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National Farm to School Network

News

This Week in Farm to School: 5/21/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 

 

News from the National Farm to School Network
1. National Farm to School Network Names New Executive Director
National Farm to School Network has announced Helen Dombalis as its new Executive Director. Helen is a nationally recognized leader in cultivating equitable food systems through strategic farm to school partnerships and policy advocacy, and previously served as the Senior Director of Programs and Policy for the National Farm to School Network. As Executive Director, Helen will collaborate with stakeholders nationwide to explore and execute farm to school innovation, programming, and advocacy to advance racial and social equity and to grow and sustain the farm to school movement. Read the full announcement here

2. Save the Date: 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 20-24, 2020 // Albuquerque, New Mexico
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 20-24, 2020! Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event will convene a diverse group of food service professionals, farmers, educators, students, representatives from nonprofits and government agencies, public health professionals and more to learn, network, and strengthen this important movement. Are you passionate about supporting local agriculture and fostering a culture of food literacy in your community? This event is for you. Visit farmtoschool.org/conference to learn more and start making plans to join us in Albuquerque!


Grants & Funding
1. USDA AMS Grants: Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP)
Due: June 18
The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) Request for Proposals is now open. LFPP supports the development, coordination, and expansion of local and regional food businesses to help increase access and availability to locally and regionally produced agricultural products. The National Farm to School Network is interested in partnering with applicants to provide training and technical assistance or evaluation services for grant proposals. If you would like to discuss NFSN contract services for grants or collaborative proposals, please contact Lacy Stephens, NFSN Program Manager, at lacy@farmtoschool.org by May 30th.


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Farm to School: Cafeteria, Classroom, Community
Wednesday, May 22 // 1 PM ET
Farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers through the core elements of farm to school - local food procurement, school gardens, and food and agriculture education. This Webinar Wednesday session hosted by the School Nutrition Association will offer an overview to farm to school, including why it matters and how it supports the goals of child nutrition program, promoting successes, and evaluating your activities. Speakers include Helen Dombalis and Alena Paisono from the National Farm to School Network. Participants will be provided tips and tools for implementing successful farm to school activities. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDNs/NDTRs. Register here.

2. Webinar: Developing a Food Procurement Policy or Profile
Tuesday, May 28 // 2 PM ET 
Hosted by the Chesapeake Foodshed Network, this webinar will provide guidance on how a school, college, or hospital can develop a food procurement policy or profile. Developing a policy or profile can institutionalize good food values that prioritize support for local farmers and food producers, sustainable or regenerative agriculture practices, and women and minority-owned farms and food businesses. Register here.

3. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to School Resource Roundup: Resources for Implementing State Farm to School Strategies
Wednesday, May 29 // 3 PM ET    
Responding to the rapid growth and interest in farm to school, the National Farm to School Network’s 2017-2019 Strategic Plan prioritizes building the capacity of its partners to advance farm to school at the state level through three complementary strategies: (1) state farm to school networks, (2) state farm to school positions at state agencies and university Extension offices, and (3) state farm to school policies. To support these efforts, the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) has developed an accompanying resource for each of the three strategies:
Join the National Farm to School Network and special guest State Farm to Vermont Law School, coauthors of the State Farm to School Policy Handbook,  to learn more about these resources and how to apply these strategies in your state. Register here

4. Webinar: National Farm to School Network’s Racial and Social Equity Assessment Tool for Farm to School Programs and Policy
Thursday, May 30 // 1-2 PM ET
In this upcoming webinar, hosted by the Michigan Farm to Institution Network and the Michigan Local Food Council Network, National Farm to School Network (NFSN) staff members will share their assessment tool that helps to identify inequities embedded within programs and policy and support decision-making to advance racial and social equity. Guest speakers are Helen Dombalis, Executive Director, and Alena Paisano, Program Manager of Seed Change in Native Communities, both from NFSN. Register here.

5. Webinar: School and Community Farm Stands Webinar
Thursday, May 30 // 3-4 PM ET
School gardens can be used to engage the community through school and community farm stands, which take on various issues centered around food access and education. Please join us in virtual panel discussion where we will dig into some different ways in which farm stands are being implemented, and impacting students and the community. This session will follow a unique format and will give a lot of time for audience questions. If you have a question for the panelists, please share in you registration so that they can seek to address it. Register here.

6. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: Child Nutrition Reauthorization and Federal Policy Advocacy - How You Can Get Involved
Thursday, June 6 // 1 PM ET
The next Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) is at the forefront of food policy discussions in Washington. A diverse community of voices should be heard in policymaking, but do you find it challenging to get involved? Join Chloe Marshall, National Farm to School Network Policy Specialist, to learn about CNR and how you can advocate with impact! Register here

7. Course: Breakthrough Leaders for Sustainable Food Systems
May 20 - June 6 // Online & Burlington, VT
True leadership is about the capacity of people and communities to shape the futures they desire. This 3-week online and on-campus cross-disciplinary program develops visionary leaders by offering solutions to the social, environmental, diet, and health impacts of our food system. The University of Vermont is a recognized leader in the food systems movement, providing learners with unique access to hands-on learning and collaboration with scholars, activists, leaders, and professionals in the field. Learn more here


Job Opportunities
1. Farm to Community Programming Director, Farm Fresh Rhode Island (Pawtucket, RI)
Farm Fresh Rhode Island is seeking a full-time Farm to Community Programming Director. The Farm to Community Programming Director is responsible for supervising all of Farm Fresh RI’s Farm to School and Nutrition Education program activities by managing relationships with community partners, managing program staff, supervising performance measurement, and participating in Farm Fresh RI Farm to School and Nutrition Education program strategy. Learn more and apply here.

2. Farm to School Coordinator, Green Mountain Farm to School (Newport, VT)
The Farm to School Coordinator will work with school staff to develop, implement and evaluate Farm to School program activities such as taste tests, farm field trips, school gardens, nutrition education and more. This position is part of the Lyndon Economic opportunity AmeriCorps Program (LEAP). Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News
Warm Springs second-graders visit Sisters farm
In April, 40 second-graders from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs traveled on a school bus to Sisters, OR. They disembarked on ancestral lands of the Northern Paiute tribe, which is now the home of Seed to Table Farm. Seed to Table was invited by tribal members to help expand experiential, nutrition education through gardening and outdoor experiences. During last month’s visit, the students tasted food right out of the ground, planted seeds and learned about the five main things plants need to grow. Now a month later, the students returned to reap the harvest they’d planted in April. (The Nugget Newspaper)

Farm to table program nourishes students at Massachusetts high school
The concept of farm-to-table really hits home for students at Haverhill High School who plant vegetable and berry gardens each spring, harvest their crops to enjoy throughout the summer, then enter their bounty into the Topsfield Fair in the fall for judging. About 75 students in several different special education programs are involved in this program of hands-on learning. (The Eagle-Tribune)

Alabama students harvest knowledge in the garden
The harvest has been plentiful in the first year of the expanded raised bed garden at Maplesville High School. The raised beds have kept the agricultural science students busy and given them opportunities to teach some of the younger students at the K-12 school about plants. (The Clanton Advertiser)


Read past editions of This Week for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country.

Farm to School and National Agriculture in the Classroom

NFSN Staff Monday, May 20, 2019
By Elizabeth Esparza, Communications Intern


Food and agriculture education is a core element of farm to school and is vital to developing comprehensive and impactful farm to school programs. The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO) and its member state programs, such as the Healthy Communities of the Capital Area (HCCA) in Maine, provide K-12 teachers with educational resources and programs that use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and more. 

Education is a priority area for farm to school, making NAITCO and HCCA natural and ideal partners for increasing farm to school efforts at both the national and state level. The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization is a national nonprofit aimed at working in K-12 education to increase agricultural literacy, the ability to understand and communicate the source and value of agriculture as it affects our quality of life. They work with agriculture programs in most of the 50 states and D.C. to provide resources and standards-based lesson plans and activities. In 2017 alone, NAITCO reached 7.3 million students and 118,000 teachers in K-12, and uses their state partnerships and national conference to demonstrate agriculture related lessons to K-12 classroom teachers from around the US.

Florida Agriculture in the Classroom (FAITC), in partnership with the Florida Nutrition and Wellness Program works to increase agriculture education by holding teacher workshops together throughout the state.FAITC demonstrates K-12 lessons and activities, while FNW’s Chef Paula talks about food and garden harvest, safety, and demonstrates simple recipes that teachers can prepare in the classroom. Together, the two organizations partner to hold a statewide recipe contest to further promote each groups’ programs and increase agricultural education throughout Florida.

Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC), a part of the Maine Department of Agriculture, works to promote the understanding of agriculture and natural resources among students, educators, and the general public. MAITC works closely with Maine Farm to School Network (MFSN) to further increase the reach of the resources, trainings, and conferences available to teachers. MAITC offers grant support to teachers for a broad range of farm to school activities, which provide teachers with training and resources to help start and maintain school gardens, bring agriculture activities to their classrooms, and attend conferences

In addition to helping educators attend the MFSN conference, MAITC works to increase access to resources that enhance farm to school activities in their classrooms and schools. The Read ME Ag program enlists volunteers to read a new book written each year about Maine agriculture.

To learn more about the opportunities and benefits of partnerships between agriculture in the classroom and farm to school, watch a recording of our May 2019 Trending Topics Webinar: Farm to School and National Agriculture in the Classroom.

Announcing Our New Executive Director

NFSN Staff Wednesday, May 15, 2019
By Jessica Gudmundson, Interim Executive Director, and Miguel Villarreal, Advisory Board Chair



In December 2018, the National Farm to School Network Advisory Board announced the beginning of an Executive Director search to identify the next leader of the National Farm to School Network. After an extensive search process led by members of the Advisory Board, we are pleased to announce that Helen Dombalis has been selected as Executive Director, beginning May 15, 2019.

The Transition Committee received more than 100 applications from candidates across the country for the Executive Director position. Over the past five months, the committee conducted a rigorous and thorough process of reviewing these applications and holding multiple stages of interviews with numerous well-qualified candidates. National Farm to School Network staff and Core and Supporting Partners also participated and provided feedback during various stages of this process. 

With significant consideration given to the skills, experiences and expertise needed to successfully guide the National Farm to School Network in its next phase of growth, the Advisory Board has selected Helen Dombalis to serve in this important leadership role. Helen’s current position as National Farm to School Network’s Senior Director of Program and Policy - and nearly ten-year history of working with NFSN and partner organizations - have distinguished her as a nationally recognized leader in cultivating equitable food systems through strategic farm to school partnerships and policy advocacy. Helen’s farm to school expertise, leadership skills, commitment to racial and social equity, and experience with the organization’s partners and funders make her an exceptional individual for the role of Executive Director. We are confident that under her leadership, the organization’s success and impact in achieving its mission and vision will continue to flourish. 

Please join us and the Advisory Board in welcoming Helen as Executive Director by making a donation and showing your support for National Farm to School Network’s new leadership! Your financial support helps National Farm to School Network accomplish our important work, and your donation today will help usher in an exciting new chapter for the organization. You can also send your congratulations to Helen by posting on the National Farm to School Network’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

We are grateful to the other members of the Transition Committee (Haile Johnston, Johanna Herron, Dan Carmody and Diane Harris), as well as the full board, staff, partners and the entire National Farm to School Network community for your engagement and support throughout this important process. 

As the National Farm to School Network begins its next chapter, there is much to be excited about as we continue innovating, strategizing and strengthening this important movement. Staff and partners have been busy developing the organization’s 2020-2022 strategic plan, planning for the 2020 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference and releasing new resources like the Racial and Social Equity Assessment Tool for Farm to School Programs and Policy and State Farm to School Policy Handbook: 2002-2018. And we’re not even half-way through 2019! 

We thank you all for your continued support and partnership as we welcome Helen into her new role. May we continue growing stronger together!

- Jessica Gudmundson and Miguel Villarreal

This Week in Farm to School: 5/14/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 

Grants & Funding
1. USDA AMS Grants: Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP)
Deadline: June 18
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced the availability of $23 million in grants to support the development and expansion of local and regional food markets, enterprises and producer-to-consumer marketing. AMS will host two webinars to help farmers, producer groups, and other potential applicants to understand the program requirements. The webinar for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program will be offered on May 22, and the Grants.gov Overview Webinar on May 21. Application are due June 18, 2019. Learn more here



Webinars & Events
1. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to School Resource Roundup: Resources for Implementing State Farm to School Strategies
Wednesday, May 29 // 3 PM ET    
Responding to the rapid growth and interest in farm to school, the National Farm to School Network’s 2017-2019 Strategic Plan prioritizes building the capacity of its partners to advance farm to school at the state level through three complementary strategies: (1) state farm to school networks, (2) state farm to school positions at state agencies and university Extension offices, and (3) state farm to school policies. To support these efforts, the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) has developed an accompanying resource for each of the three strategies:
Join the National Farm to School Network and special guest State Farm to Vermont Law School, coauthors of the State Farm to School Policy Handbook,  to learn more about these resources and how to apply these strategies in your state. Register here

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: Child Nutrition Reauthorization and Federal Policy Advocacy - How You Can Get Involved
Thursday, June 6 // 1 PM ET
The next Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) is at the forefront of food policy discussions in Washington. A diverse community of voices should be heard in policymaking, but do you find it challenging to get involved? Join Chloe Marshall, National Farm to School Network Policy Specialist, to learn about CNR and how you can advocate with impact! Participation in this webinar in not considered lobbying. Register here

3. EQUITY Webinar: Indigenous New Hampshire Food Ways & History
Thursday, May 23 // 12PM ET
The Indigenous NH Collaborative Collective is a collaboration between the University of New Hampshire’s Anthropology Department, Paul and Denise Pouliot of the Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook Abenaki People, historians, students and archeologists. This long-term project intends to reframe New Hampshire’s history from an Indigenous perspective. In this webinar, hear from leaders of the collective about current projects and the story map, learn about Indigenous Food Ways from Paul Pouliot and a school garden project that integrates Indigenous food and history. Register here

4. EQUITY Webinar: Structural Racism in the Food System: Perspectives from Black Women Scholars
Friday, May 24 // 12 – 1 PM PT
Join this INFAS webinar to hear from three Black Women Scholars from Historically Black Colleges and Universities  - Kimberly N. Carr, Monyai Chavers, and Lindsey Lunsford - describe their unique perspectives on Structural Racism in the Food System. These three INFAS Graduate Fellows are engaged in scholarship in three diverse areas examining the intersections of inequities in food, food systems, and sustainable agriculture. Register here.

5. Webinar: Local Food in Government Statistics - a National Farm to Institution Metrics Collaborative Webinar
Tuesday, May 28 // 3:30 PM ET
On this webinar, Jeff O'Hara from USDA Agricultural Marketing Service will provide a snapshot of how data collection around local food has advanced in recent years at the national level. He will dive into the recently released Census of Agriculture and share how the results are improving our understanding of local food markets within the past 5 years. O'Hara will also identify trends in local food market activity that are not currently being captured by existing federal government statistics. Register here.

6. Education and Health: Twin Pillars for Thriving Students
Tuesday, May 28, 2019, 12:30-2:00 PM // Washington, D.C.
Healthier students miss fewer days of school, are better able to focus and learn in class, and they also grow into healthier and more productive adults. Creating healthy and supportive school environments that honor the connection between wellness and learning requires the education and health sectors to work together in new ways. Join the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Healthy Schools Campaign for a conversation highlighting the inextricable link between health and education. Learn more here

7. Request for Proposals: Farms, Food & Health Conference
Submissions deadline: June 3 // Conference: Sept. 26-29, Traverse City, MI
The request for proposals is open now to present at the 2019 Farms, Food & Health Conference, September 26-29, 2019 in Traverse City, Michigan. This unique conference brings together health practitioners, employers, teachers, farmers, poverty reduction advocates, human resource professionals, foodservice directors and others interested in connecting the dots between healthcare, wellness and locally grown food.  Conference organizers seek panel discussions, lectures or workshops that offer skill training, resources, action items and/or clear steps on ways to implement a change. Submissions are due on June 3, 2019. Learn more here.

 
Research & Resources
1. Journal Article: Identifying Indicators of Readiness and Capacity for Implementing Farm to School Interventions
Farm to school interventions are recommended strategies to improve dietary behaviors among school-aged children. tools are needed to assess community readiness and capacity to optimize farm to school implementation. The objective of this study was to identify and prioritize factors to inform tailored farm to school implementation by practitioners working in diverse contexts. Read the full study here.

2. EQUITY Resource: Measuring Racial Equity in the Food System: Established and Suggested Metrics
This tool, developed by Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, offers an expansive list of metrics that U.S. food system practitioners and food movement organizations can use to hold ourselves accountable for progress towards a more equitable food system. The metrics are either currently in use or are recommended by food system practitioners and food movement organizations in the United States. They are described, cited, and organized by themes: food access, food and farm business, food chain labor, and food movement. Download the resource here.

3. Research: USDA Food and Nutrition Service: School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study
This study is the first nationally representative, comprehensive assessment of the school meal programs since the updated nutrition standards for school meals were phased in beginning School Year 2012-2013. The study results are presented in four separate reports summarizing study findings related to (1) foodservice operations, (2) the nutrient content of school meals as offered and served, (3) meal costs and revenues, and (4) student participation, dietary intake and plate waste. A study methodology report that describes the study design, sampling and data collection and a Summary Report that provides a brief overview of the study and key findings from the various reports are also available. Read more here.

4. EQUITY Food Sovereignty Stories Series
Brought to you by the US Food Sovereignty Alliance, this new video series explores what food sovereignty can look like for diverse social movements across the US. View the first video in the series here.


Job Opportunities
1. Program Coordinator, Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network (Eugene, OR)
The Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network is hiring a Program Coordinator to support members of Oregon’s farm to school and school garden community in their work to incorporate healthy, local food into school meals and implement farm and garden-based education. Learn more here.

2. Policy Director, Fair Food Network (Washington, D.C.)
Fair Food Network is looking for an experienced government relations professional to lead its outreach, advocacy and policy-related relationship building work, with an emphasis on Washington, DC relationships and legislation. Learn more here.

3. Communications Manager, Farm to Institution New England (FINE) (Remote, New England)
FINE seeks a dedicated communications professional to lead its communications and information technology efforts. The communications manager is a key member of this remote team, and is central to both the external network services and programs FINE offers, as well as to the internal work of running a small, dynamic nonprofit. Learn more here.

4. Farm to Institution New York State Training Coordinator, American Farmland Trust (Saratoga Springs, NY)
American Farmland Trust is seeking a full-time Farm to Institution New York State Training Coordinator to help develop and facilitate training programs and other educational tools to support New York institutions to expand their local food purchasing. Institutions will primarily consist of K-12 schools, but also could include colleges and universities, hospitals and others. Learn more here.

5. Multiple Positions, Community Grows (San Francisco, CA)
CommunityGrows is hiring for several, year-round positions. CommunityGrows (CG) co-cultivates healthy youth through growing gardens in low-income, diverse communities. Through outdoor, environmental and nutrition education, CG helps high-needs youth, especially those living in public housing in San Francisco, develop the confidence, skills and experience to live a healthy life and become leaders in their communities. Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News
Virginia elementary school's garden lab supplies cafeteria kitchen
When it's ripe, produce from Frederick Douglass' garden lab is harvested, cleaned, and served to its students. The garden opened in 2012 as the school was being remodeled. Last month, Virginia's First Lady Pamela Northam launched her Farm-to-School initiative to increase annual statewide local food purchases to at least $22 million by 2022. (Local DVM)

Vermont District expands farm to school programming
This past September, Windham Northeast Supervisory Union kicked off a new school meal program: the Farm to School Cafe. While breakfast and lunch menus still look familiar to students and families, they now feature a variety of locally grown products and the large majority of meals are prepared from scratch. (VT Digger)

Washington project helps make kids lifelong healthy eaters
Eight Head Start centers in Washington are incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into their curriculum, thanks to a new partnership with the Washington State University Skagit County Extension. The project connects people with produce grown at local farms, like Viva Farms. “Part of our mission is to supply and provide organic food to our community,” said Steve Crider, Farm to School lead for Viva Farms. “Exposing kids early to a variety of food and colors and stuff they may not get at home helps make them healthy eaters for life.” (Skagit Valley Herald


Read past editions of This Week for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country.

This Week in Farm to School: 5/7/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 

Webinars & Events
1. NFSN Webinar: Trending Topics in Farm to School: Farm to School and National Agriculture in the Classroom
Tuesday, May 7 // 1 PM ET
Food and agriculture education is a core element of farm to school and vital to developing a comprehensive and impactful farm to school programs. The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO) and its member state programs provide K-12 teachers with educational resources and programs that use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies and more. Join this National Farm to School Network (NFSN) webinar to hear from NAITCO about resources, information, and partnerships and learn from Healthy Communities of the Capital City, NFSN Core Partner in Maine, about how Agriculture in the Classroom partnerships have expanded farm to school initiatives in their state. Register here

2. Farm to School Resource Roundup: Resources for Implementing State Farm to School Strategies
Wednesday, May 29 // 3 PM ET    
Responding to the rapid growth and interest in farm to school, the National Farm to School Network’s 2017-2019 Strategic Plan prioritizes building the capacity of its partners to advance farm to school at the state level through three complementary strategies: (1) state farm to school networks, (2) state farm to school positions at state agencies and university Extension offices, and (3) state farm to school policies. To support these efforts, the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) has developed an accompanying resource for each of the three strategies:
Join the National Farm to School Network and special guest State Farm to Vermont Law School, coauthors of the State Farm to School Policy Handbook,  to learn more about these resources and how to apply these strategies in your state. Register here
 
3. Greening School Food: A Northeast Forum on Healthy, Climate-Friendly School Food
Thursday, May 9 // Albany, NY
Leading food service professionals from Northeastern school districts will share successful strategies for promoting climate-friendly, plant-based menus and implementing waste reduction in school cafeterias. National and regional nonprofits will discuss resources and map out strategies and policy reforms to scale up climate-friendly school food. Forum participants will share their experience, gain valuable information and cultivate new relationships in several round-table discussions. Register here.
 
4. 2019 Starting and Sustaining a School Garden Conference
Friday, May 10 // Novi, MI
School gardens can spring up anywhere – a schoolyard, an empty lot, a rooftop, even a parking lot. They are a powerful tool to connect youth to the natural world and beyond, regardless of setting, demographics or learning style. Be prepared to help make those connections by attending the 2019 Starting and Sustaining a School Garden conference. Seasonal Learning in the Garden will be the theme for the conference to assist educators in coordinating their curriculum with what is going on in the garden. There will be break-out sessions by season and by grade level, and all activities will be connected to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Learn more here.
 
5. Wisconsin School Garden Day
Thursday, May 23
The Governor of Wisconsin will be proclaiming Thursday, May 23, 2019 the very first Wisconsin School Garden Day! Wisconsin School Garden Day honors and celebrates the educators, students, families, community leaders, and all people who have made garden-based education a reality and an asset in their schools and communities throughout the state. You can participate in Wisconsin School Garden Day by engaging in some type of garden-based education activity or celebration on May 23, 2019 (or another day that week) in solidarity with youth garden programs across the state. Learn more here.
 

Research & Resources
1. The Farm to School Census is Coming! 
The Office of Community Food Systems is excited to announce that the third Farm to School Census will launch this September! According to the 2015 Farm to School Census, schools have invested nearly $790 million in local communities. Have we reached a billion yet? Help us find out by ensuring your district participates this fall. For more information about the Census and farm to school in general, contact a USDA Farm to School Regional Lead.

2. SNAP into Gardening Resource from SNAP-Ed
SNAP-Ed agencies across the country are involved in community and school gardening. If garden projects are part of your spring plans, the SNAP-Ed Connection has you covered! Learn more about SNAP-Ed gardening projects and resources in the SNAP-Ed Library. Head to the updated Gardening Resources page to learn more.

3. Sharing the Table: A Roadmap to Reducing and Recovering Surplus Food in Schools, The Center for Green Schools 
Starting food reduction and recovery programs can seem daunting at first due to the number of steps to consider before beginning. However, with the right support and guidance, these programs can be successfully developed and implemented in schools with relatively low cost. This Roadmap to Reducing and Recovering Surplus Food in Schools serves as a guide for school stakeholders, using examples from efforts by the school districts in Oakland and San Diego, California to reduce and recover their surplus food from school meals. It focuses on best practices to save surplus food at school, as well as resources for school food waste reduction. Read the full guide here.


Job Opportunities
1. Garden Educator, CitySprouts (Cambridge, MA)
The CitySprouts Garden Educator position is an opportunity to deepen and expand skills and knowledge in the area of informal education and youth development. The Garden Educator is responsible for delivering the CitySprouts program to three school partners during the school year and to lead one middle school program, in both after school and summer. Learn more here.

2. TerraCorps Community Engagement Coordinator, CitySprouts (Cambridge, MA)
The Community Engagement Coordinator at CitySprouts will lead volunteer efforts for both school families and community members in Cambridge and Boston. Through their service, members will expand CitySprouts’ family engagement plants with partner schools through volunteer and special event opportunities in the school gardens/ They will leverage the service of 300 volunteers throughout our network of 22 partner schools in order to engage in garden education and building projects. Learn more here.

3. Nutrition Education Fruitful Data Systems AmeriCorps VISTA, Farm Fresh Rhode Island (Providence Rhode Island)
Farm Fresh Rhode Island seeks an analytical and thoughtful Nutrition Education Fruitful Data Systems AmeriCorps VISTA with demonstrated initiative and clear organizational communication skills to increase Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s capacity to make data-driven decisions. An integral part of Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s team, our nutrition education department works with community institutions and the public school system to ensure greater access to healthy locally grown food across populations. This position offers a unique opportunity to design a sustainable data management system to catalog efforts and successes, helping us research the changing food landscape by identifying key farm to school stakeholders and advocates in RI. Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News
Junior Iron Chef Competition Highlights Minnesota's Innovative Approach To School Lunch
On Thursday night in Minneapolis, teams of middle schoolers and professional chefs competed in an Iron Chef-style battle. The winning dish will go on the school lunch menu. Yup, fresh, creative food in the cafeteria. Minneapolis Public Schools is teaming students with local chefs. (CBS Minnesota)

Growing season on North Carolina college farm
The Guilford College Farm is home to healthy foods served in the cafeteria, including kale, lettuce and beets.  It’s also a place where a wide range of students are able to experience growing and maintaining fruits and veggies for the College. Once the food is harvested, it is washed, weighed and bagged for the cafeteria and for storage. (The Guilfordian)

Washington students help grow fresh produce for their community
There's a growing effort at a high school in Burien to feed the community with fresh produce harvested by students and their neighbors. On Earth Day, students at New Start High School helped prepare the "Shark Garden" for another busy season. New Start Biology Teacher Kelsie Maney helped turn the dusty property into a vibrant community center and neighborhood green space. (King 5 News)

Read past editions of This Week for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country.

This Week in Farm to School: 4/23/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 

Webinars & Events
1. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: Farm to School and National Agriculture in the Classroom
Tuesday, May 7 // 1 PM ET
Food and agriculture education is a core element of farm to school and vital to developing a comprehensive and impactful farm to school programs. The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO) and its member state programs provide K-12 teachers with educational resources and programs that use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies and more. Join this National Farm to School Network (NFSN) webinar to hear from NAITCO about resources, information, and partnerships and learn from Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, NFSN Core Partner in Maine, about how Agriculture in the Classroom partnerships have expanded farm to school initiatives in their state. Register here

2. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to School Resource Roundup: Resources for Implementing State Farm to School Strategies
Wednesday, May 29 // 3 PM ET    
Responding to the rapid growth and interest in farm to school, the National Farm to School Network’s 2017-2019 Strategic Plan prioritizes building the capacity of its partners to advance farm to school at the state level through three complementary strategies: (1) state farm to school networks, (2) state farm to school positions at state agencies and university Extension offices, and (3) state farm to school policies. To support these efforts, the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) has developed an accompanying resource for each of the three strategies:
Join the National Farm to School Network and special guest State Farm to Vermont Law School, coauthors of the State Farm to School Policy Handbook,  to learn more about these resources and how to apply these strategies in your state. Register here

3. National Farm to Institution Metrics Collaborative Webinar Series: Local Food Procurement – Definitions are Pivotal
April 25 // 3:30-4:00 PM ET 
In this new series, each 30-minute webinar will feature a different Collaborative member and a tool or program they have used to measure farm to institution efforts. In the third webinar in this series, Dr. Lilian Brislen of the Food Connection at the University Kentucky will demonstrate the importance of identifying the ‘what’ and ‘why’ when establishing local food definitions and metrics. Drawing on six years of the University’s first private dining contract, Brislen will share strategies, metrics, and hard-won lessons in developing effective local procurement initiatives at public institutions. Register here.

4. Green Our Planet's 5th Annual School Garden Conference
April 27 // Las Vegas, NV
Educators, administrators, and the public are welcome to join and learn about the rapidly growing school garden movement in Las Vegas, NV. Teaching in an outdoor classroom is an innovative way for teachers to improve STEAM and nutrition education as well as influence students to conserve and protect the planet. Learn more here.


Research & Resources
1. NFSN RESOURCE Organics in Farm to School
Many schools across the country are applying organic principles to the three core elements of farm to school - local food procurement, schools gardens, and food and agriculture education - in a number of ways. This new fact sheet  from the National Farm to School Network shares keys to success for integrating organics in farm to school practices and highlights three case studies of school districts finding success with organic practices. Explore this new resource here

2. EQUITY Video Case Studies: Minnesota Farm to Head Start 
Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy has shared a new set of videos featuring dynamic Farm to Early Care activities happening in Head Start programs across Minnesota. The video series has a special focus on how Head Start programs are incorporating culturally relevant foods and classroom activities into Farm to Early Care initiatives. Watch the case study video series here


Job Opportunities
1. Healthy Chelsea School Program Manager, Healthy Chelsea (Chelsea, MA)
The School Programs Coordinator will work closely with the Chelsea Public Schools, the City of Chelsea, the CPS school food service provider, residents, youth, and community-based organizations in the planning, development and implementation of evidence-based strategies to promote healthy eating and active living throughout the schools and larger community. Major initiatives that the School Programs Coordinator will oversee are: school garden programming and education in Chelsea Public Schools, school food improvement collaboration, Youth Food Movement program for Chelsea high school students, co-chair district wellness committee. Learn more here.

2. South Dakota State University Extension VISTA, Multiple Positions
Join SDSU Extension’s AmeriCorps VISTA program to make a difference in communities across South Dakota! AmeriCorps VISTA service members will work with SDSU Extension staff to increase knowledge of and access to physical and financial health and wellness techniques in effort to bring economically disadvantaged South Dakotans out of poverty. A variety of positions are available to meet diverse professional interests and skills. Learn more here

3. Youth Farm Collaboration Manager, Pinellas Education Foundation (St. Petersburg, FL)
The Youth Farm Collaboration Manager will have the opportunity to build a youth development and entrepreneurship program in collaboration with youth leaders and participants, as well as a range of organizational partners with expertise, experience, and programs in youth development, workforce development, and food systems. The Youth Farm Project at Enoch Davis is a youth empowerment initiative still in its formation stage. Following successful models across the country, the vision is for high school age youth to take on progressive leadership roles on an urban farm while being trained in entrepreneurship and business, leadership, job readiness, food systems and urban agriculture, and the culinary arts. Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News
Indiana district expands agriculture program
An Indiana school district is adding a grow lab and greenhouse to expand its agriculture education program. Food that students help to grow will be donated to the school cafeteria to be used in students' meals. (The Tribune)

Maryland farm to school program brings produce taste testing to elementary school cafeteria
Students at North Frederick Elementary School went to lunch as usual on Wednesday, but they were met with a farmer and hundreds of freshly-picked apples. (Local DVM)

Delaware farm expands teaching opportunities with orchard
Students, elected officials and volunteers planted forty fruit trees at Penn Farm in New Castle, DE last week. Penn Farm currently consists of four acres of vegetables, a hay field, pollinator habitat and raspberries. William Penn High School students work the farm through their Penn Farm class. Produce stocks district cafeterias as well as local CSAs and farmers markets. (Delaware Public Media
 
Read past editions of This Week for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country.

This Week in Farm to School: 4/16/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 

Webinars & Events
1. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: Farm to School and National Agriculture in the Classroom
Tuesday, May 7 // 1 PM ET
Food and agriculture education is a core element of farm to school and vital to developing a comprehensive and impactful farm to school programs. The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO) and its member state programs provide K-12 teachers with educational resources and programs that use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies and more. Join this National Farm to School Network (NFSN) webinar to hear from NAITCO about resources, information, and partnerships and learn from Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, NFSN Core Partner in Maine, about how Agriculture in the Classroom partnerships have expanded farm to school initiatives in their state. Register here

2. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to School Resource Roundup: Resources for Implementing State Farm to School Strategies
Wednesday, May 29 // 3 PM ET    
Responding to the rapid growth and interest in farm to school, the National Farm to School Network’s 2017-2019 Strategic Plan prioritizes building the capacity of its partners to advance farm to school at the state level through three complementary strategies: (1) state farm to school networks, (2) state farm to school positions at state agencies and university Extension offices, and (3) state farm to school policies. To support these efforts, the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) has developed an accompanying resource for each of the three strategies:
Join the National Farm to School Network and special guest State Farm to Vermont Law School, coauthors of the State Farm to School Policy Handbook,  to learn more about these resources and how to apply these strategies in your state. Register here

3. National Farm to Institution Metrics Collaborative Webinar Series: Local Food Procurement – Definitions are Pivotal
April 25 // 3:30-4:00 pm EST 
In this new series, each 30-minute webinar will feature a different Collaborative member and a tool or program they have used to measure farm to institution efforts. In the third webinar in this series, Dr. Lilian Brislen of the Food Connection at the University Kentucky will demonstrate the importance of identifying the ‘what’ and ‘why’ when establishing local food definitions and metrics. Drawing on six years of the University’s first private dining contract, Brislen will share strategies, metrics, and hard-won lessons in developing effective local procurement initiatives at public institutions. Register here.

4. 2019 Maine School Garden Day
April 27 // Trenton, ME 
A fun-filled day of workshops and networking for school garden enthusiasts and educators will be hosted by Maine School Garden Network (MSGN) and Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC). Whether you're dreaming of starting an educational garden or working to develop an existing program... this day is for you! Register online here.

5. Life Lab's 2019 School Garden Workshops
Santa Cruz, CA
In Life Lab's Garden Classroom on the UC Santa Cruz campus, professional trainers bring inspiration and information to educators interested in bringing learning to life in the garden. Workshops are available on a variety of garden / outdoor learning topics and will be hosted throughout 2019. Learn more and register here.

6. NAAEE 48th Annual Conference: Educating for a Just and Sustainable Future
October 16-19 // Lexington, KY
This annual event hosted by the North American Association for Environmental Education brings together global leaders, decision makers, practitioners, and rising stars to leverage the power of environmental education. This year's theme focuses on  the three interwoven pillars of sustainability — social equity, shared prosperity, and environmental integrity — as well as how education can advance environmental literacy and civic engagement, STEM learning, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and ensure that everyone, everywhere, has access to nature and high quality environmental education. NAAEE is now accepting applications for conference scholarships. The deadline to apply is June 17, 2019. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Identifying Indicators of Readiness and Capacity for Implementing Farm to School Interventions
Farm to school interventions are recommended strategies to improve dietary behaviors among school-aged children. Tools are needed to assess community readiness and capacity to optimize farm to school implementation. The objective of this study was to identify and prioritize factors to inform tailored farm-to-school implementation by practitioners working in diverse contexts. Read the full study here.

2. Case Study: Lessons from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Farm to Head Start Program
Farm to Head Start is a type of Farm to Early Care initiative that includes a broad range of activities designed to introduce young children to locally grown foods and build their knowledge about where food comes from.The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy's work has been focused on partnerships with Head Start programs across Minnesota. Head Start settings vary greatly in their structure, necessitating each partner to adapt IATP’s “Farm to Head Start” model to suit their unique needs and goals. These three case studies highlight different approaches to implementing and sustaining Farm to Head Start initiatives. Read the case study here.

3. New Resource: Farm to School & Big Ideas
This new resource from Vermont FEED provides examples for educators on linking Big Ideas to their farm to school work. The Big Ideas are concepts that we can find in our daily life and experiences, standards and curriculum, and food systems. Curricular examples listed for each grade level illustrate how classrooms engage in farming, nutrition, and sustainability in their school and communities. This resource shares essential questions that drive the learning and assessments for each of the student investigations. Explore more here

4. EQUITY New Article: Young Black Farmers Find Liberation and Empowerment in Agriculture
The oppressive and painful histories of slavery, sharecropping, and discriminatory lending practices have contributed to a modern American agricultural landscape where black farmers are underrepresented. Additionally, the American farmer population overall is aging, and two-thirds of U.S. farmland is set to transition ownership in the next 20 years. Despite these worrisome trends, a small population of motivated and passionate young black farmers is emerging. In a new JAFSCD article, Leslie Touzeau presents findings from a qualitative case study that explored the motivations and attitudes of young black farmers like herself. By examining the lived experiences of young black farmers and sharing their stories, Touzeau gives voice to a previously unstudied population and contributes to the ongoing work of food justice scholars attempting to shift the black farmer narrative from one of oppression to one of liberation. Read more here


Job Opportunities
1. School & Scout & Public Program Educator, Natick Community Organic Farm (Natick, MA)
Do you have a strong interest in agriculture and the outdoors, love kids, communicate well, and like to learn new things? Natick Community Organic Farm is looking for teachers September through June to teach everything from maple sugaring to forest and farm ecology to the life and care of Farm animals. Learn more here

2. Children’s Garden Educator & Program Coordinator, Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids (Hockessin, DE)
Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids is seeking an energetic and enthusiastic individual to support HFHK’s expansion by providing children’s garden-based education at Historic Penn Farm’s educational garden, and to assist with HFHK’s Education Cultivation Program. Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News
Smart Farm project sows top Girl Scout award for California student
Natalie McCaffery recently earned a Girl Scout Gold Award (the highest achievement in Girl Scouting) with her project Smart Farm, a program she created at Laguna Blanca School to teach sustainable agriculture, with emphasis on how the agricultural world is changing with the emergence of technology. (Noozhawk)

Going to a farm high school doesn't mean you're going to be a farmer
Students who attend agriculture-focused high schools gain experiences that can take them to college, to a agricultural career or far beyond. Chicago High School for Agriculture Sciences and Only Friends School (Ohio) are featured in this story. (Mother Nature Network

Georgia Nutrition Interns Help Little Ones Enjoy Healthy Food
Little Ones Early Childhood Program Administrator Wande Okunoren-Meadows and center administrators wanted to have family-style dining but felt it was extra work for the classroom teachers. Master’s nutrition coordinated program student Camira Williams-Liggins took on the challenge. (Georgia State University News)
 
Read past editions of This Week for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country.

Bring Stories Into Farm to School this National Library Week

NFSN Staff Wednesday, April 10, 2019

By Elizabeth Esparza, Communications Intern

April 7-13 is National Library Week, a week to celebrate the opportunities libraries offer to everyone through the free use of books and other resources. Libraries are a natural pairing with farm to school, and the two can work together to connect students everywhere to stories that grow their knowledge of local foods, gardens, agriculture, health, and nutrition.

Here are a list of book ideas that can help strengthen and grow your farm to school activities:

Gardens:
City Green by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan: Marcy decides to transform a vacant lot on her block into a vibrant garden that brings her neighborhood together. A positive story about community action and growing spaces in a big city.

Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root: This fun, rhyming mantra teaches readers that almost anything - a box, a bucket, a boot, or a pan - can be used for growing if you have a seed and someone to plant it!

Our School Garden by Rick Swan: Michael enters his new school feeling lonely, until he discovers his school’s garden, where every season offers new lessons to learn and new friends to make.

Agriculture:
Before We Eat: From Farm to Table by Pat Brisson: This book gives farmers a face, giving readers an introduction to all the work that must be done before food reaches our tables for us to eat.

Food and Farming (Geography for Fun) by Pam Robson: This interactive book provides projects for young readers to think about where food comes from, introducing them to a variety of aspects of the food system, from soil health to food transportation.

Plants Feed Me by Lizzy Rockwell: This book gives students a beautiful introduction to the parts of plants we eat, with easy-to-read labeled diagrams and illustrations!

Nutrition
I Will Never Not Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child: Lola is a picky eater who won’t try new foods until her big brother Charlie makes them more fun and exciting. This story is perfect for picky eaters about the importance of trying new things!

The Perfectly Wonky Carrot by Newmany: Tap Carrotsworth is a strange looking carrot who enters a fruit and vegetable beauty contest to prove there’s nothing wrong with being different. This fun story touches on self-confidence and sustainability, encouraging readers to be themselves and reach for the less-than-perfect foods they see.

Rah, Rah, Radishes!: A Vegetable Chant by April Pulley Sayre: This interactive book celebrates fresh vegetables and the excitement of healthy eating, encouraging kids to get involved and chant along!

Local Foods
To Market, To Market by Nikki McClure:
This book follows a mother and son on a trip to their weekly market. Each food they choose is introduced to readers, who learn how each food arrived at the market, from the growing process to the present.

How Did That Get in My Lunchbox?: The Story of Food (Exploring the Everyday) by Chris Butterworth: This book is a great introduction to the steps it takes to produce food, from planting to picking and beyond.
 
Applesauce Season by Eden Ross Lipson: This story follows one family’s tradition of making applesauce with the first apples of the season. It describes the buying, peeling, cooking, and stirring, introducing students to the cooking process and providing an appreciation for food rituals!

These are just a few of the countless books available to try this National Library Week! Check out these additional lists for even more farm to school story ideas:
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