We organize regional "got local?" networking workshops designed to connect farmers and producers with chefs, institutional food service providers, and other local wholesale food buyers. These facilitated sessions provide education and guidance for direct marketing relationships as well as a critical face-to-face component that helps personalize these professional relationships. Based loosely on the concept of "speed-dating," the goal is to develop stronger bonds between farmers, producers, distributors,and end consumers of sustainable food [also institutions, chefs, co-ops, caterers, bed and breakfasts, assisted care facilities, school food service operations].
This project is funded from grants from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture - Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
Interested in a Farm to Cafeteria Fild Trip this summer?
- Discussion on how the new federal nutrition guidelines affected the choices the school made to develop this recipe.
- How do commodity food budgets affect the recipe choices.
- How could local foods be better integrated into the menu.
- How can local leaders, farmers, community & SHIP help
- An overview of the farm: History, business model, employees.
- Selling to institutional purchasers – positives & challenges.
- Farm tour fields, packing, storage and distribution facilities.
- What does this farm produce? What is available now, and what will be available through the season.
- Liability insurance, regulations, farm safety practices.
- Overview of school food program – history, self-operatedor run by a food service management company, central or decentralized kitchen, and sustainability initiatives?
- Discussion of how this school has approached local sourcing.
- Tour of the facility –kitchen, receiving/delivery options, processing/storage/cooking equipment, and staffing.
- What are your experiences with Farm-to-School? What have been successes and challenges?
- Share how school has integrated local foods into their menu planning and recipes.
- Skill sharpening - how efficiencies and skill training for staff & producers can make local foods more profitable and offer healthier options for school children.
3:30 Back to the farm for a local ice cream social -