Search our Resource Database

Use the quick guide to search through our resource database. You can search by topic, setting, or keywords in order to find exactly what you are looking for. Choose a filtering mechanism above to get started.

View all resources

Use the Keyword search to filter through: descriptive keywords, title, or organization.

pick a date

pick a date

Connect with your state

Farm to school is taking place in all 50 states and D.C.! Select a state from the list below to learn more or contact a state lead. 

National Farm to School Network

News

This Week in farm to school: 11/29/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 29, 2016

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. Voice for Healthy Kids Grant
The American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are working to create a culture of health through Voices for Healthy Kids. The goal of the grant opportunities within this initiative is to make effective strategic investments in ongoing state, local, and tribal public policy issue campaigns in order to increase public policy impact on healthy weight and living among children. Voices for Healthy Kids is focusing efforts in schools, community, and out-of-school time/early care and education. The deadline for application submission is Thursday, December 15, 2016. Learn more here

2. Lead2Feed Leadership Challenge Accepting Student Entries for Service Learning Projects
The Lead2Feed Challenge was created by the Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning and the Lift a Life Foundation, with assistance from the Yum! Foundation, to encourage middle and high school students to hone their leadership skills by completing a service-learning project that addresses a community need. Teams of students in 6th - 12th grades are invited to enter the challenge. Each team must complete the Lead2Feed lessons and create and execute a service-learning project designed to find and fill a need in their community. First-, second-, third- and honorable mention prizes of $20,000, $10,000, $5,000 and $1,000, respectively, will be awarded, for a total of up to $275,000.  Up to 50 teams will be recognized as winners. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. National Farmers Union Beginning Farmers - Free Online Conference
December 5-8
National Farmers Union is gearing up to host "Growing for the Future,” a new, free, online conference that will focus on issues faced by beginning farmers and ranchers, including: mentorship, business planning, USDA programs, student loans, land tenure, food safety, women and veterans in farming, conservation, and much more! The virtual conference will be held December 5-8, from 5pm to 8pm EST, and will feature a number of top speakers in agriculture, farmer-to-farmer webinars, live Q&A, a discussion board, a resource center and free giveaways. Registration is free: http://bit.ly/Growing4TheFuture


Research & Resources
1. New Resource: Reach for the Stars with Farm to Preschool
Developed by the North Carolina Farm to Preschool Network, this resource has been created to help child care centers and family child care homes integrate farm to preschool activities into their curriculum while addressing the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS). The resource is organized by four farm to preschool activities (Edible Gardening with Young Children, Farm Field Trips/Farmer Visit with Young Children, Local Food Classroom Cooking/Taste Test with Young Children, and Local Food Served in Meals and/or Snacks). ECER sub-scale items and indicator are aligned with suggested farm to preschool activities. In addition to enriching the educational experience, this resource demonstrates how star ratings can be enhanced though farm to preschool programming. Learn more here

2. State ESSA Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness - Framework for Action
This document focuses on supporting advocates who are interested in working with state-level policymakers to develop state ESSA plans. It provides practical resources and emphasizes several key areas with the greatest potential impact on student health. Learn more here

3. Research: Increasing Prevalence of US Elementary School Gardens, but Disparities Reduce Opportunities for Disadvantaged Students
This study examined the prevalence of school garden programs at US public elementary schools, as well as time trends, demographic and regional disparities, and associations with related programs such as farm-to-school. Conclusions from the study show that garden programs in elementary schools have increased over time, but there is room for wider implementation, particularly at schools serving lower-income students. Given the role of childhood in establishing food preferences and dietary consumption habits, such programs are important and can reinforce the messages imparted through nutrition education. Explore the study here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Policy Director, FoodCorps
FoodCorps is seeking a highly skilled and experienced Policy Director to lead government relations and federal and state policy initiatives at its fast-growing, entrepreneurial national nonprofit organization. As a key member of the Innovations & Strategic Partnerships Team, the Policy Director will develop and maintain enthusiastic relationships with all sectors of the Federal government, including robust relationships with USDA, CNCS, DoE, CDC, and key members of Congress. Learn more here

2. Farm to Institution Program Coordinator 
The Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center (MMFEC) of Lake County Community Development Corporation (Montana) is hiring a Program Coordinator to provide support to its food and agriculture programs. The Coordinator is primarily responsible for providing support to food and agriculture programs of MMFEC, including the Food and Agriculture Development Center (FADC), Cooperative Development program, and Farm to Institution program, through event planning, marketing and promotion, communication and outreach, social media, and program coordination. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Supporting Sustainability With Farm-to-School Food Programs
Since the National Farm to School Network was founded in 2007, the farm to school movement has grown leaps and bounds. Read how farm to school efforts, including the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, have helped transform school meals and educational opportunities for students across the country. U.S. News

Chicago students prepare farm-to-table Thanksgiving for seniors

High school students in Chicago prepared and served a farm-to-table Thanksgiving dinner to 300 senior citizens in their community. All of the food — from the eggs used in the cornbread to the 16 roasted turkeys — came from the school's 78-acre farm. Chicago Tribune 

Farm to School Teaches Kids About Food
Teaching kids where their food comes from is on the minds of farmers and teachers throughout Vermont. When Farmer Julie Walcott isn’t working on her farm, she’s helping teach kids about agriculture and introducing them to vegetable they might not ordinarily find or eat. My Champlain Valley

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: 11/22/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 22, 2016

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 Farm to School Grant RFA
USDA has announced  the release of the FY 2017 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications. Up to $5 million in grant funds is available to help schools create or strengthen farm to school programs this school year. Awards ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 will be distributed in four different grant categories: Planning, Implementation, Support Service, and Training.  Applications are due by December 8, 2016. Learn more here

2. KidsGardening 2017 Youth Garden Grants
The 2017 Youth Garden Grant is an award designed to support school and youth educational garden projects that enhance the quality of life for students and their communities. Any nonprofit, school, or youth program in the United States planning a new garden program or expanding an established one that serves at least 15 youth between the ages of 3 and 18 is eligible to apply. A total of 20 programs will be awarded. Applications are due December 15, 2016. Learn more here

3. USDA Seeks Grant Applications for Projects to Test Fruit and Vegetable Incentives
In recent weeks, USDA requested a new round of applications for grants provided under the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant program. The FINI grant program provides grants to test incentive strategies and technologies designed to help SNAP participants better afford fruits and vegetables. Projects funded range from small pilot projects to multi-year community-based projects and larger scale multi-year projects, designed to help make the healthy choice an affordable choice for SNAP participants. The deadline to apply for the latest round of FINI grants is December 12, 2016. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Registration Open: National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference
March 5-7, 2017 // Washington, DC
Join 1,000+ anti-hunger advocates in Washington, D.C., for two days of networking opportunities, content-rich sessions, and interactive training, followed by a day on Capitol Hill. You’ll go home with an arsenal of best practices, innovative advocacy methods, and personal connections to help you better fight hunger in your community, your state, and at the national level. Early bird registration is now open through January 13, 2017. Learn more here

2. Call for Proposals: National Children and Youth Garden Symposium 2017
July 12-25, 2017 // Greater Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington area
NCYGS is a national event to network with like-minded teachers, garden designers, community leaders, program coordinators, and others involved with connecting kids to the natural world.bExplore topics ranging from curriculum to program management to garden design and maintenance during four dynamic days of educational sessions, field trips, and expert keynote presentations. Submit session proposals by Monday, December 5, 2016. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Survey Findings: The How and Why of Local Government Support for Food Systems
In 2015, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) and the International City-County Management Association (ICMA) conducted a second national survey of local government leaders on their policies, programs, plans, and partnerships that support local food systems. More than 2,200 communities responded. The Food Policy Networks project of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future hosted this webinar, which featured CRFS and ICMA offering one of the first in-depth discussions of the study’s findings. Data indicating how and why municipal and county governments across the country are (or are not) supporting local food and farm efforts are presented, followed by discussion with three local leaders about how government supports food system initiatives in their communities. View the webinar here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Chief Programs Officer, Chef Ann Foundation
Chef Ann Foundation seeks a Chief Programs Officer (CPO) to drive the vision for, and oversee the development, implementation and evaluation of all CAF programing. The position will be responsible for ensuring that CAF programing meets the overall mission of the organization and provides schools with needed support to help them create healthier school food. Applications are due by December 15. Learn more here

2. Health Educator II, South Carolina Farm to Institution

Under general supervision of the Farm to Institution Director in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, this position (Health Educator II) will support the implementation of Farm to Institution in South Carolina. This position assists with program expansion, communication outreach, and implementation of Farm to Preschool and other Farm to Institution efforts. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Learning Gardens Plant Seeds for Healthy Food Choices
There are more than 127 learning gardens growing throughout Chicago Public Schools, from pre-kindergarten to high school. “The next generation is the generation that is going to be solving our food system challenges, and so this kind of work, this exposure to what this real food is and what it tastes like, is going to create a generation of people who… are really deeply in touch with what real food is, what it tastes like, and why it’s important and help to make those changes to our food system.” Chicago WTTW

Farm to School Efforts Positively Impact Tribal Communities
Many tribal communities are reconnecting children with their rich history and cultures by establishing farm to school programs. Tribes are integrating traditional foods into the Child Nutrition Programs, sourcing foods locally, incorporating multicultural nutrition education into classroom curriculum and providing hands-on lessons in school gardens. USDA Blog

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. 

Food Hub, Food Truck and Food Education: Northern Colorado School District Takes Farm to School to Next Level

NFSN Staff Wednesday, November 16, 2016

By Andrea Northup, USDA Farm to School Regional Lead for the Mountain Plains Region, and Helen Dombalis, Programs Director and Interim Policy Director for the National Farm to School Network

A bin of acorn squash sits on a pallet at the Weld County School District 6 central kitchen, right next to a bin of yellow onions and a 1,000 pound tote of russet potatoes – all locally-grown.  A walk through the facility is enough to convince anyone that Weld County School District 6 is committed to scratch-cooked, locally-grown food for its 22,000 students at 35 schools.  In this rural Colorado school district, where over 40 languages are spoken at home and 66 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced price meals, fresh, tasty food is the norm – even down to the green chili, a southwestern favorite roasted in-house using three varieties of local peppers.

About a quarter of the central kitchen is dedicated to processing fresh fruits and vegetables.  Mushrooms are sliced, carrots are shredded, and onions are diced.  With funding from a USDA Farm to School Grant in 2013, this Food Hub portion of the kitchen was furnished with tables, wash stations and equipment to process local food for Weld County’s own meals and for other districts in the area.

Natalie Leffler is the Food Hub Manager at Weld County School District 6.  Her job is to coordinate partnerships with farmers, ranchers and local businesses to source as much local food as possible, defined as grown or produced within a 400 mile radius. Natalie manages an annual bid to establish relationships and contracts.  Growers must submit a food safety checklist with their bid documents, which Natalie confirms with an in-person site visit, so the district can rest assured that the local products are safe.  

Matt Poling, the school district’s Executive Chef, assures that menu planning, recipe development, and production processes maximize the use of local products.  The freezer is full of shredded local zucchini (for blending into tomato sauce), mirepoix (the age-old combination of onion, celery and carrots used as a base for soups), and other local ingredients to incorporate into meals in the off-season.  The team even prepares mashed potatoes made with local red potatoes and home-made gravy.  Locally-grown and dried pinto beans are sorted and cooked into refried beans or chili.  



Just outside the facility are four giant compost bins designed to turn food scraps from the kitchen into compost for the district’s school gardens, funded through an innovative partnership with the West Greeley Conservation District.  Sometimes El Fuego, the district’s flashy food truck, is parked outside, too.  But typically the truck is out roaming the district, serving up favorites like Baracoa street tacos and the yakisoba noodle bowl to students and school staff.

The district goes beyond local procurement – school gardens, student wellness, and food education are three major areas of focus. Plans are underway to transform a sandy, unused portion of a nearby schoolyard into an educational farm focused on student engagement and employment.  Called “Growing Grounds,” the project vision includes raised bed, an orchard, a teaching kitchen, hoop houses, and a greenhouse. Weld County School District 6 takes innovation and creativity to a new level with its farm to school program!


Inspired by Weld County School District’s 6 and their innovative farm to school programs? USDA is currently accepting applications for the Farm to School Grant Program, which assists eligible entities in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. Consider applying for a grant to bring more local food into school meals, promote healthy eating habits and expand markets for American farmers and producers. Applications are due December 8, 2016. 

This Week in farm to school: 11/15/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 15, 2016

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 Farm to School Grant RFA
USDA has announced  the release of the FY 2017 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications. Up to $5 million in grant funds is available to help schools create or strengthen farm to school programs this school year. Awards ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 will be distributed in four different grant categories: Planning, Implementation, Support Service, and Training.  Applications are due by December 8, 2016. Learn more here

2. Youth Garden Grants, Katie's Krops
Katie's Krops is accepting applications from youth between the ages of 9 and 16 for grants to start a Katie's Krops vegetable garden in their community with the purpose of donating the harvest to people in need. Selected applicants will be awarded a gift card to a garden center in their area (of up to $500), support from Katie’s Krops, and a digital camera to document the garden and the harvest. Applications are due December 31. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. School Food Focus 2016 National Gathering
Dec. 6-8, 2016 // Braselton, Ga. 
School Food Focus is the national collaborative that ignites change in our food system by working on both the demand and supply sides of school food. Now in its sixth year, the National Gathering is a unique space for attendees to share innovative procurement strategies, connect with supply chain leaders and strengthen the school food movement. Learn more here

2. Request for Proposals: New England Farm to Institution Summit
April 5-7, 2017 // Leominster, Mass. 
The New England Farm to Institution Summit Steering Committee invites you to respond to its request for proposals. Farm to Institution New England will be hosting the second biennial New England Farm to Institution Summit on April 6-7 in Leominster, Mass. Do you have a great idea for a workshop, roundtable, panel, field trip, demo, training, tour or meeting? Session proposal are due Friday, Nov. 18th. Learn more here

3. Whole Food Summit
Online through Nov. 16
Join Dr. Lisa Suski, founder of Miracle of Food, for a free online summit featuring seven food experts discussing issues including plant based eating, fermenting, cooking from scratch and more. Featured speakers include NFSN Advisor Miguel Villareal. Videos from the summit are available through Nov. 16. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. USDA Local School Wellness Policy Outreach Kit
Engage school staff and parents in school wellness using these ready-to-go communication tools. Sharing news about your Local School Wellness Policy is easy with these flyers, presentations, newsletter articles, and social media posts. Your school can personalize them to make them specific to your Local School Wellness Policy activities. Explore the toolkit here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Director, USDA Office of Community Food Systems
After five successful years of leading USDA's farm to school portfolio and launching a new Office of Community Food Systems, Deborah Kane is moving on to new adventures. USDA is currently seeking an equally driven, strategic and nimble leader to guide this high impact program through its next chapter of development. The director must demonstrate extensive experience implementing and managing community food systems or farm to school programming and have proven effective working relationships with community food systems or farm to school practitioners and coalitions. The director oversees a dynamic team that manages the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, conducts and disseminates research, and provides training and technical assistance related to community food systems in child nutrition programs. Applications are due Nov. 15. Learn more here

2. The Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program
The Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program, a project of the Congressional Hunger Center, is a leadership development program that trains, inspires, and sustains a network of leaders committed to social justice. The Emerson program bridges community-based efforts with national public policy to develop Hunger Fellows as effective leaders in the movement end hunger and poverty. Each year 16 participants are selected for this year-long program. Applications for the 2017-2018 class of Emerson Fellows are due January 11, 2017. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Fresh approach with farm-to-school meals in Oakland
Up to 80 percent of the produce served at Oakland Unified School District schools comes from nearby farms, as well as locally processed pasta and meat. As a sign of its commitment, the Oakland school board is now expected to adopt the Good Food Purchasing Policy. Sheila Golden, NFSN California Co-State Lead, says “Oakland is such a great model. They’re one of the biggest districts doing the things they do.” San Fransisco Chronicle 

Bringing food from the farm to school
Seventh- and eighth-graders at Thermopolis Middle School in Wyoming are feeding their school with a new vocational “farm to school” learning course. The course’s 22 students have visited local growers and producers, picked apples for the school lunch program and harvested potatoes from the school garden. Wyoming Daily News

Elementary school shows off garden to state superintendent
Georgia's school superintendent recently visited an elementary school to learn more about its school garden. The garden, which includes more than 100 plant varieties, so far has yielded more than 800 pounds of food. Gwinnett Daily Post

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. 

Good Food, Great Kids

NFSN Staff Thursday, November 10, 2016
What We Can Learn from Six Organizations Advancing a Farm to Early Care and Education Approach

 Photo credit: Mark Luinenburg, courtesy of pfc Social Impact Advisors
By Gayle Peterson, pfc Social Impact Advisors, Co-founder & Senior Managing Director, and Hilda Vega, pfc Social Impact Advisors, Vice President of Programs

In a time of change, many of us reflect on our values and passions and consider the kind of community we want our children to live in. We consider various policy options and how they have (or have not) worked to improve the lives of children and families across the country. Those of us involved in the fields of healthy food access or education will be looking for supportive policies in these areas, hoping that policy makers will continue projects like Let’s Move! or increased funding for Head Start programs. We’ll also hope that current battles, like those over Child Nutrition Reauthorization, will be resolved with the best possible outcome for children’s access to healthy food. A supportive policy environment, along with ingenuity and perseverance from the early care and education community are vital components to ensuring that all of our nation’s young children have access to healthy, nutritional foods and high quality learning opportunities.

With this need in mind, pfc Social Impact Advisors, in partnership with the National Farm to School Network and the BUILD Initiative, has developed a new set of case studies that highlight best practices from service providers using farm to ECE as an approach to support health, wellness, high-quality education, and community change. Part of the Good Food, Great Kids project, these case studies explore how multiple cities and regions embarked on the journey of bringing farm to ECE to vulnerable children in Head Start programs. Here’s a snapshot of what we learned: 

  • In Minneapolis/St. Paul, we learned about Hmong farmers working with Head Start centers and other local food service providers to enliven their menus with local food. 
  • In Washington, D.C., we met with staff and children of CentroNia, a multicultural and bilingual community and education center that incorporates school gardening, a healthy food curriculum, local procurement, and on-site scratch cooking to help students connect with their food. 
  • The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (BSRC) in Brooklyn is working to break down myths about farm to ECE by sharing their success in working with a local food hub and other partners to bring fresh food to early care programs and the greater community of Central Brooklyn. 
  • The Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative, which works across six counties in Iowa, links together diverse community members such as local colleges, human service provides, and food service provider partners works to help more children under the age of five (and their families) learn about and have affordable access to healthy food and knowledge about it. 
  • In Kansas City, Mo, two concerned community members—one a chef and the other a farmer and promoter of better access to affordable, healthy food-- worked to create a program  that offers chef-driven meals in Head Start and other educational programs, healthy food education and access for children and families, and other experiential resources for children across the city. 
  • In Philadelphia, the Norris Square Community Alliance is embarking on a strategic planning process with community members to formally incorporate a farm to ECE program targeting 700 children and striving to benefit all families and neighbors who are part of the Norris Square community. 

You can dig deeper into each of the case studies here



Accompanying these new case studies is the Good Food, Great Kids policy research report, which highlights some of the most pressing challenges faced by farm to ECE programs, such as limited funding at the national and state levels to support these activities. It also highlights needs to have the space and resources to think more intentionally about equity, family engagement, the impact of policy realities on care providers, the need for bridge-building across sectors, and the need for more research about the impact of farm to ECE on child outcomes. 

There is no one-size fits all approach to farm to ECE. Yet, the six sites featured in these new resources found that bringing together complex issues like good food and early childhood education present a new way forward to ensure a good start and stronger future for children, especially those in vulnerable neighborhoods. Their experiences offer important guidance for others hoping to make nutritious food and high-quality early childcare and education a reality in their communities. By sharing and learning from stories like these, we can create momentum, spur innovation, and generate change that will help ensure that access to healthy, nutritional food is a right, not a privilege, for all young children. 

This Week in farm to school: 11/08/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 08, 2016

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. Schoolyard Garden Grants 
This grant provides up to $1,000 for plants, gardening equipment, curriculum, staff development and anything else that fosters connections between K-12 students and nature. Schools may design their own garden, enhance an existing garden, or better use an existing garden. Applications are due on Tuesday, December 16, 2016. Learn more and apply here.


Webinars & Events
1. Healthy and Ready to Learn: State ESSA Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness Webinar
Nov. 17, 11am-12pm CT
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recognizes the need for schools to support the whole child and specifically acknowledges the importance of student health and wellness. To help school health advocates and others take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to integrate health and wellness into education policy and practice, Healthy Schools Campaign and Alliance for Healthier Generation will be releasing Healthy and Ready to Learn: ESSA State Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness. This webinar is an opportunity to learn about this important resource and connect with other advocates working to advance student health and school wellness through ESSA state plans. Register here

2. The Role of State, Local and Tribal Governments
Nov. 17, 3-4:30pm EST
The National Prevention Strategy (NPS) is a guide for improving the health and well-being of every American by shifting the nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on prevention and wellness. This webinar series will highlight ways various partner groups are successfully addressing two key NPS priorities, Healthy Eating and Active Living, in their communities. The next webinar will focus on the role of state, local and tribal governments. Register here


Research & Resources
1. New FSMA resources from NSAC
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition been hearing questions from produce farmers about food safety training and, in particular, whether they need to sign up for a training focused on FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rule for produce farms right away. The short answer is: probably not, but you should start considering your options now! If you grow fruit or vegetables and have questions, check out this just-released FAQ from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition here. It covers such questions as: "Do I have to take a FSMA training?", How do I know if I am covered by the FSMA Produce Rule?", and more!

2. Real Food Standards 2.0
The Real Food Standards were researched over the course of 18 months, with input of 100+ industry experts, farmers, ranchers, fishermen, food service operators, and students. 130 certification and label claims were vetted; 40 now qualify as 'real food' in the final version of the Real Food Guide. Check out our most comprehensive compilation of criteria and certifications to date. Learn more here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Director, USDA Office of Community Food Systems
After five successful years of leading USDA's farm to school portfolio and launching a new Office of Community Food Systems, Deborah Kane is moving on to new adventures. USDA is currently seeking an equally driven, strategic and nimble leader to guide this high impact program through its next chapter of development. The director must demonstrate extensive experience implementing and managing community food systems or farm to school programming and have proven effective working relationships with community food systems or farm to school practitioners and coalitions. The director oversees a dynamic team that manages the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, conducts and disseminates research, and provides training and technical assistance related to community food systems in child nutrition programs. Applications are due Nov. 15. Learn more here

2. Plate to Politics and Communications Coordinator, Women Food & Ag Network
WFAN seeks a Plate to Politics and Communications Coordinator to join its team. This position will coordinate WFAN’s Plate to Politics program, and coordinate WFAN’s communications. Plate to Politics is WFAN’s training program for emerging leaders in healthy food and farming movement. WFAN’s communication efforts are focused on amplifying the voices of WFAN members and ensuring that the media narrative of food and agriculture includes women’s voices and our values of sustainability and food justice. Learn more here

3. Outreach Assistant Intern, Union of Concerned Scientists
Do you want to make food more sustainable? The Union of Concerned Scientists seeks an Outreach Intern to support its campaign to bring more funding to sustainable agriculture. In this paid, nine-month internship, you will organize and engage scientists, experts, and supporters through online and offline activities, coordinate outreach events, and assist with research and writing for UCS materials. Apply by November 21. Learn more here.  


Farm to school in the news
“Boat-to-School” Programs Source Fresh Seafood for Students
“This is a lesson farm-to-school advocates learned in the apple industry: People started selling cider apples, the really small ones, to schools because they were perfect for little kids,” says Simca Horwitz, the Eastern Massachusetts director for the Massachusetts Farm to School project, reflecting on similar uses of underutilized, abundant fish in east coast schools. “In a lot of ways, schools turning to local seafood today is where we were with land-based agriculture about 10 years ago.” Civil Eats

Local restaurants partner with schools for veggies
Mississippi restaurant customers are eating up kale grown by local second-grade students. First-grader Celia Johnston said she loves working in the garden, and she’s especially excited that the vegetables she and her classmates have grown will be put to good use at local businesses. “Our food is very good, and I think people will like to eat it,” Johnston said. Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

Farm-to-school nutrition comes full circle
Farm to school efforts are taking root in West Virginia. Mason County schools are leading the way for efforts happening across the state, serving 4,200 students locally grown peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuces, melon, potatoes, eggs, ground beef and pork. In addition to an innovate food service director, the district has wide support from the school board, school superintendent, and West Virginia University County Extension. Charleston Gazette-Mail 

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: 11/01/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 01, 2016

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 Farm to School Grant RFA
USDA has announced  the release of the FY 2017 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications. Up to $5 million in grant funds is available to help schools create or strengthen farm to school programs this school year. Awards ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 will be distributed in four different grant categories: Planning, Implementation, Support Service, and Training.  Applications are due by December 8, 2016. Learn more here

2. Safer® Brand School Garden Grant 
Safer® Brand is starting an annual school garden grant to help kids build healthy habits through gardening. The $500 grant will be awarded to a school in the United States to start a school garden in 2017. Applications are due December 1. Learn more here

3. School Food Support Initiative 
Chef Ann Foundation is currently accepting applications for an 18-month technical assistance program, which can help districts improve their meal programs and transition to scratch cook operations. Their goal is to provide up to seven school districts with technical assistance, strategic planning and funding opportunities to improve their operations. Applications will be accepted through November 30, 2016 and more details about program services and eligibility criteria, as well as a link to the online application can be found on the School Food Support Initiative Webpage. To learn more, attend an informational webinar on Nov. 2 at 2pm ET. Register here


Webinars & Events
1. Healthy and Ready to Learn: State ESSA Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness Webinar
Nov. 17, 11am-12pm CT
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recognizes the need for schools to support the whole child and specifically acknowledges the importance of student health and wellness. To help school health advocates and others take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to integrate health and wellness into education policy and practice, Healthy Schools Campaign and Alliance for Healthier Generation will be releasing Healthy and Ready to Learn: ESSA State Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness. This webinar is an opportunity to learn about this important resource and connect with other advocates working to advance student health and school wellness through ESSA state plans. Register here

2. School Food Focus 2016 National Gathering
Dec. 6-8, 2016 // Braselton, Ga. 
School Food Focus is the national collaborative that ignites change in our food system by working on both the demand and supply sides of school food. Now in its sixth year, the National Gathering is a unique space for attendees to share innovative procurement strategies, connect with supply chain leaders and strengthen the school food movement. Learn more here

3. Registration Open: California Farm to School and Garden Conference
March 27-29, 2017 // Modesto, Calif. 
Registration is now open for the 2017 CA Farm to School and Garden Conference which takes place March 27 - 29, 2017 in Modesto, Calif. Register now and join this gathering of movers and shakers in the farm to school and garden movement, including farmers, distributors, government representatives, procurement officers, educators, garden practitioners, food program administrators and others from around the state. Early bird registration is available now through December 2. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Montana Beef to School Case Study
The Montana Beef to School Project has written a case study report to help Montana beef producers, meat processors, schools and communities explore what factors make beef to school programs successful and encourage the use of local beef in every Montana school. The case study report features: (1) an overview of findings, (2) amazing graphics that describe our findings, (3) stories that feature the efforts of schools, beef producers, and meat processors across Montana. These lessons learned contribute to an understanding of how to make beef to school and farm to school generally more feasible in Montana. See the full case study report here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Senior Director of Programs, Fair Food Network
Fair Food Network seeks an outstanding leader in program design, implementation, and evaluation to join the organization during a period of exciting growth. The Senior Director of Programs will provide leadership and unity to its programs to increase its impact nation-wide. The Senior Director will oversee the integration and growth of flagship programs such as Double Up Food Bucks and the Michigan Good Food Fund, in addition to growing pilot programs and leading the strategic expansion of FFN’s programs across the country. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Small steps, big impacts - Farm to School Month 2016 highlights
For the past 31 days, millions of schools, farmers and communities across the country have been celebrating the movement that’s connecting kids to fresh, healthy food and supporting local economies. From governors signing Farm to School Month proclamations in their states to Apple Crunches, Farm to School Month celebrations took place in all 50 states! Check out highlights of this year’s celebrations here

Farm to school program is good for students, schools, and farmers alike
"The nearly year-round nature of the school year means a longer, more dependable market for smaller suppliers, not just at harvest time,” says Abby Harper, Farm to School Specialist at the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. “Schools build stronger relationships with farmers and the farmers then see themselves as part of the community. This adds a new level of marketing and name recognition, depending on the relationship that’s been built." Second Wave Media

Does Your Kid’s School Have One of These Amazing Learning Labs?
Gardens are springing up in schools across the nation, as educators and parents look for ways to connect kids with natural, healthy, local food. Emily Jackson, Director and founder of ASAP’s Growing Minds program, and Anupama Joshi, NFSN Executive Director and Co-Founder, share the benefits and how-to’s of school gardens. Toca Boca

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. 

Small steps, big impact

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 01, 2016

For the past 31 days, millions of schools, farmers and communities across the country have been celebrating the movement that’s connecting kids to fresh, healthy food and supporting local economies. From Florida to Alaska and everywhere in between, people are recognizing the power of farm to school to benefit people, planet and profit. That’s what National Farm to School Month is all about! 

This year’s campaign celebrated the small steps everyone can take to get informed, get involved and take action for farm to school in their own communities and across the country. More than 600 people took the One Small Step Pledge, and shared the small steps they’d be taking in October:   

  • Our 28 elementary schools will be taste testing fresh, local produce, experiencing healthy cooking demos using farm fresh foods, and learning about their agricultural heritage - Texas
  • Continuing to plug away at networking with community partners that can bring together farmers to create a system for getting fresh produce to Early Childhood programs - North Carolina
  • Hosting our very first Farmer's Market with community farmers and produce from our very own Edible School Yard - California
  • Partnering with a local orchard to make homemade apple sauce in the classrooms and organizing a Big Apple Crunch Rally - New York
  • Buying local produce for my kids lunches and classroom snacks this month - Washington
  • We will be serving blueberry juice with blueberries grown in South Georgia - Georgia
At the National Farm to School Network, we’ve been leading Farm to School Month celebrations by sharing great stories of farm to school innovations, successes and impacts – like how farm to school activities are reducing school food waste, supporting family farms, and growing the next generation of food leaders

We also celebrated on Capitol Hill. Throughout the summer – and at events like the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference and Farm Aid 2016 – we collected paper plates with messages of support for farm to school and healthy school meals to share with lawmakers. On Oct. 5, we partnered with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to deliver more than 550 paper plates to legislators who have been pushing for an increase in farm to school funding and support in the Child Nutrition Act. See a recap of the delivery day here.

And, we hosted a #FarmtoSchool101 tweet chat with Slow Food USA and Farm Credit to spread awareness and answer questions about the movement. More than 175 people joined the conversation on social media, sharing stories about the positive impact farm to school has in their communities. See highlights here.


Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and farm to school champions celebrate Arkansas Farm to School Month. 

Regionally, millions of students celebrated Farm to School Month with events like the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch, Midwest Grate Apple Crunch, and Southeast Crunch. In fact, there have been Farm to School Month celebrations in every state this month. Governors in Arkansas, Hawai’i, Minnesota, Nebraska and Rhode Island made proclamations declaring October Farm to School Month in their states. Oregon brought legislators to the lunchroom to see farm to school in action, Georgia got kids to dig their hands in the soil with “Leaf it to Spinach,” and Washington students sampled local food for Taste Washington Day. We could keep going! 

Farm to school is a grassroots movement powered by people like you, taking small steps every day to bring more local food sourcing and food and agriculture education to students across the nation. There are 334 days to continue taking small steps to grow and strengthen the movement before Farm to School Month 2017! Help us keep the momentum going by joining our network and stay up-to-date on the latest stories, new resources, policy actions, learning opportunities and more. Let's keep the small steps coming all year long! 


Thank you to this year’s National Farm to School Month sponsors and supporters – Aetna Foundation, Captain Planet Foundation, Farm Aid, Organic Valley, Chartwells, High Mowing Organic Seeds and Safer Brand – and the 230+ outreach partner organizations that have helped make Farm to School Month 2016 a success.  

  1 2 3 4 5 .. 30   Next