It has been three long months since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico and we are still in survival mode. I know this all too well. I grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico and my family continues to live on the island. The emergency relief response has been limited in many areas on the island and although away at school, I decided that one way I could help, was to join Dr. Colon-Ramos of the Milken School of Public Health in an investigation of the nutritional quality of the food delivered.
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Learn about Food Institute Faculty Affiliate Dr. Lance Price’s work at the Antibiotic Research Action Center.
The average farmer in the US is 58.3 years old, indicating an alarming need for young farmers to join the workforce. Farming is a difficult occupation to pick up though, especially for beginning farmers and ranchers who didn’t grow up in agriculture. Requiring large amounts of capital to buy land, necessary tools and equipment as well as immense knowledge about soil management and business operations, the barriers to entry for young farmers are difficult to overcome.This is where the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) comes in, currently the only federal program explicitly dedicated to training the next generation of farmers and facilitating their entry into the industry and set them up for success.
Kim Robien, PhD, and researchers at Milken Institute School of Public Health adapted an existing tool for assessing food environments so that it could be used to evaluate the availability and price of sustainably produced indicator foods in Washington, D.C. grocery stores. The results showed that certified organic apples, carrots, eggs, beans, meat and meat alternatives were less widely available in D.C.’s Ward 8 grocery stores, although they were still found in more than 50 percent of the surveyed stores.
With winter break fast approaching comes the time to curl up with a book, whether it’s on a plane, on the beach, or at home under the covers. Looking to delve deeper into the world of food and agriculture, but not sure where to start? The Food Institute compiled a list to help you get started. This list is also great gift inspiration for your food and farming minded friends and family. Each Food Institute staffer picked their current favorites. What are your favorite food and agriculture related books? Let us know in the comments!