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Chris and Jan Waggoner spent nearly 20 years working to meet strict food-safety requirements so they could make sure peaches and nectarines from Wag’s World Orchard in Eckert could be served to kids in the Montrose County School District.
The Waggoners created a detailed food-safety policy book that documents details from worker-hygiene practices to soil-treatment and water-testing records. They also invested in new materials such as special boxes for packaging.
“It takes a lot of money and lots of time to do this,” Jan Waggoner said.
In school districts throughout Colorado, demand for fresh local produce far outpaces supply. School nutritionists want to plan menus using locally grown fruits and vegetables, but there aren’t enough farmers.
For small and medium-size farms, the labor, material and equipment costs needed to meet the schools’ food-safety requirements become a major barrier, according to research conducted by the Colorado Farm to School Task Force. Read the full article.
Originally published by the Denver Post on September 5, 2016. By Collen O'Connor
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