Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community.
Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Promising Partnerships: Extension and Farm to Early Care and Education
New Date: Tuesday, April 4, 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: Statewide Farm to ECE Network Building
Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 3:30 – 4:30 PM ET
Statewide farm to early care and education (ECE) network building is a key approach to institutionalizing farm to ECE and increasing opportunities for all children, families, and communities to reap the many benefits of farm to ECE. Join us for the April NFSN Farm to ECE Webinar where we will hear from Emily Jackson of the North Carolina Farm to Preschool Network and Erin Croom of the Georgia Farm to Early Care and Education Coalition who will share models from their states and identify keys to success in building a statewide farm to ECE network. This webinar is open to the public so please share through your networks. Register here.
3. Request for Proposals: Southern Obesity Summit
October 1-3 // Atlanta, Georgia
The Southern Obesity Summit Planning Committee invites individual applications for pre-conference sessions, breakout sessions, special sessions and Pillar workgroup sessions during the 11th Annual Southern Obesity Summit. These sessions will help attendees develop strategies and provide resources and tools to use in their work to reverse the obesity epidemic through working together with other southern states. The deadline for submissions in May 1. Learn more here.
4. Request for Proposals: Community Food Systems Conference
December 5-7 // Boston, Mass.
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project's Community Food Systems Conference will address common underlying themes between food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture. There are certain cross-cutting issues we believe are fundamental in community food systems and in building a strong, equitable food future. We hope to see these represented across all sessions: Skill Building across cultures and sectors; diversity of presenters; and racial, social and economic equity. Proposals are due April 3. Learn more here.
1. Report: USDA ERS - Daily Access to Local Foods for School Meals
To examine progress in the use of locally produced foods in school meals and to help identify school districts for technical assistance, this new report from USDA ERS uses data from the 2013 Farm to School Census to measure the prevalence of school districts that serve local food daily and the characteristics of those districts. Read the full report here.
2. Recording Available: Farm to Summer: How Regional Offices and State Agencies Support Farm to Summer
Increasingly, Summer Meal sponsors are embracing the Farm to Summer movement by serving fresh, local foods and offering engaging activities, and Regional and State-level staff play a unique role in supporting these efforts. This USDA webinar provides an overview of farm to summer activities, resources, and a snapshot of how Regional offices and State agencies have encouraged sponsors to adopt farm to summer principles. From MAP addendums to partner meetings, discover how your Regional and State colleagues support “bringing the farm” to Summer Meal Programs. Watch the recording here.
3. Study: School Lunch Quality and Academic Performance
In a recent paper, economists set out to determine whether healthier school lunches affect student achievement as measured by test scores. The intense policy interest in improving the nutritional content of public-school meals—in addition to vendors’ efforts to market their school meals as good for the body and the mind—sparked the researchers’ curiosity and led to an unexpected discovery: Students at schools that contract with a healthier school-lunch vendor perform somewhat better on state tests—and this option appears highly cost-effective compared to policy interventions that typically are more expensive, like class-size reduction. Read an article about the study here. Read the study here.
1. 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge
Food Solutions New England (FSNE) is committed to addressing all forms of racism in our food system. FSNE 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 in our food system and beyond. You’re invited to join FSNE’s 2017 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge: April 9 - April 29. Sign up here.
1. Education and Training Specialist, Institute of Child Nutrition
The University of Mississippi’s Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN) seeks an Education and Training Specialist I. This is a professional position in which the incumbent develops, implements, and evaluates ICN educational curricula and training program materials for face-to-face and web-based delivery. Learn more here.
Farm to School in the News
Colorado School District constantly seeking participation from local farmers, ranchers
Natalie Leffler, who heads Greeley-Evans School District 6’s Farm to School program, is always looking for new local farmers and ranchers to get involved in farm to school. More than 80 percent of meals in District 6’s kitchen are now made from scratch, thanks to farm to school. (The Fence Post)
Maple syrup, lobster rolls part of New Hampshire school program
After a morning of tapping maple trees, students in New Hampshire returned to their school cafeteria for a lunch of mini lobster rolls, maple-glazed scallops and clam chowder - all of the seafood sourced locally. The school was a recipient of a USDA Farm to School grant, which will end this year. But, the program will continue on, thanks to Seabrook voters, who have approved a school operating budget with money for continuing the farm to school initiative. (Newbury Port News)
North Dakota kids visit farm
Fourth graders from Thompson Public School (North Dakota) recently visited a local farm to learn about agriculture and their local food systems. "When they go to the grocery store with their parents, I want them to be able to point (to a food product) and say, 'I know a farmer who grows that,'" farmer Bob Drees said. (AgWeek)