Take 5 with Minnesota Farmers Union

May 23, 2022Blog, Food Safety

By: Kathryn Kavanagh, Food Safety Project Coordinator Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) works to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life of family farmers, ranchers, and rural residents, incorporating legislative advocacy, education, and cooperation into all they do. Their work ranges from programs like Minnesota Foodshed, Minnesota Cooks, and youth summer camps all … Read More

Food Safety for All Types of Learners

April 27, 2022Blog, Food Safety

By: Katherine Olvera, NFU Intern How do you learn best? Some of us turn to workshops hosted by experts where we can see things firsthand and ask questions. Others like to do some learning from the comfort of our own home (or farm!), turning to online resources. As the Local Food Safety Collaborative (LFSC), a … Read More

Food Safety Spotlight: Bins, Brushes, and Brains

February 8, 2022Blog, Food Safety

By: Billy Mitchell Totes, fish baskets, buckets, RPCs, and more – harvest bins on a farm go by many names.  At the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association conference, TOFGA for short, farmers Lorig of Middle Ground Farm and Finnegan of Steelbow Farm presented about the bins they love, how and why they use them, … Read More

Hot Reads for Cool Nights

January 6, 2022Blog, Food Safety

By: Billy Mitchell & Tricia Wancko Y’all, it is cold outside. Sure, colder in some places than others—how Montana Farmers Union members survive the winter without their eyebrows freezing off, I’ll never know—but we’re all feeling the chill of winter and looking for some warmth and coziness. If you’re like us, nothing gives you the … Read More

Compost – the Gift That Keeps on Giving

December 14, 2021Blog, Food Safety

By: Billy Mitchell Soil gives us so much. It feeds us physically by providing incredible local food to eat. It feeds us emotionally as a medium for beautiful flowers that are feasts for our eyes and hearts. It even feeds us spiritually, giving us soft grass to picnic on with loved ones and trees perfect … Read More

Food Safety Coast to Coast

November 30, 2021Blog, Food Safety

By: Billy Mitchell and Tricia Wancko Although miles apart, the East and West coasts of the US share a lot of things like beautiful views and amazing wildlife. Another thing they share? Both coasts have communities of small-scale growers who care about improving their food safety and food quality practices. Over the past few weeks, … Read More

Food Safety Spotlight: Introducing the Montana Farmers Union & Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center

October 28, 2021Food Safety

By: Billy Mitchell & Tricia Wancko Montana Farmers Union took root in their state as homesteaders—a classic way to say local food producers—who discovered the necessity of working collaboratively to create a regional and sustainable food system. With a similar purpose, the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center (MMFEC) works to grow Montana’s local food economy … Read More

Continuing Resolution Provides Much Needed Disaster Assistance, Averts Government Shutdown

September 30, 2021Blog

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 30, 2021 Contact: Lyndsey Medsker (202) 557-5328 [email protected] Washington – Earlier today, the Senate and House took final action on the Continuing Resolution to fund federal agencies through December 3. The bill, currently awaiting President Biden’s signature, provides $10 billion in much needed disaster relief for losses incurred by farmers and … Read More

Food Safety Spotlight: Introducing Keep Growing Detroit

September 28, 2021Food Safety

By: Billy Mitchell & Tricia Wancko When thinking of Detroit, most people have images of an industrial area focused on auto production alongside a soundtrack of Motown songs and KISS running through their heads. A lesser-known—but just as vibrant and important part of Detroit’s history—is its connection to agriculture. Since 1841, Detroit has hosted one … Read More

Food Safety Spotlight: Introducing Missouri Farmers Union

September 14, 2021Food Safety

By Billy Mitchell & Tricia Wancko Missouri Farmers Union (MOFU) works to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life of agricultural producers—whether they are long-established or new to their agricultural journey—and provides a home for those producers who are committed to conserving their state’s natural bounty. As part of that work, MOFU … Read More

Food Safety Spotlight: A Food Safety Community Grows in the Northeast

August 4, 2021Blog, Food Safety

By Billy Mitchell, NFU Food Safety Training Coordinator Lowering produce safety risks. Growing great food. Building community. Growers and service providers have a long list of top priorities. The voluntary Community Accreditation for Produce Safety (CAPS) program of the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers’ Association—with operation coordinated by University of Vermont (UVM) Extension—aims to help growers adopt … Read More

Food Safety Spotlight: Meaningful Collaboration at IAFP

July 21, 2021Food Safety

By Billy Mitchell, NFU Food Safety Training Coordinator “Representation matters.” “Meaningful collaboration.” These simple yet powerful sentiments were shared by Armitra Jackson-Davis (Alabama A&M University) and Kranti Yemmireddy (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley) during the International Association for Food Protection’s conference session, “If You Want to Go Fast, Go Alone; But If You Want … Read More

What Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition Means for Agriculture

July 15, 2021Blog

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Director To address corporate consolidation in nearly every sector, President Joe Biden last week signed a sweeping executive order aimed at promoting competition and fairness throughout the economy. The order includes 72 directives that will be carried out by 12 federal agencies, many of which target the agricultural sector: It will offer … Read More

Food Safety Spotlight: Preparing to Lead

July 7, 2021Blog

By Billy Mitchell, NFU Food Safety Training Coordinator, & Tricia Wancko, NFU Food Safety Grant Coordinator The Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training provides an excellent opportunity both for growers to learn about the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR) and for trainers to build community as they enhance their skills teaching food … Read More

Don’t Be Duped by Deceptive Labeling

July 6, 2021Blog

By Danielle Endvick As we head into the holiday weekend, many families will be firing up the grill and celebrating with burgers and steaks cooked to sizzling perfection. Or, in sadder cases, charred to an unrecognizable blackened blob. Whether you’re one of the lucky folks feasting on a grillmaster’s handiwork or instead find yourself chomping … Read More

Blistering Temperatures Scorch Crops, Threaten Farmers and Workers

July 2, 2021Blog

This week, the Northwestern U.S. has experienced some of its hottest temperatures ever, with some cities and towns surpassing previous record highs by double digits.  The heat wave, which is unquestionably related to anthropomorphic climate change, is deeply concerning for a number of reasons. For one, heat can be extremely deadly, especially in regions that don’t experience it often … Read More

Gullah Geechee Cooperative Builds with Food Safety Focus

June 23, 2021Food Safety

By Billy Mitchell, NFU Food Safety Training Coordinator, & Tricia Wancko, NFU Food Safety Grant Coordinator A visit to the Gullah Farmers Cooperative processing, packing, and distribution facility on St. Helena Island, South Carolina, fills you with the same sense of promise as a freshly tilled field in spring—all the pieces are in place and … Read More

Beekeepers Work to Protect Hives By Keeping Them Local

June 22, 2021Blog

By Jeanne Janson, NFU Journalism Fellow With honey bee populations declining at rapid rates, beekeepers, farmers and consumers alike are grasping for solutions that will tackle the big picture problems like climate change. Ang Roell, however, believes change starts on a much smaller scale – one the size of a thumbnail. Ang is the author of … Read More

Celebrate Juneteenth By Keeping Our Promises to Black Farmers

June 18, 2021Blog

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Director Until recently, Juneteenth has been celebrated only in certain Black communities, with barbecues, parades, rodeos, and other festivities. A portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth,” the holiday marks the day that the final enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, were freed following the Emancipation Proclamation ­­– undoubtedly an event worth remembering. … Read More

 Food Safety Spotlight: Food Hubs and Food Safety

June 9, 2021Blog, Food Safety

By Billy Mitchell, NFU Food Safety Training Coordinator, & Tricia Wancko, NFU Food Safety Grant Coordinator “I’m really passionate about helping to make the local food movement in Alabama successful, and I feel like that is only going to happen if we are extremely creative and cooperative,” explained Farm Food Collaborative Co-Manager Carey Martin-Lane at … Read More

Spring Brings Another Year of Local Food Safety Collaborative

May 26, 2021Blog, Food Safety

By Billy Mitchell, NFU Food Safety Training Coordinator Bags of asparagus. Hot pepper jams. Turkey tail mushrooms. Over the past year and half, consumers recommitted to sourcing locally and discovered diverse and delicious food close to home. They also turned to virtual options to learn how to cook, preserve, and source those local ingredients. Farmers … Read More

Farmers Deserve the Right to Repair Their Tractors

May 24, 2021Blog

By Hannah Packman, NFU Communications Director Thanks in large part to the introduction of machinery like tractors and combines, farms today are far more efficient and productive than they were a handful of generations ago. Though these time- and labor-saving technologies can run tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, farmers often aren’t able … Read More

Food Safety Spotlight: The ABCs in School Gardens

May 12, 2021Food Safety

By Billy Mitchell, NFU Food Safety Training Coordinator Farm to school programs continue to grow in popularity, with some schools taking part in hyper-local sourcing by using school gardens and farms to provide students with opportunities for taste testing and hands-on learning. Teachers tending these school plots may ask themselves, “how do we grow the best tasting produce while following food safety practices to keep our kids safe?” Thankfully, teachers are well-primed to … Read More

Alpha Gamma Rho Donates $2,600 to Support Farm Mental Health

May 7, 2021Blog

By Connor Hultman, previous Noble Ruler of Alpha Gamma Rho chapter at Iowa State University In the Fall of 2020, the men of Alpha Gamma Rho at Iowa State University set out to raise as much money as they could for the agriculturalists of the United States that make the world go around. After a … Read More