Center of the Plate Tour in the Center of the State!

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Center of the Plate Tour in the Center of the State!

13, April 2017 2:48 PM


Every two years, the California Farm to School and Garden Conference, California Farm to School Network and California Alliance With Family Farmers, connects food service directors, advocates and garden coordinators with resources for accessing locally grown foods and food literacy. The most recent conference was held this past March in Modesto, part of the the Central Valley where half of the fruits and vegetables in the United States are grown.

 

This year, Dairy Council of California kicked off the conference by sponsoring a "Center of the Plate" Meat and Dairy tour for 20 participants. This tour was designed to highlight how protein and dairy foods are produced and can be locally sourced by California schools. Participants experienced "behind the scenes" tours of a Foster Farms chicken production facility, Hilmar Cheese Company and Clauss Dairy Farm with lunch on Turlock Unified School District’s 10 acre school farm.

 

Turlock Unified School District excels in putting #CAonyMyPlate, with 90-95 percent of the protein, fruits, vegetables and dairy in the school meal program sourced locally in California. Fun ag facts learned along the way include Foster Farms' processing capacity of 11 million pounds of chicken per week; Hilmar Cheese Company's extensive water recycling program and the 340 cows per hour capacity of Clauss Dairy Farm's rotary milker.

 

In addition to tour stops, participants heard from Christian Wiedemann, a California beef producer, who shared some information about his cattle ranch and the California beef industry. They also heard from Dr. Annette Jones, the State Veterinarian and Director of the Animal Health and Food Safety Division at the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Dr. Jones shared what her division does to ensure a safe food supply and to keep animals healthy. Dr. Jones highlighted the fact that milk is one of the safest foods in our food supply because the dairy farm families and dairy processing companies take food safety very seriously.

 

All those who attended the Center of the Plate Meat and Dairy Tour left with a greater appreciation of the work needed to bring California dairy products and proteins from the farm to the plate, giving #CAonMyPlate a whole new meaning. Dairy Council of California is proud to support the Farm to School Movement to help connect the California food system with schools and school cafeterias.

 




Tags: farm to school Healthy eating milk MyPlate nutrition education school foodservice

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