Thursday, August 18, 2016


 “Get Up and Grow!™ Tour will make 17 Kansas City stops Aug. 25-Sept. 4, 2016
with FREE recipe samples, interactive Kid’s Corner and fun giveaways

Western Missouri Tour visitors can enter the Healthy Living Challenge
for a little friendly team competition and a chance to win awards

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Aug. 1, 2016) — It turns out the Royals aren’t the only local Kansas City team working toward a common goal this summer (and beyond). 
            There are also families, clubs, companies and congregations all across Kansas City that are looking for ways to eat and live healthier – plus countless other groups of like-minded health and wellness seekers in offices, schools, universities, places of worship, nonprofits and other organizations throughout western Missouri.
A community approach to healthy eating and living will be the focus when the Get Up and Grow! Together Tour visits Kansas City Aug. 25 through Sept. 4, 2016, as part of a coast-to-coast, 42-city expedition by Dole to promote summer nutrition and a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.

One of three brightly colored Get Up and Grow! Together Tour caravans will stop at supermarkets and public events throughout the Kansas City area, offering free produce-filled recipe samples, recipe booklets and other giveaways, an interactive Kid’s Corner, and fruit and veggie-themed photo-sharing opportunities – all to showcase the fun, flavor and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
The Get Up and Grow! Together Tour will make 17 free, public stops throughout western Missouri Aug. 25 through Sept. 4. For the continually updated Tour schedule, go to
A highlight of each Tour stop is the Healthy Living Challenge Kiosk which gives visitors an interactive opportunity to create and submit their own customized online Healthy Living Challenge to eat and live healthier. By very popular demand, Dole has added an exciting new group option to last year’s individual pledge program that encourages participants to build teams of fellow health, fitness and wellness seekers.
 Team leaders can recruit their friends, family and co-workers to join their team, and then use the onsite leaderboard to track the progress of their group against others across the country, earning points for each new team member added or Healthy Living Challenge-related share on social media.
The team with the most points at the end of each contest wins a unique and fun, healthy-eating celebration for up to 40 team members, while all Healthy Living Challenge participants are eligible to receive a gourmet-caliber culinary experience for eight people. The group events are personally hosted by Dole’s world-class chefs and culinary experts. For Healthy Living Challenge rules and other details, go to

“We learned during last year’s Tour that the idea of camaraderie and competition has even impacted healthy eating and goal-setting,” says CarrieAnn Arias, VP of marketing of Dole Fresh Vegetables. “So, like fantasy sports, this year’s refreshed effort allows participants to form healthy-living teams committed to similar wellness goals, complete with updates and leaderboards – and then offers culinary-immersion and other group experiences to reward those teams that rise to the top.”

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Farmers’ Almanac Launches Farmer of the Year Contest

LEWISTON, MAINE, August 17, 2016 – Farmers’ Almanac, in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, announces its search for three farmers or ranchers to be recognized as “Farmers’ Almanac Farmer of the Year.”

The contest, announced in the special 200th Collector’s Edition of the 2017 Farmers’ Almanac, seeks to recognize and share the dedication, hard work and contributions farmers make to our world and society. Stories of outstanding individuals who work hard to bring food to our tables are sought.

“We’re looking for farmers and ranchers who have figured out how to keep their centuries-old, family run farms alive and thriving, as well as newcomers who may have just started out in farming or ranching,” said Farmers’ Almanac Managing Editor Sandi Duncan, Philom. “The people who work in agriculture are vital to our everyday life and we’d like to honor them in the pages of the Farmers’ Almanac.”

AFBF President Zippy Duvall added, “Farmers and ranchers have long used their ingenuity and tireless work ethic to preserve natural resources and build up local communities while producing food, fiber and fuel for consumers here at home and around the world. We’re pleased to join the Farmers’ Almanac in launching the Farmer of the Year program.”

Nominations must highlight, in 300 words or less, the following criteria:

Supporting the Tradition: How long has the nominee been in their field? How did he or she get involved in agriculture and why?
Innovation in Agriculture:  How the nominee has embraced technology or new ways of farming and ranching;
Community Involvement: How has the nominee engaged his/her community to support agriculture and/or teach us more about farming overall; and
Inspiration: How the nominee is a true leader in agriculture and deserves to be recognized.

All nominations must be received by Jan. 31, 2017, and must be submitted online at

Three winners will be announced in the 2018 Farmers’ Almanac and will be offered reimbursement for a one-year membership to the Farm Bureau in their county of residence and a lifetime subscription to the Farmers’ Almanac. Each of their stories will also be featured in the pages of the 2018 Farmers’ Almanac and on the web site.

Friday, August 12, 2016

NIFA Announces $3.1 Million in Available Funding to Train the Next Generation of Agricultural Leaders

WASHINGTON, August 12, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of $3.1 million to train the next generation of agricultural leaders. This funding is available through the Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship Grants Program (NNF).
“In the next few years, we expect to see a significant number of job openings for graduates with degrees in agricultural sciences,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “The fellowship program allows us to support the next generation of scientists and innovators, who will play an integral part in the future of our food and agricultural systems.”
The NNF program is designated for graduate degree (masters and doctoral) programs and postgraduate training of the next generation of policy makers, researchers, and educators in the food and agricultural sciences. The purpose of this program is to develop intellectual capital to ensure the preeminence of U.S. food and agricultural systems.
This funding invests in experiential learning, including international experiences, for individuals who demonstrate their potential to successfully complete graduate degree programs in disciplines relevant to NIFA’s mission.
Applicants should propose training projects to support graduate fellowships in one of the eight targeted expertise shortage areas:  animal production; plant production; forest resources; agricultural educators and communicators; agricultural management and economics; food science, human nutrition and human sciences; sciences for agricultural biosecurity; veterinary sciences; food and agriculture data analytics and tools; and integrative biosciences for sustainable food and agricultural systems.
Michigan State University used a previous NIFA grant to provide veterinarians with new competencies in basic infectious and metabolic disease research through courses and research experiences in immunology, molecular microbiology, genomics, epidemiology, risk analyses, and food production systems. The University of Connecticut used a NIFA experiential learning grant to bridge the gap between theory and practice in the field of sustainable forestry.
Applications are due September 22, 2016. See the request for applications for more information.
Since 2009, NIFA has invested in and advanced innovative and transformative initiatives to solve societal challenges and ensure the long-term viability of agriculture. NIFA's integrated research, education, and extension programs, supporting the best and brightest scientists and extension personnel, have resulted in user-inspired, groundbreaking discoveries that are combating childhood obesity, improving and sustaining rural economic growth, addressing water availability issues, increasing food production, finding new sources of energy, mitigating climate variability, and ensuring food safety.