Cochran-Leahy bill would boost farm to school program

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Cochran-Leahy bill would boost farm to school program

From The Clarion-Ledger, Mississippi 8:58 p.m. CST February 28, 2015

 

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran has joined Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont to introduce the Farm to School Act of 2015, a measure to improve a program that promotes the use of home-state agriculture products in school cafeterias.

The Leahy-Cochran legislation (S. 569) would expand the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School grant program created in 2004 but not funded until 2010. The 2015 legislation would increase school eligibility, reduce barriers for farmer participation, allow broader use of agriculture and aquaculture (including catfish) products and restrict the amount of program funding that can be used for administrative costs.

The bill would raise the program’s authorized level from $5 million to $15 million, and increase the maximum grant award to $200,000. A similar bipartisan reauthorization bill (HR. 1061) has been introduced in the House.

“Farm to School is a simple, but great concept to provide more economic opportunities to farmers and more home-state food options for our schools,” Cochran said.

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About veggiedr

Christine is an Associate Research and Extension Professor of Urban Horticulture at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi, MS. She works as the resident scientist at the Beaumont Horticultural Unit in Perry County, MS. Her research interests include urban agriculture, backyard farming, container gardening, high tunnel production, local foods, horticultural therapy, green roofs, and small farm issues. Christine is passionate about feeding people and growing farmers.

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