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INSLEE UPDATES PROCLAMATION REQUIRING AGRICULTURAL WORKER TESTING

Monday, 24 August 2020 Blog & News

Gov. Inslee issued an update to Proclamation 20-57, “Concerning the Health of Agricultural Workers.” The proclamation now requires agricultural employers to test their workforce broadly when health officials identify an outbreak that passes certain thresholds.   Since the governor first issued Proclamation 20-57 on May 28, the total number of cases in Washington...

QUARANTINE RESTRICTION RESOURCES FOR AG WORKERS AND EMPLOYERS

Monday, 27 July 2020 Blog & News

The latest recommendations from the Washington State Dept. of Health include the most current safety plan and interpretative guidance regarding worker safety. They have outlined a comprehensive path to follow to manage and report any COVID-19 infected worker. Under DOH authority, the ag workforce is critical thereby employees can continue to work, even if exposed. Find the DOH’s Guide for...

PREPARE FOR SUMMER HEAT

Wednesday, 08 July 2020 Blog & News

Heat related illness is one of the most common maladies to befall outdoor workers, particularly in agricultural settings. The basic problem is a rise in body core temperature due to conditions that induce dehydration, or otherwise block the body’s natural ability to cool itself. Heat illness is exacerbated by heavy or protective clothing, respiratory protection, age, weight, fitness, and lack...

USDA ANNOUNCES MORE ELIGIBLE COMMODITIES FOR CFAP

Friday, 14 August 2020 Blog & News

USDA ANNOUNCES MORE ELIGIBLE COMMODITIES FOR CFAP U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today that additional commodities are covered by the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) in response to public comments and data. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the deadline to apply for the program to September 11th, and producers...

MUSTARD COVER CROPPING AND GREEN MANURING BEFORE POTATOES

Tuesday, 21 July 2020 Blog & News

Growing a cover crop to be incorporated into the soil as a “green manure” is a technique many potato growers use to enhance soils. The benefits of cover crops / green manures include controlling erosion, enhancing soil organic matter, stimulating growth of beneficial microorganisms, and in the case of mustard green manures, reducing population densities of some soil-borne pests important to...

WSU IS OFFERING TWO TYPES OF PESTICIDE PRE-LICENSE REVIEW WEBINARS

Thursday, 02 July 2020 Blog & News

Webinars for Private Applicators Select one of these dates: June 29, July 27, or August 31 To take exams, you need toregister with WSDA for their regular session or with your County Extension (if they are open for appointments).   Webinars for All Other License Types Webinar topic options: 1) Laws & Safety or Dealer Manager exams, 2) Weed Management exams, and...

TACO BELL ELIMINATING POTATO ITEMS FROM MENU AUGUST 13

Monday, 03 August 2020 Blog & News

Taco Bell has confirmed that it will be dropping potato items from its menu August 13, apparently as part of an effort to simplify its menu. This will mean many items including Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes, Cheesy Potato Grillers and Spicy Potato Soft Taco will no longer be available. The decision has resulted in a backlash on social media. A petition has been created to protest the move and can be...

CORONAVIRUS FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM IS REEVALUATED, POTATO FARMS BECOME ELIGIBLE

Monday, 13 July 2020 Blog & News

The Secretary of Agriculture implemented the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which provides assistance to agricultural producers impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, through a final rule published in the Federal Register on May 21, 2020. USDA realized that there were errors in some of the payment rates in that final rule. They were able to reevaluate the payment rates...

FOOD SERVICE STARTING TO BOUNCE BACK

Monday, 22 June 2020 Blog & News

Restaurant sales bounced back in May, according to new federal data, as consumers continued to emerge from quarantine to use drive-thrus and other takeout services as states started gradually reopening dining rooms. Food services and drinking places sales rose 29% to $38.6 billion, leading a 17.7% overall increase in retail sales last month, according to new U.S. Census data. The numbers...
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Encouraging school foodservice operators to use more poatoes

Encouraging school foodservice operators to use more poatoes

As America’s Favorite Vegetable, potatoes can help provide students with the nutrients and energy they need to do their best during the school day. That’s why it’s important to remind school foodservice operators that potatoes are not only delicious, but also cost-effective and a nutritious addition to the school menu. In partnership with the School Nutrition Association (SNA), two webinars featured potatoes.  The first webinar, “Maximize Your Menus and Minimize Labor Constraints with Potatoes”, showcased potatoes through on-trend, student-friendly menu innovations and solutions to ease labor strains. The second webinar, “Fun Summer Feeding with Potatoes”, showcased how putting potatoes at the center of the plate can enhance summer feeding programs in fresh and fun ways. Both webinars included a live cooking demonstration with Potatoes USA Culinary Director Chef RJ Harvey, RD and Award-Winning Author Dayle Hayes, MS, RD. The demonstrations were pre-recorded in the Potatoes USA Spud Lab and were a big hit with the participants. Webinars Key Takeaways: Nutritional benefits of potatoes at an affordable price How potatoes can limit food waste Ways potatoes can take over as the center of the plate How serving potatoes to children over the summer can be fun Upon webinar completion, attendees were able to earn continuing education credits. All recipes and resources utilized in the webinar are available on the SNA website for future download. Following are some quotes from the operators who were very engaged in the webinar chat. “My favorite Webinar I’ve seen so far this year. VERY helpful and insightful. Well Done!”  “Love Dayle and RJ as a team. Can they please start a cooking youtube series? ‘Dayle and RJ: Potatoes for All!’” “Great webinar, gained new ideas for using potatoes. Thank you!” SNA is recognized as the authority on school nutrition and utilizes weekly webinars to educate their 50,000+ members. For more information on K-12 School Foodservice marketing activities, email potatoesraisethebar@potatoesusa.com.

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WSDA Resilient Food System Infrastructure Grant Program

WSDA Resilient Food System Infrastructure Grant Program

Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) recently opened the application period for the Resilient Food System Infrastructure (RFSI) Grant. This one-time grant program is funded by USDA and is designed to bolster the middle of Washington’s food supply chain. The program aims to enhance local and regional food systems by supporting activities like aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storage, transportation, wholesaling, and distribution. Eligible entities include agricultural producers, processors, non-profit organizations, for-profit entities meeting SBA small business size standards, local and tribal governments, and institutions like schools and hospitals. Priority will be given to projects that benefit underserved and socially disadvantaged farmers, small and veteran-owned businesses, and projects that expand processing, aggregation, and distribution capacities. The application period opened on May 30, 2024, and closes on July 15, 2024 at 5:00 PM. WSDA is offering extensive support to help applicants through the process. This includes assistance from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and dedicated office hours every Tuesday and Thursday leading up to the application deadline. Visit the RFSI webpage for more information about what’s available. If you need assistance, please visit the RSI website. WSDA will also be available with office hours of every Tuesday 10am through July 9th and every Thursday at 2pm through June 27th (no office hours on July 4th holiday)

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