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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.

Celebrating Native American Heritage Month with Farm to School

NFSN Staff Saturday, November 30, 2019
"To be a human being is an honor, and we offer thanksgiving for all the gifts of life. Mother Earth, we thank you for giving us everything we need."  - Chief Jake Swamp, Giving Thanks


November is Native American Heritage Month, and the National Farm to School Network is celebrating innovative farm to school initiatives taking root in Native communities from coast to coast. From incorporating traditional foods like blue corn and buffalo into school meals, to learning about traditional plants and growing methods, farm to school in Native communities can be an approach for building food sovereignty and reinvigorating traditional foodways. In a show of support for Native communities and the reality of the Thanksgiving holiday, additional educational resources are also shared below in the comments.

1. Blog Series: Native Farm to School Champion Stories
To celebrate and recognize farm to school activities happening across Indian Country, National Farm to School Network has partnered with the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) to share a series of blogs profiling Native Farm to School Champions. These stories were organized and collected by IAC's Regional Technical Assistance Specialists, and top programs will be recognized for the farm to school leadership at the 2019 IAC Annual Meeting in December. IAC is NFSN's 2019 National Partner of the Year. Explore the Native Farm to School Champion profiles here
 
2. Blog: Reflections from the Road: Conference on Native American Nutrition
Mackenize Martinez, IAC Partnership Communications Intern, shares her reflections on attending and presenting about farm to school at the Fourth Annual Conference on Native American Nutrition this past September. Read more here

3. Blog: Food Sovereignty, Youth Empowerment & Farm to School
This blog is dedicated to celebrating November as Native American Heritage Month. In April 2019, at National Farm to School Network’s Annual Meeting in Tampa, FL, individuals from various tribal nations around the country participated in a panel discussion. The conversation below highlights thoughts shared on farm to school in Native communities, food sovereignty, and youth leadership. Panel participants representing NFSN's 2019 National Partner of the Year, Intertribal Agriculture Council, include Keir Johnson-Reyes, Shelbi Fitzpatrick, and Megan Forcia. The panel was moderated by Alena Paisano, NFSN Program Manager. A video of the full session is available here

4. Resource: Illuminative Narrative Change Insights and Action Guide
This Insights and Action Guide provide distilled takeaways from the breakthrough research. Here you learn what narrative change is and how to deploy it with your messages. Breakthrough research is made accessible in this simple guide. Implement these user-friendly action tips to make a change in your community, organization, or company. Stand with Native peoples – amplify a new story and change the future! (Illuminative)

5. Article: Native American Heritage Month: Indigenous People Will Not be Erased
Despite this latest slight to Indian Country by the Trump Administration, Native and Indigenous movements for justice and visibility are mobilizing in unprecedented ways. Some may call the celebration of Native American Heritage Month merely a symbolic gesture, but symbols and the movements behind them matter. Read the powerful message voiced by co-authors Crystal Echo-Hawk and Nick Tilsen. (NDN Collective)

6. Article: What Does Thanksgiving Mean to Native Americans?
There are always two sides of a story. Unfortunately, when it comes to the history of Thanksgiving, generations of Americans have been taught a one-sided history in homes and schools. (Native Hope

7. Resource: American Indian Perspectives on Thanksgiving
Each November educators across the country teach their students about the First Thanksgiving, a quintessentially American holiday. They try to give students an accurate picture of what happened in Plymouth in 1621 and explain how that event fits into American history. Unfortunately, many teaching materials give an incomplete, if not inaccurate, portrayal of the first Thanksgiving, particularly of the event’s Native American participants. This poster incorporates some fundamental concepts about Native cultures, which have too often been obscured by stereotypes and misconceptions. (National Museum of the American Indian)

8. Article: 3 Ways to Expand Native American Curriculum Beyond Thanksgiving Myths
Generalizations tied to the holiday don't paint the whole picture of the numerous cultures that were spread across the Americas. Children's and young adult author Cynthia Leitich Smith sees room for educators to push beyond their lessons a bit when it comes to teaching these topics, suggesting curriculum can be integrated throughout the school year — and across any discipline — with just a bit more sleuthing on the part of teachers and students alike. (Education Drive)

9. Article: Teaching Thanksgiving in a Socially Responsible Way
School Thanksgiving activities often mean dressing children in “Indian” headdresses and paper feathers or asking students to draw themselves as Native Americans from the past, complete with feather-adorned headbands and buckskin clothing. These activities might seem friendly and fun, unless you are aware of how damaging this imagery is to perceptions of contemporary Native peoples. This imagery contributes to the indoctrination of American youth into a false narrative that relegates Indigenous peoples to the past and turns real human beings into costumes for a few days a year. It’s not just bad pedagogy; it’s socially irresponsible. Teaching about Thanksgiving in a socially responsible way means that educators accept the ethical obligation to provide students with accurate information and to reject traditions that sustain harmful stereotypes about Indigenous peoples. Thankfully, there are excellent online resources that can help educators interested in disrupting the hegemonic Thanksgiving story. (Teaching Tolerance)

10. Resource: A Story of Survival: The Wampanoag and the English
This Thanksgiving Lesson plan booklet has emerged as a need expressed by our teachers to have something meaningful, tangible and easy to follow in their classrooms. The booklet also emerged because many parents were frustrated with their Native child coming home with make-shift feathers and inaccurate stories of Thanksgiving. This booklet provides a number of useful tools including quick facts for teachers to read to learn about the English and the Indigenous people of this land,  a list of “what not to do” in order to not offend or provide harmful and inaccurate images to ALL children, and lessons that are grade appropriate with photos to follow. (Oklahoma City Public Schools Native American Student Services)

11. Article: ‘I Was Teaching a Lot of Misconceptions.’ The Way American Kids Are Learning About the 'First Thanksgiving' Is Changing
On a recent Saturday morning in Washington, D.C., about two dozen secondary and elementary school teachers experienced a role reversal. This time, it was their turn to take a quiz: answer “true” or “false” for 14 statements about the famous meal known as the “First Thanksgiving.” (TIME)

Explore more resources for farm to school in Native communities on our website.

Native F2S Champions: Karuk Tribe

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 26, 2019
By Keir Reyes-Johnson, Intertribal Agriculture Council, Pacific Region


Photo credit: Karuk Tribe 
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.

The Karuk Tribe is strongly committed to growing opportunities for Tribal and local youth to engage with their traditional food system. Lisa Hillman, the Director of the Píkyav Field Institute, has led a powerful effort to build integrative traditional and local foods curriculum into years of Farm 2 School (F2S) related initiatives. The Karuk Tribe initially received a F2S subaward in 2015 which enabled staff to hire Native food forager contractors who collected hundreds of pounds of acorns, grapes, huckleberries and more. The program organized field trips to foraging sites, conducted a baseline survey of traditional foods consumption at area schools, and built and implemented K-12 Native food system curriculum. Many schools throughout the Mid Klamath Region of California (Junction, Orleans, Happy Camp, and Forks of Salmon Elementary Schools, Yreka Tribal Headstart, and Happy Camp High School) partnered to implement this important programming.

In 2017, the Karuk Tribe received a $100,000 F2S grant to expand upon ongoing initiatives (developed under their initial sub-award) to further support their impressive traditional foodways educational initiatives. Under this grant, Lisa and her team were able to publish many articles and present findings and best practices at venues across the region and beyond. Continued emphasis was placed on honing and expanding K-12 curriculum as well. The true impact of the F2S based efforts over the years is immeasurable. Lisa and her team are cultivating meaningful change in their communities through food and nutrition-based curriculum that follows the unique practices of the Karuk people. 

Lisa has been very impressed by the process of working with both F2S grants and has recently shared that the “Farm 2 School grants have been the best grants I have ever worked with.” 

IAC has been a longstanding partner of the Karuk Tribe’s Department of Natural Resources (which houses the Píkyav Field Institute among other programs), sharing resources and assisting with identifying funding for youth-led initiatives, highlighting the Karuk Tribe’s impressive community-based programming nationally, advocating for the protection of Tribal sovereignty and ancestral territory management, and outreaching to Karuk youth to involve them in IAC Pacific Region Native Youth Food Sovereignty Summits in 2018 and 2019.


Learn more about the Karuk Tribe Farm to School Grant here: http://www.karuk.us/index.php/press

This Week in Farm to School: 11/26/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 26, 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 on 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. National Farmers Union’s Women’s Conference
January 19-21 // San Diego, California
Farming is never a one-woman job – it takes a village to run a successful operation. This conference will not only prepare attendees for success in agriculture, but it will also provide them with their own network of women farmers and ranchers they can reach out to throughout the year. Farmers, policy makers, educators, and specialists will present on a number of subjects, including financial management, farm labor, leadership, and more. Learn more and register here

3. 2020 Sustainable Food and Farm Conference
February 7-9 // Grass Valley, California
Join conference attendees for a tour through some of Nevada County’s innovators in regenerative agriculture. This year’s tour includes: For the People Seeds, Legacy Ranching, and Mountain Bounty Farm. The conference features a full day of national and international heroes from the sustainable food movement. This year the Conference will feature one of the world’s most dynamic and provocative thinkers on agriculture and ecology, Dr. Vandana. Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser of Singing Frogs Farm will share their award-winning regenerative farming techniques that have proven to increase both ecological health and profits. Jim Gerrish, international consultant for restoring rangelands, will help farmers and ranchers get the most of their pastures through high intensity, ecological management. Local experts will take the stage offering 20 food and farm workshops for a wide scope of interests across farmers, ranchers, home gardeners, and foodies. Topics include Agri-Tourism models, Growing More Food with High-Tunnels, Grazing for Fire Safety, Creating Value-Added Meat Products and more. Learn more 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!


Research & Resources
1. EQUITY Native Farm to School Champion Stories
November is Native American Heritage Month. To celebrate and recognize farm to school activities happening across Indian Country, National Farm to School Network has partnered with the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) to share a series of blogs profiling Native Farm to School Champions. These stories were organized and collected by IAC's Regional Technical Assistance Specialists, and top programs will be recognized for the farm to school leadership at the 2019 IAC Annual Meeting in December. IAC is NFSN's 2019 National Partner of the Year. Explore the Native Farm to School Champion profiles here

2. Cornell University publishes feature package about New York Farm to School 
NY Farm to School programs, which provide K-12 students with fresh, locally sourced foods and expand markets for farmers, are sprouting statewide thanks to efforts by Cornell Cooperative Extension to connect schools and growers. Specialists with CCE’s Harvest New York program apply findings by Cornell researchers in nutrition, agricultural economics and related fields to provide knowledge and expertise to launch or expand F2S projects; they also connect key players – growers, school food service directors, community organizers – around the table. CCE educators help K-12 teachers incorporate lessons on nutrition, food systems and related topics – much of it based upon curricula developed by Cornell’s NY Agriculture in the Classroom program. The Cornell Small Farms Program and the Farm to School Program Work Team bring together faculty, extension educators and community partners to ensure that the latest faculty and extension research informs these activities. Read more here.   


Jobs
1. Communications Intern, National Farm to School Network (Remote) 
National Farm to School Network seeks a Communications Intern to support content development and dissemination of information and resources to NFSN stakeholders. As a member of the Communications team, the Communications Intern will work closely with NFSN staff and partners, gaining hands-on experience in digital media and farm to school programming. This is a remote position, working approximately 10 hours per week for twelve months. The deadline to apply is Dec. 6, 2019. Learn more here.

2. Director of Institutional Impact, Center for Good Food Purchasing (Bay Area, CA)
The Center for Good Food Purchasing is hiring a Director of Institutional Impact. The Director of Institutional Impact is responsible for building the performance and capacity of institutions and their vendors to align their food purchases with the five core values of the Good Food Purchasing Program. The director will be responsible for building and leading the Impact team, offering enrolled institutions training, technical assistance, peer-learning opportunities, and a variety of tools to help translate data into action. The Center for Good Food Purchasing is seeking a highly motivated and adept leader with deep experience in food procurement at large institutions, and a commitment to harnessing the individual and collective purchasing power of major institutions to drive increased food system equity and improved conditions along the food supply chain. The deadline to apply is December 9, 2019. Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News
Pennsylvania school district embracing locally-sourced food options
Two food service programs new to cafeterias in the Uniontown Area School District this year are providing students with fuel for the classroom and beyond. In an effort to engage more students in healthy eating habits and prepare them to take on the day, the district introduced two programs at the start of the school year that include partnering with an area farm to offer fresh, locally-sourced foods. (Herald Standard)

Montana schools on the cutting edge with Big Sky Farm to Table Program
Missoula County Public School students have a unique opportunity for hands on learning in the MCPS Ag program at Big Sky High School. No other school in the country has a state inspected butchering shop where students can literally make their own lunch. (Tri-State Livestock News)

Arizona farm-to-school programs revitalize health in nutritionally underserved communities
The Mesa program is part of a larger national effort called farm to school, which promotes better health in children through school gardens, education related to agriculture and food, and encouraging the purchase of local foods for use in school cafeterias. Some 42,000 U.S. schools take part, including more than 500 in Arizona. Most of the gardens are in communities where more than 50% of students receive free or reduced-cost lunch. (Cronkite 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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