Cage-Free Hens Percentage Grows and USDA Grants for School Lunches
**Cage-free hens comprise a growing percentage of the U.S. egg-laying flock, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service.
The cage-free flock has grown as states have passed and enacted legislation banning confinement of hens, and as multiple retailers and food service providers have pledged to only source eggs from cage-free operations.
Additional State bans are planned to take effect between 2023 and 2026.
**The National Cattlemen’s Foundation is accepting applications for the 2024 CME Group Beef Industry Scholarship.
Ten scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded to outstanding students pursuing careers in the beef industry.
Introduced in 1989 and sponsored by CME Group, the scholarship identifies and encourages students who play a vital role in the future of food production.
Students studying education, communication, production, research or other areas related to the beef industry are eligible to apply.
**Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced two new grant opportunities plus a training and technical assistance partnership to help schools continue to invest in nutritious school meals.
The announcement comes as USDA recognizes National School Lunch Week and National Farm to School Month.
Vilsack says, USDA is committed to giving students the nutrition they need to reach their full potential by empowering schools to continue serving delicious, healthy meals.