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New Mexico Farm to School Program: Distribution. Presented by L ē Adams Farm to Table October 5, 2008. Farm to Table “Where agriculture meets healthy children and healthy communities.”. Established 1996 Non-profit, educational organization working in 5 southwestern states

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New Mexico Farm to School Program: Distribution

Presented by

Lē Adams

Farm to Table

October 5, 2008


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Farm to Table“Where agriculture meets healthy children and healthy communities.”

  • Established 1996

  • Non-profit, educational organization working in 5 southwestern states

  • Three main program areas:

Farm to School Program:

Education and training for producers, school food service providers, teachers, and students.

NM Food & Ag

Policy Council

Policy development, advocacy and education to promote local agriculture, food security and healthy eating.

SW Marketing Network

Business and marketing training to producers and organizational development to community groups.


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NM Farm to School Activities

  • 2007-8 NM schools --$350,000 from local farmers.

  • In Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos, Las Cruces, and 4 other districts (over 50% of school population)

  • Snack programs: fresh fruits and vegetables. 2008 Farm Bill increased funding for NM to $707,000 in 31 schools.

  • Some Educational Activities:

    • Cooking and Nutrition – ICAN (Coop Ext), Cooking with Kids, Kids Cook!

    • In classroom and on farms-

      • Monte del Sol Edible Schoolyard and Summer Intern Program.

      • After school and other school gardens

      • Farm field trips for students and school food service providers.

    • School Fundraisers – NM agricultural products as healthier fundraisers in schools.


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Outlets:

Grocery Store

Convenience Store

Farmers’ Market

Institution

Buying Club

Restaurant

Packing

Processing

Storage

Farming and Ranching

Eaters

Distribution

Taking a Food System View


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In Our Current Food System….

  • Only one full-service distributor has routes in all of rural NM.

  • Most of our agricultural products go out of state for processing :

    • 91% of NM cattle is sent out of state for processing and distribution.

  • Produce--- 1,500 miles and 7 to 14 days to get to our grocery stores.

  • Wheat in a processed product…



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In a food system that works…

Production, processing, packing, storing, and distribution are done locally and/or are tailored to meet local needs.

Food and agricultural enterprises provide business and employment opportunities for New Mexicans.


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Healthy Kids, Healthy Economy: a state legislative example

  • Goal: Provide more than 200,000 nutritionally at-risk schoolchildren with healthy local fruits and vegetables and create new markets for NM farmers.

  • Mechanism: Invest $4 million in state funding for schools to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, New Mexico grown when available.

  • Success: NM invests $85,000 annually in fresh produce for ABQ’s Valley Cluster

  • (12 schools - 6,000 students).


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Challenges and Opportunities for Local Foods in Schools

  • Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization provides an opportunity to leverage more federal funds

  • In NM all funding for school lunches comes from federal reimbursements.

  • State funds allocated to other school programs can

    not be used to help pay for school

    meals.


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Outlets:

Grocery Store

Convenience Store

Farmers’ Market

Institution

Buying Club

Restaurant

Packing

Processing

Storage

Farming and Ranching

Eaters

Distribution

When HKHE legislation is passed, it will…

Increase capacity to provide fresh, healthy foods.

Help children develop lifelong healthy eating habits.

Create opportunity for new, locally owned enterprises.

Create a new $4M market for farmers.


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Farm to School Distribution in NM

  • La Montanita Foodshed Project

  • Commodity Transport through Human Services Department and Dept of Defense Fresh Program

  • Other Distributors:

    • Smaller: Duke City and Zanios

    • Larger: Sysco, US Food

      Service, Shamrock

    • Alternative trucking possibility:

      Mesilla Valley Transport


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Distribution Challenges

  • Rural state, large distances

  • Farmers -- no refrigerated trucks

    -- don’t figure cost of transportation into bids

  • School food service budgets don’t allow extra for transportation costs

  • Too many small-scale farmers means unwieldy accounting for large buyers.

  • Need to improve farmer networks.

  • Existing distributors can’t serve farms that lack necessary infrastructure.

  • Need refrigerated storage depots that can be accessed by buyers, transporters and producers.


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Existing Networks to Build On

  • New Mexico Apple Council

  • School Food Service Buying Coop

  • Bid process sharing with Albuquerque Public Schools


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What’s Next?

  • Strategic Plan for Farm to School in NM

  • Continue to push for state legislation for extra funds for school food service

  • Work with NM Food Gap Task Force to tackle distribution issues

  • Encourage re-instatement of Dept of Defense Fresh Program

  • Hire a statewide marketing/distribution consultant and broker


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For more information, contact:Lē AdamsFarm to Table3900 Paseo del SolSanta Fe, NM 87507505-473-1004 x10ladams@cybermesa.comwww.farmtotablenm.orgThanks to our many partners involved in this work, including:New Mexico farmersSchool Food Service & School District personnelNM Department of Agriculture New Mexico Apple CouncilNM Food & Ag Policy CouncilAction for Healthy Kids NMSU Cooperative Extension ServiceNM Human Services Department, Commodities BureauNM Public Education DepartmentCooking with KidsUSDA programs and grantsOther funders