January 2019 - 10

take some time to catch on, " said Michigan
Sen. Goeff Hansen. " It's not as easy as
ordering from your regular supplier. "
Hansen is a former grocery chain
EDUCATED
VEGETABLES
Large to small growers move crops
with Farm-to-School movement
Hudsonville, Michigan's Victory Farms cultivates roughly 800 acres for vegetable production. Photo: Khalid Ibrahim (eatpomegranate)
By Stephen Kloosterman
Associate Editor
Providence Organic Farm is a small
vegetable-and-livestock operation in
Michigan's Antrim County, with a
community supported agriculture (CSA)
program and a roadside market.
But owners Ryan and Andrea Romeyn
say direct sales to schools have led to the
" dreamy " experience of doing a profitable
higher-volume business in carrots. They
harvest more than 20 acres of carrots,
boxing them and shipping them out.
" It's a crop that grows well on our land, "
Andrea Romeyn said. " A lot of the things
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10 | VegetableGrowersNews.com
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that we grow for CSA are loss leaders,
meaning we either break even or lose a
little money. "
A national farm-to-school movement
represents a growing opportunity for
sales for small-to-medium specialty
crop growers.
A wide variety of local programs and
nonprofit groups use the Farm-to-Table
idea or name, and a wide variety of
purchases are made. A USDA survey once
found that schools purchased nearly $780
million a year in local food from farmers,
ranchers, fishermen, food processors
and manufacturers. The United States
Department of Agriculture estimated the
expenditures have only risen since the
survey was conducted in 2015.
Producing policy
States like Michigan, New York and
Oregon have grant programs encouraging
school foodservice directors to buy local,
and local growers are qualifying for orders.
In Michigan, a program called the 10
Cents a Meal Program is in its third year,
now serving nearly 135,000 students and
shelling out $575,000 in grants to the
school districts after being expanded two
years in a row.
" It's been successful, and getting more
successful. ... It's one of those things that
businessman from Oceana County, often
called the " asparagus capital of the world. "
Hansen now chairs the state senate K-12,
School Aid, Education Appropriations
Subcommittee, which introduced the initial
funding for the program.
" It's bringing the communities together
more, " he said of the program.
The program works by providing 10
cents a meal in matching funds to purchase
locally-grown fruits and vegetables. School
districts that receive grants from the state
are reimbursed for purchases they make. As
the 10 Cents a Meal Program has grown, it's
not only inspired more direct sales between
growers and schools but also has supported
regional distributors, also called food hubs,
who specialize in locally-grown foods - two
thriving distributors are Michigan Farm to
Freezer and Cherry Capital Foods.
Scaling up
Providence Organic Farm carrots sold
through Cherry Capital Foods are a highvolume
business and result in some sales to
non-school entities far away. Romeyn said
some of the carrots have been shipped as far
as Chicago - more than a five-hour drive.
Ryan Romeyn, her husband, said that
scaling up the carrot-growing operation
came with a few hurdles.
Hand-pulling the carrots led to a labor
issue. One year, in 2015, the harvest was
delayed by wet weather that left the ground
Equipment that makes dollars & 'sense'
WE PROMISE
AND ALWAYS
OVER-DELIVER.
http://www.valleyirrigation.com http://www.mvi.farm http://www.philbrownwelding.com http://www.VegetableGrowersNews.com

January 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of January 2019

January 2019 - 1
January 2019 - 2
January 2019 - 3
January 2019 - 4
January 2019 - 5
January 2019 - 6
January 2019 - 7
January 2019 - 8
January 2019 - 9
January 2019 - 10
January 2019 - 11
January 2019 - 12
January 2019 - 13
January 2019 - 14
January 2019 - 15
January 2019 - 16
January 2019 - 17
January 2019 - 18
January 2019 - 19
January 2019 - 20
January 2019 - 21
January 2019 - 22
January 2019 - 23
January 2019 - 24
January 2019 - 25
January 2019 - 26
January 2019 - 27
January 2019 - 28
January 2019 - 29
January 2019 - 30
January 2019 - 31
January 2019 - 32
January 2019 - 33
January 2019 - 34
January 2019 - 35
January 2019 - 36
January 2019 - 37
January 2019 - 38
January 2019 - 39
January 2019 - 40
January 2019 - 41
January 2019 - 42
January 2019 - 43
January 2019 - 44
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/vgn-digital-seed-guide-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyers-guide-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-october-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-august
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-june-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/april-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/vgn-digital-seed-guide-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyers-guide-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-october-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/august-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/june-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/seedguide-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyersguide-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/october-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/seedguide-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyersguide-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/october-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/august-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/june-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/april-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyersguide-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/december-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/november-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/october-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/september-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/august-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/july-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/june-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/may-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/april-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/march-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/february-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/buyersguide-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/greatamericanmediaservices/VGN/january-2019
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