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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


Building Farm to School Advocacy Skills in New Mexico

NFSN Staff Monday, February 18, 2019

By Chloe Marshall, Policy Specialist

A few weeks ago, the National Farm to School Network Programs and Policy Team visited Santa Fe, NM to connect with each other and to see the amazing work of our partners in the New Mexico Farm to School Alliance.* As a humble Midwesterner, having been no further than the Mississippi river, I entered what felt like a different world when I landed in Santa Fe. It was my first time in the “Land of Enchantment.” Both Farm to Table New Mexico and the National Education Association (who served as NFSN’s 2018 National Partner of the Year) welcomed us to their annual advocacy trainings where they trained local partners on how to advocate during the state’s intense and short legislative session. Advocacy hardly sounds like an enchanting activity, but something about the passion and dedication of the folks that I met was certainly magical and the results tangible. New Mexico partners have successfully passed bills that appropriate funding for the use of NM-grown produce in school meals and establish a Food and Farms Day; advocates are currently working on passing legislation that builds on these success.

Both advocacy trainings provided a wealth of information and facilitated some exciting connections. Before we stormed the halls of the state’s capitol building (the “roundhouse” as they call it), we learned everything from the basics of engaging elected officials to the nuances of New Mexico politics. We learned the history and context of the current policy priorities, including details of past successes and failures. Facilitators from different organizations shared personal experiences and even had us role play different scenarios to prepare. We listened to the inspiring words of Mr. Regis Peco, co-director of the Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School - “There is no greater privilege than guiding the hearts and minds of children.” We collaborated and communed with local activists who taught us the vision and values of New Mexicans (and helped us test run our Racial and Social Equity Assessment Tool!) We joined a celebration of the grassroots leaders and elected officials who work tirelessly to make farm to school the norm. We even feasted at San Ildefonso Pueblo with the family of our own Alena Paisano, NFSN Program Manager, who allowed us a glimpse into indigenous culture and how it endures despite centuries of efforts to silence Native people.

In each of these experiences, I got to see the very real impact farm to school advocacy has in people’s lives. Students lined up in the roundhouse ready to advocate for themselves, empowered by the educators who made farm to school their mission. That same day, in that same building, state legislators honored farm to school champions from around the state for their dedication to the work. Farm to school is not just an idea in New Mexico, it’s a whole movement built on the belief that our children, farmers, and communities deserve better.

To learn more about farm to school in New Mexico, click here.

* New Mexico Farm to School Alliance partners:

Farm to Table New Mexico

New Mexico Public Education Department

New Mexico Health Department

University of New Mexico Community Engagement Center

New Mexico Student Nutrition Association

FY 2019 Funding Bill Includes $5 Million for Farm to School

Anna Mullen Friday, February 15, 2019

The funding bill passed by the Senate and House this week, and signed by the President on Friday, included a bright spot for the farm to school movement. Thanks to the leadership of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the bill includes an additional $5 million in discretionary funding for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, which doubles the annual available funding for this highly impactful and important program for one year. This is a significant win for the farm to school movement. Demand for the program is more than four times higher than available yearly funding, and this additional discretionary funding will help make the program accessible to more schools, farmers and communities across the country. 

Please join us in thanking Sen. Leahy for this win and for helping make healthy, local food in schools a reality for millions of children across the country. You can send him a thank you on social media (@SenatorLeahy) or give his office a call at (202) 224-4242 to let him know that you appreciate his ongoing efforts to strengthen and support farm to school. Sen. Leahy championed a similar funding win in the 2018 appropriations bill. As a result, approximately $7.5 million will be awarded in FY 2019 and FY 2020 USDA Farm to School grants. 

National Farm to School Network has been advocating for an increase in funding for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program for several years. This important program increases the use of and improves access to local foods in schools – thus boosting farm income and economic opportunities – while also fostering experiential food education for our nation’s children. Since the first cycle of grants in 2013, USDA has received over 1,900 applications requesting more than $141 million, though has only been able to make 437 awards from the $30 million available. 

While the additional $5 million in discretionary funding included in the FY 2019 funding bill is a big boost for the program, this funding is temporary. It’s important that we continue to advocate for a more permanent solution for sustaining the USDA Farm to School Grant Program and its impact for communities with high-need across the country. National Farm to School Network continues our advocacy work to ensure that farm to school opportunities are accessible to every student, farmer and community across the country. Stay tuned to our blog for more policy news, updates and opportunities to join us in this advocacy and make your voice heard. 

This Week in Farm to School: 2/12/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 12, 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. 

Webinars & Events
1. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to School Resource Roundup
Wednesday, February 27, 3-4 PM ET
Join us for the first ever National Farm to School Network (NFSN) Farm to School Resource Roundup Webinar. The February webinar will feature three new resources from NFSN that aim to increase equitable access to farm to school initiatives, including theNFSN Programs and Policy Racial and Social Equity Assessment Tool; Supporting Farm to School with Non-Profit Hospital Community Benefit Dollars; and City & School District Farm to School Policy Opportunities. Register here.

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: NFSN National Partner of the Year - Intertribal Agriculture Council
Thursday, March 7 // 1-2 PM ET
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) is excited to announce the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) as NFSN’s 2019 National Partner of the Year. The IAC, a non-profit, Tribal membership organization, serving all tribal producers and communities across the country, was established in 1987 to pursue and promote conservation, development and use of Indian agricultural resources for the betterment of Indian communities. Through intentional programmatic and policy advocacy collaboration, resource sharing and cross-promotion, we aim to better connect NFSN and IAC members and continue growing farm to school in Native communities. Join this webinar to learn more about IAC and NFSN's collaboration and how members can get involved in this work. Register here.

3. Life Lab's 2019 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 2019. Learn more and register here.

4. New Hampshire Food System State-Wide Gathering
March 12 // Plymouth, NH
The 4th Annual NH Food System Statewide Gathering will bring together 200+ individuals, organizations, businesses, and institutions working to strengthen our local food system. Our focus this year will be on "Cultivating our Collective Voice" and harnessing the power of our connections and relationships to shape local and state food policy. Through engaging workshops and dialogue, we'll explore how we can best collaborate and advocate to support our farms, fisheries, and food businesses, who in turn, sustain healthy communities and our vibrant working landscapes. Register here.

5. Virginia Farm to School Conference
March 14 // Hampton, VA
The Farm to School Conference is designed to help Virginia’s expanding Farm to School Network increase procurement of local foods and educational opportunities in school gardens, cafeterias, classrooms, early care centers and summer feeding programs across the commonwealth. Register here.

6. EQUITY Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge
April 1-21  
Food Solutions New England invites you to join for the fifth year of the Challenge! Participants from across New England and the rest of the country will be taking part in this year's effort which will include updated daily prompts, a new launch webinar featuring Dr. Eddie Moore, a Discussion Guide for groups and much more. Sign up here.

Research & Resources 
1. EQUITY Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems: Racial Equity in the Food System ListServ 
Michigan State University's Center for Regional Food Systems just launched a national Racial Equity ListServ - EQUITYFOOD - to complement its Racial Equity in the Food System workgroup. Connect with your colleagues around building racial equity within the food system, and access resources like an annotated bibliography on structural racism, webinars, and various tools and articles. Learn more here

2. American Traditional Foods In USDA School Meals Program - Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
The American Indian Traditional Foods In USDA School Meals Programs: A Wisconsin Farm to School Toolkit is a new resource to help source, menu, credit, and use more traditional foods in school meal programs. The Toolkit features native and traditional foods to include in school means, new recipes for schools use, menu planning support, and procurement information. Read more here.

3. EQUITY Food and Farm Reading List for Black History Month
For Black History Month, Rafter Ferguson, Scientist, Food and Environment, at the Union for Concerned Scientists is sharing a reading list of books that can help deepen our understanding of the history and contributions of Black farmers in our food system. Explore the reading list here

Job Opportunities
1. Senior Associate, Community Food Systems, The Food Trust (Philadelphia, PA)
The Food Trust is seeking an enthusiastic, creative, organized and committed leader to oversee the planning, development and implementation of The Food Trust’s Community Food Systems program including multiple statewide policy and regional food systems initiatives. Learn more here

2. Garden Projects Champion AmeriCorps Vista, North Coast Opportunities (Ukiah, CA)
The Gardens Project of North Coast Opportunities seeks to relieve hunger and inadequate nutrition throughout Mendocino and Lake Counties by creating access to community-based food  production and local, nutritious food. Much of their current work focuses on supporting existing gardens and gardeners through leadership training, food production workshops, advocacy and organizational support. To apply, send a resume and cover letter to

3. Farm to School Coordinator, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County (Ithaca, NY) 
In collaboration with school food service staff, regional farms and distributors, food, nutrition, garden and agriculture educators and Cornell’s Master of Public Health program, the Farm to School Coordinator will be responsible for developing, implementing, and improving a coordinated and sustainable procurement plan to increase the amount of local produce served in Tompkins County’s school cafeterias. Learn more and apply here.

4. CoFED Racial Justice Fellowship
CoFED’s Racial Justice Fellowship is a 6-month opportunity for young cooperators (ages 18-30) of color working to close the racial wealth gap by advancing community ownership of land and the food system. They're looking to support emerging leaders who can demonstrate a solid and progressive track record of creating change - and who are ready to take their vision, leadership and impact to the next level. The fellowship includes a $5,000 stipend, leadership coaching, trainings and networking opportunities. Applications open Feb. 15 and are due by March 15, 2019. Learn more here.

Farm to School in the News
Nebraska high-schoolers sell produce to school cafeteria
Students who are part of the local chapter of the National FFA Organization at a Nebraska high school are learning about sustainable agricultural production by working in an on-campus greenhouse. The students plant and harvest produce in vertical towers that is sold to the school's cafeteria. (The Grand Island Independent)

University of Georgia’s ‘Grow It Know It’ program expanded
An award-winning interactive Clarke County school program that teaches students about science and nutrition is now underway in Barrow County, thanks to the University of Georgia. The “Grow It Know It” program, established in 2013 by the UGA Office of Service-Learning, UGA Cooperative Extension, UGArden and the Clarke County School District, is designed to support teachers involved in farm-to-school programming. (Albany Herald)

Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids program grows vegetables at Delaware schools
A program designed to get kids to eat more vegetables has made inroads at area schools. The organization's mission is to design and implement food-and-garden-based school program, partnering with schools in Delaware to start vegetable garden programs on-site during the academic day that align with the science curriculum, and also enable students to try delicious vegetables. (WDEL)

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: 2/5/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 05, 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. 2019 Gro More Grassroots Grant 
Deadline: February 15, 2019
In 2019, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and KidsGardening will award 175 grants worth a collective total of $100,000. 150 grant recipients will be awarded a check for $500 to support their initiatives. The top 25 programs will receive a check for $1,000. The Gro More Grassroots Grant is open to all nonprofit and tax exempt organizations (including schools) in the United States and US Territories planning to use the funds to install new or expand existing youth focused gardens or greenspaces. Learn more and apply here.

Webinars & Events
1. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to ECE: Farm to Early Care and Education in Family Child Care
Thursday, February 7, 1-2 PM ET
Across the country, there are over 213,000 licensed family child care homes and nearly one quarter of all children spend time in family child care before they reach kindergarten. Farm to early care and education (farm to ECE) – including local food procurement, gardening, and food and agriculture education – is a great fit for family child care. Farm to ECE adapts to diverse ages, abilities, and settings and offers evidenced-based approaches to meeting educational and nutrition standards. Join this National Farm to School Network webinar to learn about new resources to support farm to ECE in family child care, hear about best practices from county level farm to ECE initiatives, and see examples of farm to ECE in family child care success. Register here.

2. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to School Resource Roundup
Wednesday, February 27, 3-4 PM ET
Join us for the first ever National Farm to School Network (NFSN) Farm to School Resource Roundup Webinar. The February webinar will feature three new resources from NFSN that aim to increase equitable access to farm to school initiatives, including theNFSN Programs and Policy Racial and Social Equity Assessment Tool; Supporting Farm to School with Non-Profit Hospital Community Benefit Dollars; and City & School District Farm to School Policy Opportunities. Register here.

3. Vermont Farm to School & Early Childhood Day
Wednesday, February 6, 9:30 AM - 6 PM
Join us at the State House to celebrate and raise awareness of Farm to School and Early Childhood in Vermont. Activities and celebration range from a joint House and Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, school lunch served in the cafeteria, time to connect with legislators, and time to hear farm to school stories, displays, and networking. Learn more here

Research & Resources 
1. Online Course: Teaching Food & Nutrition for All
Teaching about food & nutrition can seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to! The Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy is launching a NEW online course this summer, from July 8-26. The course is intended to be for current educators or individuals interested in teaching nutrition in the school setting, to give you the tools & confidence to bring this topic to life in your classroom. Register before March 1 for a discount. Learn more here

2. EQUITY Equity Imperative Declaration - Novato Unified School District 
Here's a great example of how a school district in California is sharing our its commitment to equity. Equity in Novato Unified School District means ensuring every student has access to educational opportunities that challenge, inspire and prepare him or her for a strong future. The purpose of the Equity Imperative Declaration is to publicly explain why equity is important, to outline NUSD’s universal and targeted goals, and to state NUSD’s commitment to the actions necessary to achieve its goals. Read NUSD's Equity Imperative Declaration here.

3. EQUITY 7 Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Black History Month
February is Black History Month, a dedicated time to pay attention to the power and resilience of the black community. This celebration is reminder to seek out stories and histories that often go overlooked — and it also serves as a call to recognize the various black leaders in our own lives. This article by Katie Dupere offers ideas for honoring black lives and culture this Black History Month.

Job Opportunities
1. Outreach and Education Coordinator, Arcadia Food, Inc. (Alexandria, VA)
The Outreach and Education Coordinator will develop and provide garden and nutrition educational programming for youth, adults, and senior citizens; support Arcadia’s Field Trip and Farm Camp programs; strengthen Arcadia’s connection to schools and community partners in the surrounding community; support efforts to build garden and nutrition education capacity in schools; and support efforts to link health providers and food access organizations in the County. Learn more here.

2. Food Hub Program Associate, Field to Family (Iowa City, IA)
Field to Family is hiring a Food Hub Program Associate to connect more schools, hospitals and retirement communities with local farmers and producers. The Food Hub Program Associate will assist the Food Hub Manager in the general operations of the Field to Family Food Hub to create a more local, healthy and sustainable food system. Learn more here.

Farm to School in the News
Georgia student chefs compete in farm to school contest
Middle-school students in Georgia are competing in the preliminary round of the Georgia Department of Education's Farm to School Student Chef Competition. Students will taste-test and judge vegetable side dishes and the winner will submit the recipe -- along with its nutritional analysis -- to the statewide competition, where the judges will be school nutrition professionals. (Union Recorder)

Oregon Junior-Senior High School produces own beef, eggs, produce for student body
Students at Lost River Junior-Senior High School know where their food comes from: they eat beef from their own steers, eggs from their chickens and tomatoes from their greenhouse. (Herald and News)

Sunny Baker selected as WKKF Community Leadership Network Fellow
The Center for Creative Leadership and W.K. Kellogg Foundation have announced Class Two of the WKKF Community Leadership Network, a model program for developing local leaders who can unite people to create transformational change toward a more equitable society for all. Congratulations to Sunny Baker, co-director of the Mississippi Farm to School Network and NFSN Mississippi Core Partner, for being selected as a fellow in the Mississippi cohort! Read more here.
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.

Welcome, Chloe Marshall!

NFSN Staff Monday, February 04, 2019
National Farm to School Network is excited to welcome Chloe Marshall to our team as our Policy Specialist! 

Chloe brings a wealth of advocacy, coalition building, and food equity experience to our team. Before joining the National Farm to School Network, she served as the Maryland Advocacy & Outreach Coordinator with Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C, where she represented the food bank on policy and budget issues locally and on Capitol Hill. In addition, she has served on the Prince George’s County Food Equity Council (FEC),  where she leveraged her work with the Food Bank and the FEC into a partnership to launch a food justice coalition in Capitol Heights, MD, and founded the Food Justice Coalition of 20743, a collaboration of residents, community organizations, and grassroots leaders who seek community-led solutions to local food equity issues. Chloe is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University with a degree in Culinary Nutrition. Her strong passion for community engagement and unique background in food policy make Chloe an exciting addition to our team. 

Chloe currently resides in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where she enjoys singing with her church’s choir, the Suitland Road Chorus, and tending to her aging cat, Mabel Anne. 

Chloe is based in our Washington, D.C. office. Reach out to her with your policy questions, to brainstorm solutions to policy challenges, to share you successes or to find out how you can get involved in advocating for policy change. Send her a message or say hello at