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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Restoring the Revenue: Rep. Cushingberry seeks to help Michigan Agriculture with House Bill 6040 The Farm to School Grant Act.

The Friends of Cushingberry
By Hard Core Detroiter
April 18, 2010

Our friend George supports this bill introduced by State Representative Jennifer Haase (D-Richmond) because it would be an absolute benefit to the Detroit Public School System. School districts in Michigan will be eligible for grants up to $15,000 from the Department of Agriculture for the purpose of purchasing locally produced food products for their districts. This would allow approved farm product producers to supply a local school district with a healthy lunch instead of fast food.

Public schools would have the choice of placing trays of Oranges, Apples, and Bananas in the halls for students to munch on while they are on the way to class. For instance Oranges are very good because the natural juices in the orange will kill germs on teeth and taste better than toothpaste.

A list of local farm producers will be created and maintained by the Department as a directory for local school districts to select from. This bill provides for the structure of this project to be administered within the department. Some of the hidden benefits are:

1.Gardens in the city will also serve as a social gathering spot for senior citizens to hang out in the neighborhood.
2.Colleges and Universities like Michigan State with an agriculture program and a county extension service will benefit by providing support and learning opportunities for students.
3.Encouraging local school districts to acquire empty lots in cites to serve as a training program for K-12 students. Currently some school districts in Michigan have some form of a science program that teaches children how to grow now.

Currently Michigan ranks #1 in unemployment in rural counties in the United States with Alabama a close second. This is according to this 2009 map of the United States excluding urban counties.

(Click here for Rural Unemployment in United States by County Map).

If you would like to see this bill become law please e-mail your State Representative and Senator. If you are not a State of Michigan Resident, contact Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm (Click Here for the Gov.). If you are sending an e-mail please place the bill number in the subject line of the message. Include your voting address to allow your message to be forwarded to the proper representative.

Subject line example (HB 6040 – Farm to School Grant Act Support/Opposed/Neutral).

If you have additional comments or ideas on this bill, please use our blog to leave a message because your input is appreciated. Given the total number of sponsors on this bill, contacting your Representative will make it a law before the end of the year.

(Read the full Context House Bill 6040 by Clicking Here)

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