Office of Public Affairs

(315) 312-2265


Sept. 17, 2003


CONTACT: Craig Traub, 312-2331


PARTNERSHIP WITH LOCAL FARMERS BRINGS
FRESH PRODUCE TO DINING HALLS

    OSWEGO -- This fall, SUNY Oswego students can put fresh tomatoes on their salads, sample recently picked apples or bite into locally grown sweet corn, thanks to a partnership with Oswego County farmers.

    "We're trying to provide a farm-fresh connection," said Craig Traub, director of dining services for Auxiliary Services at SUNY Oswego. He said Auxiliary Services works with Dave Johnson at C's Farms as a conduit to local Oswego County farmers to deliver fresh produce.

    Businesses from around Oswego County, including Ontario Orchards, Dellamano Farms and Emmi Farms, are currently providing crops, with expansion to other suppliers a possibility. It's an arrangement where everyone wins, Traub explained.

    "Our customers benefit from high-quality fresh produce, while the farmers, community and county benefit from us doing business locally," he said.

    So far, Auxiliary Services has worked with local farmers to deliver fresh tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers, apples, peaches, pears and squash to the campus community. Deliveries of the locally grown produce arrive every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for all resident dining centers on campus.

    Traub cited a recent opportunity to serve fresh butternut squash with a Thursday turkey dinner as an example of how his staff can use the local produce in ways to make students' dining experiences special.

    Cindy Swan, who works in the salad department at Lakeside Dining Center, said people have noticed the difference with the taste, color and texture of fresh tomatoes.

    "Tomatoes are hard when they are kept around for a while, but when they're fresh, they're softer," she said.

    Freshman marketing major Meghan Ryan agreed. "They're good and fresh," she said of the locally grown tomatoes. "You can tell the difference."

    A few tables over in Lakeside Dining Center, John Parker had a sweet opinion of the fresh sweet corn. "I love it," the freshman graphic design major said. "It's great. It's nice and ripe and plump and juicy."

- END -

Students enjoy fresh produce along with their meals

LAKESIDE LUNCH -- Marianna Azar (left), a sophomore majoring in history and philosophy, and Heather Wild, a junior elementary education major, talk over a lunch that includes locally grown fresh sweet corn at SUNY Oswego's Lakeside Dining Center recently. Auxiliary Services at SUNY Oswego is working with Oswego County farmers to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables for students at campus dining centers.



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