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Recent posts by Sandra Renner

Value-Added Producer Grant funds available

At Robinette Farms, funds from the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program help pay for processing, marketing, distribution, and sales of pasture-raised chickens, eggs, and microgreens.

This year, $18 million in funding is available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) VAPG program. Paper applications are due Jan. 31, 2018, and electronic applications through www.grants.gov are due Jan. 24.

Local food served on school lunch trays nationwide

October is National Farm to School Month, a time to recognize the importance of improving child nutrition, supporting local economies, and educating communities about the origins of their food.

In 2016, the Center for Rural Affairs joined more than 220 organizations nationwide to promote farm to school throughout October. This year marks the seventh year for National Farm to School Month, designated by Congress to bring awareness to the growing importance of these programs in child nutrition, local economies, and education.

Apply for value-added producer grants by January 2018, read about success stories

“Creating and marketing value-added products has the potential to significantly enhance our farm's profitability, but this is no easy task. Our value-added funds will help pay for processing, marketing, distribution, and sales of our pasture-raised chickens and eggs, as well as microgreens that we grow,” said Alex McKiernan, co-owner of Robinette Farms near Lincoln, Nebraska. The farm received a working capital grant in 2015.

Students and educators benefit from growing food

In the last 20 years, small schools facing budget cuts often removed elective classes. This left skills like cooking and growing fruits and vegetables unlearned.

Center for Rural Affairs’ Greenhouse to Cafeteria program has been a solution for schools that have faced those decisions in the past. Not only does it fill a hole left in the curriculum, it also means healthier foods are served at lunch.

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