Saturday, January 30, 2016

Fourth Annual New Mexico Food and Farms Day Scheduled for Wednesday, February 3, in Santa Fe

The New Mexico Food and Agriculture Policy Council invites you to the Fourth Annual New Mexico Food and Farms Day at the State Capital.  The event is held in conjunction with  New Mexico School Nutrition Day, Cooking With Kids Day and the New Mexico Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Day at the Legislature.

"New Mexico has a vibrant food and farming culture that is significant to our rural economy and provides employment opportunities on farm; in direct, wholesale, and retail opportunities; in food processing, distribution, value-added businesses," said Pam Roy, coordinator of the NMFAC and Farm to Table.

"As a broad based group of partners and participants, we're highlighting the Farm to School movement in New Mexico and the many schools that buy fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers, school food service who care about providing meals with New Mexico grown produce, and most important, students who learn to incorporate fresh produce in their diets and enjoy experiential learning through programs like Cooking with Kids, Kids Cook, school gardens and more," added Roy. "Our children have the opportunity to enjoy New Mexico grown fresh fruits and vegetables in school meals and snack programs."

The day will include:
8:00 - 9:00am
Education Through Advocacy, room 324 at the State Capital - Participants will get a brief overview of the New Mexico legislative process before launching into a morning of fast paced activities. By Invite Only

8:30 - 11:00am
In the East Wing of the Capital (next to the Rotunda), organizations and agencies will share information and educate the public about their programs and their relationship to each other and the goals and purpose of the Day and beyond.

9:00 - 9:45am
Celebrate the 1st Annual Farm to School Award Ceremony and Press Conference. At the Rotunda, this special awards ceremony will recognize key individuals and their organizations for their work in creating educational programs in schools for children to learn about the world of food and gardening; food service and food entrepreneurs who have, through innovation and policy, changed the rules to be able to partner with local farmers to buy the freshest local produce for school meals; and, farmers who have been on the front lines for change by building partnerships with schools to purchase locally grown produce and paving the path for others. This will be the first on many occasions to honor leaders, risk takers, innovators, and believers.

10:00 - 12 noon
The New Mexico Legislature will honor New Mexico Food ad Farms Day, New Mexico School Nutrition Day, and Cooking with Kids Day in both the House and Senate Chambers. Policymakers will highlight the importance of these events and most importantly will recognize individuals and organizations for their efforts in building an important aspect of food, farming, and health initiatives in New Mexico.

12:30 - 3:00pm
Round Table celebration, discussion, and next steps by all of the groups and individuals involved. We ask ourselves what we learned, how it builds relationships and coordination, and what we commit to doing moving forward. Our discussion includes providing lunch. Venue TBD (more information forthcoming)

The organizations joining in the celebration include: New Mexico Food and Agriculture Policy Council, Farm to Table, New Mexico School Nutrition Association, Siete Del Norte, Cooking with Kids, Mid Rio Grande Council of Governments, New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service, New Mexico Dietetics Association, New Mexico Farmers Marketing Association, Santa Fe Food Policy Council, FoodCorps, Community Outreach Patient Empowerment (COPE - a Navajo Nation Coalition and youth group NCHO), Dine Food Sovereignty Alliance, and more.

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