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Tuesday Morning - February 7, 2012

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February 7, 2012

Table of Contents

2012 Legislative Issue Paper

LAC Banquet Speaker Announced

Pre-Conference Session Space Still Available at LAC 2012

Employment Opportunities at USDA Food and Nutrition Service

SNF Webinar Wednesdays: Food Safety

USDA FNS Summer Food Service Program: 2012 Reimbursement Rates

Chairwoman Stabenow Announces Farm Bill Hearing Schedule for February, March

USDA Unveils SuperTracker

SNA Executive Team and Regional Director State Visits for February

In Every Issue

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

2012 Legislative Issue Paper

The School Nutrition Association is proud to announce the 2012 Legislative Issue Paper. The paper identifies the Association’s legislative priorities for 2012. The Issue Paper highlights five key areas in which the Association believes would help continuously strengthen national school meals programs. It will be officially unveiled at the 40th annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC) scheduled for March 4-7, 2012, in Washington, D.C.

To read the full Issue Paper, please visit: 2012 Legistative Issue Paper

LAC Banquet Speaker Announced

It is now confirmed that Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) will be the speaker on Tuesday, March 6th, during the LAC Banquet. Roberts is currently serving his third term and serves as the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, becoming the first in history to hold the post in both the House and the Senate.

Roberts’ priorities for the Agriculture Committee focus on maintaining the production agriculture safety net, expanding trade opportunities for farmers and ranchers, conducting oversight of regulations that threaten the competitiveness of America’s farmers, and maintaining the security and science based sustainability of food and agriculture sectors.

With the political satire troupe, the Capitol Steps also performing at the banquet, this will certainly be an evening to remember.

Legislative Action Conference 2012

Pre-Conference Session Space Still Available at LAC 2012

Mark Saturday, March 3, 2012, on your calendars for the LAC Pre-Conference Session, “Procurement 101.” This is a session you do not want to miss; space is limited so register today! Anita Pereira-Sekhon, Program Analyst, Program Analysis & Monitoring Branch, USDA/FNS and Lynn Rodgers-Kuperman, Chief, Program Analysis & Monitoring Branch, Child Nutrition Division, USDA/FNS will provide a comprehensive overview of Federal requirements, policies, and regulations relating to procurement in the school meals programs. Discussion will focus on forecasting; contracting with foodservice management companies, distributors, manufacturers, etc.; crediting of USDA Foods; cost allowability; general financial management; and indirect cost requirements. Emphasis will be placed on appropriate procurement methods, developing solicitations, bid/proposal selection, contract awards and will include information on both direct and indirect costs, the Federal cost principals and considerations for the SFA when assessing indirect costs charged to the nonprofit school foodservice account. The total cost of this informative session is $100 and participants will receive 3 CEUs.

Employment Opportunities at USDA Food and Nutrition Service

The Child Nutrition Division within the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has several challenging and rewarding full-time Program Analyst positions for individuals that seek to serve Americans through food program activities. The mission of FNS is to increase food security and reduce hunger in partnership with cooperating organizations by providing children and low-income people with access to food, a healthy diet and nutrition education in a manner that supports American agriculture and inspires public confidence.

Experience varies with grade level. This position requires demonstrated experience conducting qualitative and quantitative analysis and utilizing the results to develop laws, regulations, guidelines and/or procedures within child nutrition programs or similar Federal health, education or social services programs. The experience may have been gained in either the public or private sector. Please check http://www.usajobs.gov for further details on education and experience.

Apply by Monday, February 27th at: http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/307987600.

SNF Webinar Wednesdays: Food Safety

The School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), in partnership with the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service’s Office of Food Safety, will be hosting a free webinar on Wednesday, February 15th, from 2:00-3:15 pm EST entitled, “Buying the Right Produce at the Right Price."

In this webinar, a school nutrition director and experts from USDA will discuss quality, condition and grade standards. Learn how you can use grade standards to improve your specifications and save money on fresh produce. You will also learn how you can apply the grade standards to writing specifications for local produce. USDA experts will share tips for receiving and handling fresh produce to make sure that you are getting the produce that you bought and it is still attractive to students when you serve it.

To register, please visit: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/898040026

USDA FNS Summer Food Service Program: 2012 Reimbursement Rates

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service division has published a notice in the Federal Register that informs the public of the annual adjustments to the reimbursement rates for meals served in the Summer Food Service Program for children. These adjustments represent changes in the Consumer Price Index, as required under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. The 2012 reimbursement rates are presented as a combined set of rates to highlight simplified cost accounting procedures. The 2012 rates are also presented individually, as separate operating and administrative rates of reimbursement, to show the effect of the Consumer Price Index adjustment on each rate.

The adjusted rates of a 2.87% increase will be in effect from January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012. For more information, visit: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-02-02/pdf/2012-2358.pdf

Chairwoman Stabenow Announces Farm Bill Hearing Schedule for February, March

Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, announced the Committee’s Farm Bill hearing schedule for February and March. The Committee is continuing to study Farm Bill principles and evaluating policy solutions to develop a 2012 Farm Bill. Below are the details of the next series of hearings. Please note that dates and topics are subject to change.

Wednesday, February 15
Title: Energy and Economic Growth for Rural America
A hearing to evaluate policies that make investments in jobs and opportunities for farmers and rural businesses through new markets, entrepreneurship, regional strategies and energy innovation.

Wednesday, February 29
Title: Strengthening Conservation through the 2012 Farm Bill
A hearing to explore the Conservation title’s important investment in America—the nation’s fundamental resources of our water, soils and other natural resource infrastructure—through policies that help farmers maintain soil health, keep our water clean and available, our food abundant and safe and our wildlife plentiful, so as to protect the basic principles of farming and our way of life for future generations.

Wednesday, March 14
Title: Healthy Food Initiatives, Local Production and Nutrition
A hearing to explore innovative opportunities in agriculture through policies that assist the development of local markets for farmers, connecting them to the growing consumer demand for locally-produced, healthy food options.

Wednesday, March 21
Title: Risk Management and Commodities in the 2012 Farm Bill
A hearing to evaluate the need for and cost effectiveness of risk management tools available to farmers who continue to face increasingly volatile crop prices, input costs and the threat of natural disasters; and how the federal government can provide appropriate risk-management tools while making the best use of limited resources.

For more, visit: http://ag.senate.gov.

USDA Unveils SuperTracker

USDA recently unveiled SuperTracker, a free online tool that helps track what you eat and how much physical activity you do daily. The tool will also give personalized tips and support to help make more healthful choices. Simply create a profile page to get a personal calorie limit and food plan. It also features the Food-A-Pedia, which features nutritional information on more than 8,000 foods. Goal setting can help in making better decisions when it comes to diet and exercise. Start using SuperTracker to aid in reaching your resolution goals.

To learn more, visit: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/supertracker-tools/supertracker.html

SNA Executive Team and Regional Director State Visits for February

February 26-28: FRAC National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, Capital Hilton, Washington, D.C.
TBD: 2013 CNIC Planning Meeting, San Antonio, Texas


 
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