Grants & Funding
1. USDA FY 2018 Farm to School Grant RFA
The USDA FY 2018 Farm to School Request for Applications (RFA) is now open. On an annual basis, USDA awards up to $5 million in competitive grants for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs. Applications are due Dec. 8, 2017. Learn more here.
2. Support available for USDA Farm to School Grant Applicants
The National Farm to School Network advocated for the establishment of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program and is committed to ensuring it reaches the communities that need this funding most. NFSN is available on a consultation basis to provide assistance to potential applicants in the areas of: planning and preparing the application; customized support for Native communities; evaluation; and, focus on early care and education / pre-K. The deadline to express interest in receiving assistance from the National Farm to School Network on a consultation basis is November 8, 2017. Learn more here.
Events & Webinars
1. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Harvest of the Month
Thursday, November 2 // 2-3pm ET
States across the country are developing Harvest of the Month programs including curriculum and resources to make it easier for schools, teachers, students and families to join in on farm to school fun. Though different from state to state, Harvest of the Month programs generally highlight a new seasonal product each month with activities, recipes, growing tips and many more resources designed to engage stakeholders and celebrate seasonal, local food. Join us for the National Farm to School Network’s November Trending Topics Webinar where we will hear from four different states about their Harvest of the Month journey. Learn about successful initiatives, best practices, and resources for developing or implementing Harvest of the Month in your school or even across your state. Register here.
2. North Carolina Food Council Gathering
Nov. 30 - Dec. 1 // Bermuda Run, NC
It’s time for another Statewide Food Council Gathering to celebrate the successes of the growing network of food councils across North Carolina! Join us in building a network, strategy, and collective skills to improve our community’s food system. This event is being hosted in collaboration with the North Carolina Local Food Council and several local food councils across North Carolina. Register here.
Join the National Farmers Union for their annual, nationally focused online conference: Growing for the Future. This FREE four-day online conference is focused on developing agricultural leaders from all backgrounds, and provides an opportunity for beginning farmers to acquire the skills they need to run a successful operation. Register here.
1. Call for Workshop & Poster Proposals - 9th Farm to Cafeteria Conference
The 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Cincinnati, OH, April 25-27,2017! Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event will convene more than 1,000 diverse stakeholders working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. Conference organizers are seeking workshop and poster proposals from individuals and organizations working to improve our food system, strengthen community health, empower youth, advance equity and increase opportunities for farmers. Learn more information about proposal submissions here. Proposals are due no later than 8pm ET on Nov. 14, 2017.
Resources & Research
1. Race and Food are Intertwined. Here’s How We Can Do Better.
“We spend as little as 6 to 12 percent of our disposable income on food. That is usually quoted as something that we should be very proud of. But it should be a national shame,” Ricardo Salvador (NFSN Advisor Board and senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists) said. “It’s as if the workers involved in the food industry and nature that is required to produce the food were costs to be minimized…We need to find a way in which we actually value all of those resources—the land and the people that are involved.” One of the long-simmering questions facing those striving for better food for all is how to go beyond voting with your fork? Is it possible to create a new food system that does not rely on exploitation? Read more here.
2. University of Michigan 2017 Sustainable Food Systems Progress Report
The University of Michigan is in a unique position as a non-land-grant, tier-1 research institution with a strong and growing foundation in transdisciplinary sustainable food systems work. This report highlights the impacts from the collaboration of several different campus partners including: Research and Teaching (UM Sustainable Food Systems Initiative), Student Leadership (UM Sustainable Food Program), UM Campus Farm, and Dining and Operations. Read more.
3. New Organic Management Resource Available from SARE
SARE’s new Organic Production topic room assists organic producers who are struggling to manage pests, fertility and tillage in compliance with stringent organic standards. Including a wide range of free materials developed by SARE, SARE grant recipients and experts in the field.
1. Multiple Positions, NASDA
NASDA grows and enhances agriculture by forging partnerships and creating consensus to achieve sound policy outcomes between state departments of agriculture, the federal government, and stakeholders. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture is seeking a Public Policy Coordinator and an Associate Director for Public Policy to be based in DC.
2. Agriculture Specialist/ outreach Coordinator, NCAT Northeast Region
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is seeking an Agriculture Specialist/Outreach Coordinator who can create and distribute outreach communications for communities in the Northeast region. The specialist will assist farmers in adopting sustainable agricultural practices to build healthier and more profitable farms and communities while helping to improve environmental conditions for all. Learn more here.
3. Teaching Farm Manager, North Country School
North Country School and Camp Treetops seek a full-time Teaching Farm Manager to oversee a year-round farm program intended for both food production and education of middle school aged children. Learn more and apply.
Farm to School in the News
Kentucky kids grow and prepare their own food
Barren County Schools celebrated National Farm to School Month today, with a Local Brunch for Lunch meal. "We had the kids make breakfast casseroles like I said, with the herbs and the peppers from the garden. We also used some leeks from the garden too, which was really neat because the kids had not had experience with that before." (WBKO)
Pennsylvania Family-Consumer Sciences Students Plant, Harvest, Cook Fresh Produce
Students taking Family and Consumer Sciences classes at Radnor Middle School have a new source for ingredients in the meals they make in class, as a new garden outside the classroom has been providing them with produce they planted, harvested, and cooked with themselves. (Patch.com)
Why Indiana schools need gardens!
Growing food is as important a life skill as managing money, maintaining a car, or successfully interviewing for a job; and doing this, at school, through the act of tending a garden is a perfectly perfect way to teach sustainability and use one’s own place to allow rich learning experiences to occur. (Getting Smart)
New Jersey students learn about fresh food through Farm to School Month
How does food get into your lunchbox or onto your plate? Students in schools across the region are finding out through demonstrations and taste-tests with local chefs as part of National Farm to School Month. “I think it’s so quickly that we all forget what it takes to get food to the table or to the cafeteria,” said Laura Englemann, community health and wellness manager for AtlantiCare. (Press of Atlantic City)
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.