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This Week in Farm to School: 7/18/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, July 18, 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. 

Webinars

1. Building Successful Collaboration for Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Grant 
July 18 // 1 ET
Presented by New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and their partner, Allison Goin, this webinar will focus on the importance of building and cultivating strong partnerships and collaborations for BFRDP. Learn more and register

2. Economics of Healthy Food Incentives at Michigan Farmers Markets

July 24 // 2-3 ET
This webinar will debut new findings of a recent study of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the healthy food incentive program Double Up Food Bucks activity at Michigan farmers markets. Hosted by Michigan State University. Learn more and register
 
3. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to ECE Webinar: State Agencies as Leaders and Partners in Growing Farm to ECE
August 2 // 3:30-4:30pm ET
State agencies (including departments of agriculture, education and health) can be key leaders and partners in facilitating growth and institutionalization of farm to ECE at the state level. Join us to learn more about the variety of ways that state agencies across the country are leading the way in farm to ECE. Representatives from Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the South Carolina Departments of Health and Environmental Control and Social Services will share their innovative programs and strategic approaches to growing and supporting farm to ECE in their states. This webinar is open to all so please share widely. Register here

4. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: Farm to School in Native Communities

August 3 // 2-3pm ET
In partnership with numerous tribal communities, the National Farm to School Network has been exploring opportunities to expand farm to school activities in Native communities. We’ve learned from our partners that with a community-based and multi-generational framework, farm to school can be a nexus of economic development, food sovereignty, health and nutrition, and cultural revitalization. On this webinar, learn about unique opportunities and challenges of farm to school in Native communities, and hear several examples of success from Native community leaders. This webinar is open to all so please share widely. Register here

Action Item 
1. Experiences of People of Color pursuing careers in STEM and agriculture
People of Color ages 18 and over pursuing STEM and agricultural careers or those employed in those fields are invited to participate in a research study through a short survey. The purpose of the study is to understand the experiences and perceptions of minorities in these fields. 

Resources 
1. African Americans have lost untold acres of farmland over the last century
"Many factors contributed to the loss of black-owned land during the 20th century, including systemic discrimination in lending by the US Department of Agriculture, the industrialization that lured workers into factories, and the Great Migration. But the lesser-known issue of heirs’ property also played a role, allowing untold thousands of acres to be forcibly bought out from under black rural families—often second-, third-, or fourth-generation landowners whose ancestors were enslaved—by real-estate developers and speculators." Read more

2. New CACFP Recipes Using Summer Produce  

Check out these chef-developed and kid approved recipes. Make them at your family child care home or center; there are yields for 6, 25, and 50 servings. Crediting information is provided to help you incorporate the recipes into the updated Child and Adult Care Food Program meal patterns.

3. Cultivating Equitable Food-Oriented Development: Lessons from West Oakland
The second of a three-part series by PolicyLink and Mandela MarketPlace, this case study highlights the ongoing work of Mandela MarketPlace and its partners to build a local food system that prioritizes community ownership in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read more

4. Six Reasons Local Food Systems Will Replace Our Industrial Model
"The local food movement is so decentralized and dispersed that it is impossible to accurately estimate the size or importance of the movement. The USDA estimated the value of local food sales by farmers at $9 billion in 2015. This figure does not reflect the “retail value” of food sold by farmers to local restaurants or retailers. Virtually everywhere I go, I discover new local foods initiatives." Read more

Policy
1. Secretary Perdue Praises Farm to School at SNA Conference
USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue gave a speech at last week's School Nutrition Association annual national conference in Atlanta. In his remarks, Perdue praised farm to school efforts saying, "I want to encourage each of you, if you’re not doing that already, to work with your state departments of agriculture on growing your farm to school partnerships. Locally grown food and hands-on gardening experiences in schools can only be good for our children." Watch a video of Perdue's address here (farm to school remarks start at 16:00).

2. Organics, Specialty Crops, And Local Food On Display In Senate Hearing 
Last week, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing to discuss opportunities and challenges facing the organic, specialty crop, and local and regional food markets as Congress prepares to reauthorize the farm bill. Among the witnesses testifying was Haile Johnston, Co-Founder and Director of The Common Market, and NFSN Advisory Board member. “USDA investment has yielded staggering results… it’s safe to say that The Common Market would not be where we are today had it not been for those investments,” said Haile in his testimony to the Committee. “It is critically important that the next farm bill continue support for these and other local food programs to build on our efforts and support new local and regional food systems across the country.” Read more

Job Opportunities 
1. Early and School Food Academic Specialist, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems
The Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) is seeking an annual full-time Academic Specialist to lead efforts promoting good food access and awareness in early child care and education environments (ECE) and K-12 schools. Learn more here by searching for job posting #446354 under faculty/academic staff. 

2. Policy Intern, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
NSAC is seeking to hire a paid, full-time Policy Intern to be based in their Capitol Hill office. This position is term, mid-August through early-January. Learn more

3. Executive Director, Tilth Alliance

Tilth Alliance seeks a strategic and inspiring executive director who is committed to cultivating a sustainable and equitable food system in Washington State. Learn more and apply

4. Food Hub Coordinator, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
New Entry is seeking to hire a Food Hub Coordinator. This position will oversee operation of the multi-farmer World PEAS Food Hub distributing fresh, locally-grown produce throughout the Merrimack Valley and Boston area. Learn more and apply

5. School Garden Coordinator and Science Teacher, The Nueva School
The Nueva School seeks a dynamic garden and science educator to become part of their faculty. Learn more and apply

Farm to School in the News
Educators Gather to Advance Farm to School Practices
From June 27-29, 72 educators from New England and New York gathered for a kick-off to the year-long Northeast Farm to School Institute, which advances food, farm and nutrition education and expands the amount of local products served in school cafeterias. “We were very excited this year to have school teams from the six New England states plus New York — the largest FTS Institute that we have hosted,” said Betsy Rosenbluth, project director of Vermont FEED and NFSN Vermont Core Partner. (Lancaster Farming

Charlotte,
NC school garden position is far from a ‘fluff job’
"Garinger Farm is an example of what a school garden program can achieve. But sustaining and expanding these accomplishments can’t be done by volunteers, or by asking already-overburdened teachers to take on a new set of tasks. It requires dedicated resources. By making gardens and nutrition a greater central-office priority, our new superintendent has set the stage for making CMS into a national model for this essential endeavor." (Charlotte Observer)

Indiana school boosts agriculture teaching with master gardeners
"About 100 plants, including a trio of trees, several dozen shrubs and many perennial flowers, were recently planted outside the library at Southwest Elementary School in Greenwood. And now, several master gardeners will be assisting teachers in using the garden to help students learn about the role bugs play in agriculture." (Daily 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.

A “Try New Things” Attitude Pays Off in Georgia

NFSN Staff Monday, July 17, 2017
By Molly Schintler, Communication Intern

 Donna Martin with students at Burke County Public Schools. 
During the 2013-2014 school year, a secretary at Burke County Public Schools in Georgia had a farmer son with too many watermelons. She approached Donna Martin, School Nutrition Program Director, and asked if the school ever served local food. Donna has a ‘try new things’ attitude, so she served the watermelon and then dabbled in procuring a few other local items from farmers that she already knew. It did not take Donna long to recognize the positive impact that local food purchasing had on the students, community, and farmers  “I don’t understand how anybody can say ‘no’ to doing this (farm to school),“ Donna commented.  

Donna recognizes how farm to school is a win for students, farmers and her community, but she is realistic about the challenges. She says there is a whole list of barriers she’s come across; however, her ‘try new things’ attitude – that same attitude that allowed her to say “yes” to local watermelon – seems quick to overshadow the entire list. Donna and her team point out that the challenges are manageable if you are open to constantly learning, adjusting and assessing not only your own needs, but also considering farmers’ needs. Donna explained it as, “We can tell a story about practically every single one of our farmers and how we developed a relationship with them…once we develop relationships and they trust us, they are willing to go out on a limb.” Fisheads Aquaponics and Freeman’s Mill are two of the farmers that have gone out on a limb with Donna and her team in the name of bringing local food to the Burke County schools, and the effort has paid off. 

Fisheads Aquaponics: Located 17 miles from the Burke County Public Schools, Fisheads is an aquaponics operation focused on growing greenhouse lettuces since 2013. Lisa Dojan’s family has been conventionally farming in the county for four generations, so when Lisa and her husband decided they wanted to start a business, the aquaponics venture allowed them to keep their family roots in agriculture while trying something a little bit different and new. Before the operation was completely up and running, Burke County started a relationship with Lisa by coming to tour the greenhouse. Now, Burke County Schools has a standing order for Fisheads lettuce, and Lisa and her farm team supply lettuces to several school districts.

Freeman’s Mill: In telling his story, Stacey Freeman says that farming and milling are in his blood. Heading up Freeman’s Mill as a fifth generation miller in Lawrenceville, Ga., Stacey’s operation grinds corn and wheat into grits and flour. Stacey works with a number of school districts. In fact, he sells his products to over twelve schools, including five thousand pounds of wheat and grits annually to the Burke County Schools. As his farm to school sales have grown over the past six years, he has taken note that he is filling more and more 25 pound bags of grits and whole-wheat flour for bulk sales, as compared to the 2 pound bags for farmers market.

The increase in sales to schools has meant that Stacey was able to recently expand the mill and purchase new machinery. Fisheads has experienced similar growth. In order to keep up with the demand for their lettuces, the farm is doubling their production with the addition of a second greenhouse, and because the farm is expanding, Lisa hopes to hire their farm intern as a full time manager. 

Freeman’s Mill and Fisheads Aquaponics are just two of thousands of examples of farmers and producers across all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. Territories who have experienced significant financial opportunity when they are willing to “try new things” with local, institutional markets. Donna Martin and her team are a shinning example of the many food service workers throughout the country who have help their students win everyday by providing access to real food so they can grow up healthy. Stacey may have put it best when he simply stated, “For this to work, we all have to come together.” So let Donna and her team, Lisa and Stacey inspire you to try something new and make a connection with a local producer in your community! 

2017 Innovation Awards Celebrate Beginning Farmers and Farmer Veterans

NFSN Staff Thursday, July 13, 2017
Farmer Dylan Strike with students at Strike Farms. (Photo Credit: Gallatin Valley Farm to School)
Farmers play a crucial role in the success of farm to school, from growing local food served in meals and snacks to hosting field trips to show kids where their food comes from. However, farmers are often underrepresented in the farm to school movement. While schools across the country are eager to purchase from local farms, access and connections with farmers remains one of the biggest barriers to implementing farm to school activities. 

In 2015, we launched our Innovation Fund to support new and emerging initiatives with the potential to make significant contributions to our mission of increasing access to local food and nutrition education to improve children’s health, strengthen family farms and cultivate vibrant communities. Recognizing the need to continue supporting farmers’ presence in the farm to school movement, this year's awards are focused on exceptional examples of producers whose success in connecting with schools can provide a model for other farmers looking to do the same. 

With funding support from Farm Credit, the 2017 Innovation Fund Awards celebrate beginning farmers (in their first 10 years of farming) and farmer veterans. This year’s awards have been given to two farmers in recognition of their exemplary efforts in selling local produce to schools and engaging kids in learning where their food comes from. The farmers have each received $3,500 awards in celebration of their work, and they will be sharing their stories, experiences and lessons learned with our members so that others may learn from their success. This year’s awardees are: 

Dylan Strike, Strike Farms
Bozeman, Montana
Dylan Strike founded Strike Farms just outside of Bozeman, Montana in the fall of 2013. Starting with four acres in its first growing season, Strike Farms has rapidly scaled up and today grows over 100 varieties of organic vegetables, herbs and flowers on 20 acres with the support of 21 employees. With a goal of normalizing local food access and providing high-quality, sustainable food for the local community, Strike Farms products can be found in Bozeman-area grocery stores, farmers markets, CSA shares, restaurants and schools – for whom Strike Farms has supplied numerous crops for the Montana Harvest of the Month program. In addition to growing healthy food for school lunch trays, Dylan and his team have welcomed hundreds of local students for farm tours and farm to school summer camps, where kids learn how food makes it from farm to fork and the benefits of local food systems. 

Jon Turner, Wild Roots Farm Vermont
Bristol, Vermont
Jon and Cathy Turner founded Wild Roots Farm Vermont in Bristol, Vermont in 2015. Wild Roots Farm Vermont is a community-based farming project focused on regenerative agricultural practices to develop resilient food systems and healthy soil. Having served three tours with the Marines, one of Jon’s hopes for the farm is to create an educational landscape where veterans can learn about growing food while also helping themselves reintegrate after coming home from war. The farm has offered workshops, tours and internship opportunities to hundreds of community members, students, school children and the veteran population with an aim of empowering the next generation of farmers to view the landscape from a whole systems perspective. In addition to providing extensive educational opportunities, Wild Roots Farm Vermont grows and sells organics vegetables, berries, mushrooms and pastured poultry for eggs and meat with the Vermont Proud, Homegrown by Heroes label. Jon is the founder and former president of the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Vermont and currently sits on boards for NOFA-VT (Northeastern Organic Farmers Association of Vermont) and the Addison County Farm Bureau.  

 Farmer Jon Turner with students at Wild Roots Farm Vermont. (Photo Credit: Wild Roots Farm Vermont)
Learn more about the Innovation Fund Awards and awardees from 2016 and 2015 here. Stay tuned to hear more from Dylan and Jon about their farm to school stories and success! 

This Week in Farm to School: 7/11/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, July 11, 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. 

Webinars

1. New Entry Farm Training Initiative: Mainstreaming Beginning Farmers in Local Food Policy
July 12 // 2-3:15 ET
An exploration of  how local  food policy efforts can mainstream the needs of beginning farmers and create conditions favorable to the success of new farm businesses. Register here

2. MSU Center for Regional Food System: Economics of Healthy Food Incentives at Michigan Farmers Markets

July 24 // 2-3 ET
This webinar will debut new findings of a recent study of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the healthy food incentive program Double Up Food Bucks activity at Michigan farmers markets. Learn more and register
 
3. NFSN Farm to ECE Quarterly Webinar: State Agencies as Leaders and Partners in Growing Farm to ECE
August 2 // 3:30-4:30pm ET
State agencies (including departments of agriculture, education and health) can be key leaders and partners in facilitating growth and institutionalization of farm to ECE at the state level. Join us to learn more about the variety of ways that state agencies across the country are leading the way in farm to ECE. Representatives from Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the South Carolina Departments of Health and Environmental Control and Social Services will share their innovative programs and strategic approaches to growing and supporting farm to ECE in their states. This webinar is open to all so please share widely. Register here

Events
1. Conference on Native American Nutrition
September 18-20 // Prior Lake, MN
Attend the second annual Conference on Native American Nutrition.This conference brings together tribal officials, researchers, practitioners, and others to discuss the current state of Indigenous and academic scientific knowledge about Native nutrition and food science, and identify new areas of work. Learn more and register

2. American Community Gardening Association: 38th Annual Conference
July 27-30 //  Hartford, CT
The ACGA Conference will include workshops covering everything from cutting edge horticulture practices to community gardening start-up and sustainability to school/youth gardening curricula to innovative health and workplace programs, and MORE. Learn more and register

Action Item 
1. Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council 
The Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council's Good Food Procurement Subcommittee is interested in learning from others. Specifically, they want to know: How do you engage participants who work outside City government in good food purchasing work?; What issues or activities does your procurement subcommittee(working group) work on and how are non-City-employee participants involved?; Have you had expert guest speakers at on good food procurement at your meetings or subcommittee meetings? If so, who? Please email responses to Molly.Riordan@phila.gov.
2. Seeking Non-English Farm to School Resources
The National Farm to School Network seeks farm to school related resources in diverse languages to add to our free, online resource database. We aim to connect all students and families to farm to school materials in languages that are accessible to them, and to do this, we need your help! Please send any relevant non-English farm to school resource to info@farmtoschool.org. Thank you for helping making farm to school available in many languages! 

Policy News
1. Oregon Farm to School Bill passed with full funding
Last week, HB 2038 passed both the Oregon House and Senate, allocating $4.5 million (the same amount as last session) for schools to purchase Oregon grown and processed foods and for food, agriculture, and garden based education. With the state in a budget crisis and many programs facing loss of funding, the bill passed unanimously in both the House and Senate, maintaining farm to school’s strong bi-partisan support in Oregon. Congratulations, Oregonians! Read more here and here

Resources 

1.USDA introduces new planning guide
The Farm to Child Nutrition Programs Planning Guide directs you through questions to consider when starting or growing a Farm to School, Farm to CACFP, or Farm to Summer program. This planning guide should be used as a supplemental tool to the Farm to School Planning Toolkit. This guide can be updated annually to ensure you are working towards your long-term goals. 

2. How SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) aids equity in education
Today, U.S. schools are moving in this direction to address the social and emotional dimensions of learning as part of their academic mission. This is an important step that will make it possible for all students to reach their full potential. When Oakland Unified Public Schools helped educators prioritize social and emotional learning (SEL), we saw dramatic increases in graduation rates for students of color, and a nearly 50 percent decline in suspensions. Read more

Job Opportunities 
1. Communications and Development Coordinator, Green Mountain Farm-to-School
Green Mountain Farm-to-School seeks to hire a Communications and Development Coordinator with strong communications and organizational skills to support the growth of their organization. Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS) is a nonprofit organization promoting the health and well-being of Vermont's children, farms and communities by providing programs to connect schools and farms through food and education. Learn more and apply

2. Training and Outreach Specialist, Community GroundWorks
Community GroundWorks is currently seeking an experienced garden-based learning Training & Outreach Specialist to develop and offer trainings, technical assistance services, and general outreach for the Wisconsin School Garden Network. Learn more and apply

3. Education Child Nutrition Consultant, Vermont Agency of Education
Vermont's Agency of Education seeks to hire an Education Child Nutrition Consultant.  This position will include planning, administrative, consultative, and monitoring work at a professional level in providing education services in Child Nutrition Programs. Learn more

Farm to School in the News
Farm school: One Southwest Philly after-school program teaching grassroots literacy – literally

"But what I’m hoping to is show that the hands-on [gardening] activity gives us a tremendous amount of raw material to develop literacy skills. When we go through our beds, we find certain insects. We take pictures of them, and then the students take those pictures back into library and we research them. It exposes students to a whole new vocabulary." (Philadelphia Weekly)

Class is always in session in this New Jersey school garden 
While the peppers have a way to go before they are ready, the herbs are at their peak. Last week, a team of four met at the garden to pick, package and deliver the fragrant herbs to a paying customer and community partner, The Grilled Cheese and Crab Cake Co. on Laurel Drive. They picked sweet basil, purple basil, thyme, rosemary, chives and garlic chives. The restaurant wants to use locally sourced food as much as possible, and they want to support the school program. (Shore News Today)

Each Summer, The Lunchbox Takes Free Meals On The Road To Kids In Vermont
The Lunchbox isn't quite like other food trucks. Instead of simply setting up shop and selling food at different locations around the state like many commercial trucks do, The Lunchbox spends the summer months giving away freshly made, locally produced meals to kids under 18. (VPR)

Monarch conservation efforts making strides in North Iowa

Students at West Fork Middle School and Mason City High School; and volunteers with the Garden Club of North Iowa started swamp, butterfly, and common milkweed plants from seed to be used in local pollinator plantings. Milkweeds, the only plant monarch caterpillars eat, are an essential component of monarch conservation. (Globe Gazette)


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.


Farm to ECE On The Menu At National Indian Head Start Director’s Association Conference

NFSN Staff Thursday, July 06, 2017

By Abby Harper, Farm to School Specialist, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems

Farm to early care and education was on the menu at this year’s National Indian Head Start Director’s Association Annual Conference in Denver, Colo. in early June. The annual conference brings together leaders from all levels of management and leadership in American Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN) Head Start programs, and this year over 40 attendees participated in a session to learn more about farm to early care and education (ECE). The session covered an overview of farm to ECE, presented strategies and resources to support implementing different components of farm to ECE, and allowed ample opportunity for attendees to discuss interest, challenges and opportunities in their programs.

The theme of this year’s conference, Preserving Indigenous Learning, opened up space to discuss how local foods can be a tool for celebrating cultural traditions of the populations served by AIAN Head Start programs. While some may think of local foods primarily related to fruits or vegetables, participants in this session highlighted local foods like salmon, bison and chili peppers as items of highest interest in incorporating into early childhood programs. During discussion, many attendees expressed interest in using local foods to teach children about food traditions and agricultural history of the populations they serve, and creating space for family engagement around gardening and food preparation. One attendee saw an opportunity in highlighting local, traditional foods as a tool for celebrating culture and instilling a sense of pride in their young children. Building off of that idea, another attendee noted the opportunity to use local foods as a way to teach children and families – many of whom have lost a connection to tribal foods – the nutritional value and preparation methods for traditional foods.

Attendees of the session expressed general interest in purchasing and utilizing local foods in early childhood meal programs, but noted several challenges specific to their communities and to bringing tribal foods and traditions into cafeterias, classrooms and gardens. In addition to challenges related to budget, geographic location presents a unique barrier for AIAN Head Start programs, as many reservations lack access to high quality agricultural land and locations to purchase reasonably priced local foods. Additionally, some foods that are of interest to tribal communities, such as wild game, foraged foods or bison raised on agricultural land, may not qualify for reimbursement under the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

Colusa Indian Child Care Center has been incorporating local foods into its early childhood programs since 2005, as a response to parents and community members noting rising health issues due to poor diets in their communities. Director Kim Nall saw local foods as a tool for increasing access to healthier lifestyles and as part of their responsibility in caring for children. “The kids are with us 8 or 9 hours a day. This is something that we need to be invested in and it’s something that we need to take seriously.” Since then, Colusa Indian Child Care Center has taken big strides to make local foods a part of its normal operations. Program staff started by establishing several on-site gardens , which grow produce for meals and snacks. They also began purchasing a variety of foods from local farms, including developing a long-term relationship with a stone fruit grower and purchasing nuts, honey and rice from nearby tribal farmers. Early on, they encountered challenges meeting minimum orders for some area farmers, so they partnered with local schools to coordinate deliveries on the same day farmers were delivering to larger school districts. Since the beginning, they’ve involved parents in every aspect of their farm to ECE activities. Parents and families test taste new recipes, help with food preparation and attend open houses that feature local farmers and vendors.

At Colusa Indian Child Care Center, the efforts are paying off. Children have become accustomed to local, seasonal foods, and these healthy habits are now ingrained in how the children approach what they eat. The staff have also seen changes in parents, who are now more open to new menus and are taking a leading role in encouraging their children to eat healthy, local foods.  The on-site farm stand has also increased in popularity among families. The center credits a lot of its success with being active in the local food scene. By participating on local food policy councils and learning what school districts in the area are doing, Colusa Indian Child Care Center has become part of the local food conversation and gained access to important resources to support its programming. 

There are many resources to support early childhood programs serving AIAN populations. The National Farm to School Network has funded five farm to school programs in tribal communities that AIAN Head Start programs can learn from.  The USDA has provided guidance on utilizing traditional foods in child nutrition programs, bringing tribal foods and traditions into cafeterias, classrooms, and gardens, and gardens in tribal communities. Additionally, technical assistance providers looking to connect with AIAN programs can work with AIAN grantee organizations. These resources and the enthusiastic discussion at the National Indian Head Start Director’s Association’s June conference indicate a growing number of AIAN early childhood and head start programs that use local and traditional foods to improve nutrition and celebrate culture.

Photo credits: (Top) National Farm to School Network; (Bottom) Colusa Indian Child Care Center

This Week in Farm to School: 7/5/17

NFSN Staff Wednesday, July 05, 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. ALDI Smart Kids Program
This program makes $100-$5K grants to organizations that promote kids being healthy and active in the geographical areas where ALDI stores are located. Applications are open Feb. 1 - Dec. 15 of each year on a rolling basis. Learn more and apply

2. Rural Seed Grant
Food Coop Initiative’s Rural Seed Grant program is designed to provide financial support during a new food co-op’s early development, backed by the advice and guidance of their development specialists, with the goal of helping  co-ops move through the startup process effectively and efficiently. Learn more and apply


Webinars
1. Trending Topics in Farm to School: Farm to School Partnerships with Your School Nutrition Association
TOMORROW - July 6 // 2-3pm ET
Join the National Farm to School Network to learn about partnering with your School Nutrition Association to expand your farm to school efforts. This webinar is part of NFSN’s new monthly webinar series, Trending Topics in Farm to School, which will be held the first Thursday of every month from 2-3pm ET. These webinars are open to anyone interested in learning about emerging issues and innovation in the farm to school movement. Help spread the word, and register for the July webinar here

2. Farm to ECE Quarterly Webinar: State Agencies as Leaders and Partners in Growing Farm to ECE

August 2 // 3:30-4:30pm ET
State agencies (including departments of agriculture, education and health) can be key leaders and partners in facilitating growth and institutionalization of farm to ECE at the state level. Join us to learn more about the variety of ways that state agencies across the country are leading the way in farm to ECE. Representatives from Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the South Carolina Departments of Health and Environmental Control and Social Services will share their innovative programs and strategic approaches to growing and supporting farm to ECE in their states. This webinar is open to all so please share widely. Register here


Action Items 
1. Seeking Non-English Farm to School Resources
The National Farm to School Network seeks farm to school related resources in diverse languages to add to our free, online resource database. We aim to connect all students and families to farm to school materials in languages that are accessible to them, and to do this, we need your help! Please send any relevant non-English farm to school resource to info@farmtoschool.org. Thank you for helping making farm to school available in many languages! 

2. SAWG Seeks Board Nominations
The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Board of Directors is accepting applicants for consideration of a board appointment beginning in March 2018, and through March 2021. Application Deadline is August 15, 2017. Learn more and apply

3. Local Food Safety Collaborative Survey 
The Local Food Safety Collaborative aims to provide specialized training, education, and outreach to farmers and food processors who serve local markets. Responses to this survey will help direct their resources to best enhance fundamental food safety knowledge and help small farmers and processors comply with applicable Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations.


Resources 
1. Why We Can't Talk About Race in Food
In this CivilEats article five food writers of color share their experiences and perspectives on race as it relates to the food system. Dakota Kim, writer and food editor for Paste magazine explains, "Food is not your separate, happy, safe sphere, away from politics. Food is politics. Food is culture." Read more

2. New Farm to ECE Video

The Vermont Farm to School Network just completed a new Farm to ECE video. This three minute short is a great audio-visual summary of what Farm to ECE can look like! 

3. Food eTALK

Food eTalk is helping parents and guardians make good choices on the spot. Food eTalk is an online nutrition education eLearning program which features 10-minute interactive lessons, cooking videos, and just-in-time learning videos. 


Job Opportunities
 
1. Garden Educator, Grow Pittsburgh
Grow Pittsburgh seeks to fill a full time Garden Educator position. As a part of the Grow Pittsburgh team, the Garden Educator will be a integral part of teaching students to grow, cook and eat fresh food while celebrating the cultures and experiences of the students and the city. Read more and apply

2. Marketing and Communication Coordinator, AmpleHarvest.org
AmpleHarvest.org seeks a Marketing and Communications Coordinator. AmpleHarvest.org represents an exciting model for addressing food waste and hunger/malnutrition in the US. The idea being to move information instead of moving food. Read more and apply

3. Call for Contract Proposals for Farm to Institution Analysis

The Wallace Center at Winrock International is soliciting proposals from qualified contractors to carry out a landscape analysis of the farm to institution market in Central Brooklyn focused on how the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (Restoration) can leverage and coordinate existing efforts and infrastructure to scale up local food procurement. Proposals are due July 21. Learn more


Farm to School in the News

Delaware school garden promotes real-world science instruction
“Schoolyard habitat programs like our sensory garden are part of our school’s efforts to go green,” said fourth grade teacher Leona Williams, who worked with Delaware Nature Society naturalists to help design the garden. “The sensory garden will also serve as an outdoor classroom for science, mathematics, writing, and drawing classes.” (Delaware.gov)

Kids hand out free veggies they grew at Oklahoma elementary school
"What’s so cool about it is you can harvest and give it to people who want plants and don’t have (them) in their gardens." Students also hand out recipes to give families ideas of how to use the vegetables. (Tulsa World)

Kentucky students have first garden harvest
Summer break may be in full swing, but several Conkwright Elementary students came to their school Tuesday evening for the first harvest of vegetables from a garden planted earlier in the year. (Winchester Sun)

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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