Finding Farmer's Markets & DOT Waiver

Finding Farmer's Markets & DOT Waiver

Finding Farmer’s Markets & DOT Waiver plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Ever been thinking whether there was a farmer’s market close by? USDA has an app that can help locate one but a programmer has now taken USDA’s data and created an interactive web site allowing you to see all the markets in your area. Michael Schade says it just happened.

SCHADE: It was kind of, I don’t want to say spur of the moment but it was just happenstance. I just happen to attend a lot of these local tech meetings and there was a woman from the Department of Agriculture there who was just talking about their new API where they released this data. I love farmer’s markets and I love doing mapping programs and I thought maybe I could do something cool with this.

In a major victory for America's hog, cattle and poultry farmers, the U.S. Department of Transportation has indicated that it will grant a 90-day waiver of a new hours-of-service rule for drivers transporting livestock and poultry. Effective July 1, the rule from DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires truck drivers to take a 30-minute rest break for every 8 consecutive hours of service. For drivers hauling livestock, the hours of service would include time loading and unloading animals. Official notice of the decision is expected to be published next week in the Federal Register. Additionally, the agency indicated it will develop a permanent exemption from the rule for drivers transporting livestock and poultry.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

School children will get a pleasant and, perhaps for some, a not so pleasant surprise when they head back to school come fall. Healthier snacks will be made available during the school day as part of the USDA’s implementation of the Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010; a law that is meant to help address the ever growing problem of childhood obesity in our country. These new guidelines are slated to go into effect this fall with healthier, leaner, nutrient packed choices to replace junk foods in vending machines and at snack bars. Sports drinks will have to be reduced calorie, snacks will have to come in at 200 calories or less, and empty calorie snacks will be a thing of the past. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says that they wanted to make the healthy choice, the easy choice, but also made note of the fact that the new standards will still preserve flexibility for time honored traditions like fundraisers, bakes sales, and parent hosted classroom parties. Many nutritionists and school food service staff applaud the new standards, stating that it’s the obvious and needed next step in the ongoing movement to instill healthy eating habits in students.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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