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, D.C. and U.S. Territories! Select a location from the list below to learn more or contact a Core Partner. 

National Farm to School Network

News

This Week in farm to school: 9/27/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 27, 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 Open
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.  On Thursday, September 29, at 1pm EST, USDA will host a webinar to review the RFA and assist eligible entities in preparing proposals. Learn more here

2. AgEnhancement Grants
Each year, Northeast agricultural credit associations and CoBank award grants ranging from $500-$8,000 to help organizations promote awareness and strengthen agriculture, commercial fishing and forest products in the six New England states, New York and New Jersey. Applications are due December 1. Learn more here

3. New York Farm Viability Institute Grants

NYFVI has issued a Request for Proposals that aims to create knowledge that will quickly and directly benefit farmers through work in one of the organization’s five priority areas: improve operational practices, foster industry-wide innovation, incubate new ideas, improve route to market and market practices, and develop people. In 2017, NYFVI will award grants of up to $150,000 for projects lasting between six months and two years. Applications are due November 10. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Celebrate National Farm to School Month, Take the Pledge
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food. Join the celebrations by taking the One Small Step Pledge. Pledge to take one small step to get informed, get involved and take action for farm to school in October and you'll be entered to win support for farm to school activities at the school or early care and education site of your choice! Take the pledge and find other opportunities to celebrate National Farm to School Month at farmtoschool.org

2. Webinar: Bringing Local to our Littlest Eaters: Local Procurement in Early Care and Education
October 12, 3:30-5pm ET
Serving local foods in meals, snacks, and taste tests is a core element of farm to early care and education and contributes to numerous benefits for kids, farmers, and communities. However, understanding where and how to purchase local foods as well as how to incorporate them into early care and education meal programs can be a challenge. In this informational webinar, speakers from the National Farm to School Network, US Department of Agriculture, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, and the Baxter Child Development Center will share tips for getting started, strategies for success, and innovative models that are advancing and scaling local purchasing practices in early care and education settings across the country. This webinar is open to all, so please share with your networks. Register here

3. #RealSchooFood Campaign
Chef Ann Foundation is raising awareness about #realschoolfood, cooked with healthy, nourishing ingredients. Join their #RealSchoolFood campaign and help bring attention to the need to transition our nation’s schools from processed, heat-and-serve food to healthy scratched cooked meals. Learn more about the campaign and get involved here


Resources & Research
1. Growing Minds Farm to Preschool Toolkit 
ASAP's Growing Minds Farm to School program has been supporting and providing resources to schools and preschools throughout Western North Carolina, the Southern Appalachians, and as Southeast Regional Lead for National Farm to School Network, throughout the southeast since 2002. Their new Farm to Preschool Toolkit contains information about getting started with F2P, rules and regs, recommendations for local procurement, and monthly resources (sample recipe card and sticker, This Week in the Garden and Farm to School Goes Home resources, as well as food and farm based lesson plans). The Farm to Preschool Toolkit can be found here.

2. Gardening as a child may lead college students to eat more veggies

As researchers nationwide try to get college students to eat healthier foods, they’re finding that gardening may lead to a lasting habit of eating more fruits and vegetables. "This finding is particularly relevant, given the recent popularity of school gardens and farm-to-school projects," said Anne Mathews, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of food science and human nutrition and lead author of the study. Read a summary of the research here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Agriculture Development Coordinator at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
This Agriculture Development Coordinator position will focus on consumer access and producer marketing relationships with farmers’ markets, farmstands, and CSA (community supported agriculture) farms. Tasks will include collecting local food pricing data from farmers’ markets, farm to school programs, and farmstands, to guide consumers informed food purchasing choices and collect data for producers to competitively price their products for direct markets. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
A week for 'homegrown' lunches
During the week of Sept. 19-23, schools across Maryland participated in Maryland Homegrown School Lunch Week, during which students were offered local produce from area farms at lunch and edible school gardens were celebrated. (via The Baltimore Sun)

Schools Planning Festivities Surrounding Jersey Fresh Produce
This week, September 26-30, schools across New Jersey celebrate the 6th annual Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week, lifting up partnerships being built between state farmers and schools which encourage schools to purchase produce from local farmers to incorporate into school meals. (via MercerMe)

A Colorado Farm Helps Refugee Kids Put Down Roots In A New Home

For refugee students in Colorado, the Growing Colorado Kids farm is a bridge between two worlds: a place to connect with the traditions their parents had to leave behind while also putting down new roots of their own. (via NPR)


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. 

Roundup: Fall Funding Opportunities

NFSN Staff Monday, September 26, 2016

The beginning of a new school year is a great time to consider starting or ramping up farm to school activities in your community. From planting seeds in a school garden to local food procurement in the cafeteria, there are numerous ways to engage in farm to school and get kids excited about fresh, healthy food. If you’re new to farm to school, check out our getting started resources: 

Getting Started with Farm to School
Getting Started with Farm to Early Care and Education
Starting and Maintaining a School Garden
Looking for funding options to help kickoff or expand your farm to school efforts? Here are several fall funding opportunities to explore:

USDA Farm to School Grant RFA Open
USDA has announced the release of the FY 2017 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications. Awards ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 will be distributed in four different grant categories: Planning, Implementation, Support Service, and Training. If you are interested in this great opportunity, USDA is hosting a webinar this Thursday, September 29, at 1pm ET, to review the application process and assist eligible entities in preparing proposals. The applications for this grant are due December 8. Learn more here

Nature Conservancy School Gardens
The Nature Conservancy, as part of their mission to protect and conserve the environment, is awarding grants to support projects that implement green infrastructure to address local environmental challenges. These include access to healthy food, air quality, heat island effect, climate change, and storm water collection. Young people will work as social innovators to help their communities through project design and implementation. A $2,000 grant will be awarded to 55 schools, and the applications are due October 31. Learn more here.

Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant Program
The Whole Kids Foundation, in partnership with FoodCorps, is now accepting applications for its School Garden Grant Program, an annual grantmaking program that supports school garden projects designed to help students learn about topics such as nutrition and health, sustainability and conservation, food systems, and community awareness. These grants will be in the amount of $2,000 for year-long projects. The applications are due October 31. Learn more here.

Safer® Brand School Garden Grant 
Safer® Brand is starting an annual school garden grant to help kids build healthy habits through gardening, bring classmates closer together and unite everyone in a common goal of better health. The $500 grant will be awarded to a school in the United States to start a school garden in 2017. Applications for this grant are due December 1. Learn more and apply here.

Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools
The Chef Ann Foundation’s Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools helps increase kids’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables and create experiential nutrition education when and where students make their food choices - in the cafeteria. The $2,500 one-year grants support food costs to incorporate school-wide fruit and vegetable tastings into the school's nutrition program. Grants will be determined on an ongoing basis depending on available funding; there is no application deadline. Learn more here

KidsGardening Youth Garden Grant 
KidsGardenings’ Youth Garden Grants have reached over 1.3 million students and hundreds of schools to establish new school and community gardens and assist in sustaining and renewing existing gardens. Grants are awarded on a yearly basis. The Request for Applications is usually issued each fall with awards made early the following year, in time for building and planting in the spring. See last year’s winners here and look out for the 2017 Youth Garden Grant application this October at kidsgardening.org/garden-grants

Find more ideas for supporting your farm to school activities in our Funding Farm to School factsheet. Stay tuned to our This Week blogs, posted every Tuesday, for more farm to school funding, resources and engagement opportunities.

This Week in farm to school: 9/20/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 20, 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 Open
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.  On Thursday, September 29, at 1pm EST, USDA will host a webinar to review the RFA and assist eligible entities in preparing proposals. Learn more here

2. Nature Conservancy Seeks Proposals for School Gardens
The Nature Conservancy is awarding grants to support projects that implement green infrastructure to address local environmental challenges. These include access to healthy food, air quality, heat island effect, climate change, or storm water collection. Young people will work as social innovators to help their communities through project design and implementation. A $2,000 grant will be awarded to 55 schools. Applications must be submitted online by 5 PM ET October 31, 2016. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Coming Soon: National Farm to School Month
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food. From taste tests in the cafeteria and nutrition education activities in the classroom, to farm visits and school garden harvest parties, schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities and organizations in all 50 states and D.C. join in the celebrations. Start planning your Farm to School Month celebrations with resources available from the National Farm to School Network. Find celebrations happening in your community by visiting the Farm to School Month Events Calendar. If your organization would like to help celebrate National Farm to School Month on its communications channels (social media, newsletter, blog), sign up to be an Outreach Partner here

2. Webinar: Bringing Local to our Littlest Eaters: Local Procurement in Early Care and Education
October 12, 3:30-5pm ET
Serving local foods in meals, snacks, and taste tests is a core element of farm to early care and education and contributes to numerous benefits for kids, farmers, and communities. However, understanding where and how to purchase local foods as well as how to incorporate them into early care and education meal programs can be a challenge. In this informational webinar, speakers from the National Farm to School Network, US Department of Agriculture, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, and the Baxter Child Development Center will share tips for getting started, strategies for success, and innovative models that are advancing and scaling local purchasing practices in early care and education settings across the country. This webinar is open to all, so please share with your networks. Register here

3. NESAWG It Take  Region Conference
November 10-12 // Hartford, CT
The NESAWG Conference, now in its 23rd year, brings together practitioners and professionals from across the Northeast to explore ideas that move us towards a more sustainable and just farm and food system. Included on the agenda is a session for Farm to ECE and Preschool practitioners: “A Full Harvest: How Farm to Preschool Improves Food Security and Farm Viability.” Lean how Farm to Preschool increases access to local foods by connecting farmers to preschools serving low-income populations and be delve deeper as you discuss how this model can be adapted to engage broader communities. Learn more here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Farm to School Regional Lead, USDA Food and Nutrition Services
USDA Food and Nutrition Services seeks a  Farm to School Regional Lead in the USDA Food and Nutrition Service's Western Regional Office in San Francisco, CA. This is an opportunity to help implement the USDA Farm to School Program; provide on the ground training, technical assistance, and support to a wide variety of farm to school stakeholders; and, be a resident expert on key local and regional procurement issues. Applications are due September 22. Learn more here

2. Food & Nutrition Community Engagement VISTAs, Texas
Texas Department of Agriculture is excited to announce a new partnership with AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to place Food & Nutrition Community Engagement VISTAs in select rural Texas communities. More information is available here


Farm to school in the news
35 Food Education Organizations
Many organizations around the globe are working to instill healthy eating habits, foster food literacy, teach culinary skills, and educate children about the environmental, social, and health consequences of their food choices. Food Tank has selected 35 particularly noteworthy programs to feature on their blog - including the National Farm to School Network! See the full list here.  

New Program Brings School Garden Produce to Cafeteria
Brooke Elementary in Austin, Texas has had a school garden for a several years, but for the first time, they're taking what they grow and serving it in the cafeteria. After several months of planning, AISD's new Garden to Café Program is finally launching this school year. Ninety-five of the district's schools have gardens on site, and they're working to get all of them to cook up their produce in the cafeteria. (via Spectrum News)

Boulder County school districts adding more local produce to school lunch menus
St. Vrain Valley and Boulder Valley school districts celebrate “Colorado Proud” Day, making lunches from only Colorado products. Farmers visited the schools to share their produce, and students learned where their food comes from. While school lunches generally don't have all local — or at least all Colorado — ingredients, both school districts are working with area farmers to include more local food. (via Daily Camera)

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. 

From farm to food truck, special needs students take Berry Good Farms “On the Go”

NFSN Staff Wednesday, September 14, 2016
By Ariel Bernstein, Farm to School and Education Fellow

Photo credit: Berry Good Farms, North Florida School of Special Education 
Farm to school's educational opportunities are undeniably important, for the knowledge, skills and experiences that come from learning about local, fresh and healthy food are universally valued. This aspect of farm to school is especially important in specialized learning environments. North Florida School of Special Education (NFSSE) goes above and beyond for the education, growth and empowerment of their students, ranging from 6 years old to adults in their 40s. Berry Good Farms, the school’s farm and horticulture program, offers hands-on learning experiences in growing, harvesting and cooking healthy food, as well as developing unique and useful skillsets in the agricultural and business sectors. Through its many programs, Berry Good Farms empowers students to be self-sufficient and caring individuals against the toughest of odds.
Students at NFSSE face a large variety of intellectual and behavioral challenges, such as autism spectrum disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, down syndrome, and other mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. Berry Good Farms serves as an outlet for these students to be immersed in horticulture education as a means for holistic and applied learning, and thus has a variety of programs for students to participate in. Students learn horticulture on the farm, make and sell dog biscuits as part of the Barkin’ Biscuit program, and learn to cook fresh, healthy food in the culinary arts program. All of these programs utilize produce from the farm and teach students a variety of useful skillsets, enabling them to make connections between their knowledge, their work and their futures. 
The newest program at Berry Good Farms is Berry Good Farms On the Go, a food truck that roams Jacksonville, Fla., procuring, preparing, cooking and selling food from the school farm to the community. After graduating from the culinary arts program, advanced students have the opportunity to work in the food truck as part of a post-grad employment opportunity. Under the helm of Food Truck/Catering Events Manager and Chef Brett Swearingen, three to four students design a seasonal menu, prepare food in a commercial kitchen, and head out into the community for a great lunch hour of selling food in business parks, state agency offices, and wherever else the truck decides to plant itself. Seasonal menu items include a grilled turkey and brie sandwich served with locally made bread, a signature salad with fresh greens from Berry Good Farms, and a refreshing pineapple mojito smoothie.
The truck caters to skills and experiences that specifically pertain to students with special needs and intellectual challenges. Many of these students do well with food prep tasks that require repetitive activities. The students cherish physically applying a specific skill set that they've learned, especially in the context of the food truck business.
The truck, as well as a the farm program as a whole, promotes healthy eating and fresh produce. This is extremely important, considering the high rate of obesity that exists in the special needs community, and provides local, healthy food to the Jacksonville community in the process. In addition, the tasks learned on the truck are useful well beyond the school; these skills and lessons are empowering students to be self-reliant. They can cook healthy meals, interact with the greater community, and utilize their learned business skills in the workforce. Experience on the food truck makes for a great addition to resumes, too!
Berry Good Farms On the Go is much more than a food truck. It is a space that fosters professional, as well as personal, growth for students who have many different intellectual and learning conditions. Students utilize their culinary skills in the context of a commercial kitchen, and they learn to interact with co-workers, as well as customers. It also give students an opportunity to practice managing potentially stressful situations in a positive manner. The kitchen is far from a perfect space, and as Brett says to his students, “It’s okay to mess up. I have been working in a kitchen for 15 years and I still mess up.” Even when the truck is off schedule and customer orders are backed up, Brett teaches his students how to deal with the stress in the moment, and then how to move forward from mistakes, using them as a learning experience and even a silly memory, not a set back.
Berry Good Farms On the Go has not only been a successful addition to NFSSE, but it’s also proven to benefit the entire community. People around Jacksonville see students working in a kitchen and selling food, challenging preconceived notions of people with special needs. The community is extremely supportive of the food truck, creating a positive and inspirational environment for students as they drive through town. As Brett says, “These are incredible young people that can always put you in a happy mood. It is an incredible place.”
Learn more about the North Florida School of Special Education, Berry Good Farms, and Berry Good Farms on the Go by visiting northfloridaschool.org. Contact Ellen Hiser, Director of Berry Good Farms or Brett Swearingen, Food Truck/Catering Events Manager with questions.

This Week in farm to school: 9/13/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 13, 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 Open
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.  OnThursday, September 29, at 1pm EST, USDA will host a webinar to review the RFA and assist eligible entities in preparing proposals. Learn more here

2. Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant Program
The Whole Kids Foundation, in partnership with FoodCorps, is accepting applications for its School Garden Grant Program, an annual grantmaking program that supports school garden projects designed to help students learn about topics such as nutrition and health, sustainability and conservation, food systems, and community awareness. Grants will be in the amount of $2,000 for year-long projects. Applications dueOctober 31. Learn more here

3. 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


Webinars & Events
1. Coming Soon: National Farm to School Month
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food. From taste tests in the cafeteria and nutrition education activities in the classroom, to farm visits and school garden harvest parties, schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities and organizations in all 50 states and D.C. join in the celebrations. Start planning your Farm to School Month celebrations with resources available from the National Farm to School Network. If your organization would like to help celebrate National Farm to School Month on its communications channels (social media, newsletter, blog), sign up to be an Outreach Partner here

2. Webinar: Bringing Local to our Littlest Eaters: Local Procurement in Early Care and Education
October 12, 3:30-5pm ET
Serving local foods in meals, snacks, and taste tests is a core element of farm to early care and education and contributes to numerous benefits for kids, farmers, and communities. However, understanding where and how to purchase local foods as well as how to incorporate them into early care and education meal programs can be a challenge. In this informational webinar, speakers from the National Farm to School Network, US Department of Agriculture, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, and the Baxter Child Development Center will share tips for getting started, strategies for success, and innovative models that are advancing and scaling local purchasing practices in early care and education settings across the country. This webinar is open to all, so please share with your networks. Register here

3. Save the Date: National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference
March 5-7, 2017 // Washington, D.C.
Join 1,000+ anti-hunger advocates in Washington, D.C., for two days of “can’t miss” networking opportunities, content-rich sessions, 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. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Join the Movement: America’s Healthiest Schools
National Farm to School Network is proud to join the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to celebrate America’s Healthiest Schools and shine a light on the importance of creating a culture of health at school nationwide. You, too, can make a difference in helping kids to develop lifelong, healthy habits. Join the movement at www.healthiergeneration.org and add your voice to the conversation on social media using #HealthiestSchools.
 

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Farm to School Regional Lead, USDA Food and Nutrition Services
USDA Food and Nutrition Services seeks a  Farm to School Regional Lead in the USDA Food and Nutrition Service's Western Regional Office in San Francisco, CA. This is an opportunity to help implement the USDA Farm to School Program; provide on the ground training, technical assistance, and support to a wide variety of farm to school stakeholders; and, be a resident expert on key local and regional procurement issues. Applications are due September 22. Learn more here

2. Farm to School Coordinator, Alaska Department of Natural Resources
The primary purpose of this position is managing the Farm to School program which includes encouraging schools to utilize Alaska Grown/harvested products in their school lunch program, developing tools to facilitate communication between schools and producers of Alaska Grown/harvested products, supporting and enhancing curriculum-based projects that increase students awareness of healthy food choices as they relate to Alaska Grown/harvested foods, and helping producers to understand the requirements for selling their Alaska Grown/harvested foods to schools. Application closes September 21. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Ricketts Proclaims October Farm to School Month in Nebraska - shout out to Sarah Smith, NFSN Nebraska State Lead!
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has proclaimed October as Nebraska Farm to School Month in recognition of the growing importance and role of Farm to School programs in the state as a means to improve child nutrition, support local farming and ranching economies, spur job growth and educate children about agriculture and the origins of their food. (via KTIC)

School districts purchasing more Wisconsin food
What happens when three school districts collectively buy Wisconsin local food for school meals? Students and school staff benefit by eating fresh food packed with more nutrients, a smaller carbon footprint which results in less carbon in our atmosphere, and area institutions are supporting community local food growers and producers. (via The Star)

Stayton students dig education
In just the first week of classes at Stayton/Intermediate Middle School, members of the students' Green Team will be reaping what they sowed last spring as part of their garden project. What was originally the Greenhouse and Garden elective class for seventh- and eighth-graders grew into the Green Team as they have begun growing food directly for their school cafeteria. The new class also incorporates basic landscaping, recycling and grounds beautification. (via Statesman Journal)

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: 9/7/16

NFSN Staff Wednesday, September 07, 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. Target Field Trip Grants
Some of the best learning opportunities happen outside the classroom. Target’s Field Trip Grants help make it possible for schools to give their students these unique learning opportunities. As part of the program, Target stores award Field Trip Grants to K-12 schools nationwide. Each grant is valued up to $700. Consider applying for a grant to take students to a farm, farmers market, or other food production site. Applications are due Oct. 1. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Coming Soon: National Farm to School Month
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food. From taste tests in the cafeteria and nutrition education activities in the classroom, to farm visits and school garden harvest parties, schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities and organizations in all 50 states and D.C. join in the celebrations. Start planning your Farm to School Month celebrations with resources available from the National Farm to School Network. If your organization would like to help celebrate National Farm to School Month on its communications channels (social media, newsletter, blog), sign up to be an Outreach Partner here

2. Webinar: Bringing Local to our Littlest Eaters: Local Procurement in Early Care and Education
October 12, 3:30-5pm ET
Serving local foods in meals, snacks, and taste tests is a core element of farm to early care and education and contributes to numerous benefits for kids, farmers, and communities. However, understanding where and how to purchase local foods as well as how to incorporate them into early care and education meal programs can be a challenge. In this informational webinar, speakers from the National Farm to School Network, US Department of Agriculture, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, and the Baxter Child Development Center will share tips for getting started, strategies for success, and innovative models that are advancing and scaling local purchasing practices in early care and education settings across the country. This webinar is open to all, so please share with your networks. Register here

3. Webinar: Finding SNAP-Ed Materials the Easy Way
September 15, 1pm ET
Join USDA FNS to learn how to navigate the SNAP-Ed Library, how to drill down in your search to find relevant materials, and how to submit relevant SNAP-Ed materials to the library. Register here

4. Webinar: Smart Ideas to Implement Smart Snacks in Schools
September 28, 2pm ET
Now is the time to look at the school food environment. Join Action for Healthy Kids and AASA, The Superintendents Association, in this timely and informative webinar to learn about the Final Rule about Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School (Smart Snacks) and putting these new requirements in action. Register here

5. 2016 Maine Farm to School Conference
October 14 // Lewiston, Maine
Join the 5th Annual Maine Farm to School Conference on October 14, 2016 at the beautiful Bates College campus in Lewiston. This conference will provide networking opportunities; hands-on workshops to support the three farm to school pillars of Local Food Procurement, School Gardens, and Agriculture Education; a tour of nearby Whiting Farm; learning opportunities from local, state, and national Farm to School partners; conversations about policies to support farm to school implementation, and more! Learn more and register here

6. Registration Open: 6th Farm-Based Education National Gathering
November 2-6 // Concord, Mass.
The 6th Farm-Based Education National Gathering will convene people from a variety of sites to share skills, build relationships, and celebrate the vibrant field of farm-based education! The Gathering will take place November 4-6 in Concord, Massachusetts just outside Boston. Field trips, a wood-fired pizza dinner, rich discussion, hands-on workshops and lots of fun will inspire ideas and enrich existing farm-based programs. Learn more and register here

7. Call for Abstracts: AFHVS/ASFS Annual Meeting and Conference
June 14-17, 2017 // Occidental College
Occidental College is pleased to host the Joint 2017 Annual Meetings and Conference of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS) and the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS). The conference theme, “Migrating Food Cultures: Engaging Pacific Perspectives on Food and Agriculture,” invites us to reflect on and engage with the entirety of the Pacific region. AFHVS and ASFS support scholarship and public presentation on a wide variety of topics at their conferences. For this year's conference, them encourage but do not require that papers, panel sessions, roundtables, and workshops speak to the theme. The submission system opens December 15, 2016. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Webinar Recording: 2015 Farm to School Census 
USDA's Farm to School Program and the National Farm to School Network hosted a webinar providing an in-depth review of the 2015 Farm to School Census. Presenters summarized the Farm to School Census website and highlighted the raw data files and data explorer tool. Presenters also described ways in which Census data can be used at the local, state, and national levels in support of farm to school. Watch the webinar recording here


Farm to school in the news
Brockport school lunches going local - shout out to Jim Liebow, NFSN New York State Lead!
Jim Liebow, Food Service Director, is brining more local food to students of  Brockport Central School District. By "going-local,” they’re reducing the carbon footprint, getting kids to eat healthier, and supporting local businesses. “Fresh is best,” says Liebow. (via WHEC)

Grant creates pilot farm to school program in Colorado
In school districts throughout Colorado, demand for fresh local produce far outpaces supply. To help more farmers get involved, a group of Colorado organizations have launched a pilot program on the Western Slope, awarding a $90,000 grant to eight farmers, two school districts, and a community nonprofit with a strong track record for creating successful local food programs. (via Denver Post)

Lake Placid Elementary students greeted by a chicken coop
Five familiar (chicken) faces welcomes Lake Placid Elementary School students back to school this fall. Third-grade students hatched the chickens last spring, and they now have a permanent coop behind the school. "We'll talk about life cycles, connecting it again with the farm to school nutrition - you can just go on and on. Compassion, kindness, service - not every kid has a pet at home, so this kind of gives them a little feel for taking care of something else." (via Lake Placid 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. 

  1