on Monday, 25 October 2021. Posted in Blog & News

Members of the Washington and Oregon delegation took the lead on a letter, sent this week to Secretary of Ag Vilsack, urging USDA to provide new aid to producers in Washington and Oregon, two states slammed by intense heat and drought this summer. The lawmakers also ask that USDA offer guidance as quickly as possible on what documentation farmers need to provide to get assistance.

The record-breaking extreme heat, drought, low soil moisture and wildfires the Pacific Northwest experienced this summer caused damage to food products- ranging from scorched fruit to damaged berries to increased shellfish mortality- that were either produced in counties not covered by official drought designations, experienced losses not covered by drought assistance programs or both, as the lawmakers note.

Background: Congress approved $10 billion to cover qualifying crop losses experienced by producers as a part of the continuing resolution, which was passed to prevent a government shut down at the start of the month. The bill provides new flexibility in the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program-Plus authorization, including coverage for losses related to excessive heat and smoke exposure for wine grapes, as well as crop quality loss and damage to on-farm stored commodities.

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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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