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Happy New Year from the Food & Health Network!

Heading into 2016 we have so much to be thankful for here at FaHN, from exciting new opportunities to connect students with local food through farm to school, to new investments in the viability of the region's food and agricultural economy. During this time of growth and innovation, FaHN offers a forum for cross-sector learning and collaboration, policy leadership, and regional, data-driven research and programming.

We invite you to join us in 2016 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. 

 
FaHN January Meeting

Join us on Thursday, Jan. 28th for our first meeting of 2016! Chip McElwee, Executive Director of the Broome County Soil and Water Conservation District, will give a presentation on the Southern Tier Agricultural Industry Enhancement Program. Through the program, $25 million will be available to increase farm and agribusiness production. During the meeting we will also vote on the 2016 budget and work plan.

When: Thursday, January 28
When: 2:00 - 4:00pm
Where: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, Large Conference Room, 840 Front St, Binghamton

Please RSVP to Erin Summerlee at fahncoordinator@rhnscny.org if you'd like to join in person or remotely. Stay tuned for a full schedule of 2016 meetings and regional forums.
Growing Farm to School Opportunities Across the Region
 
Congratulations to Broome-Tioga BOCES and partners for being awarded one of six New York State Farm to School grants under the newly created grant program! We're excited to continue working with BT-BOCES, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, local producers, and many other partners to bridge connections between the regional farms and schools, and increase students access to healthy, local food. The project will build upon current farm to school success and an innovative distribution model. 
 
Read the official press release on New York State's website.
Check out Fox 40's coverage of the news and watch an interview with Erin.
Farm Sponsor Spotlight: Moore Family Organic Farm

Our Farm Sponsor Spotlight is Moore Family Organic Farm in Lansing, NY. Maggie Reeger, FaHN VISTA, spoke with Larry Moore to learn about the farm and its contributions to the local food system.
Farm background: 
Larry Moore grew up across the road from the farm he now owns and operates. Much of his time as a kid was spent there, and his uncle also farmed down the road.

Larry began farming on April 1, 1987 and has established a successful family farm. "I enjoy farming and want to preserve our land so the next generation has the opportunity to farm, if they want to. I want to put the land in better condition than I found it."

 

What he enjoys most about farming:
“Working the soil, being outside, marveling at creation, being in it, and being part of it.”

Biggest challenges of farming:
Rented land can be difficult to keep and maintain for organic farming. If a conventional grower outbids an organic grower for land use, that piece of land cannot be used again to grow organic crops for at least three years—the land must go through a transition period to restore it for organic production.  This can pose a challenge for an organic farmer who rents farmland. It helps to develop relationships with local farmers and neighbors. Larry is fortunate to have supportive neighbors who appreciate organic farming. “Every farm is unique. To make farming your job, you have to be willing to work hard so you can pay the bills. We’re always trying to do better, and there’s so much knowledge out there.”

What is needed to support the local food system:
Better education is key to informing consumers about the origins of their food. “People are increasingly interested in where their food comes from, and there is never too much information and awareness of the local food system.” Becoming a thoughtful and informed consumer, and knowing the difference between the terms ‘natural’ and ‘organic’, will help to make a change for the better. “Learn about your neighbors who are growing your food. Be educated about what you eat, how it grows, and who grows it.”

Advice for beginning farmers:
“Don’t be afraid of being tired. It’s not a bad thing. Being tired at the end of the day and sleeping good, knowing you worked hard that day…it’s a good thing.”

Where to find Moore Family Organic Farm products:
Moore Family Organic Farm sells milk to Organic Valley. Their hard red spring wheat is sold to Farmer Ground Flour, a local mill. Garlic is available locally, with most being sold in the Rochester area.

Read more about Moore Family Organic Farm here.            

Retail Sponsor Spotlight: The Kitchen Store

About the store: 
The Kitchen Store, owned by Sue Michaels, opened 5 years ago at its original location in Apalachin. For the past two years, the store has been at 59 North Ave in Owego. Years before opening her own store, Sue taught cooking classes at a kitchen store on Front Street in Owego. Although the store closed a few years ago, it gave Sue the inspiration to start her own business. “I really enjoyed teaching the classes and thought I would enjoy it on a full time basis.”

Sue sells useful kitchen gadgets and basic equipment, in addition to local products like honey, handmade aprons, and more eclectic items. The Kitchen Store is also a distribution spot for a Wholeshare group, where group members can stop by each week to pick up their local food and produce.

Importance of buying local and being a FaHN sponsor:
Sue works hard to promote her local business and is a strong advocate for the regional food system. “Buying local keeps more money in our community. It’s fresher, it’s better, it’s close to home.” She attends the Owego Farmers’ Market during the summer months to get local food and meet the farmers who grew it. “If I’m buying a unique item, I talk with the farmers to get ideas on how to cook it. I had never eaten a fresh lima bean. The woman who grew them told me how to make them, and
 they were delicious.”

As a FaHN sponsor, Sue believes that “It’s important to support the efforts that are made to educate people on how to eat locally and to provide good nutrition.”

The Kitchen Store is located at 59 North Ave in Owego. Visit the website and Facebook page. Read more here.

Food & Farm Policy

Understanding FDA's New FSMA Rule for Produce Farms
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has a multi-part series analyzing FDA's recently released rule that sets standards for the growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of product for human consumption (aka "the Produce Rule"). The first post addresses those farms that may be fully or partially exempt from the Produce Rule. The next post provides an overview of what's required of farms that must comply with the new rule.

Expand NYS Farm to School Program
Bringing more healthy food grown in New York into our K-12 schools is a priority for many New Yorkers. Last year, Governor Cuomo and State Legislators took a step forward in supporting this movement by creating a Farm to School Grant Program. 

This year, the New York School Nutrition Association and others are urging Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature to allocate funding for a procurement incentive to enable schools to purchase fruits, vegetables, dairy products and other healthy foods produced in New York. Stay tuned for future updates, and view a recent op-ed on the issue here.
Upcoming Events
January 12, 2016
Tuesday, 2:00pm-3:15pm

 
Leveraging Institutional Purchasing Power to Expand Access to Healthy Food
Food Solutions New England Webinar
January 13, 2016
Wednesday, 6-8pm

 
Cooking Class: Buddha Bowls
The Kitchen Store, Inc.

59 North Ave., Owego, NY
Visit The Kitchen Store's Facebook page.
January 14, 2016
Thursday, 10am-3:30pm
Catskill Regional Agricultural Conference
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County

Delhi, NY
Learn more here.
January 20, 2016
Thursday, 3:30pm-4:45pm
GroupGAP: USDA's New Cooperative Approach to Farmer Food Safety Certification
National Good Food Network Webinar

Register here.
January 22-24, 2016
 
NOFA-NY 2016 Winter Conference
Good Hard Work: Ecosystems, Economics, Energy & Equity 

Saratoga Springs, NY. Learn more here.
January 26, Feb 9 & 23, Mar 8 & 22, 2016 
10:30am - 2:30pm
Annie's Project: Managing for Today & Tomorrow 
Succession, Business, Estate and Retirement Planning for Farm Women

Locations across NYS. Learn more here.
Grants
 
Systems and Services Research to Build a Culture of Health
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Letters of Intent due January 12. Learn more here.

Planning Grant: "Fresh, Local & Equitable: Food as a Creative Platform for Neighborhood Revitalization" 
Kresge Foundation
Applications due January 15. Learn more here.

Southern Tier Agricultural Industry Enhancement Grants
New York State Agriculture and Markets 
Eligibility criteria available now. Applications available January 19. Learn more here.

New Farmers Grant Fund 
Support to beginning farmers to improve profitability. 
Applications due January 22. Learn more here.

USDA Farm Service Agency Grant Opportunity to Expand Farmer Outreach and Education 
Four evaluation period deadlines: January 22, March 18, May 27.
Learn more here.

Organic Farming Researching Foundation Grants
Applications due February 8. Learn more here.

Job & Volunteer Opportunities

Local Foods & Nutrition Intern, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County
Paid internship. Responsible for teaching food and nutrition information as well as healthy eating to youth in a K-8 classroom environment. Includes design of marketing materials for, and implementation of, interactive, educational skits to aid in understanding of local foods systems and healthy eating. Learn more here.


Education Program Manager, Hudson Valley Farm Hub
The Farm Hub is seeking an Education Program Manager. S/He will be responsible for developing and managing educational programming as well as assisting with some teaching and serving as a representative of the Farm Hub. Find more information here.

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

Organizational Members

Broome County Health Department
Broome-Tioga BOCES Food Service
Cayuga Lake Food Buyers
Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE) 
Chenango County Health Department
Cornell Cooperative Extension Broome County
Cornell Cooperative Extension 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
Christina Boyd
Ray Denniston
Nancy Eckstrom
Matthew Griffin
Kathleen Horner
Sonia Janiszewski
Kevin Millar
Ann Moring
Peaceful by Nature Farm
Jeffrey Piestrak
Tony Preus
Amy Shapiro
Lauren Tonti
Rose Zonetti
Sponsors

Diane & Jerry Albrecht
Greg Albrecht & Victoria Zeppelin
Connie Barnes
Susan Beaudoin
Elizabeth Bossong
Care Manage for All
Closer to the Heart Farms 
Creekside Acres Farm/The Creekside Cook
Diane Crews
Ray Denniston
Nancy Eckstrom
Engelbert Farms
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

Fidelis Care 
Galaxy Brewing Company
Johan Jelsma
 

The Kitchen Store, Inc.
Larry & Denise Moore
Glenda Neff
Old Barn Hollow Farm Market
Peaceful by Nature Farm
Jeffrey Piestrak
Charles & Mary Place
Janice Parker
John & Linda Roush
Regional Access
Jack Salo
Linda Seeger
Slope Farms
Doris Summerlee
Lauren Tonti
United Health Care
United Health Services (UHS)
Shawn Yetter
Food & Health Network Facebook Page
Food & Health Network Facebook Page
Food & Health Network Website
Food & Health Network Website