Tuesday Morning - July 25, 2017

An Update on Federal and State Policy Issues
from SNA

Table of Contents

Federal Policy

Trump Administration, USDA Names New Leadership
Federal Register: Identifying Regulatory Reform Initiatives
Secretary Perdue Visits Summer Food Service Program Site
FY2018 Agriculture Appropriations Update
All About Web-Based Supply Chain Management (WBSCM)
U.S. Forest Service Publishes Biomass-Heated Greenhouse Handbook

State Snapshots

SNA’s 2017 Second Quarter State Legislative Summary

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars
USDA Champions of Breakfast Webinar
Action for Healthy Kids School Breakfast Grant
AASA Breakfast Grants

Cafeteria Chat Corner


Federal Policy

Trump Administration, USDA Names New Leadership

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced on Wednesday, July 19, the names of three new individuals who will be taking leadership roles within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Brandon Lipps will serve as the Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), while also serving as Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services (FNCS) until a permanent appointee is nominated by the president and approved by the Senate. Previously, Lipps worked for the Texas Tech University System as the Chief of Staff and Director of Federal Affairs in the Office of Chancellor Robert Duncan, served as counsel and senior professional staff to the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture, and held various positions under Chancellor Duncan while he served as Texas State Senator.

Maggie Lyons will serve as Chief of Staff and senior advisor to the Under Secretary. Before joining the USDA, Lyons was the Senior Government Relations Director for the National Grocers Association (NGA) and worked on Capitol Hill in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Lastly, Kailee Tkacz will serve as policy advisor to the Under Secretary. Her work experience includes serving as the Director of Food Policy for the Corn Refiners Association (CRA), Director of Government Affairs for the Snack Food Association, and Government Affairs Manager for the National Grocers Association.

Regarding the staffing announcements, Secretary Perdue issued this statement: “The health and nutrition programs administered by USDA play a tremendous role in the Administration’s efforts to improve education and job readiness. I have no doubt that Brandon, Maggie, and Kailee will help further our mission of feeding the world and making decisions in our nutrition programs that are science-based and data-driven. I welcome Brandon, Maggie, and Kailee to the USDA family and I thank them for their desire to serve this nation.”

Also on Wednesday, the White House sent the Senate Agriculture Committee its official notice of intent to nominate Stephen Censky for USDA Deputy Secretary. Censky previously served at USDA in both the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and worked on the 1990 farm bill. He most recently served as the American Soybean Association’s Chief Executive Officer for 21 years. You can view an organizational chart of these positions and others within USDA on the USDA website.

Federal Register: Identifying Regulatory Reform Initiatives

USDA is requesting ideas from the public on how they can provide better customer service and remove unintended barriers to participation in federal programs like school meal programs. USDA is especially asking for public ideas on regulations, guidance documents, or any other policy documents that are in need of reform; for example ideas to modify, streamline, expand, or repeal those items. As subject matter experts in school nutrition, your input is essential to these efforts. Stay tuned for SNA’s action alert requesting your comment and providing a simple way for you to submit it in just a few clicks.

Secretary Perdue Visits Summer Food Service Program Site

On July 20th, Secretary Perdue visited the Turkey Thicket Recreation Center in Washington, D.C., along with representatives from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). During the visit, the Secretary ate breakfast and interacted with the children, as part of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and held a media Q&A. The visit was intended to highlight the importance of local park and recreations across the country, who provide activities, programming and nutritious meals to children when school is not in session. More information about where to find SFSP sites and what they offer can be found on the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program website.

FY2018 Agriculture Appropriations Update

The Senate Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies approved a $145.4 billion appropriations bill on July 18th. The FY2018 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, or S. 1603, supports federal agriculture and nutrition programs in FY2018, and is $4.85 billion above the President’s budget request, but $7.9 billion below the previous year’s enacted level. The bill was then sent to the full Senate Appropriations Committee, which passed the bill in a hearing on July 20th. Next, the bill will make its way to the full Senate for discussion. Upon passage, it will then be reconciled with the House version before a final vote in each chamber.

FY 2018 House Appropriations Agriculture Bill containing $25 million for school cafeteria equipment grants and policy provisions for whole grains and sodium flexibility, passed the House Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee on June 28th. Report language for the House appropriations bill contains text stating that while the Community Eligibility Provision simplifies program administration, “a higher threshold would better target program resources to lower-income households”. SNA is monitoring the implications of this language and will keep SNA members notified of any updates.

All About Web-Based Supply Chain Management (WBSCM)

USDA’s Web-Based Supply Chain Management system is an integrated, internet-based commodity acquisition, distribution, and tracking system built on Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing (SAP) commercial software and an Oracle platform. Essentially the system supports and helps to make administering food and nutrition programs easier for the four USDA agencies: Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS), and Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS). Updates about the WBSCM system are shared via the “News and Announcements” forums on the Home page, and for critical or time-sensitive announcements, emails are sent out to reach all impacted users. The WBSCM system also offers a training environment (NTRN), which provides sample data and hands-on practice for most transactions. Summer is a great time to register and practice using this system!

U.S. Forest Service Publishes Biomass-Heated Greenhouse Handbook

Biomass-heated greenhouses offer great benefits for school programs because they support school lunch programs while being woven into STEM, business, and entrepreneurial curriculums. These greenhouses are especially useful in communities with long winters, where fresh fruits and vegetables are scarce. The Biomass-Heated Greenhouse Handbook was recently published by the U.S. Forest Service State and Private Forestry Wood Innovations program in partnership with the State of Alaska, Alaska Energy Authority. The handbook offers a step-by-step guide in building and operating a wood-energy fueled greenhouse, and showcases best practice and lessons learned by others. To learn more about the handbook and the success of the greenhouses, check out this blog post on USDA’s website!

State Snapshots

SNA’s 2017 Second Quarter State Legislative Summary

The 2017 Second Quarter Report of SNA’s quarterly State Legislative Summary is available on SNA’s website. The report is a summary of school nutrition relevant state bills introduced between January 1 and June 17, 2017. In it are updates on States in session or adjourned, emerging trends, and status of current legislation. To date, 143 bills have been introduced – not counting annual appropriations legislation. See what’s brewing in your state!

Mark Your Calendars

SNA's Upcoming Webinars

Learn what’s on the agenda for SNA’s upcoming popular professional development webinars. Successful completion of each of the following webinars and quiz is worth 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs. Registration opens this fall.

Host a Legislator Site Visit
Wednesday, September 6, 2017, 2:00 pm ET

Webinar (title coming soon!) sponsored by the National Watermelon Promotion Board
Wednesday, September 13, 2017, 2:00 pm ET

“Best of ANC#17” 1 of 3: Modifications to Accommodate Disabilities
Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 2:00 pm ET

USDA Champions of Breakfast Webinar

The webinar will highlight the selected winners of the 2017 Champions of Breakfast Awards as well as focus on innovative school breakfast models and ways to improve meal quality.

Champions of Breakfast: Best Practices in School Breakfast Innovative Models and Meal Quality Webinar
Tuesday, August 1, 2017, 1:00 PM ET
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services’ Western Regional Office launched the Champions of Breakfast awards in early 2017 to recognize outstanding work on school breakfast by school nutrition departments and individual schools in the Western Region. The webinar will highlight the selected winners of the 2017 Champions of Breakfast Awards as well as focus on innovative school breakfast models and ways to improve meal quality.

Action for Healthy Kids School Breakfast Grants

Action for Healthy Kids’ school breakfast grants are available to implement alternative breakfast models, such as breakfast in the classroom or “grab and go.” Grant recipients will receive $2,100 per school to increase breakfast participation by 35 percent over the baseline. The deadline is Monday, July 31.

AASA Breakfast Grants

AASA, the School Superintendents Association, has funding available to help schools implement alternative breakfast models. Funds can be used for infrastructure (e.g., kiosks, insulated bags), and other equipment, and supplies needed to implement a school breakfast program. The deadline for applications is Monday, July 31, 2017, 12:00 pm EDT.


Cafeteria Chat Corner

A Look at Agriculture Secretaries of the Past
Sonny Perdue is the 31st person appointed as U.S Secretary of Agriculture, a position which was established in 1889 under President Grover Cleveland. For the next few weeks, the Cafeteria Chat Corner is going to look at some of the former Secretaries of Agriculture, and see what challenges they faced and accomplishments they achieved during their time in office! First up: John R. Block, the 21st U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. During his term from 1981-86, a major restructuring and reorganizing of farm debts was undertaken due to the Federal court ruling in the Coleman vs. Block case. Block also announced the Declaration of Principle, which outlined the purpose of the Agriculture in the Classroom program, which he was a champion of.

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