Friday, January 03, 2014

USDA eats crow on School Lunch revisions

USDA Makes Permanent Meat and Grain Serving Flexibilities in National School Lunch Program

WASHINGTON, January 2, 2014 - Agriculture Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon today announced that USDA is making permanent the current flexibility that allows schools to serve larger portions of lean protein and whole grains at mealtime.

"Earlier this school year, USDA made a commitment to school nutrition professionals that we would make the meat and grain flexibility permanent and provide needed stability for long-term planning. We have delivered on that promise," said Concannon.

USDA has worked closely with schools and parents during the transition to healthier breakfasts, lunches and snacks. Based on public feedback, USDA has made a number of updates to school meal standards, including additional flexibility in meeting the daily and weekly ranges for grain and meat/meat alternates(PDF, 103KB), which has been available to schools on a temporary basis since 2012.

USDA is focused on improving childhood nutrition and empowering families to make healthier food choices by providing science-based information and advice, while expanding the availability of healthy food. Data show that vast majority of schools around the country are successfully meeting the new meal standards.

  • Last month, USDA awarded $11 million in grants to help schools purchase needed equipment to make preparing and serving healthier meals easier and more efficient for hardworking school food service professionals.
  • In November 2013, USDA issued an additional $5 million through the Farm to School grant program to increase the amount of healthy, local food in schools. USDA awarded grants to 71 projects spanning 42 states and the District of Columbia.
  • USDA awarded $5.6 million in grants in FY2013 to provide training and technical assistance for child nutrition foodservice professionals and support stronger school nutrition education programs, and plans to award additional grants in FY 2014.
  • USDA's MyPlate symbol and the resources at provide quick, easy reference tools for teachers, parents, healthcare professionals and communities. Schools across the country are using the MyPlate symbol to enhance their nutrition education efforts.

Collectively, these policies and actions will help combat child hunger and obesity and improve the health and nutrition of the nation's children. This is a top priority for the Obama Administration and is an important component of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to combat the challenge of childhood obesity.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Seriously dude get your head out of your ass

The dawn of New Year from final 2013 High Plains Journal column

2014 must be about preventing erosion

By Trent Loos
There is no doubt that the end of the year is cause for us to individually pause and reflect. It truly set me on a specific educational theme for the coming year.
Straight out of the reality TV show "Duck Dynasty," Phil Robertson has accomplished more in awakening the sleeping giant than anything that happened all year. Whether you agree with what he said or not (which I happen to believe whole-heartedly), you absolutely must be concerned with how he was treated for speaking his mind.
As a person who spends a fair amount of time daily in the media world, I have had this growing concern (even in ag media) about how the information is presented based upon how the sponsor will view the words spoken. I doubt I have to tell you that I do not waste any time thinking about how my sponsor may consider what I say, and quite frankly I think it has given me a niche in the marketplace.
Link to whole story in the High Plains Journal.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Animal Rights Whackjob quote of the day on the importance of vivisection to save human lives.

"You could die tomorrow. I wouldn't sacrifice my goldfish for you." Another commented: "If you had died as a child, no-one would have given a damn."

Italian woman defies animal rights militants after online abuse

An Italian woman who declared in an internet posting that she owed her life to medicines developed from testing on laboratory mice has gone on national television to answer abuse from animal rights militants.

Oh and by the way they share that sentiment with a rather famous animal rights whackjob named Adolf Hitler

Nazi Germany was the first country to ban vivisection in the world, enacting a total ban in April 1933. The measure to ban vivisection was a huge concern and was put forth to the Reichstag as early as 1927. High ranking Nazis such as Hermann Goring, Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Hitler were very concerned about animal conservation, particularly pertaining as to how animals were butchered. 

Including link:

"I thought this was simply a  nursery rhyme:  how could one bake living birds in a pie? I discovered that royalty and the upper class, ...