Search our Resource Database

Use the quick guide to search through our resource database. You can search by topic, setting, or keywords in order to find exactly what you are looking for. Choose a filtering mechanism above to get started.

View all resources

Use the Keyword search to filter through: descriptive keywords, title, or organization.

pick a date

pick a date

Connect with your state

Farm to school is taking place in all 50 states, D.C. and U.S. Territories! Select a location from the list below to learn more or contact a Core Partner. 

National Farm to School Network

News

This Week in Farm to School: 12/10/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, December 10, 2019
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. USDA 2020 Farm to School Grant RFA 
Deadline: December 13
The 2020 USDA Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is now open. With additional funding made available through the FY 2018 Omnibus Bill, the Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) seeks to award approximately $10 million in FY 2020 funding. Grants ranging in size from $20,000 to $100,000 will be available to schools, nonprofits, State and local agencies, agricultural producers, and Indian tribal organizations to plan and implement farm to school activities. Applications are due Dec. 13, 2019. Learn more here.

2. USDA Regional Farm to School Institutes RFA
Deadline: December 27
The USDA Office of Community Food Systems is pleased to announce the new Regional Farm to School Institute Grant Request for Applications (RFA). This new grant for fiscal year 2020 will support the creation and dissemination of information on farm to school program development, and provide practitioner education and training, and ongoing school year coaching and technical assistance. The Food and Nutrition Service anticipates awarding at least two grants with a combined total of $150,000, to eligible 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations working regionally to promote farm to school activities and support practitioners. Learn more here.

3. Food System Vision Prize
Deadline: Jan. 31
With a total of $2 million in prize money and a global network of partners, the Food System Vision Prize is an invitation for organizations, companies, governments, and other entities around the world to develop inspirational, concrete Visions for the food system of the future. The Prize, launched by The Rockefeller Foundation in partnership with SecondMuse and OpenIDEO, is driven by a central question: “How might we envision regenerative and nourishing food futures for 2050?” The Prize seeks systems-focused proposals that encourage people worldwide to take action and think collaboratively about the future. Submitted Visions should also reflect the Prize’s core beliefs that include diversity, resilience, equity, and the power of food to connect people. Learn more here.


Webinars & Events
1. NFSN Open Space: Institutionalizing School Garden Programming
December 12, 2 PM ET
Please join us for a special National Farm to School Network (NFSN) Partner Open Space session facilitated by California Supporting Partner John Fisher of Life Lab. This special session will be open to NFSN partners and members and the School Garden Support Organization Network. Join the call to learn and share experiences around district-run school gardening programs. Joining the discussion will be district-run school garden program directors from a small, medium and large school district. Register here

2. Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Conference
February 12-13, 2020 // Silverton, Oregon
This will be a two-day event with workshops, speakers, resources and networking opportunities. Wednesday, February 12 will be focused on farm and garden-based education. Thursday, February 13 will be focused on incorporating local food into school meals. The purpose of the Conference is to support members of Oregon’s farm to school and school garden community in their work to provide farm and garden-based education and incorporate healthy, local food into school meals for students grades PreK-12. The audience is food service directors and staff, farmers/producers, distributors, enrichment instructors, OSU Extension staff and volunteers, classroom teachers, school administrators, government agency staff, non-profit staff, and parents and community volunteers and others working to support Oregon’s farm to school and school garden programs. Register here

3. 2020 National Good Food Network Conference
March 10-13, 2020 // New Orleans, Louisiana
This event will reflect on the gains and missteps of past decades of food systems work, examine models and practices that are working now, and co-create new strategies for food systems change. This is a conference for people working to create healthier, greener, and more accessible food systems and will amplify the voices of frontline communities. To gain a deeper understanding of the nuts and bolts of food systems development, tangible skills to strengthen your impact, and new connections for solidarity and support, register here

4. NFSN EVENT Save the Date: 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 21-23, 2020 // Albuquerque, New Mexico
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 21-23, 2020! Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event will convene a diverse group of food service professionals, farmers, educators, students, representatives from nonprofits and government agencies, public health professionals and more to learn, network, and strengthen this important movement. Are you passionate about supporting local agriculture and fostering a culture of food literacy in your community? This event is for you. Visit farmtoschool.org/conference to learn more and start making plans to join us in Albuquerque! Registration opens in January 2020. 


Research & Resources
1. Connecting Classrooms, Cafeterias, Communities: A Guide to Building Integrated Farm to School Programs
The newly published Vermont FEED Guide is intended to support school communities in developing robust, long lasting, and integrated farm to school programs, addressing whole school change. It reflects 20 years of practice, evaluative research, and innovation in the field.  The guide is organized around farm to school action planning, a step-by-step process to help you assemble a team, identify shared goals, and plan and conduct strategic activities. In addition, it provides valuable content on classroom curriculum, school meal programs, and community building. The guide is filled with useful templates, curricular design strategies, and creative ways to communicate and celebrate farm to school success. Available for free download and to purchase as a hard copy here.


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Farm to Institution and Wisconsin Foods Program Specialist - Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection (Madison, WI)
This position is responsible for farm to institution initiatives including collaborating with multiple stakeholders to increase the sales of Wisconsin food into markets such as K-12 schools, hospitals, colleges, cafeterias or government agencies. To accomplish this goal, the position will actively engage with a broad network of stakeholders, facilitate partnerships and advise other agencies on promotion and market development programs for farm to school/institution. The application deadline is Sunday, January 5 at 11:59 PM. Apply here


Farm to School in the News
Seed2Tray program brings free meals to Vermont school
Hunger Free Vermont estimates nearly 18,000 children in the state live in food-insecure households. That means, about 15 percent of kids don't have regular access to nutritious food. That can put them at risk for poor health, developmental delays, worse academic performance, and behavioral issues. In Townshend, Scott Fleishman shows us how a chef is on a mission to change that. (WCAX)

Idaho preschoolers learn healthy eating habits through grant-funded project
Preschoolers in several schools in Blaine County are learning about locally farmed fruits and vegetables in an effort to create long-term, healthier eating habits. The program, called Farm to Early Care and Education, or Farm to ECE, is funded by a state grant and has shown success since the program was launched in September. (Idaho Mountain Express)

New Jersey school introduces vertical gardening
Having a salad for lunch might not be a hassle when half the ingredients are already being grown in the classroom. Southampton School #2 became one of the first in the area to introduce a tower garden in a classroom this week, where students will take care of the plants. (Courier 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.

Native F2S Champions: Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs K-8 Academy

NFSN Staff Friday, December 06, 2019
By Katherine Minthorn, Intertribal Agriculture Council, Northwest Region

Photo Credit: Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Oregon K-8 Academy
This blog is part of a series of profiles of Native Farm to School Champions, organized and collated by the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC). IAC is NFSN's 2019 National Partner of the Year, and we are excited to collaborate with IAC on this storytelling project to celebrate farm to school activities happening across Indian Country. These Champion profiles were written and submitted by IAC's Regional Technical Assistance Specialists, and these programs will be recognized for the farm to school leadership at the 2019 IAC Annual Meeting. Learn more about the IAC at www.indianag.org.

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs K-8 Academy opened its doors to an estimated 675 students at the beginning of the 2014 school year.  The project budget for the school was $21,472,600; the Tribes and Bureau of Indian Affairs provided 50% of the budget with the Tribes' $4.6 million, and a $6.8 million loan from USDA Rural Development was also used.  Jefferson County School District 509-J provided $10.7 million through a memorandum of agreement and an Inter-agency Education Agreement between Jefferson County School District 509-J and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

Mission Statement of the Warm Springs K-8 Academy:
  • We believe our students should feel a sense of pride in themselves, their community and school
  • We believe that the whole child is important
  • We believe that all children should be loved
  • We believe that pride, compassion, culture and diversity build community
  • We believe that learning is lifelong and should be nurtured
The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs applied to National Farm to School Network’s Seed Change in Native Communities project.  In 2017, they were awarded a mini grant, which was used to implement farm to school activities in their community and leverage community wide initiatives towards building food security and food sovereignty. As well as, revitalizing the use of traditional foods.  The program has helped students make connections as to where food comes from and how it is part of their cultural heritage by building a greenhouse, planting a school garden, and promoting a healthy snacks program. The garden has also been used for science and nutrition education.  The Academy hosted an end of school year Pow wow which, was attended by over 1,000 students and family members and served a traditional dinner of salmon, fresh foods, and root vegetables.
Learn more about Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs K-8 Academy here: https://warmsprings-nsn.gov/program/k-8-academy/

Native F2S Champions: STAR School

NFSN Staff Thursday, December 05, 2019
By Desbah Padilla, Intertribal Agriculture Council, Southwest Region

Photo Credit: D. Padilla
This blog is part of a series of profiles of Native Farm to School Champions, organized and collated by the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC). IAC is NFSN's 2019 National Partner of the Year, and we are excited to collaborate with IAC on this storytelling project to celebrate farm to school activities happening across Indian Country. These Champion profiles were written and submitted by IAC's Regional Technical Assistance Specialists, and these programs will be recognized for the farm to school leadership at the 2019 IAC Annual Meeting. Learn more about the IAC at www.indianag.org.

  • Farm to Cafeteria
  • Healthy Kids = Healthy Learning
  • Connecting Farmers and Schools
In July, the Intertribal Agriculture Council was invited to speak at the “Healthy Kids = Healthy Learning: Connecting Farmers and Schools Symposium” at a successful Farm to School program called STAR School near Flagstaff, Arizona. At the symposium, organizational and program professionals presented to approximately 150 farmers, gardeners, educators, health officials and other partnerships interested in pursuing a Garden to Cafeteria program to support nutritious meals in their schools. 

The Intertribal Agriculture Council has been working closely with National Farm to School Network in pursuing this challenging development. There are several schools in New Mexico who are currently developing Garden to Cafeteria Pilot Programs who are paving the way for other schools as well. 

There are many partnerships necessary in developing protocols that include a food safety plan, environmental regulations, school garden staff, food and nutrition staff, etc. The Belen Consolidated Schools is partnering with the School Nutritional Services Department and is one example of pursuing the task of a Farm to School Program to provide students with fresh and healthy garden grown food through their school lunch program. The other school researching the program is Magdalena Municipal School located in Southern New Mexico. 

The Intertribal Agriculture Council will continue partnering with the National Farm to School program officials as we continue to bring awareness to programs such as the Garden to Cafeteria Program.

Learn more about STAR School here: http://www.starschool.org/home/

Motherhood Inspires My Farm to School Work

NFSN Staff Tuesday, December 03, 2019
By Helen Dombalis, Executive Director




Since I became Executive Director of the National Farm to School Network earlier this year, I’ve been eager to share with you why I am inspired to do this important work every single day. In 2017, my family expanded when I gave birth to a daughter and became a first-time mom. Since that time, the impact of farm to school has taken on a new level of significance personally and professionally.

Now that she is a toddler, our daughter is testing boundaries and asserting independence. There are moments when it can be difficult to get her to try new foods. In these times, I remind myself of the importance of the National Farm to School Network’s work in early care and education settings. My daughter is at the critical age when taste buds are forming, and she is developing life-long habits that will build the foundation of her lifestyle and well-being. 

This is what farm to school is about: empowering kids to be knowledgeable about and invested in their local food systems. At home, my husband and I take our daughter to Garden Sweet, a farm in our community. We go weekly during the growing season to pick berries and flowers, and participate in their community supported agriculture (CSA) program. I watch our daughter’s excitement about our weekly farm visits; she knows that the berries on her dinner plate come from Garden Sweet and its farmers with whom she regularly interacts. 

National Farm to School Network is committed to ensuring that every child has the opportunity to know where our food comes from: to be nourished by food grown justly and sustainably in our communities, to visit farms and know farmers, and to dig into gardens that teach how food grows. There are many inequities built into our food system that hinder the opportunity for every child to engage in these experiences. Dismantling these injustices is what makes our work so important. 

Through farm to school, we’re able to connect our children to where their food comes from, enhance the quality of the educational experience, and promote practices that bolster more equitable food systems. At the National Farm to School Network, we lead national efforts to strengthen and expand this work by connecting people to resources, people to policies, and people to people. 

We cannot do this important work without your support. Your gift today enables us to improve children’s health, strengthen family farms, and cultivate vibrant communities across the country.

Gratefully,
Helen 

P.S. One last farm to school lesson we have with our daughter: at meals, our family always starts with gratitude - for the chicken farmer, the rice farmer, the broccoli farmer - the people who made our meal possible. It is with tremendous gratitude that our family thanks you for helping make farm to school possible!

This Week in Farm to School: 12/3/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, December 03, 2019
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. 

Action Opportunities
1. You Count! USDA Farm to School Census Closes Dec. 6
The USDA Office of Community Food Systems' third Farm to School Census closes this Friday, Dec. 6. Be sure your school district is counted! The Farm to School Census is the only national survey that examines school districts’ farm to school activities. It's imperative that all School Food Authorities (SFAs) - whether or not they currently participate in farm to school activities - complete the Census in order to have the most accurate picture of the scope, reach and impact of farm to school nationwide. The Census has been sent directly to SFAs. Please check with your SFAs to ask if they've submitted the Census, and make sure your efforts are counted! Learn more about the Census here.


Grants & Funding
1. USDA 2020 Farm to School Grant RFA Now Open
Deadline: December 13
The 2020 USDA Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is now open. With additional funding made available through the FY 2018 Omnibus Bill, the Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) seeks to award approximately $10 million in FY 2020 funding. Grants ranging in size from $20,000 to $100,000 will be available to schools, nonprofits, State and local agencies, agricultural producers, and Indian tribal organizations to plan and implement farm to school activities. Applications are due Dec. 13, 2019. Learn more here.
 
2. NFSN Consultation Services to Support USDA Farm to School Grant Applicants
National Farm to School Network advocated for the establishment of the USDA Farm to School Grant Program and is committed to ensuring this funding reaches the communities that need it most. NFSN is available on a consultation basis to provide assistance during the application process (thought partnership, preparing the grant application, evaluation) and during grant implementation (needs assessment, evaluation, action plan, virtual coaching). Learn more here.  

3. USDA Regional Farm to School Institutes RFA
Deadline: December 27
The USDA Office of Community Food Systems is pleased to announce the new Regional Farm to School Institute Grant Request for Applications (RFA). This new grant for fiscal year 2020 will support the creation and dissemination of information on farm to school program development, and provide practitioner education and training, and ongoing school year coaching and technical assistance. The Food and Nutrition Service anticipates awarding at least two grants with a combined total of $150,000, to eligible 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations working regionally to promote farm to school activities and support practitioners. Learn more here.

4. Food System Vision Prize
Early Deadline: Dec. 5 / Final Deadline: Jan. 31
With a total of $2 million in prize money and a global network of partners, the Food System Vision Prize is an invitation for organizations, companies, governments, and other entities around the world to develop inspirational, concrete Visions for the food system of the future. The Prize, launched by The Rockefeller Foundation in partnership with SecondMuse and OpenIDEO, is driven by a central question: “How might we envision regenerative and nourishing food futures for 2050?” The Prize seeks systems-focused proposals that encourage people worldwide to take action and think collaboratively about the future. Submitted Visions should also reflect the Prize’s core beliefs that include diversity, resilience, equity, and the power of food to connect people. Learn more here.


Webinars & Events
1. EQUITY Webinar: Building Partnerships to Support Food Sovereignty in African American Communities
Dec. 3 // 3PM EST
This webinar is an opportunity to explore how and why African American communities are working together to enhance their food sovereignty. Following this introduction to the concept of food sovereignty and its role in African American communities, Malik Yakini with the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network and Lilly Fink Shapiro with the University of Michigan’s Sustainable Food Systems Initiative will discuss their partnership designing and co-leading the Food Literacy for All course. They will describe how the partnership was developed and its impact both in the community and on campus. The webinar also will introduce Kimberly Carr, a post-doctoral research associate in food sovereignty and racial equity at the Center for Regional Food Systems and Center for Interdisciplinarity at Michigan State University. The webinar is hosted by the Racial Equity in the Food System workgroup, coordinated by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. Register here.

2. Seeking Workshop Proposals: 2020 National Family Child Care Conference
July 15-18, 2020 / Norfolk, VA
The National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)is currently seeking workshop proposals for the 30th National Family Child Care Conference, taking place in Norfolk, Virginia July 15-18, 2020. Attendees are looking for sessions that focus on practical solutions to increase their knowledge and effectiveness; to engage and challenge their thinking; and to nurture their purpose, creativity, and professional excellence. This is a great opportunity to share farm to early care and education experiences and expertise. If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please reach out to Lacy Stephens (Program Manager, National Farm to School Network) who can help make introductions to potential proposal partners. Learn more about the conference and workshop proposal application here.   

3. NFSN EVENT Save the Date: 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 21-23, 2020 // Albuquerque, New Mexico
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 21-23, 2020! Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event will convene a diverse group of food service professionals, farmers, educators, students, representatives from nonprofits and government agencies, public health professionals and more to learn, network, and strengthen this important movement. Are you passionate about supporting local agriculture and fostering a culture of food literacy in your community? This event is for you. Visit farmtoschool.org/conference to learn more and start making plans to join us in Albuquerque!


Research & Resources
1. Opinion Editorial: How to Fight Back Against Injustice in Your School Cafeteria
This opinion editorial from Teen Vogue argues that our system of “cheap” industrial food and low-wage labor is incredibly costly in the long term. The author explores the types of questions that students in the United States ask themselves everyday in the cafeteria and provides guidance on how to implement the change that you would like to see in your school food system. Read here
 
2. EQUITY Article: A New Generation of Black Farmers Is Returning to the Land
This article from YES! MAGAZINE explores the efforts of those working to repair harm inflicted over the past 400 years towards black farmers, with an eye toward reparations. Read here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Community Food Systems Mentorship Program
Deadline: December 29
The Wallace Center is excited to announce that the application for the Spring 2020 round of the Community Food Systems Mentorship Program is now open. The Mentorship Program provides food systems leaders with the opportunity to closely engage with proven leaders and experts as thought partners and coaches. It includes 8 hours of one on one connection between you and a mentor over a 4-month period. The application deadline in December 29, 2019. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Oregon students celebrate Thanksgiving with farm to school meal
When you think of school food you probably think back to when you were a kid, and it may not have been that appetizing. That's not the case with Portland Public Schools.It’s all healthy and local. Lunch on Friday was no different, as students across the district had a Thanksgiving spread filled with turkey, mashed potatoes and roasted squash. (KGW8)

Illinois high school students prepare farm-to-table Thanksgiving meal for senior citizens
Almost everything was prepared with food from the school, which has the city’s only working farm, according to school officials. The turkeys were raised on the school’s 70-acre farm, where students also raise cows, turkeys, pigs, goats, chickens and two alpacas. Vegetables, including the pumpkins in the pie, also were grown at the school. (Chicago Tribune)

Multi-group effort teams students with sustainable farming in Hawaii
This past semester at Kohala High School has, with lots of help, enhanced garden-to-school efforts thanks to dedicated partnerships between KHS, community investors, and the Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture. (West Hawaii Today)

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 Big Year in Florida Farm to School

NFSN Staff Monday, December 02, 2019
By Lacy Stephens, NFSN Program Manager

2019 has been an exceptional year for Florida’s Farm to School Initiative. Farm to school momentum in the state culminated with two exciting events this November. First, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services release their first ever Farm to School Annual Report. The report details Florida farm to school product sales and uses economic impact modeling (using IMPLAN software) to estimate the economic contribution of farm to school sales in the states. The results are powerful! According to the report, approximately $64,106,312 of Florida products were purchased by schools in the 2018-19 school year. Those purchases contributed to 639 jobs, $30,429,315 in labor income, and $144,765,615 in total economic impact (total output – direct, indirect, and induced effect).

The first Florida Farm to School Conference, held November 8-9 in Orlando, was a celebration of the state’s accomplishments and evidence of the drive to expand the work. The conference included tracks for producers and a track for school nutrition service and farm to school coordinators. While content focused on the unique need of each stakeholder group, meals and networking events facilitated collaboration and the development of new partnerships. Presenters brought the origins of farm to school together with the hope for farm to school future, with sessions from one of farm to school’s original champions Glyen Holmes of the New North Florida Growers Cooperative and emerging leaders like Lane and Brett Singleton of Singleton Family Farms. National Farm to School Network Program Manager, Lacy Stephens, contributed to the joyful learning with a session on Advocating for Farm to School Support.

A strong contributor to Florida’s farm to school growth is the support and championing of the efforts by Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner, Nicole “Nikki” Fried. Commissioner Fried articulated the goals of the Farm to School Summit and the Florida Farm to School Initiative in her welcome message to attendees: “Together we can ensure that every meal served is healthy, nutritious and Fresh From Florida.”

Photo: Lacy Stephens, NFSN Program Manager, and Beth Spratt and Andrew Smith, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, NFSN Florida Core Partners, at the Florida Farm to School Conference.

Recent Posts


Archive


Tags

Newsletter Archives

We have lots of great info in our newsletter archive!

View the Archive

  1