Food Hubs

first_imgIn recent years, local food advocates have viewed food hubs — groups of farmers who pool their produce to fill large orders from institutions or larger retailers — as the bridge between local produce from small farms and the mainstream food markets. However, the idea is still new, and many farmers are unsure how to get a new hub started or make a currently working food hub last. Carrie Furman, an anthropologist working in the University of Georgia Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, recently received a $230,000 grant from USDA’s Southern Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education program to develop a best practices guide for developing and maintaining successful food hubs. Julia Gaskin, sustainable agriculture coordinator for the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and Hilda Kurtz, local food systems researcher in the UGA Department of Geography, will join Furman in the study. “We’re looking to tease out what works best for the farmers and managers and how they marry the mission of their particular food hubs with the market realities,” Furman said. “We’re also looking at what all this means for the quality of life for farmers and what this means for local food. We want to find out how we can start meeting the demand for local food in Georgia.” A recent UGA survey of small- to mid-size Georgia farmers found that about 90 percent were interested in forming food hubs to help them market their produce to larger buyers. While there are several working food hubs in Georgia, little research has been done on what makes some work better than others, and little guidance is available to farmers who want to start food hubs. Furman and her colleagues will look at three different food hub models to identify what makes each successful. She will focus on Moore’s Farm and Friend in Roanoke, Alabama, which started as an informal group of farmers who are friends; the Southwest Georgia Project Cooperative, a group of small farmers who started a non-profit food hub; and The Turnip Truck, a for-profit produce consolidation company owned by an outside entrepreneur who is not a farmer. Because of her background in anthropology, Furman has included Faidra Papavasiliou, an anthropologist at Georgia State University, to help establish a field research course for students who want to study how food hubs affect farmers and the economic impact of local food. The students will use traditional anthropological practices, like participant observation, and reflect on their experiences working in farmers’ fields and working to get produce to market. The researchers hope the course, which will be offered through Georgia State but open to students from other universities, will attract students studying geography, anthropology, agricultural economics and other fields. Lurleen Walters, an assistant professor of agricultural economics at Mississippi State University, will provide economic analysis of each food hub and its economic impact. At the end of the three-year study, Furman hopes to produce a set of best practices that will help Georgia farmers take advantage of larger markets by forming food hubs. For more information about food hubs in Georgia, read the following articles: Survey says: Georgia farmers interested in forming food hubs as a means of marketing produce, fresh meat and eggs ( Georgia’s burgeoning network of food hubs already making connections between farmers and local markets ( Ag stakeholders kick off food hubs plan for Georgia ( For more information about the Southern SARE program, visit For more information about sustainable agriculture research at UGA, visit read more

The Latest: Women’s soccer league season opens in Belarus

first_img Associated Press The Latest: Women’s soccer league season opens in Belarus But Spadafora is still leaving open the possibility that teams can resume training if sports and government officials agree on a proper health protocol. He says resuming training “will have a positive effect on the possible resumption of the season.”Spadafora adds that if the protocol can’t be agreed on “the government will declare the end of the season.”___The French soccer league has launched a lottery to help raise funds for hospitals and medical staff dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.Fans have a chance to win a signed jersey in exchange for an online donation of 5 euros ($5.40) to the “Tous Unis contre le Virus” (All United against the Virus) campaign. Thousands of tests will be needed to complete the season. That has fueled criticism that the plan wastes resources. The vice president of Germany’s public health institute said last week testing should be focused on people who have symptoms or were linked to an outbreak.___Paris Saint-Germain says there is “nothing official” but didn’t deny that it was about to be declared French league champion.The French season ended early because of the coronavirus pandemic and sports daily L’Équipe says on its website that a decision on the league standings was expected to be ratified by the LFP’s board of directors.The French government called off soccer and rugby leagues in the country on Tuesday and ended plans to resume. The top two divisions in French soccer had 10 rounds of matches left to play. PSG led second-place Marseille by 12 points and played one game less. Marseille stands to qualify directly for the Champions League while third-place Rennes would enter the qualifying rounds.___The Diamond League track meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, won’t happen as scheduled on Aug. 20.Organizers of the Athletissima say they are now looking at “alternative options and formats that could still be considered in order to offer athletes the possibility to compete.”Switzerland’s government has prohibited gatherings of more than 1,000 people until the end of August. French champion Paris Saint-Germain’s jersey is co-signed by Kylian Mbappé and Edinson Cavani.Dimitri Payet was one of France’s best players when the team reached the 2016 European Championship final and he has signed the Marseille jersey. Houssem Aouar signed Lyon’s jersey.The French league says 2 million euros ($2.2 million) has already been raised through previous fundraising in French soccer.___More AP sports: and,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 The fight was initially scheduled for June 20 but was postponed. It could now be held on July 25.___Germany is beginning to roll out coronavirus testing at soccer clubs in the top two men’s leagues in the hope of resuming the season next month.The German league tells news agency DPA the tests will start immediately.The Bundesliga’s plan to resume in May rests on regular testing for players. That is likely to be before they resume full-team training and before each game.center_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___A new women’s soccer season has started in Belarus after it was initially delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak. The season started with a game between Dynamo-BGUFK and the Belarus national under-19 team. The under-19 team competes in the league alongside club squads.Fans were allowed to attend the game for free but fewer than 100 were in the stands at the stadium in Minsk.Belarus is the only country in Europe playing professional soccer during the pandemic. The men’s league started last month and the women’s league had been scheduled to start on April 16 but was delayed by two weeks because of suspicions that players had contact with people who had the virus.Belarus national soccer federation spokesman Alexander Aleinik tells The Associated Press that “tests did not confirm the virus for any of the players.”___ Athletissima organizers say “it is currently impossible to allow a high number of people to gather in a confined area.”The first eight track meets on the Diamond League circuit have been postponed. Lausanne was the fifth in order of the seven left on the calendar.___The Italian sports minister says the government will create an economic safety net if it orders the Serie A soccer season to be shut down.Vincenzo Spadafora says if the season isn’t allowed to resume “we will assume responsibility so that soccer … has the least damage possible. Because it’s worth remembering that soccer is a big industry in our country.” April 30, 2020 British boxing’s governing body says it hopes fights can be staged from July.The British Boxing Board of Control says events would likely be held without fans initially and with an emphasis on “minimal numbers” of officials and broadcast personnel.Anyone at the events will have to have been in pre-fight quarantine and had tests for COVID-19. There will initially be a maximum of five contests in a show.The BBBofC says it continues to follow advice from government and medical authorities.The biggest fight that could take place in Britain in July is Anthony Joshua’s defense of his world heavyweight belts against Kubrat Pulev in London.last_img read more