Ben Adams, Jr.

Supporting the Farm to School Program, Part II

At Adams Cold Storage (ACS) in Auburndale, we were pleased to have had the opportunity last year to be part of a Farm to School pilot distribution project. The task was to get blueberries brokered by the Winter Haven office of Westlake Produce Company to cafeterias in the Collier County public school district. Tagging on to commodity distributors already familiar to us and using our cold-storage operation for temporary blueberry storage, we believe the pilot project was a success. ACS continues to work closely with Dawn Houser, the Director of Nutrition Services for Collier [emember_protected custom_msg=”Click here and register now to read the rest of the article!”]County Public Schools. Dawn continues to be an enthusiastic leader in the Florida Farm to School program and a primary catalyst for its expansion.
Challenges for program growth include the food-quality standards set for the National School Lunch Program, tougher federal guidelines for nutritional meals (including larger servings of fruits and vegetables), and the large number of government hurdles farmers have to jump over to get their products to the schools.
But, with the strong, continuing leadership of Agriculture Commissioner Putnam, a public servant schooled well by his many terms in the Florida House of Representatives and U.S. House, there’s every reason to believe that Florida Farm to School will be a long-term success. With the commissioner involved in this, it’s going to get done and done right.
Next month, let’s explore the real impact of Tampa Electric Company’s proposed base rate increase. There is still time to petition the Public Service Commission!
column by Ben Adams, Jr.
BIO: Ben Adams, Jr. is an owner and president of Adams Cold Storage, LLC. He has been directly involved in citrus production, warehousing and distribution, as well as state and community support since 1980. His current facility incorporates 200,000 square feet of multi-temperature warehousing, with an extensive expansion plan on the horizon.

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