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January 29, 2015     Lovell Chronicle
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January 29, 2015
 

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January 29, 2015 I The Lovell Chronicle 1 3 Food hub feasibility study under-way FML0000ESo00mI00ERpE-[JECT BY PATI'I CARPENTER According to USDA definition, a regional food hub is an organization that provides a combination of services like aggregation, storage, packaging, val- ue-added processing and marketing services to farm- ers in a way that allows them to gain entry into ar- eas that would be difficult to access on their own. The model works in areas like Billings, Bozeman and Mis- soula, but would it work in less densely populat- ed areas like the Big Horn Basin? This is a question at the heart of feasibility study currently under way by VISTA volunteer Remy Cline. Cline, who is paid a nominal salary through the VISTA program, is using a $25,000 grant obtained last October to conduct the study. "There are a lot of dif- ferent business models that have grown up around that (food hub) description," ex- plained Cline. "One model is the producer to consum- er model (farmer's market, CSAs, online models that pick up and deliver to con- sumers at designated loca- tions) and the other is an institution model, which is far more complex and in- volves more of the aggrega- tion, distribution and mar- keting components." Cline said the model he is studying encompasses a Basin-wide network of both producers and consum- ers, including institutions like schools, senior centers, restaurants and grocery stores. He said he envisions a centralized storage facili- ty that would include some value-added processing ser- vices like washing, cleaning and repackaging vegetables into boxes and cases that are in quantities that insti- tutional customers would require Though this would put small producers up against the likes of big box stores like Walmart and already established institutional are actively pursuing being able to buy local foods. "Their standards might be more difficult for local producers to comply with and/or the prices might not be as good as you would get from some of these other sources, but it may still be worthwhile." Since his hiring in April of 2014, Cline has spent time visiting farmer's mar- O ..... / supply services like Sysco foods, the combined effort could allow smaller produc- ers to compete in a way that would not be possible alone. "The competition in this model would be with Sy- sco and others who are al- ready out there," said Cline. "It will be a challenge, but I wouldn't say that it would be impossible to compete with Sysco, since even those big distributors and big box stores like Costco and Walmart recognize the val- ue of locally grown foods. "There is the poten- tial to work with them. All of these major institutions have implemented a lo- cal foods policy where they kets and state fairs, trying to get a reading of interest for such a project. He's also taking a good hard look at the consumer base avail- able in the area and wheth- er enough demand exists. "These are all things that we are looking at through the feasibility study that we're doing," said Cline. "We're trying to fig- ure out what the best mod- el would be for rural Wyo- ming. Some of the more successful models that are competing with the Syscos and the big box stores are in Montana, in larger cit- ies like Bozeman, Missoula and Billings. Those models are centered around a local food co-op or grocery store for lack a better defini- tion and those stores are as big as an Albertson's or in some cases as big as Cost- co. They have their own re- lationships with producers who supply them with local produce and they are highly successful in those markets competing with the big box stores, while at the same time providing services to the producers." Cline said, who is also an attorney, said a regional food hub in the area would most likely be a co-op form of entity or ownership. He said a food hub is typical- ly producer owned from the legal perspective, and he thinks that's a good model because there's more "buy- in" from the farmers than if it's privately owned. So far, he's finding local producers interested in the idea. "I don't think we'll be short of producers, particu- larly on the meat side," he said. "On the produce side we have some catching up to do, but I think it's less of an issue if we can show pro- ducers we have the demand for their products. If there is a demand, people will step up for it. The bigger opportunities are out there and producers are definitely interested in them." Cline admitted that the short growing season in the area is a challenge but not- ed that it +is a challenge that has been overcome in simi- lar areas using greenhous- es to extend the growing season. "There are locations throughout the world where sugar plants have a co-lo- cated greenhouse," he said. "The greenhouse uses the waste heat from the sugar plant in the winter and the waste CO2 to either grow produce through the winter or to start growing earlier in the spring." He gave an example of a 26-acre greenhouse ad- jacent to a sugar plant in Great Britain. The nursery, called Cornerways, claims to produce 10 percent of the tomatoes for the en- tire country. He pointed out that with two very estab- lished sugar plants in the Basin, the idea is not far- fetched for the area. Cline currently has an on-line survey geared to- ward producers. He plans to follow up with an insti- tutional survey that should be out by the end of this month. The survey for pro- ducers can be found at www.wyofoodhub.com. Cline said he envi- sions the regional food hub as a physical facility, with cold storage and a central place for delivery and pick- up, with various value-add- ed processing services like making sausages, mak- ing hamburger patties and washing and packaging fresh vegetables. "So instead of just sell- ing heads of lettuce or pep- pers, there would be wash- ing and bagging to sell to grocery stores or institu- tions," said Cline. "Con- sumers like convenience, so I think we have to make it convenient. I think that is something we will have to do in order to be successful." For more information contact Cline at 548-6707 or email him at remy.cline@ gmail.com. Wyoming Legislature House lifts state science standards ban BY PATrl CARPENTER . ++ The: ++ Wyoming = House of Representatives voted to allow sexual assault vic- tims to file a protection or- der against the accused even before a conviction has tak- en place, offering additional protection to victims of sex crimes. The House also vot- ed to lift a ban on "next gen- eration" science standards, which would allow teachers to teach various theories of climate change, including human caused, and voted against a bill that would re- duce penalties for marijua- na possession, along with a plethora of other bills in the first two weeks of the 63 rd Legislative session. Those bills will now be heard in the Senate, said Rep. Elaine Harvey, ofLovell. ............... the second week of the session, that began Jan. 19, another 62 bills were filed with the House and 31 were filed with the Senate, bringing their col- lective totals to 179 and 116 respectively, according to information released to the press on Monday of this week. Two bills focusing on campaign contributions were passed by the House, including HB38, which lim- its PAC campaign funding to $3,000 for most candi- dates, excluding statewide candidates. A related bill, HB39, repeals aggregate campaign contribution lim- We Care about you and your heart! bythe Horn County Nurse 2 &26 -1 p.m. See you at the North Big Horn Senior Center 757 6reat Western Ave., bvell, 307-548-6556 its, removing a limit on the total amount candi- dates can accept duringan election. A bill passed in the House would eventually make it easier for motor- ists to pay for traffic tick- ets when pulled over by law enforcement. The bill would allow law enforce- ment agencies to keep half of the fees collected and to use those dollars to upgrade their electronic citation equipment. Harvey said re- ducing the amount of time officers spend on the side of the road, in turn reduces their risk of injury by pass- ing cars. HB 7 also cleared the House, and would make it easier for motorists to col- lect road-killed animals. Similar bills have been seen in previous years. A bill that would have raised the minimum wage failed in committee and a program that provided as- sistance with telephone fees to low income individ- uals was repealed. Harvey said since very few people are using a landline any- more, the telephone assis- tance program had become obsolete. Governor Matt Mead signed a proclamation high- lighting the strong role of towns and counties in the state's prosperity. Ohio Governor John Kasich spoke to legislators about a strategy that would force the federal government to balance the federahbudget through a constitutional convention. The issue of Medicaid expansion continues to be a hot topic into this week, with numerous meetings, both in the public and be- hind closed doors, among Gov. Mead, legislators and the State Dept. of Health Di- rector Tom Forslund taking place. Harvey said the effort continues to combine a num- ber of proposals into one bill that is palatable for most. She said, though the pro- cess has been a challenge, she wouldn't be surprised if a bill reached the floor of the Senate as early as this week. at Greenhouse Gardens us- ing, in part, some volunteer help the chamber will as- semble, he added. Emmett said he would like to see sponsors sign up by March 1 so the green- house can provide enough flowers and baskets. To sign up as a sponsor, contact the chamber at 548-7552. Hein- err said about 10 poles are spoken for so far. As for the former Main Street planters, some are still being used by the town around the community, but there will be others the town may offer for sale as surplus property, Emmett said. FUEL STORAGE continued from page 1 Lovett will be able to help people develop a plan on the spot during the workshop. "They'll leave with a document in hand," he said. Attendees are encour- aged to pre-register by Feb. 4 at noon in order to be provided with an aeri- al map of their storage fa- cilities to facilitate comple- tion of the self-certification plan during the workshop. Lovett will be able to as- sist and answer questions during the workshop. "Failure to have a plan is considered non-com- pliance," Boardman said. "Non-compliance can have a fine of $8000 to $20,000 per day. We encourage ag pro- ducers to be proactive and take advantage of Brian's knowledge and help." The Natural Resources Conservation Service will also be on hand to discuss funding for required sec- ondary containment. The Shoshone Conser- vation District will have in- formation on a variety of topics and will also provide the lunch. For more information, call Tilley at 548-7422 or contact the conservation district at shoshonecd@ tctwest.net. POLICE STATS continued from page 1 of arrests in the youngest age group recorded, which is ages 15.5 - 24 years old, while the numbers for ser- vice to motorists skewed somewhat higher for those identified as more than 49 years old. Lewis said the statis- tics, which are released an- nually, are much easier to calculate since the new RIMS dispatch system was put into place. He said the new system allows much of the information to be sorted electronically using the sys- tem's database. of Jackson Hole Musical entertainment for the whole family February 12, 2015, 6:30 p.m. Hya rt Theatre s20 per ticket Tickets available - call Nick (307-272-3094) or Renae (307-272-2737) at Minchow's Sinclair station or through Bob at the Lovell Fire Hall Dog Licenses Liuestock Permits Town of Cowley Licenses can be obtained at Cowley Town Hall, 20 S. Division 9am-lpm Tues., Thurs., Fri. 1-5 pm Mon., Wed. and Soturdog, Feb. 7, 9 am to 12 pm LUednesdou, Feb. 18 until 7 pm Dog tags ~ Neutered/Spayed: +3 + Not altered: 5 Proof of rabies vaccination is required. Livestock permits ~ +5 per animal NEW MZ00m00i MM0000rrmNc Bob Doerr Open House