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Broadcaster Press 9 March 20, 2018 www.broadcasteronline.com National Ag Week March 19-23, 2018 USDA Announces More Local Control for School Meal Operations USDA Press WASHINGTON, March 5, 2018 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Steve Censky today announced two new efforts to provide states and school districts with additional flexibility and support to operate more efficient school meal programs. Censky made the announcement during a speech at the School Nutrition Association Legislative Action Conference in Washington, D.C. Child Nutrition Hiring Flexibility Rule In 2015, USDA established education and training requirements for nutrition professionals as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. While this strengthened many school meal programs, some small school districts faced challenges finding qualified applicants to direct their local food service operation. Today’s proposal would provide muchneeded relief for school districts with less than 2,500 students, allowing them more flexibility in the hiring of new school nutrition program directors. “Small and rural school districts will no longer have to overlook qualified food service professionals because of one-sizefits-all standards that don’t meet their needs," said Censky. “We trust our local partners to hire talented school nutrition program directors who will manage the meal service in a way that protects the health and well-being of students.” USDA is providing a 60-day public comment period and will then develop a final rule that responds to the needs of partners and stakeholders. Child Nutrition Integrity Efforts To support states’ efforts to improve program integrity, USDA also rolled out a suite of customizable resources to help local school districts improve the accuracy of their school meal application processes. These resources include support for online applications, evidenced-based materials, and best practices to simplify the process for families and ensure that eligible children receive free and reducedpriced meals. “USDA’s goal to do right and feed everyone starts with our children,” said Censky. “We are committed to giving states and school districts more tools and options to build a bright, self-sufficient future for America’s children through well-managed school meal programs.” As part of this package, USDA is offering guidance to help schools utilize its award-winning, open-source online school meal application model. USDA developed the application with input from local food service professionals. The customerfriendly design of the model is intended to increase the integrity of the application process by reducing common mistakes families make when applying for free or reduced-priced school meals. “These tools are the benchmark for future innovation and give schools 21st century resources and strategies to run efficient food service operations, now and into the future,” Censky said. “Schools can ensure the proper use of funds for feeding students in need, protecting the taxpayer dollar through high integrity programs.” USDA invites software developers in private industry to join schools in delivering customer service by helping them tailor their own applications. Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of recent USDA actions to expand flexibility and ease challenges for partners and stakeholders who help feed our nation’s children. Other actions include: • Publishing the School Meal Flexibility Rule, which provides local food service professionals the flexibility they need to serve wholesome, nutritious, and tasty meals in schools across the nation. • Releasing “The Food Buying Guide,” a mobile app that puts critical information at the fingertips of food service professionals and makes it easier for them to plan wholesome, nutritious, and tasty school meals. • Selecting Kansas State University to direct the Center for Food Safety in Child Nutrition Programs, which will help improve food safety across all of USDA’s child nutrition programs. • Inviting the public to submit ideas on food crediting, the system that defines how each food item contributes to meal requirements under the National School Lunch Program and other federal child nutrition programs. About 100,000 schools and institutions feed 30 million children through the National School Lunch Program and nearly 15 million children through the School Breakfast Program. Many of these children receive their meals at no cost or for a reduced price according to incomebased eligibility. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which together comprise America's nutrition safety net. Jones & Mellette County 4-H Junior Leaders Visit the Capitol by SDSU iGrow BROOKINGS, S.D. - Members of the Jones and Mellette Counties 4-H Junior Leaders group traveled to Pierre for a Legislative visit. "It is through becoming aware of the legislative process that youth gain civic mindedness and a desire to inspire change within their community," said Kaycee Jones, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor for Haakon, Jackson, Jones & Mellette Counties. The Jones and Mellette County 4-H Junior Leaders include; representing Jones County - Matthew Birkeland, Dylan Fuoss and Bridger Hight; representing Mellette County - Elisabeth Gullickson, Tyson Hill, Tashina Red Hawk and Seth Schoon. During the one-day event, the teens gained insight into how the South Dakota state legislative process works. The youth sat in on the Joint Committee on Appropriations and Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and House Transportation Committee meetings and attended the Democratic Caucus. They were invited to sit on the House floor during session and were given a tour of the Capitol by Mary Haugaard, a Draper High School alumnus and wife of Representative Steven Haugaard. "This trip taught me that bills take a lot of time and work to become laws," said Dylan Fuoss, a Jones County 4-H Junior Leader. Throughout the day, many of the state's legislators took time out of their schedule to visit with the 4-H Junior Leaders. When the issue of non-meandered waters came up during the Natural Resources Committee meeting, the topic interested many of the members who are avid hunters and enjoy spending time outdoors. "Senator Troy Heinert, who serves on the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee was able to spend time visiting with the youth following the completion of the meeting and invited our group to the floor of the Senate chambers where he provided insight into the nonmeandering water bill and also the entire legislative process," Jones explained. Jones added that it was through the efforts of Representative James Schaefer and Speaker of the House Mark Mickelson that the youth were able to sit on the House floor during session. "The 4-H'ers really gained an in-person, real-world view of the process of the legislative process," Jones said. While the youth were in Pierre, they also toured the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Museum. "This trip was fun and a great experience to learn about our government. I would recommend this trip to anyone," said Matthew Birkeland, a Jones County 4-H Junior Leader. More about South Dakota 4-H SDSU Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program is a partnership of federal (USDA), state (Land Grant University), and county resources through youth outreach activities Courtesy of iGrow. Members of the Jones and Mellette Counties 4-H Junior Leaders group traveled to Pierre for a Legislative visit. Back row: Kaycee Jones, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor - Haakon, Jackson, Jones & Mellette Counties. Middle Back: (left to right) Tashina Red Hawk, Bridger Hight and Seth Schoon. Middle front: (left to right) Elisabeth Gullickson and Dylan Fuoss. Front row: (left to right) Matthew Birkeland and Tyson Hill. of SDSU Extension. Youth learn and experience Leadership, Health and Wellness, Science and Ag-Vocacy through a network of professional staff and volunteers reaching more than 9,000 enrolled members with yearly programming efforts to an additional 35,000 youth participants. To learn more, contact your local SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor. A complete listing can be found at iGrow under Field Staff Listing icon. THE STRIP TILL ADVANTAGE Elk Point, SD SERVICES AVAILABLE • Custom Strip Till • GPS Soil Sampling • Soil Fertility Planning • Crop Scouting • Variable Rate Fertility Call to discuss Spring Strip Till options JOEY HANSON Crop Consultant/CCA 605.659.4783 • joey.hanson@diversifiedagronomy.com • Highly efficient use of fertilizer by directly placing below the crops roots and minimizes tie-up unlike broadcast applications • Dual placed nutrients that promotes early, healthy root development and creates an optimum, fertile environment for seed • Increases yield while lowers inputs such as labor, fuel, and reduced wear and tear on your equipment • Offers best of both worlds: Conservation aspects of no till, plus, increased yields and soil quality of conventional tillage Stop in today and visit with your local rep! Looking at fertilizer options for 2018? Fertilizer • Crop protection Products Custom Application Arlo Lykken Location Manager 605-670-2607 arlo@valleyagsupply.com Scott Bottorff Sales & Crop Consultant 402-380-3830 scott@valleyagsupply.com Office: CUSTOM STRIP TILL • CALL 605.659.4783 605-761-1001 • 47261 SD Hwy 48 Elk Point, SD 57025 • valleyagsupply.com
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