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National Farm to School Network

News

This Week in Farm to School: 1/30/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, January 30, 2018
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. Get Schools Cooking
Chef Ann Foundation has opened applications for Get Schools Cooking, a comprehensive three-year program that includes on-site assessment, strategic planning, and continued technical support for school districts transitioning to scratch-cooked operations. Learn more and apply today.

2. Center for Disease Control Grant
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced the availability of fiscal year 2018 funds to implement initiatives to improve student health and academic achievement through nutrition, physical activity, and the management of chronic conditions in schools. This grant is available to state education agencies (SEAs). Deadline: March 5, 2018. Learn more here


Webinars
1. Selecting, Installing, and Managing School Garden Bed Systems
January 30 // 4-5 PM ET
The National School Garden Network is presenting this webinar focused on choosing the best garden bed system for your school garden program. When you are working with multiple school garden sites, the number of variables to consider increases and using standardized bed systems with all of your schools can provide both benefits and challenges. In this webinar, we will hear from SGSOs who have developed  standard garden bed packages and find out what has worked for them and how they source their materials. Register here

2. Anybody can be an advocate: Measuring your council's readiness to work on policy
January 31 // 1:30 - 2:45 pm EST
The Food Policy Networks project is offering a webinar on the Get it Toolgether: Assessing Your Food Council's Ability to Do Policy Work toolkit. Adapted from the Alliance for Justice’s Advocacy Capacity Tool (ACT), the toolkit is designed to help food policy councils (or similar coalitions of diverse stakeholders) assess their capacity to do policy work. It provides them with appropriate resources to increase their knowledge of the policy process and improve their advocacy skills. Join us for a conversation with the toolkit developers to learn about how the toolkit can be used to advance your council’s policy efforts. Register here.

3. Empowered Eaters: A Road Map for Stronger Nutrition Education Policies

January 31 // 3-4 PM ET
The Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior is presenting this webinar. With such a pressing need today for great nutrition education, alongside accessible and affordable healthy food, how are federal, state, and local governments responding? To answer this, the Tisch Food Center just launched a series of “Empowered Eaters” reports. This webinar details the landscape of public policy and investment in nutrition education, using New York as a case study. The reports provide a road map to strengthen the complex public systems that currently support nutrition education. SNEB Members attend webinars free as a benefit of membership. Non-member cost is $25. Register here

4. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Farm to School and Food Waste 

February 1 // 2-3 PM ET
Farm to school initiatives across the country are changing the way students and community members view and consume fresh, local foods and interact with their local food community. In many places, that change includes reducing food waste. From food banks to composting to sharing tables, join the National Farm to School Network's February Trending topics webinar to learn about best practices, initiatives, and resources to reduce food waste through farm to school. Register here

5. NFSN WEBINAR Advancing Equity Through Farm to School
February 13 // 3-4pm ET
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) recognizes racial and social equity as a central tenet of farm to school and has just released an organizational equity statement to publicly convey NFSN's commitment to advancing equity through farm to school and to share our equity journey. Join NFSN partners and staff on February 13 at 3pm ET to review the organization's equity statement and to hear from farm to school practitioners about their successes and challenges with advancing equity through farm to school. Register here

6. Beef to School Webinar
February 13 // 4:00pm EST
Join USDA's Office of Community Food Systems, Montana Beef to School Project, Montana State University, and school food service directors to learn about successful strategies for serving local beef in schools. The webinar will explore the Montana Beef to School Project’s findings and resources - including two new beef to school solicitation templates designed to help school districts purchase local beef! Participants will also hear from two school food service directors who will share their strategies and lessons learned for purchasing and serving local beef in schools. Register here


Events
1. Registration Open for 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 25-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
Early Bird registration is now open for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This biennial event, hosted by the National Farm to School Network, is the top national training and networking event for farm to cafeteria professionals working to improve community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. Get the best rates on all ticket options by registering before March 9. Scholarship applications to cover the cost of registration fees and/or selected short courses continue to be accepted until Feb. 12 at 8pm ET. Learn more at www.farmtocafeteriaconference.org

2. 41st Annual National Food Policy Conference 
March 28-29 // Washington, DC
Coordinated by the Consumer Federation of America, the National Food Policy Conference is a unique collaboration among consumer advocates, the food industry and government, and a key national gathering for anyone interested in agriculture, food and nutrition policy. Learn more here.

3. 2018-19 Northeast Farm to School Institute 
June 26-28, 2018 // Shelburne, VT
The Northeast Farm to School Institute is a unique year-long professional learning opportunity for twelve school teams from New England and New York. Whether you're a long-time Farm to School advocate or looking to begin integrating food, farm, and nutrition programs into your school community, you're invited to form a team and apply. Learn more and apply


Resources
1. Equity in Farm to School
As a network of farm to school stakeholders and partners in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and U.S. Territories, the National Farm to School Network has the unique opportunity to work alongside communities to address inequities in the food system. We also hold significant collective potential to advance racial and social equity as a central tenet to organizational programming, partnerships and policies, which enables the accomplishment of our vision and strengthening of the farm to school movement. We invite you to learn about our commitment and join us in making farm to school a reality for every community across our country. 

2. FNS Releases First Mobile App with Food Buying Guide

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has announced its first ever mobile application, putting critical information at the fingertips of food service professionals and making it easier for them to serve wholesome, nutritious, and tasty meals through FNS’s child nutrition programs. “The Food Buying Guide" Mobile App mobile app is available to the public and can be an immediate resource to over 280,000 program operators responsible for USDA’s National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program as well as the countless food industry representatives working with these programs. 

3. Happy Multicultural Children's Book Day!

January 27 was Multicultural Children's Book Day. To celebration, the Food Trust's Ready Set Grow program shared this outstanding multicultural collection of farm to ECE books. A great collection for reading any time of year!


Policy News

1. House Forms Bipartisan Nutrition Group 
The Food is Medicine Working Group was formally launched in the House of Representatives last week, and is focused on emphasizing the link between nutrition programs and health outcomes. The group is part of the House Hunger Caucus and is led by Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.).

2. Update on H.R. 3738, “The Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act” 
H.R. 3738, or “The Healthy Breakfast Help Kids Learn Act of 2017,” was introduced on September 12, 2017 and now has 31 legislators signed on as cosponsors of the bill. 


Farm to School in the News

Massachusetts schools encourage healthy eating
District Wellness Director Ryan Sherman said the McGovern School - which serves the town’s preschool through first-grade students - will have a new garden this year. In addition to tying in to the school’s science curriculum, the plan for the garden is to encourage students and teachers to eat more fresh produce, he said. “If students are involved in the production of healthy foods, they’re more likely to try them,” he said, noting the importance of establishing healthy habits at an early age. (Milford Daily News)

Oregon students going ‘green’

The grossest job is probably, “digging through the compost and peeling the stickers off banana skins,” said student Jayden Dewitt.“’Tis not for the fainthearted,” chimed in classmate Quinn Kelley. Eighteen middle school students in teacher Garron Lamoreau’s leadership class are working to achieve “zero waste” lunches and other environmental goals at Butte Creek to make it the only certified Oregon Green School in the Silver Falls School District. (Statesman Journal)

Arizona school harvests and sells crop of winter veggies
“We teach the business end of agriculture and agribusiness as well as the things the students need to know to grow a garden,” said CGMS teacher Michael Cruz. (PinalCenteral)

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.

Prioritizing Racial and Social Equity: Our Journey

NFSN Staff Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Advancing racial and social equity is a key priority for the National Farm to School Network, articulated in our 2017-2019 Strategic Plan and Theory of Change. Since 2014, we have taken several steps to prioritize equity in our programming, internal operations and organizational structure, and have elevated it as a strategic priority in 2017, to guide all our activities. Our overarching goals with advancing equity are to: 

  • Frame and promote racial and social equity as a central tenet of farm to school
  • Offer training opportunities for NFSN Core and Supporting Partners, Advisors and staff on advancing racial and social equity in our work 
  • Articulate clear organizational goals and outcomes for advancing racial and social equity and track progress towards these
  • Elevate diverse leaders as NFSN Core and Supporting Partners, Advisors and staff; engage more and diverse constituencies and communities in the farm to school movement
  • Explore and leverage opportunities for policy advocacy, programming and partnerships around a diverse set of barriers to participation in farm to school including but not limited to race, age, gender, socio-economic status and disability
  • Leverage NFSN’s information channels and resource creation to promote equitable access to farm to school (e.g., blogs, webinars, translation of materials, photographs used)
Concerted efforts to focus our programming on diverse stakeholders have facilitated a deeper understanding of the need to centralize racial and social equity in farm to school efforts. Our journey has been led internally with staff volunteering to guide conversations and incorporating aspects into programmatic activities. More recently, the staff Leadership Team has transitioned to review the goals in our strategic plan and articulate specific activities to benchmark progress. 

  • Since 2014, we have convened two cohorts of leaders from Native communities, providing training and networking opportunities, facilitated conversations with USDA for easing barriers to incorporating traditional foods in school meal and child nutrition programs and included support for farm to school in Native communities in our federal policy asks. 
  • Our Equity in Farm to Early Care and Education Subgroup is exploring the complexities of equity in early care and elevating examples of farm to school from diverse communities of color.
  • Our biennial National Farm to Cafeteria Conference has provided a space to discuss racial and social equity with stakeholders across the movement. Recent conferences included dedicated skill building sessions on dismantling racism and featured speakers to elevate equity as a central priority for farm to cafeteria efforts. 
  • Focusing internally, NFSN staff participated in the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge hosted by Food Solutions New England in 2016 and 2017, and engage in ongoing discussions and learning on this topic. 
  • We are striving to make our staff and Advisory Board more diverse and representative of our network and the farm to school movement. 
  • In early 2017, we made a strategic shift in our structure to focus resources and efforts at the state level and expand support to the U.S. Territories, now partnering with more than 200 diverse organizations, state agencies and universities as Core and Supporting Partners
  • At the first meeting of these partners in May 2017, we discussed racial equity within farm to school to ground ourselves in a common understanding. Participants engaged with our own personal experiences, biases and understandings – it resonated with some, it raised questions for others – and we recognized that this was only the beginning of a long path of discovery, reflection and action. 
As we implement our 2017-2019 Strategic Plan, our strategies, services, and communications will start reflecting changes to accomplish the goals outlined above. We invited you to join us in this work of prioritizing racial and social equity in the farm to school movement. We will continue to share the process of our journey in this work here on our blog and in our monthly newsletters. We’d also like to hear from you: share with us your stories of challenges and successes in making farm to school more equitable by sending us a note here

Learn more about our commitment to advancing racial and social equity in farm to school, as well as find resources to support your efforts, here

This Week in Farm to School: 1/23/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, January 23, 2018
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. Center for Disease Control Grant
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced the availability of fiscal year 2018 funds to implement initiatives to improve student health and academic achievement through nutrition, physical activity, and the management of chronic conditions in schools. This grant is available to state education agencies (SEAs). Deadline: March 5, 2018.

2. 2018 Project Orange Thumb Grant Application
The Fiskars Project Orange Thumb Grant Program will grant 30 recipients $3,500 in gift cards and tools to help support their goals of neighborhood beautification and horticulture education. The garden initiative must be for a not-for-profit or 501(c)(3) organization within North America that has not received a Project Orange Thumb grant in the past. The Project Orange Thumb team looks for organizations committed to the long-term success of gardens that will promote healthy and sustainable food sources, community collaboration and neighborhood beautification. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Using the new Economic Impact Calculator to Assess your Project: A Discussion on the Connections to the USDA AMS Toolkit and Framing Used to Develop the Calculator
January 24 // 2-3 PM ET
During this webinar oriented toward local food practitioners and project managers, presenters will highlight the use of two key resources for conducting economic impact studies of food system initiatives. The first is a new online calculator to estimate economic impacts of representative food system. Through a collaborative companion project, this calculator follows the best practices for project framing and assessment laid out in the USDA’s “The Economics of Local Food Systems: A Toolkit to Guide Community Discussions, Assessments and Choices.”  The webinar will include partners who intend to use this new tool, and preview another webinar that will explore some of the applied research that can help us better understand how to further refine our economic impact estimates and add more value to the calculator’s results. Register here.

2. #CommunityFood: It Takes a Network

January 24 // 3:30 PM ET
The National Food Food Network invites you to join this webinar where they will launch the  Food Systems Leadership Network, a new national Community of Practice dedicated to supporting non-profit community-based organizations working on food systems change.  In this webinar, we will introduce the Food Systems Leadership Network, highlight its unique components (mentorship and grant opportunities), and discuss how the Network will add value to both your organization’s work and your growth as a food systems practitioner. Register here.

3. A Closer Look at how the Business Decisions and Financial Performance of Local and Regional Small and Mid-Size Farms Influence Community Economic Outcomes
January 25 // 2-3 PM ET
This webinar for agricultural lenders, economic development professionals, and others interested in the economic outcomes associated with local foods will highlight the results of a number of projects that explore the role of local and regional food business strategies on financial performance of participating farms. We highlight early framing of this sector from a USDA NIFA project led by Oklahoma State and Colorado State Universities, recently published results on financial performance from USDA Ag Resource Management Survey data and results from Cornell University’s analysis of New York’s Greenmarkets. Register here

4. Selecting, Installing, and Managing School Garden Bed Systems

January 30 // 4-5 PM ET
The National School Garden Network is presenting this webinar focused on choosing the best garden bed system for your school garden program. When you are working with multiple school garden sites, the number of variables to consider increases and using standardized bed systems with all of your schools can provide both benefits and challenges. In this webinar, we will hear from SGSOs who have developed  standard garden bed packages and find out what has worked for them and how they source their materials. Register here

5. Empowered Eaters: A Road Map for Stronger Nutrition Education Policies
January 31 // 3-4 PM ET
The Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior is presenting this webinar. With such a pressing need today for great nutrition education, alongside accessible and affordable healthy food, how are federal, state, and local governments responding? To answer this, the Tisch Food Center just launched a series of “Empowered Eaters” reports. This webinar details the landscape of public policy and investment in nutrition education, using New York as a case study. The reports provide a road map to strengthen the complex public systems that currently support nutrition education. SNEB Members attend webinars free as a benefit of membership. Non-member cost is $25 Register here

6. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Farm to School and Food Waste 

February 1 // 2-3 PM ET
Farm to school initiatives across the country are changing the way students and community members view and consume fresh, local foods and interact with their local food community. In many places, that change includes reducing food waste. From food banks to composting to sharing tables, join the National Farm to School Network's February Trending topics webinar to learn about best practices, initiatives, and resources to reduce food waste through farm to school. Register here

7. NFSN WEBINAR Advancing Equity Through Farm to School

February 13 // 3-4pm ET
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) recognizes racial and social equity as a central tenet of farm to school and has just released an organizational equity statement to publicly convey NFSN's commitment to advancing equity through farm to school and to share our equity journey. Join NFSN partners and staff on February 13 at 3pm ET to review the organization's equity statement and to hear from farm to school practitioners about their successes and challenges with advancing equity through farm to school. Register here

8. New Jersey Farm to School Summit

March 14 // Mercerville, NJ
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture will host the second bi-annual Farm to School Summit on Wednesday, March 14 at the Robert Wood Johnson Conference Center. The day-long event will feature key players in Farm to School from across the state who will share their work in promoting school gardens, educating students in food literacy, providing taste test education with local produce procurement and nutrition education, and sharing best practices to highlight the impact these efforts are having in the schools they serve. Attendance is free with a light breakfast and lunch included. Register here. Space is limited.


Resources
1. National Young Farmers Coalition's FSA Guidebook
The Farm Service Agency Loans: The Ins and Outs of Growing a Farm with Federal Loans guidebook is written specifically to help beginning farmers and ranchers navigate the credit options offered by the Farm Service Agency, and was made possible by a cooperative agreement with FSA. Find more information on NYFC's website.The guidebook is a great resource for farmer trainings and can be shared widely. 


Take Action
1. Scholarships Open for 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
The National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications for scholarships to the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This event is the top national training and networking event for farm to cafeteria professionals working to improve community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. To ensure the conference reflects the full diversity of the movement, scholarships are prioritized for farmers and farm support organizations, farm to college / hospital practitioners, early care and education providers, food service professionals, persons of color, and youth (through age 22). Learn more and submit your application at farmtocafeteriaconference.org. The deadline to apply is Feb. 12 at 8pm ET.

2. Call for Proposals for the 2018 Place-Based Food Systems Conference
The Place-Based Food Systems Conference 2018 is now accepting proposals for presentations, manuscripts and/or posters. Community organizations, NGOs, and other civil society groups as well as academic institutions are highly encouraged to apply. Submission deadline: March 31st, 2018. Apply here


Job Opportunities 
1. Farm Director, Hillside School
Hillside School seeks to hire a new Farm Director to lead and manage their 25-acre farm. Learn more here.

2. Community Based Food Systems Intern, Wallace Center
The Wallace Center at Winrock International is seeking a Community Based Food Systems Intern to be based in Little Rock, AR or Arlington, VA. Learn more here

3. Youth Education Director, Mass Ave Project

The Buffalo, NY-based Mass Ave Project (MAP) seeks to hire a Youth Education Director. Learn more here

4. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Apprenticeship, CEFS

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Apprenticeship Program is seeking individuals from a variety of different backgrounds to participate in a hands-on work and study program that trains participants in many aspects of sustainable agriculture production and research. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News

North Mariana Island students tour agriculture center
“Part of promoting gardens at schools is to show the students where food comes from. Our islands import many perishable fruits and vegetables, of which may be produced on our islands. The importance of growing foods at school or at home is to help the students and their families understand sustainability. Sustainability in a sense where we can produce some foods at our homes for consumption, therefore decreasing some costs spent on imported fruits and vegetable” (Saipan Tribune)

Farm to School and Early Care Success in Minnesota

Check out this video featuring Minnesota's farm to school and early care programs.Farm to School and Farm to Early Care programs provide children with access to fresh, healthy food, while supporting local farmers in their communities.(Center for Prevention MN)

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s service, Washington revitalizes school garden

Volunteers rolled up their sleeves on Martin Luther King Day and got a little dirt under their nails, while also working to give the students of Suquamish Elementary School an opportunity to learn about gardening, botany and healthy eating. (Kitsap Daily News)

Kansas FFA students build school garden and pond

A garden to provide food for students who need it and a pond to give those with disabilities a quiet space. On Saturday, members of FFA participated in a community day building a garden and a koi fish pond on school property.(KWCH)

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: 1/16/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, January 16, 2018
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. America's Promise Healthy Schools Fund
The America's Promise Healthy Schools Fund will support communities working to create healthier school environments for all children. Recognizing that school-centered health intersects with many areas outside of education - housing, employment, transportation, and food access - as well as many audiences, efforts should serve as a hub for cross-sector collaboration, youth and community engagement, and broader policy and systemic change. America’s Promise will award three to five, two-year grants of up to $30,000. Applications are due January 22. Learn more here

2. Center for Disease Control (CDC) Grant
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced the availability of fiscal year 2018 funds to implement initiatives to improve student health and academic achievement through nutrition, physical activity, and the management of chronic conditions in schools. This grant is available to state education agencies (SEAs). Deadline: March 5, 2018.

3. 2018 Project Orange Thumb Grant Application

The Fiskars Project Orange Thumb Grant Program will grant 30 recipients $3,500 in gift cards and tools to help support their goals of neighborhood beautification and horticulture education. The garden initiative must be for a not-for-profit or 501(c)(3) organization within North America that has not received a Project Orange Thumb grant in the past. The Project Orange Thumb team looks for organizations committed to the long-term success of gardens that will promote healthy and sustainable food sources, community collaboration and neighborhood beautification. Learn more here


Webinars & Events

1. NFSN WEBINAR Leveraging State Farm to School Networks to Affect Legislation
January 18 // 2-3pm ET
Join the National Farm to School Network to learn how state farm to school networks and stakeholders can have an impact on local and state legislation that supports farm to school efforts. Guest speakers will include Natalie McKinney, Executive Director of the Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation and NFSN Hawai’i Core Partner, discussing lessons learned from organizing, advocating and keeping the pressure on to successfully pass state farm to school policy. Attendees will learn about the importance of advocacy and education with policy decision makers, and take away tips and tools for jumpstarting advocacy efforts in their own communities. This webinar is open to the public, and anyone interested in learning about farm to school policy is encouraged to attend. Register here

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Farm to School and Food Waste 
February 1 // 2-3 PM ET
Farm to school initiatives across the country are changing the way students and community members view and consume fresh, local foods and interact with their local food community. In many places, that change includes reducing food waste. From food banks to composting to sharing tables, join the National Farm to School Network's February Trending topics webinar to learn about best practices, initiatives, and resources to reduce food waste through farm to school. Register here

3. Life Lab's 2018 School Garden Workshops
Santa Cruz, CA
In Life Lab's Garden Classroom on the UC Santa Cruz campus, professional trainers bring inspiration and information to educators interested in bringing learning to life in the garden. Workshops are available on a variety of garden / outdoor learning topics and will be hosted throughout 2018. For more details and registration information, visit: www.lifelab.org/gcworkshops


Resources & Research
1. Supporting Local Food Councils
Supporting Local Food Councils” is a free resource that is open to all. There are 15 modules in the course, which take about 1-2 hours per module to complete. There is no deadline for completion and the videos/course materials can be accessed at any time – including during your food council meetings. This resource was designed with extension professionals and other community development specialists in mind as these individuals are often asked to engage in local food 
systems work. 

2. Question Keeper Database

The Question Keeper Database, from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Local Foods, is a database of survey questions that allows you to build your own evaluation questionnaire. The overall purpose is to enable everyone working in the area of food systems do their own evaluation. The Question Keeper recently expanded farm to school/early care and education content and is easily searchable by content areas and target audience. Find out more and register for a free account here. If you would like to suggest survey/question content to add to the database, please email Lacy Stephens (lacy@farmtoschool.org). 

3. Food Justice Requires Land Justice
"The food justice movement is one of the most promising political developments of the last generation. It has broadened and deepened environmentalism by knitting together concerns about economic inequality, labor rights, environmental health, and sustainable agriculture. But what often goes unmentioned in discussions of food justice is that it all begins with the land—who owns it, how they own it, and how it gets passed down from one generation to the next. This is something Savi Horne never forgets: food justice requires land justice." Read more here.


Take Action

1. Scholarships Open for 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
The National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications for scholarships to the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This event is the top national training and networking event for farm to cafeteria professionals working to improve community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. To ensure the conference reflects the full diversity of the movement, scholarships are prioritized for farmers and farm support organizations, farm to college / hospital practitioners, early care and education providers, food service professionals, persons of color, and youth (through age 22). Learn more and submit your application at farmtocafeteriaconference.org. The deadline to apply is Feb. 12 at 8pm ET.

2. Start Planning for National School Breakfast Week (March 5–9)
Have you started planning for National School Breakfast Week (NSBW)? Students, parents, food service staff, educators, public officials, and advocates from across the country will be celebrating school breakfast during NSBW — March 5–9, 2018.


Job Opportunities 

1. Director of Communications & Member Relations, Federation of Southern Cooperative/ Land Assistance Fund
The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund is seeking an accomplished Director of Communications & Member Relations who has 5-10 years of communications experience. Learn more here

2. Director of Finance and Administration, Tilth Alliance
Tilth Alliance seeks a Director of Finance and Administration to act as a key member of the senior leadership team, overseeing the organization’s financial planning and management functions. Learn more here

3. Multiple Positions, New Haven Ecology Project/Common Ground 

Common Ground seeks a Farm Based Education Coordinator  and an Interim Farm Manager for their New Haven, CT based program. 


Farm to School in the News
Washington Breakfast After the Bell and Farm to School
Washington HB 1508 passed the House on January 10, 2018. The bill acknowledges that school food programs are associated with improvements for students’ absenteeism, test results and graduation rates. Furthermore, it requires “high-needs” schools to offer breakfast after the bell to each student. Finally, the bill also increases support for farm to school programs. (School Nutrition)

Wisconsin Farm to School steps away from PTO

It’s been a busy year for Cambridge’s Farm to School Program. It has maintained a Chef in the Classroom series, arranged for the planting of berries, greens and other produce at school farms, gardens and greenhouses, hosted pizza-making nights and taught elementary schoolers to recycle and to compost their lunch leftovers. Now, the Farm to School program is making possibly its biggest move yet. Recently, it stepped out from under the umbrella of the Cambridge PTO, where it had been a committee, and became its own organization. (HNG News)

Mancos Ranch helps supply Colorado farm to school program

A year and a half into its existence, Durango School District 9-R’s food distribution center is thriving and has allowed the district to expand its offerings. The distribution center aggregates fruits, vegetables and meat from local farms for 9-R and other nearby school districts. (The 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: 1/9/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, January 09, 2018
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. America's Promise Healthy Schools Fund
The America's Promise Healthy Schools Fund will support communities working to create healthier school environments for all children. Recognizing that school-centered health intersects with many areas outside of education - housing, employment, transportation, and food access - as well as many audiences, efforts should serve as a hub for cross-sector collaboration, youth and community engagement, and broader policy and systemic change. America’s Promise will award three to five, two-year grants of up to $30,000. Applications are due January 22. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. NFSN WEBINAR Leveraging State Farm to School Networks to Affect Legislation
January 18 // 2-3pm ET
Join the National Farm to School Network to learn how state farm to school networks and stakeholders can have an impact on local and state legislation that supports farm to school efforts. Guest speakers will include Natalie McKinney, Executive Director of the Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation and NFSN Hawai’i Core Partner, discussing lessons learned from organizing, advocating and keeping the pressure on to successfully pass state farm to school policy. Attendees will learn about the importance of advocacy and education with policy decision makers, and take away tips and tools for jumpstarting advocacy efforts in their own communities. This webinar is open to the public, and anyone interested in learning about farm to school policy is encouraged to attend. Register here

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Farm to School and Food Waste 
February 1 // 2-3 PM ET
Farm to school initiatives across the country are changing the way students and community members view and consume fresh, local foods and interact with their local food community. In many places, that change includes reducing food waste. From food banks to composting to sharing tables, join the National Farm to School Network's February Trending topics webinar to learn about best practices, initiatives, and resources to reduce food waste through farm to school. Register here

3. Call for Workshop Proposals for MT Farm to School Summit 2018
Organizers are seeking presenters for the Montana Farm to School Summit: Cultivating Connections, to be held Sept. 13-14, 2018 at University of Montana in Missoula. Proposals are open for workshop (50 minute) and Montana Food Talks (5 minute) sessions. The deadline to submit a proposal is March 31, 2018. Learn more here


Take Action
1. Scholarships Open for 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
The National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications for scholarships to the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This event is the top national training and networking event for farm to cafeteria professionals working to improve community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. To ensure the conference reflects the full diversity of the movement, scholarships are prioritized for farmers and farm support organizations, farm to college / hospital practitioners, early care and education providers, food service professionals, persons of color, and youth (through age 22). Learn more and submit your application at farmtocafeteriaconference.org. The deadline to apply is Feb. 12 at 8pm ET.

2. USDA Farm to School Census coming in 2019
The USDA Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) plans to initiate data collection for the 2019 Farm to School Census in early 2019 for school year 2017 – 2018. We are halfway through the school year, so now is the time to think about how you track your farm to school activities. Need some assistance tracking your activities? Check out USDA’s Farm to School Activity Tracking Sheets or connect with your USDA Farm to School Regional Lead for guidance.


Job Opportunities 
1. FoodCorps Service Members
FoodCorps service member applications are open for the 2018-2019 school year. The deadline to apply is March 15, 2018 at 6pm PST. Learn more here

2. Little City Sprouts Coordinator, Hartford Food System
Hartford Food System is seeking a part-time Coordinator to direct and implement our Little City Sprouts (LCS) program. LCS provides children aged 2-5 years in Hartford, CT early learning centers with the opportunity to learn about, grow, cook and taste fresh healthy food through food-related field trips, gardening, nutrition, and cooking lessons designed for them. Learn more here

3. Food Tank Research and Writing Fellowship
Food Tank is hiring two highly skilled, creative, and hardworking Research and Writing Fellows with experience in and a commitment to food justice, food policy, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture. Learn more here

4. Communications Director, Food Solutions New England
Food Solutions New England seeks a Communication Director. The position is based at the Sustainability Institute at UNH. To learn more, visit the UNH Job Page. All applicants MUST apply through the UNH job page. The position is number PS0704FY18, Communication Director, Food Solutions New England. The deadline to apply is January 21, 2018. 


Farm to School in the News

New York Governor Announces $1 Million Awarded to 12 Farm to School Programs
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $1 million has been awarded to 12 farm to school projects across New York State. The projects will benefit 219,471 students in seven regions across the state. The program also supports the expansion of the NY Thursdays Program, a school meal initiative that uses local, farm-fresh foods on Thursdays throughout the school year. (New York State Governor’s Office)

Indiana FFA chapter teaches ag from piggy to plate
Farm to school activities are paying off for Paoli Jr. Sr. High School’s FFA chapter. They are now able to buy all of their own inputs by selling the products they produce. And in addition to selling to the school, the chapter has also been selling pork and lettuce to retailers and restaurants in the community. (Ag Daily)

Where's the beef (from)? Hawai’i school lunches go local
Hawaii's effort to grow its own food is taking a step forward as public school students are being served locally-grown beef for the first time in decades."The DOE is committing to a whole year of these purchase, very similar," said Jayson Watts of the Lieutenant Governor's office. "They're going to try a whole lot of different things," including bananas and mangoes. Locally-grown bananas are next for the farm to school tryout next month. (HawaiiNewsNow)

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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