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News

This Week in farm to school: 2/28/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 28, 2017

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. Smart from the Start Awards
The Smart from the Start Awards are designed to encourage preschool teachers to create practical, long-term improvements in nutrition and physical activity at their preschool. The grant prize is $20,000 grant and prize pack of books. 10 runners-up will receive $2,500 grants. Apply by March 2. Learn more here

2. Call for Proposals: Policies for Action: Policy and Law Research to Build a Culture of Health
Policies for Action: Policy and Law Research to Build a Culture of Health (P4A) was created to help build the evidence base for policies that can help build a Culture of Health. Approximately $2 million will be awarded through this call for proposals. Approximately $500,000 of the $2 million will be awarded for research on the implementation and/or impact of policies relevant for early childhood or school environments that aim to support children’s healthy weight and/or reduce childhood obesity. Brief proposals are due March 10. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Promising Partnerships: Extension and Farm to Early Care and Education
March 14, 2pm ET
With the goal of bringing practical information to improve the lives of agricultural producers, consumers, families, and children, extension is a natural fit for partnership in farm to school and farm to early care and education (ECE) initiatives. The National Institute for Food and Agriculture, in partnership with the National Farm to School Network, will be offering a webinar to share extension and farm to ECE partnerships and projects. Register here.

2. Webinar: Farm to School in the Every Student Succeeds Act
March 21, 3-4pm ET
Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this webinar will discuss new opportunities for  farm to school under the newest authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, called the Every Student Succeeds Act. In this legislation, there are various funding opportunities and policy levers that advocates and educators on the ground can utilize to move farm to school forward in their communities. This webinar is open to the public. Register here

3. Webinar: Plate to Politics: Letters to the Editor 101
March 7, 12-1pm CT
Join the Women Food & Ag Network for an educational webinar on writing effective letters to the editor. Presenters include Angie Carter, Environmental Sociologist at Augustana College; Patti Edwardson, Farmer in Greene County, Iowa; and Ahna Kruzic, Publications & Communications Coordinator at Food First. Together they will discuss writing effective letters, including finding your voice, framing your argument, how to submit a letter, writing as a coalition and handling reactions. Register here

4. 5th Annual Ideas & Innovations Virtual Conference
March 14-16
Join Share My Lesson’s virtual conference March 14-16 for a line-up of educational thought leaders, including staff from the National Farm to School Network. Get new ideas for creating healthy school and community climate, addressing standards and assessments and topics that matter most. Find subject-specific tracks in 30+ free professional learning sessions that span the curriculum and levels early childhood through 12th grade. Plus, earn PD credits. Learn more here

5. The Edible Schoolyard Intensive: Farm to School
July 9-11 // Berkeley, Calif.
Develop your team’s holistic approach to program success and strengthen relationships between food service staff members, school and district leadership, and classroom, garden and kitchen educators. Applications due March 5. Learn more here

6. RFP Open: Community Food Systems Conference
December 5-7 // Boston, Mass. 
New Entry Sustainable Farming Projects is seeking proposals for workshop sessions at its Community Food Systems Conference from leaders in food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture. They anticipate 500-600 attendees. Proposals are due April 3. Learn more here


Action Opportunities
1. National Young Farmer Survey
Take the National Young Farmer Survey and let Congress know that #FarmersCount! The survey is conducted every five years by the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) in order to understand and elevate the issues that matter most to young farmers and aspiring farmers. Take the survey today and share it broadly. It is crucial that the survey results represent all young farmers and aspiring farmers, no matter where they live or what they grow. Survey answers are completely confidential. Take the survey at youngfarmers.org/survey

2. High School Garden Programs Survey
Noehealani Antolin, a graduate student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, is conducting an online survey to ascertain information on high school garden programs across the United States. The purpose of the study is to describe educators’ perspectives about high school gardening programs across the nation, including benefits associated with having a school garden and barriers encountered with implementation and sustainability of a school garden. Please share this survey widely with your networks. All who are directly involved in high school garden programs are encouraged to participate. Learn more here


Job Opportunities
1. Project Director, HOPE Collaborative
HOPE Collaborative is a hiring a Project Director to lead the collaborative through a time of exciting growth. The Project Director will manage a staff team, oversee program design and delivery and strategy development, and enhance, strengthen, and ensure long-term sustainability of HOPE’s flagship initiatives, such as the Healthy Corner Store Project, HOPE in the Neighborhood, and HOPE’s community and youth leadership development programs. Applications due March 10. Learn more here.  

2. FoodCorps Service Member Application Open
FoodCorps is recruiting talented leaders for a year of paid public service building healthy school food environments in limited-resource communities. FoodCorps AmeriCorps members teach student hands on lessons in growing cooking and tasting healthy food; promote healthy eating onions in the cafeteria; and, make schools healthier place to eat, learn and grow. The FoodCorps application is open now through March 15th. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
How Schools Can Get Children to Eat Their Vegetables
Schools, nutritionists and behavioral scientists are putting science to work to figure out how to get children to reach for a carrot instead of a candy bar. On the list of proven strategies: nutrition education, with actives like field trips to farms and Harvest of the Month dishes. (via Wall Street Journal)

Kids learn about healthy eating with farmers - and microgreens
Preschoolers in North Carolina are learning about the life cycles of plants and why healthy eating is important. Farmers Wes and Anna recently visited the preschool with tiny kale and sunflower plants, and gave the young eaters a chance to try microgreens. (via WLOS)

'I didn’t know chickens had bones'
When the Cocalico School District (Pennsylvania) served chicken drumsticks in its lunchrooms recently, one student wasn’t sure what he was eating. “I didn’t know chickens had bones,” he said. Connecting what goes on at a farm to what is served in a school cafeteria can help educate students about food and farming. (via Lancaster Online)

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: 2/21/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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
Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund
The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund provides direct assistance to veterans in their beginning years of farming or ranching. The Fund does not give money directly to the veteran, but rather to a third party vendor for any items that make a critical difference in the launch of a young farm business. In addition to monetary awards, the Fellowship provides support in the form of guidance in production, business planning, and marketing. Awards are also made in the form of a scholarship to study for a career in agriculture at a closes March 20, 2017. Learn more here


Events & Webinars
Webinar: Curbing Marketing to Students: What the Final Wellness Policy Rule Means for Schools
March 9, 2-3pm ET
On July 29, 2016, USDA finalized regulations that strengthen requirements for local school wellness policies. Among other requirements, the final rule allows in-school promotions only for foods and beverages that meet the USDA’s Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards. This webinar explains how the USDA's final rule affects food and beverage marketing in schools. Presenters will provide practical tips for school districts on how to remove unhealthy food marketing and handle challenges that arise as they work to comply with the new rule. Register here

Webinar: Local Meat to Local Schools: Lessons Learned from the Montana Beef to School Project
March 23, 12-1pm EST
Many folks all over the nation are organizing to get local ingredients into public schools and other institutions as a way to support local farmers as well as improve the quality and healthfullness of school food. Fruits and vegetables have been the low-hanging fruit; local meat and animal products can be much more challenging to get on school menus. The Montana Beef to School Project is a three-year collaborative project between several Montana beef producers and processors, schools and many stakeholders represented in the Montana Beef to School Coalition. Hear from one of the project leaders, Thomas Bass of Montana State University Extension along with one of the key processing partners, Jeremy Plummer of Lower Valley Processing in Kalispell, about what they learned over the three years of this project. Register here.

Arkansas Farm to School Summit: Growing Together

March 15, 9-4pm // Van Buren, Arkansas
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and FoodCorps Arkansas, with support from Van Buren Public Schools, are hosting “Arkansas Farm to School Summit: Growing Together” on March 15, 2017. With a focus on program sustainability, this event will feature practical sessions on implementing farm to school activities that have staying power: designing integrated garden lessons, using school gardens as outdoor classrooms, procuring local foods, cooking with kids, and more. Learn more and register here


Resources
New Slow Food USA School Garden Curriculum
Slow Food USA recently published its second school garden curriculum, Clean: Gardening for Sustainability. The multidisciplinary lessons target a range of ages, from Kindergarten through high school. Educators can use a school garden or cooking program to teach biology, chemistry, social studies, language arts, and geography. Clean: Gardening for Sustainability divides school garden activities into theory and practice. The first section, “Basic Garden Skills and Knowledge,” offers activities that guide observation and discovery into the plants and animals that live in the garden. The second section, “A Slow Food Garden,” offers planting guidelines, maps, activities and cooking lessons that match a sample school garden. Learn more here

Report: Shrinking the Carbon and Water Footprint of School Food: A Recipe for Combatting Climate Change
As schools across the nation grapple with how to feed kids healthier, more sustainable food on tight budgets, an inspiring story from Oakland Unified School District provides a roadmap for change. Friends of the Earth’s new case study shows how the district was able to significantly reduce its carbon and water footprint by replacing a share of its meat, poultry and cheese purchases with plant-based proteins. These actions also saved the district money and improved students’ access to healthful food. Learn more here

Good Food for Local Schools: Toolkit of Resources
University of California’s Global Food Initiatives has a free, online toolkit of resource for improving meals in schools districts throughout California and beyond. The website offers a toolkit of curated practical online resources to guide higher education institutions and other educational and community organizations, who work with pre-K-12 schools, to support student access to healthy and sustainable food. Learn more here

Newly Updated: Bibliography on Structural Racism in the United States Food System 
Published by the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, An Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the U.S. Food System, cites and annotates literature that explores structural racism both broadly across the U.S. food system as well as in specific food system sectors. The publication also includes commentaries on and analysis of the influence and pervasiveness of “whiteness” in the local food movement. Explore the bibliography here

Ensuring Education for All Children: Resources for working with Immigrants families

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) regularly releases resources to help educators, school administrators, and families to protect and ensure equitable access to education for all children, including our most vulnerable student populations. Several new resources have been released for working with immigrant families relative to education and issues of security. While designed for early learning programs, elementary schools and educators, some resources have value across all levels of education and  communities. There are also tools to be shared with parents. Explore the resources here


Job Opportunities
School Nutrition Programs Farm-to-School Specialist
The Virginia Department of Education is seeking a qualified and experienced individual to provide technical expertise and assistance to local school food authorities, local farmers, and other potential Farm to School stakeholders. Responsibilities include facilitating a collective vision, coordinating statewide goals and strategic planning to track state progress for Farm to School initiatives at the state level. Application closes March 1. Learn more here
 

Farm to School in the News
South Carolina School Offers Farm-to-Table Class
Ridge Spring-Monetta Middle-High School (South Carolina) is converting into a healthy living campus by putting a tasty spin on Agricultural Science. The new farm-to-table program benefits everyone in the county because once the crops are ready, they’ll be enjoyed by all Aiken County school district students. (via WJBF)

Tennessee Farm to School Program Grows with Greenhouse
A greenhouse for Murfreesboro City Schools (Tenn.) provides students a protected and secure environment to learn about the growing process year-round. "In the days of digital media and electronics, it's nice to see students excited about getting their hands a little dirty," says Kristina Maddux, Discovery School Principal. (via WGNS)

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: 2/14/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 14, 2017

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
School Grants for Healthy Kids 
Action for Healthy Kids is accepting applications for school grants for the 2017-2018 school year. Schools may apply for School Breakfast grants (up to $3,000) to pilot or expand their School Breakfast programs or Game On grants (up to $1,000) to fund physical activity/nutrition initiatives. Deadline to apply is April 7. Visit ActionforHealthyKids.org/Grants for more information and register for informational webinars: School Breakfast (February 22) and Game On (February 21).

Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition’s 2017 YES! Research Grant Competition

BCFN YES! (Young Earth Solutions) is an international competition for young researchers from all over the world. It was first launched in 2012, with the aim of rewarding the best ideas about food and sustainability. The 2017 BCFN YES! Research Grant Competition invites young PhD and postdoc researchers from any background and nationality to submit a research project to improve the sustainability of the food system. The award is a 20,000 € (US$21,367) research grant applied to a one-year investigation. Proposals are due June 28, 2017. Learn more here


Action Opportunities
National Young Farmer Survey
Take the National Young Farmer Survey and let Congress know that #FarmersCount! The survey is conducted every five years by the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) in order to understand and elevate the issues that matter most to young farmers and aspiring farmers. Take the survey today and share it broadly. It is crucial that the survey results represent all young farmers and aspiring farmers, no matter where they live or what they grow. Survey answers are completely confidential. Take the survey at youngfarmers.org/survey

High School Garden Programs Survey
Noehealani Antolin, a graduate student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, is conducting an online survey to ascertain information on high school garden programs across the United States. The purpose of the study is to describe educators’ perspectives about high school gardening programs across the nation, including benefits associated with having a school garden and barriers encountered with implementation and sustainability of a school garden. Please share this survey widely with your networks. All who are directly involved in high school garden programs are encouraged to participate. Learn more here


Job Opportunities
Farm to ECE Trainer
Community Groundworks seeks a Farm to ECE Trainer to join its team in Madison, Wis. The Farm to ECE Trainer will develop and share materials promoting the best practices in farm to early care and education (ECE) through its Growing Capacity for Farm to Early Care and Education Project, funded by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Vermont celebrates Farm to School Awareness Day
Students, teachers, legislators, government officials, and Vermont Farm to School Network leaders to celebrate Farm to School Awareness Day on Feb. 8. The day included farm to school stakeholders providing testimony to agriculture and education committees in support of farm to school programming, and a grant award ceremony. Over $121,000 in grants and technical supports were awarded to 13 schools, representing 10 Vermont counties, for the purpose of growing and developing farm to school programs. (via Vermont Business Magazine

Student meals are Georgia grown
Thanks to the 2020 Vision joint initiative between the Georgia Departments of Agriculture and Education, students within the Baldwin County School System know that a significant portion of their meals are Georgia Grown. (via Union Record)

White House Kitchen Garden Will Stay
“As a mother and as the First Lady of this country, Mrs. Trump is committed to the preservation and continuation of the White House Gardens, specifically the First Lady’s Kitchen Garden and the Rose Garden,” Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, senior adviser to the first lady. (via The Washington 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. 

This Week in farm to school: 2/7/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 07, 2017

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. Innovation Education Awards
he third annual UL Innovative Education Award (ULIEA) recognition program is open to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations in the United States and Canada. Awards will go to participants who best use innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curricula to help students of grades K–12 solve real-world environmental problems.A panel of environmental, science, research, and technical experts will determine one grand prize winner to receive $100,000; two second-tier winners to receive $50,000 each; and two third-tier winners to receive $25,000 each. The submission window closes on February 28, 2017. Learn more here.

2. Call for Application: 2017 Interdisciplinary Research Leaders 
Interdisciplinary Research Leaders is a leadership development opportunity for teams of researchers and community partners, including community organizers and advocates. These teams use the power of applied research—informing and supporting critical work being done in communities—to accelerate that work and advance health and equity. Their innovation helps build a Culture of Health, one that enables everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. The two theme areas for the 2017 Interdisciplinary Research Leaders Call for Applications are 1) Youth development approaches to prevent violence and promote health, and 2) Community and individual resilience and health. The Call for Applications is open until March 8, 2017. Learn more here

3. Slow Food USA: Ark of Taste Garden Challenge

The Ark of Taste is a living catalog of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction. By identifying and championing these foods, we keep them in production and on our plates. The Ark of Taste Garden Challenge will engage classrooms in growing these special seeds to taste the wonderful food they produce. Slow Food USA is putting together kits for school gardens, individuals, and Slow Food chapters. Each kit will include Ark of Taste seed packets, garden signs, a poster, recipes, and more. Please request your school garden kit by February 17. Learn more here

4. Seed Savers Exchange Seed Donations
Each year, Seed Savers Exchange donates the previous year's unsold seeds to charitable organizations. To qualify for a seed donation, an organization must be a nonprofit or have a nonprofit umbrella sponsorship and have a shipping address within the United States. Volunteers pre-pack donation boxes with 100 seed packets, each a different variety. Recipients do not choose specific varieties, but will receive a wide selection of seed varieties. Learn more and apply here.

5. Carton 2 Garden 2017 Contest - Free Entry Kits
Evergreen Packaging and KidsGardening.org are proud to present its third annual national Carton 2 Garden Contest. Open to public and private schools, contest winners will be selected based on their implementation of an innovative garden creation featuring creative and sustainable uses for repurposed milk and juice cartons. Fourteen entries will be selected to receive award packages for their efforts. Submissions are due April 12, 2017. Free entry kits are available while supplies last. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Resources for research and outreach on structural racism in the U.S. food system
Feb. 17, 12:30pm ET
The fourth edition of the Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the U.S. Food System will be available in mid-February; this document provides an up-to-date list of publications and resources on structural racism present in the US the food supply chain. Join bibliography co-authors, Rich Pirog (MSU Center for Regional Food Systems) and Jane Henderson (University of San Diego), for a discussion of this unique resource and the importance of using a racial equity lens for food system students, educators, researchers, and practitioners. Register here

2. Save the Date: 5th Annual Every Kid Healthy Week
April 24-28, 2017
Join us in celebrating the fifth annual Every Kid Healthy Week from April 24-28. Launched by Action for Healthy Kids in 2013, Every Kid Healthy Week is a time when schools, students, parents, and community members come together to recognize their school’s wellness achievements through fun and interactive health-promoting events. For more information on how to get involved and additional resources to help you plan an event, go to EveryKidHealthyWeek.org.


Resources
1. CarrotNewYork
CarrotNewYork specializes in developing creative education programs that help amplify your cause to reach audiences at home, at school, online, or in the community. For 35 years, its mission has been to help clients increase awareness about their brand and their cause, drive deeper engagement in schools and communities, and empower real change on a range of issues. CarrotNewYork’s team of educators, creatives, and marketers can create a customized education campaign designed to meet your needs. Learn more here. Contact Jennifer Stringer, VP of Education and Business Strategy at jennifer.stringer@carrotnewyork.com for more information.


Action Opportunities
1. Letter to Admin & Congress: Safeguard Fed Nutrition Programs
The National Anti-Hunger Organizations (NAHO) have penned a letter reaffirming a commitment to a strong and effective national nutrition safety net for vulnerable, low-income individuals and families and calling on Congress and the President to safeguard and support these critically-important programs. National, state and local organizations are urged to join the over 1,000 organizations that have signed this letter and have demonstrated a groundswell of support for the federal nutrition programs. Follow this link to view and sign your organization (organizations only, please) onto this statement.  

2. Save the date: 21 Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge
April 9-29
Food Solutions New England (FSNE) is committed to addressing structural racism in our food system. We believe that we cannot talk about and work for sustainability, food security, and economic prosperity in our region without facing the realities of discrimination and social inequity. This is an exciting opportunity to dive deep into building racial equity habits. For 21 days, we will commit to learning about the ways in which race, social justice, and our food system are connected, talk about challenging and important issues, and take action. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Pennsylvania Awards 30 Farm to School Grants
Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera has announced the awarding of Farm to School grants to schools across the state, which will provide students with access to fresh, healthy food sourced locally. Through the program, 30 awardees received grants of up to $1,000 to implement farm to school activities. (via PA.gov)

School gardens are more than a trend: What keeps them growing?
Pershing Elementary School is Dallas, Texas has found success with its school garden. “School gardens are trending, but they're trending for the right reasons. It's a lot of social, emotional balance and multisensory connections to everything you do." (via The Dallas Morning News)

School-based markets address food insecurity, healthy eating
A DC-area nonprofit is making healthy food more accessible for families and children by bringing food pantries to school. Each month, Martha’s Table invites families to shop at a free food market set up in school cafeterias. Local chefs are on hand to demonstrate healthy recipes, like massaged kale salad and lo mean with broccoli and wheat spaghetti. (via WTOP)

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. 
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