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National Farm to School Network

News

This Week in Farm to School: 5/29/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 29, 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. Farm to ECE Funding Opportunity – Act Now to Leverage Funds in Your State
The federal budget passed in March 2018 included historic increases for key federal early care and education programs, notably the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), which funds the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program, was increased by $2.37 billion. Some of this new influx of funding will be used for quality improvements to early care and education that can include farm to ECE initiatives. Review this new memo from the National Farm to School Network and the Policy Equity Group for more information and ways to take action in your state. For more information, contact Lacy Stephens, Program Manager at the National Farm to School Network, at lacy@farmtoschool.org or Soumya Bhat, Director of Early Childhood Equity Initiatives at the Policy Equity Group, soumyab@policyequity.com


Webinars
1. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: State Farm to School Positions
June 7, 2-3pm ET
State-supported farm to school positions within state agencies and Extension offices offer vital leadership and support to further institutionalize the farm to school movement. Join this webinar to learn about a new resource from the National Farm to School Network which highlights the growth and prevalence of state-supported farm to school positions and offers tools, resources and best practices for advocating for and maintaining state positions. Hear from NFSN Core Partners in South Carolina, Missouri and Oregon as they share their success, challenges and lessons learned and take away practical steps to advancing state-supported positions. Register here.

2. NFSN WEBINAR Fundraising for Farm to School
June 19, 3-4pm ET
Fundraising for farm to school can be challenging. Join us to learn about different opportunities and avenues to fundraise for farm to school activities. This webinar will be led by Lea Madry, National Farm to School Network Development Director, and is open to the public. Register here.

3. Good Food, Good Jobs: Working for a Just Food System
June 6, 12-1pm ET
In this webinar presented by Community Food Centres Canada and the Metcalf Foundation, we’ll ask how do we make food jobs good jobs? What are the strategies and demands within the food movement that could lead to good jobs? Labour market policy expert Tom Zizys will present compelling ideas and successes from the labour movement that could benefit the food movement. Sonia Singh, Leadership Development Coordinator at the Food Chain Workers Alliance, will bridge the food and labour divide to explore current challenges, inspiring examples, and new possibilities for good food jobs. Register here


Research & Resources
1. Simone Washington Teaches Students About Creating Consensus and Setting Differences Aside
How do stakeholders find common ground when they share the same goals but hold vastly different opinions? Simone Washington, the social mission strategy and policy manager at Ben & Jerry’s Homemade and NFSN Advisory Board member, will share a pragmatic and productive approach to building consensus in her workshop, “How to Become Allies Fighting the Same System, Role Play, Power Analytics, Conflict and Resolution Techniques” and the University of Vermont’s Breakthrough Leaders for Sustainable Food Systems Program in June. In this blog, Washington discusses the art of building consensus. 

2. Join the #GirlsAre Movement
In honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports month, the National Farm to School Network has joined the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for #GirlsAre, a nationwide campaign to empower girls to celebrate their athleticism and get moving. Sign the #GirlsAre pledge today at girlsare.org and follow along on social media using the hashtag #GirlsAre through Friday, June 1.


Job Opportunities 
1. Executive Director of Nutrition Services and Warehouse, Oakland Unified School District (Oakland, CA) 
The Executive Director of Nutrition Services and Warehouse will plan, organize, control, and direct the District’s Nutrition Services Program. This is a great opportunity for a Food Service Director interested in opening OUSD’s new Central Kitchen and building on the district’s strong Farm to School program. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Utah students tour farms during Farm Field Days
Events like Farm Field Days are designed to teach children about the inner workings of the farm. In one workshop, second-graders got a chance to sample fresh milk after learning how cows make milk. Another activity allowed students to make a “living necklace” by tying a capsule with a wheat seed, water and cotton inside to learn how crops grow. (Herald Journal

Colorado students learn to cook, grow food used in recipes
A program at a Denver Public School is a hit with kids and their parents. Marie L. Greenwood Academy has a Cooking from the Garden class, where students cook in the classroom first and then plant the crops of the foods they just ate - so when students harvest when they return in August, they’ll know how to prepare healthy dishes from the garden bounty. (CBS 4 Denver

North Carolina students serve up fresh veggies, honey, eggs from school’s garden
Students in West Marion Elementary’ s Garden Club showed off their green thumbs by preparing a farm-to-table meal for parents, volunteers and community members. The menu consisted of a vegetarian stew or honey burgers with honey bacon, potato salad, cole slaw and strawberry cheesecake for dessert served with fresh honey tea or lemon water. "We grew almost everything we are serving,” said student Colin Ivy. (McDowellNews.com)

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: 5/22/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 22, 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. Farm to ECE Funding Opportunity – Act Now to Leverage Funds in Your State
The federal budget passed in March 2018 included historic increases for key federal early care and education programs, notably the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), which funds the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program, was increased by $2.37 billion. Some of this new influx of funding will be used for quality improvements to early care and education that can include farm to ECE initiatives. Review this new memo from the National Farm to School Network and the Policy Equity Group for more information and ways to take action in your state. For more information, contact Lacy Stephens, Program Manager at the National Farm to School Network, at lacy@farmtoschool.org or Soumya Bhat, Director of Early Childhood Equity Initiatives at the Policy Equity Group, soumyab@policyequity.com

2. CDC Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Funding
CDC announces the availability of FY 2018 funds to implement CDC-RFA-DP18-1813: Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH). This five-year program will provide funding to communities to improve health, prevent chronic diseases, and reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic populations with the highest risk, or burden, of chronic disease. Approximately 32 projects will be supported by this funding, with average yearly funding level expected to be approximately $781,250. Applications are due July 16, 2018. Learn more here

3. CDC High Obesity Program Funding
CDC announces the availability of fiscal year 2018 funds to implement CDC-RFA-DP18-1809: High Obesity Program. This five-year program will fund land grant universities to leverage community extension services to implement evidence-based strategies that increase access to places that provide healthier foods and safe and accessible places for physical activity in counties with an adult obesity rate of over 40%. Farm to ECE initiatives could support suggested program strategies including, "Working with food vendors, distributors and producers to enhance healthier food procurement and sales," and "Establishing healthy nutrition standards in key institutions" including early care and education. See the Notice of Funding Opportunity for more information and contact Lacy Stephens, NFSN Program Manager, at lacy@farmtoschool.org to discuss how NFSN can partner in or support your farm to ECE focused proposal.   

4. Jump Start Healthy Changes Grant
Fuel Up to Play 60: Jump Start Healthy Changes Grants offer funding for schools to improve opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity. Funds are awarded for schools to implement at least one Healthy Eating Play and one Physical Activity Play from the Fuel Up to Play 60 Playbook. K-12 schools that are enrolled in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program for the school year and participate in the National School Lunch Program are eligible to apply. Applications are due June 13, 2018. Learn more here

5. 2018 CACFP Meal Service Training Grants
To assist States and CACFP operators with implementation of the updated CACFP meal patterns, Congress appropriated funds for the provision of noncompetitive grants for States to provide hands-on training and technical assistance. These meal service training grants will assist State agencies in providing job skills training for CACFP operators on ways to plan and prepare and serve nutritious foods. Learn more about specific training focus areas and how to apply here


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Happy Birthday CACFP! Resources to Celebrate & Support Nutrition
May 23, 2pm ET
Did you know that this May marks the 50th anniversary of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)? To celebrate, Healthier Generation is partnering with the National CACFP Forum – and we’re both gearing up to party all month! Looking to learn even more? RSVP today to participate in a LIVE webinar co-hosted by both organizations on May 23rd at 2pm ET.    

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: State Farm to School Positions
June 7, 2pm ET
State-supported farm to school positions within state agencies and Extension offices offer vital leadership and support to further institutionalize the farm to school movement. Join this webinar to learn about a new resource from the National Farm to School Network which highlights the growth and prevalence of state-supported farm to school positions and offers tools, resources and best practices for advocating for and maintaining state positions. Hear from NFSN Core Partners in South Carolina, Missouri and Oregon as they share their success, challenges and lessons learned and take away practical steps to advancing state-supported positions. Register here.

3. NFSN WEBINAR Fundraising for Farm to School
June 19, 3-4pm ET
Fundraising for farm to school can be challenging. Join this webinar to learn about different opportunities and avenues to fundraise for farm to school activities. This webinar is open to the public and will be led by Lea Madry, National Farm to School Network Development Director. Register here

4. Healthy Eating in Practice 2018 Conference
August 26-29, 2018 // Asheville, North Carolina
Healthy Eating in Practice is a hands-on conference for practitioners, researchers, and influencers, focused on changing the culture of healthcare to better support healthy eating behaviors, particularly in children and families, and prevent chronic diet-related diseases. Register by June 1 to take advantage of early-bird pricing. Learn more here.


Resources & Research
1. Karen Washington: It’s Not a Food Desert, It’s Food Apartheid
In an interview with Guernica, activist and organizer Karen Washington discusses why the phrase “food desert” isn’t the most accurate way to describe neighborhoods that lack access to healthy food. Instead, she uses “food apartheid.” “‘[F]ood apartheid’ looks at the whole food system, along with race, geography, faith, and economics,” she tells Brones. “You say ‘food apartheid’ and you get to the root cause of some of the problems around the food system. It brings in hunger and poverty. It brings us to the more important question: What are some of the social inequalities that you see, and what are you doing to erase some of the injustices?” Read more here

2. Join the #GirlsAre Movement
In honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports month, the National Farm to School Network has joined the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for #GirlsAre, a nationwide campaign to empower girls to celebrate their athleticism and get moving. Sign the #GirlsAre pledge today at girlsare.org and follow along on social media using the hashtag #GirlsAre through Friday, June 1.

3. NEW CDC Infant and Toddler Nutrition Website
CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity has released a website that brings together existing information and practical strategies on feeding infants and toddlers from birth to 24 months of age. Topics include breastfeeding, formula feeding, feeding from a bottle, essential vitamins and minerals, introduction of solid foods and beyond (including what foods and drinks to encourage and what to limit or avoid), knowing when your child is hungry, mealtime tips and routines. View the website here


Policy Updates
1. 2018 Farm Bill Update + Call to Action
Last Friday, the House’s draft of the 2018 Farm Bill - H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 - was voted down 198-213. While the House Majority party is determining whether to bring H.R. 2 back for another vote, the National Farm to School Network turns its focus to the Senate’s draft. With no farm to school priorities included in the House version, the Senate’s draft is a curial opportunity to ensure that supportive farm to school policies are included in this important legislation. NFSN encourages all farm to school advocates to call their Senators and share the importance of farm to school in their communities. Find your Senator’s contact information and a sample call script here. Thank you for making your voice heard!

Jobs & Internships
1. Program Specialist, Office of the State Superintendent of Education (Washington, D.C.) 
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), Division of Health and Wellness, seeks a Program Specialist to manage its Farm to School Program and the USDA Foods in Schools program for DC. Job #3555. Learn more here

2. Director of Programs, Farm to Institution New England (Remote, New England) 
Farm to Institution New England seeks a Director of Programs to manage FINE's farm and sea to campus program and food service program. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Massachusetts student garden draws national attention
The vegetable and berry garden at Haverhill High School in Haverhill, Mass., was designed with raised beds, making it accessible to all students at the school - particularly those with special needs, who plant, care for and harvest the crops. The students also learn to cook with their bounty, and they enter their vegetables into the Topsfield Fair each year for judging. The National Education Association - National Farm to School Network’s 2018 National Partner of the Year - was on hand at the school’s Spring Planting event last week to see what this innovative farm to school program looks like in action. Throughout 2018, NFSN is partnering with NEA to make stronger connections with educators & ESPs and build meaningful partnerships that strengthen local farm to school efforts. (The Eagle-Tribune)

Tennessee students enjoy fruits of their labor
Jere Whitson Elementary School students were offered something for lunch last Friday that had never been available to them before.  As children came through the cafeteria serving line, they were offered an opportunity to try some freshly picked lettuce — lettuce that had been grown in a garden on the school's property. (Herald-Citizen

D.C. middle-schoolers explore the world on a plate
D.C. sixth-graders are participating in a year-long after school program called Cooking Skills and World Cuisine. Once a week, the students learn about cultures across the globe and healthful food choices through cooking (and eating). On this day, students learned about Ethiopian culture, such as how extended families often share meals and that the person sitting next to you is supposed to refill your drink. This month they also made food from Germany and Jamaica. (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.

Your Voice Needed: Put Farm to School in the Farm Bill

NFSN Staff Wednesday, May 16, 2018

By Maximilian Merrill, Policy Director

When it comes to policies that shape agriculture, food, nutrition and hunger in the United States, none are more paramount than the farm bill. This important piece of federal legislation is currently up for reauthorization, which presents ample opportunity for farm to school advocates to ensure policies that support healthy kids, thriving family farms and vibrant communities are prioritized in national food policy. How does that happen? Your voice! 

The process of developing a new farm bill has many phases - starting with both the House and Senate drafting and voting on their own versions of a farm bill. (Read more about the process from our partners at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.) The House version of the bill was passed out of the House Agriculture Committee on April 18 and is expected to be voted on by the full House of Representatives soon. This House bill does not include any of the National Farm to School Network’s top three priorities. Our priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill are: 

  • Adopt the Farm to School Act of 2017 to increase mandatory funding and expand access for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. 
  • Amend the Geographic Preference provision in the existing farm bill to allow the use of “location” as a product specification when procuring school food. Current law does not allow schools to explicitly require “local” or “regional” as a product specification in a food procurement request. 
  • Continue and expand to more states the Pilot Project for Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables and allow participating states more flexibility in procuring fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. 
The Senate has yet to release its version of the bill, which means there’s still time to ensure these three important farm to school priorities are included. However, it’s important that we take action quickly and demonstrate the breadth and strength of farm to school voices from across the country. The Senate bill, which may be introduced as early as next week, is one of the last opportunities for farm to school to make its way into this important legislation - so NOW is the time to make your voice heard! 

TAKE ACTION: Take five minutes to pick up the phone or write an email to both of your Senators about why farm to school is important in your community. Tell your story, share your success, and offer pictures and anecdotes about how farm to school is a triple win for kids, farmers and communities. It’s easy - here’s how: 

  • Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or look up contact information for your two Senators here
  • Once you’re connected, leave a message like this: 

    • Hello, my name is [______] and I’m a constituent of Sen. [______]. I’m calling to ask that farm to school be prioritized in the Senate’s version of the farm bill. Farm to school enriches the connections communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education sites. Farm to school is strong agricultural policy that should be included in this important legislation! However, it’s been left out of the House version. That’s why I’m asking the Senator to support a Farm Bill that includes three things: (1) Adopts the Farm to School Act of 2017, (2) Updates “Geographic Preference” language so that schools can more easily purchase fresh food from local farmers, and (3) Continues and expands the successful Unprocessed Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Program. [Share any personal stories about why these are important asks for your community.] Thank you for passing along this message to the Senator, and for your time. 
If you work for a government agency or university and cannot lobby, you can still make a difference! Follow the same actions above, but instead of mentioning the specific policy asks, share general information about farm to school in your state and how the USDA Farm to School Grant Program has been successful. Sharing information is not lobbying - it’s education, which all of us can do! 

Local food procurement in our nation’s schools is more than a win for kids and farmers - it’s strong agricultural policy. Make your voice heard and help us ensure that farm to school is included the farm bill. Continue to follow the National Farm to School Network here on our blog, in our e-newsletter and on social media for updates as the farm bill progresses and for more opportunities to be an advocate for farm to school. 

This Week in Farm to School: 5/15/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 15, 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. CDC Funding Opportunity
CDC announces the availability of fiscal year 2018 funds to implement CDC-RFA-DP18-1809: High Obesity Program. This five-year program will fund land grant universities to leverage community extension services to implement evidence-based strategies that increase access to places that provide healthier foods and safe and accessible places for physical activity in counties with an adult obesity rate of over 40%. Farm to ECE initiatives could support suggested program strategies including, "Working with food vendors, distributors and producers to enhance healthier food procurement and sales," and "Establishing healthy nutrition standards in key institutions" including early care and education. See the Notice of Funding Opportunity for more information and contact Lacy Stephens, NFSN Program Manager, at lacy@farmtoschool.org to discuss how NFSN can partner in or support your farm to ECE focused proposal.   


Webinars & Events
1. 2018 Summer Meals Webinars
Wholesome summer meals are critical to the health and well-being of our children. Join USDA for its 2018 Summer Meals Webinars to learn more about this important program.
May 15, 1pm - Boosting Your Budget - Summer Meals Financial Planning
June 14, 1 pm - Middle of Summer Strategies  

2. Webinar: Hospitals Increasing Community Health, Wealth, and Resilience
May 17, 3:30pm ET
Health systems are increasingly embracing their roles as “anchor institutions”. Utilizing a powerful combination of procurement and investments, health care is exploring ways to build local, equitable food economies, and foster resilient communities. The panel on this webinar will present the results of Health Care Without Harm’s 2-year national study that examined hospitals’ community benefit practices to improve access to healthy foods, promote healthier food environments, and prevent diet-related disease. This webinar is hosted by the National Good Food Network. Register here

3. Webinar: Garden To Cafeteria Toolkit
May 22, 11am PST
Are you interested in bringing fresh produce from the school garden into the cafeteria to be used in preparation of healthy school lunches? Join other School Garden Support Organizations for a webinar that will introduce the new Garden to Cafeteria Toolkit from Slow Food USA and Whole Kids Foundation and describe the ongoing support for Food Service Departments provided by Slow Food USA. On hand will also be Tegan Bernstein of the USDA, contributor to the toolkit, to answer any questions. The goal of this webinar is to build a Garden to Cafeteria community to support numerous districts in creating their own Garden to Cafeteria programs using the toolkit. Register here

4. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: State Farm to School Positions

June 7, 2pm ET
State-supported farm to school positions within state agencies and Extension offices offer vital leadership and support to further institutionalize the farm to school movement. Join this webinar to learn about a new resource from the National Farm to School Network which highlights the growth and prevalence of state-supported farm to school positions and offers tools, resources and best practices for advocating for and maintaining state positions. Hear from NFSN Core Partners in South Carolina, Missouri and Oregon as they share their success, challenges and lessons learned and take away practical steps to advancing state-supported positions. Register here.

5. 2018 WFAN Annual Conference - Call for Proposals 
Nov. 2-3, 2018 // Des Moines, Iowa
The 2018 Women Food & Ag Network Annual Conference will be held Nov. 2-3  in Des Moines, IA. This year's conference theme is Stepping Into Action: Changing Foodscapes through Individual and Community Power. The deadline to submit workshop proposals has been extended to June 8. Learn more here


Policy Updates
1. House Launches Food Waste Caucus
Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and David Young (R-Iowa) announced their newly-minted House Food Waste Caucus. The bipartisan caucus "will look at ways to promote food waste reduction across the food supply chain; provide educational opportunities to Congressional members and staff; support efforts to reduce food waste at federal agencies.” Read more here

2. Lawmaker Pushing Frozen Foods for Fresh Produce Program
A Maine congressman says he plans to go forward with a proposal to include frozen and canned foods in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program despite criticism from the program’s founder. The proposal by Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, who has used Maine blueberries as an example of a frozen food that could help the program, is part of the federal Farm Bill that’s wending its way through approvals. Poliquin’s proposal also would open up the program to dried and pureed foods. Read more here


Jobs & Internships
1. Senior Policy Specialist, The Good Food Institute (Washington, D.C)
The Good Food Institute’s Senior Policy Specialist will level the playing field for plant-based and clean meat alternatives in Washington, D.C., working closely with GFI staff and other nonprofit organizations on GFI’s legislative and regulatory priorities. Learn more here

2. Research Associate, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Boston, MA) 
The Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health seeks a Research Associate to join a dynamic team focused on evaluation of policies for obesity prevention and related areas of health policy. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Missouri schools see learning benefits in gardens
School gardens are taking off in several Missouri school districts. Columbia Public Schools science coordinator Mike Szydlowski listed what students can learn from gardens: where food comes from, how pollination allows our food to exist, adaptations plants use to survive, how current food plants differ from the original plants, how insects play a role in gardening and sunlight as an energy source. (Columbia Daily Tribune)

Wisconsin students plant orchards their kids will enjoy
Students in the Holmen and West Salem school districts in Wisconsin planted an orchard of apple trees last week. The trees will start producing fruit in about three years, and they are projected to have a productive life expectancy of 30 years, said Mike Gasper the Holmen district’s Nutrition Services supervisor who guided the creation of the orchard near on an old cross-country course behind Viking Elementary School. “Their kids will be able to eat apples from the trees they are planting,” Gasper said. (La Crosse Tribune

Chicago is Leading the Way Toward a Good Food Future
The Windy City has adopted the comprehensive Good Food Purchasing Program in schools and public agencies, and their experience could provide a nationwide roadmap. (Civil Eats)

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: 5/8/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 08, 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. 


Webinars
1. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: State Farm to School Networks 
Thursday, May 10 // 2-3 PM ET
State farm to school networks are vital to the growth and institutionalization of farm to school through their state level leadership and coordination and contributions to a nationwide movement. On this webinar, learn about a new resource from the National Farm to School Network that highlights network best practices, and hear from NFSN Core Partners who are leading the way in state network development. Register here.

2. Webinar: Facilitating Participation and Partnerships for Community Food Projects
Tuesday, May 15 // 1 PM ET
Working in partnership is often promoted, but individual achievement is what tends to be rewarded in our society, and we generally don’t get a lot of training in how to work with others after we graduate Kindergarten. Strong partnerships are key elements of success for Community Food Projects, and managing complex teams requires facilitation know-how. This webinar will feature facilitation skills and meeting methods that will help to foster shared awareness, collective analysis, and full participation that enable productive and lasting partnerships. Conducted by Aley Kent, Technical Advisor Food & Agriculture, International Rescue Committee | US Programs. Register here

3. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: State Farm to School Positions
Thursday, June 7 // 2-3 PM ET
State-supported farm to school positions within state agencies and Extension offices offer vital leadership and support to further institutionalize the farm to school movement. Join this webinar to learn about a new resource from the National Farm to School Network which highlights the growth and prevalence of state-supported farm to school positions and offers tools, resources and best practices for advocating for and maintaining state positions. Hear from NFSN Core Partners in South Carolina, Missouri and Oregon as they share their success, challenges and lessons learned and take away practical steps to advancing state-supported positions. Register here.


Events
1. National Children & Youth Garden Symposium 2018
July 11-14, Ithaca, NY
National Children & Youth Garden Symposium is excited to be back to Ithaca, New York this year. Join this gathering to network with like-minded teachers, garden designers, community leaders, program coordinators, and others involved with connecting kids to the natural world. Registration opens in April. Learn more here.  

2. Iowa Farm to School Conference - Registration Open
June 28-30 // Ankeny, IA
Registration is now open for the 2018 Iowa Farm to School Conference, which will be held June 28-20 at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny,Iowa. Sponsored by the Iowa Farm to School Network, the goal of the conference is to support and inspire those interested in or already implementing farm to school and farm to early care and education all around the state by covering a variety of topics. Register by June 1. Learn more here

3. Massachusetts Farm & Sea to School Conference - Submit a Workshop
December 6 // Leominster, MA
Apply to present a workshop at the 2018 Massachusetts Farm & Sea to School Conference on Thursday, December 6, 2018. Share your experience as a member of the farm to school community! Conference proposals should relate to this year's theme, Setting the Table: Communities Creating Change. Organizers seek workshops that represent a variety of program approaches, reflect the diversity of Massachusetts, and promote equity in the farm and sea to school movement. Submission deadline: June 11, 2018. Learn more here

4. 2019 Community Food Systems Conference - Save the Date
December 2019 // Savannah, GA
New Entry and Georgia Farmers Market Association (GFMA) are excited to announce their partnership in putting on the 2019 Community Food Systems Conference. The conference will take place in early December 2019 in Savannah, Georgia. The partners will build on the momentum of the 2017 Community Food Systems Conference and GFMA’s Food for Thought Conference. The 2019 Community Food Systems Conference will address common underlying themes between food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture including obstacles in urban and rural environments and fostering community empowerment to create and sustain resilient local food systems. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Webinar Recording: Racial Equity in Food Systems Work: Beginning the Journey
This webinar is intended to inspire Extension educators who want to make racial equity a more intentional part of their work – and an introduction to resources and tools to help do so. Shorlette Ammons of North Carolina’s Center for Environmental Farming Systems introduces webinar participants to tools and language used in racial equity training. This webinar gives an introduction to greater conversations and work surrounding racial equity and food access. This is the first in a series of webinars that will explore the role that racial equity plays in our food system. It is hosted by the eXtension working group on Undoing Inequality in the Food System which is part of the eXtension Community, Local and Regional Community of Practice, and the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. Watch the webinar here

2. The Business Case for Racial Equity
The WK Kellogg Foundation recently released an updated "The Business Case for Racial Equity: A Strategy for Growth" by Ani Turner. The purpose of this report is to highlight the business case for racial equity — stressing the importance of racial equity as both an imperative for social justice and a strategy for economic growth. As advancing racial equity requires the work of many stakeholders, they hope that the information in this report will be meaningful, useful, and actionable for leaders, change agents, and influencers in businesses, communities, and institutions around the country. Read more here

3. Understanding School Culture and Its Relation to Farm to School Programming
Vermont FEED/Shelburne Farms staffers Jen Cirillo and Ryan Morra have published their research on farm to school and school culture in the Journal of Childhood Nutrition and Management​.​ Their interviews revealed three themes that support farm to school integration: (1) relationships are foundational to support educational innovation and experimentation, (2) the value of engaging in farm to school must be experienced and communicated by a broad swath of the school community, and (3) prioritization of farm to school leads to embeddedness into school daily life and practice. Success of farm to school programming was often attributed to foundational relationships at the school that supported innovation. The value of engaging in farm to school must be communicated in order to gain funding and school policy support from parents, school boards, faculty, and staff. ​Read the full article here


Policy Updates
1. Hawai’i Senator Hirono Expresses Support for Local Products in Public School Lunches
Last week, Hawai’i Senator Mazie K. Hirono and Lieutenant Governor Doug Chin visited Mililani High School to highlight the Aina Pono Farm-to-School Initiative and Harvest of the Month programs that increase the use of locally grown produce and beef in public school lunches. Senator Hirono is a cosponsor of the Farm to School Act of 2017, which would strengthen the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Grant Program and increase the amount of local foods in schools. Read more here


Jobs & Internships
1. Communications Intern, National Farm to School Network (Remote)
The National Farm to School Network seeks a Communications Intern to support content development and dissemination of information and resources to Core Partners and general membership. This is a paid, twelve-month position, with approximate 10 hours of work per week. The deadline to apply is May 11. Learn more here.  

2. Support Services Supervisor, Bozeman School District (Bozeman, MT) 
Bozeman School District is hiring a Support Services Supervisor position that manages the district's food service program. This program is poised to be a leader and innovator for community food systems and heathy children in the Gallatin Valley with a recently renovated and expanded facility, expansion of local food businesses in the area, and partnership with Gallatin Valley Farm to School, a local nonprofit. Learn more here

3. Good Food Purchasing Specialist, Center for Good Food Purchasing (Berkeley, CA) 
The Good Food Purchasing Specialist will be primarily focused on deepening the capacity of institutions to apply Good Food Purchasing Program analysis in practical and strategic decision-making. Learn more here

4. Food Hub General Manager, Yellowstone Valley Food Hub (Billings, MT) 
The General Manager will work with the staff and board of the Northern Plains Resource Council, along with a group of local producers, to launch a Food Hub in Yellowstone County in the last quarter of 2018. Learn more here

5. 10 Cents a Meal Fellow, Groundwork Center (Traverse City, MI)
Groundwork Center seeks a dynamic, self-starter to assist with connecting local food to statewide school policy. The key element of the work is in communications, outreach, and evaluation support for a nationally recognized, statewide policy initiative focused on school children’s health and local economy entitled 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
National Farm to Cafeteria Conference supports eating locally-grown food
At the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, held April 25-27, 2018 in Cincinnati, OH, close to 70% of all food served to the 1,000 attendees was locally sourced from Ohio and Kentucky farmers, growers, ranchers, producers and food companies. Alice Chalmers, of Local Food Connections in Ohio, talked with WKRC in Cincinnati about some of the benefits of buying locally. (WKRC

Ohio hosts National Farm to Cafeteria event
Prior to the kickoff of the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, Ohio Farm to School’s Leadership Team hosted an Ohio Farm to Cafeteria Pre-Conference, which provide attendees with a panel and forum to discuss and learn about challenges, successes and significant issues regarding providing fresh food from farms to schools in Ohio. Education and resources were two common topics discussed throughout the panel. (Rural Life Today)

Farm to school program educates about healthy eating habits
Farm to school is taking root in new Jersey - including with little eaters! NJTV News interviews NFSN New Jersey Core Partner Beth Feehan, coordinator of the Farm to School program at the NJ Department of Agriculture, and takes a tour of Farm to ECE activities at Alphabets Preschool Center in Ashbury Park, NJ. (NJTV News

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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