore
Glenda Neff
Molly Nelson 
Janice Parker
Jeffrey Piestrak
Charles & Mary Place
Maggie Reeger
Jack Salo
Bob & Linda Seeger
Doris Summerlee

Greg Summerlee
Lauren Tonti
Shawn Yetter
Blackbird Bakery
Care Manage for All
Chenango County United Way
Chobani, LLC
Closer to the Heart Farms
Creekside Acres Farm/The Creekside Cook
Dutch Hill Creamery
Engelbert Farms, LLC
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
Farm House Brewery
Fidelis Care New York
Galaxy Brewing Company
The Kitchen Store, Inc.
Lourdes Hospital
Old Barn Hollow Farm Market
The Owego Kitchen
Peaceful by Nature Farm
Regional Access
Shared Roots Farm 
Slope Farms
Stone Horse Farm 
United HealthCare
United Health Services (UHS)
Food & Health Network Facebook Page
Food & Health Network Facebook Page
Food & Health Network Website
Food & Health Network Website

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Food and Health Network of South Central New York · 2663 Main Street · Whitney Point, NY 13862 · USA

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