Local producers will come together with the community for a breakfast meal that epitomizes the benefits of eating fresh and buying local during the third annual Stanislaus Grown Member Breakfast.
“Our goal is to present the growers and our members with other producers in the county who are doing programs to promote eating fresh and buying local,” said Programs Coordinator Trina Walley. “This is a great opportunity to get feedback from stakeholders.”
With a mission to “promote local agricultural products and the heritage of Stanislaus County through the use of cohesive and recognizable local brand supported with a marketing and education campaign,” Stanislaus Grown is a local effort backed by the East Stanislaus County Resource Conservation District.
Throughout the course of the breakfast, participants will learn more about local farm-to-school efforts through Stanislaus Food and Nutrition Network, which is made up of various schools and county programs that offer nutritional education and food service. Walley said that one of these organizations will be Turlock Unified School District, which will also be providing the food for the meal.
“People don’t know how much food service in schools has improved over the years,” said Walley. “TUSD is a leading example in the state by including fresh, local food on their menus and to show that we will be serving attendees an actual meal from their school breakfast menu.”
In addition to a successful farms panel regarding farm-to-school, participants will also engage in roundtable discussions about agritourism, selling to restaurants, farm-to-school, and facility needs.
“Last year during the roundtable discussions, producers indicated that there was a shortage of facilities to properly package products to sell to the school markets and so there has been some movement positioning with partners who can help us in facility development,” said Walley. “We will have a roundtable discussion specific to facilities this year so we can continue that discussion.”
Walley said that new this year, the breakfast will also feature a local food expo filled with local schools, restaurants and farm owners in order to show attendees what they have to offer.
“For schools who might be looking for oranges this expo will provide that face-to-face connection with a citrus grower in the Central Valley,” said Walley.
The breakfast is open to the public, who will be given the opportunity to sign up for a Stanislaus Grown membership. The cost for a membership is $100 for the year.
“They will receive an update on what is being done to promote eating fresh and buying locally and if they decide to join in on the effort, we will have a membership form available at the end,” said Walley. “Members will be listed in our 2016 Local Food and Farm Guide.”
The third annual Stanislaus Grown Member Breakfast will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on March 4 in the Stanislaus County Ag Center’s Harvest Hall, 3800 Cornucopia Way in Modesto. Those who are interested must RSVP by Friday to Walley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 491-9320, ext. 139.