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Meeting Notice: Department to Host Maryland Farm to School Webinar on June 28

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Department of Agriculture will host a webinar on Friday, June 28 from 9 a.m. to noon to present the Maryland Farm to School economic feasibility study. The department partnered with the Business Economic and Community Outreach Network (BEACON) at Salisbury University to conduct a two-year study on fresh local products in schools and summer meals. The study was funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm to School grant.

The webinar will focus on best practices for launching and successfully leveraging a “Purchasing Cooperative” for Farm to School program purchases. Please see the following agenda:

Maryland Farm to School Webinar Agenda:

  1. Beginning at the Beginning. This part of the webinar will explore how to move the idea of creating a “Purchasing Cooperative” from the idea stage to the creation of a legal cooperative entity.
  2. What are we agreeing to do? In this section, we will discuss the ground rules of the cooperative and determine the roles/responsibilities of the member organizations.
  3. What is in it for us? We will discuss the reasons, benefits, and the caveats of creating and operating a “Purchasing Cooperative.” Particular emphasis will be placed on the return on investment and opportunity costs.
  4. What is in it for them? Here, we will explore why farmers would want to work with our “Purchasing Cooperative” instead of working directly with each school or other intermediaries. This section will show why the “Purchasing Cooperative” idea can be a win-win scenario for Farm to School programs.
  5. Summary, Conclusions, and Questions. In the closing section of the webinar, we will bring together everything we discussed and leave some time for questions at the end.

To register for the webinar, please email your full name, title, affiliation, email address, and phone number to BEACON@salisbury.edu.

For more information about the Maryland Farm to School program, contact the department’s Karen Fedor at karen.fedor@gmail.com or 410-841-5773.

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Contact Information

If you have any questions, need additional information or would like to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jason Schellhardt
Director of Communications
Telephone: 410-841-5888

Megan Guilfoyle
Public Information Officer
Telephone: 410-841-5889

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