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Farm to Cafeteria workshop is Tuesday in Morris, Minn.

MORRIS — Apples, cucumbers, and tomatoes are the top three most popular Minnesota fruits and vegetables among K-12 students, according to an Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy survey of school food service leaders. Getting these locally grown foods on the menus of schools and other institutions requires cross-sector partnerships, community support and relationship building.

A Farm to Cafeteria workshop will be from 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris and is one of eight regional workshops between February and April.

According to a news release from the Southwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, the workshops are designed to meet the needs of the region and strengthen connections to advance partnerships between local farmers and community institutions. This year’s gatherings build on an earlier round of workshops.

The workshop in Morris will feature information about many aspects of the farm to cafeteria process. Among sessions that are intended for both growers and food service professionals, growers will attend a break-out session about safe postharvest handling from Dr. Cindy Tong of the University of Minnesota, and food service professionals will attend a session on handling and processing food for the cafeteria coordinated by Jeanine Bowman, director of food service for Morris and Benson schools. In addition, the event will include networking opportunities throughout. A meal will be provided, showcasing locally available products.

The 2013 workshops are coordinated by University of Minnesota Extension in partnership with the Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, Renewing the Countryside, and funded by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

For more information and to register, visit: There is a $20 fee to register for this event which covers all resource materials and the meal.