1. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: State Farm to School Networks
Thursday, May 10 // 2-3 PM ET
State farm to school networks are vital to the growth and institutionalization of farm to school through their state level leadership and coordination and contributions to a nationwide movement. On this webinar, learn about a new resource from the National Farm to School Network that highlights network best practices, and hear from NFSN Core Partners who are leading the way in state network development. Register here.
2. Webinar: Facilitating Participation and Partnerships for Community Food Projects
Tuesday, May 15 // 1 PM ET
Working in partnership is often promoted, but individual achievement is what tends to be rewarded in our society, and we generally don’t get a lot of training in how to work with others after we graduate Kindergarten. Strong partnerships are key elements of success for Community Food Projects, and managing complex teams requires facilitation know-how. This webinar will feature facilitation skills and meeting methods that will help to foster shared awareness, collective analysis, and full participation that enable productive and lasting partnerships. Conducted by Aley Kent, Technical Advisor Food & Agriculture, International Rescue Committee | US Programs. Register here.
3. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: State Farm to School Positions
Thursday, June 7 // 2-3 PM ET
State-supported farm to school positions within state agencies and Extension offices offer vital leadership and support to further institutionalize the farm to school movement. Join this webinar to learn about a new resource from the National Farm to School Network which highlights the growth and prevalence of state-supported farm to school positions and offers tools, resources and best practices for advocating for and maintaining state positions. Hear from NFSN Core Partners in South Carolina, Missouri and Oregon as they share their success, challenges and lessons learned and take away practical steps to advancing state-supported positions. Register here.
1. National Children & Youth Garden Symposium 2018
July 11-14, Ithaca, NY
National Children & Youth Garden Symposium is excited to be back to Ithaca, New York this year. Join this gathering to network with like-minded teachers, garden designers, community leaders, program coordinators, and others involved with connecting kids to the natural world. Registration opens in April. Learn more here.
2. Iowa Farm to School Conference - Registration Open
June 28-30 // Ankeny, IA
Registration is now open for the 2018 Iowa Farm to School Conference, which will be held June 28-20 at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny,Iowa. Sponsored by the Iowa Farm to School Network, the goal of the conference is to support and inspire those interested in or already implementing farm to school and farm to early care and education all around the state by covering a variety of topics. Register by June 1. Learn more here.
3. Massachusetts Farm & Sea to School Conference - Submit a Workshop
December 6 // Leominster, MA
Apply to present a workshop at the 2018 Massachusetts Farm & Sea to School Conference on Thursday, December 6, 2018. Share your experience as a member of the farm to school community! Conference proposals should relate to this year's theme, Setting the Table: Communities Creating Change. Organizers seek workshops that represent a variety of program approaches, reflect the diversity of Massachusetts, and promote equity in the farm and sea to school movement. Submission deadline: June 11, 2018. Learn more here.
4. 2019 Community Food Systems Conference - Save the Date
December 2019 // Savannah, GA
New Entry and Georgia Farmers Market Association (GFMA) are excited to announce their partnership in putting on the 2019 Community Food Systems Conference. The conference will take place in early December 2019 in Savannah, Georgia. The partners will build on the momentum of the 2017 Community Food Systems Conference and GFMA’s Food for Thought Conference. The 2019 Community Food Systems Conference will address common underlying themes between food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture including obstacles in urban and rural environments and fostering community empowerment to create and sustain resilient local food systems. Learn more here.
Research & Resources
1. Webinar Recording: Racial Equity in Food Systems Work: Beginning the Journey
This webinar is intended to inspire Extension educators who want to make racial equity a more intentional part of their work – and an introduction to resources and tools to help do so. Shorlette Ammons of North Carolina’s Center for Environmental Farming Systems introduces webinar participants to tools and language used in racial equity training. This webinar gives an introduction to greater conversations and work surrounding racial equity and food access. This is the first in a series of webinars that will explore the role that racial equity plays in our food system. It is hosted by the eXtension working group on Undoing Inequality in the Food System which is part of the eXtension Community, Local and Regional Community of Practice, and the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. Watch the webinar here.
2. The Business Case for Racial Equity
The WK Kellogg Foundation recently released an updated "The Business Case for Racial Equity: A Strategy for Growth" by Ani Turner. The purpose of this report is to highlight the business case for racial equity — stressing the importance of racial equity as both an imperative for social justice and a strategy for economic growth. As advancing racial equity requires the work of many stakeholders, they hope that the information in this report will be meaningful, useful, and actionable for leaders, change agents, and influencers in businesses, communities, and institutions around the country. Read more here.
3. Understanding School Culture and Its Relation to Farm to School Programming
Vermont FEED/Shelburne Farms staffers Jen Cirillo and Ryan Morra have published their research on farm to school and school culture in the Journal of Childhood Nutrition and Management. Their interviews revealed three themes that support farm to school integration: (1) relationships are foundational to support educational innovation and experimentation, (2) the value of engaging in farm to school must be experienced and communicated by a broad swath of the school community, and (3) prioritization of farm to school leads to embeddedness into school daily life and practice. Success of farm to school programming was often attributed to foundational relationships at the school that supported innovation. The value of engaging in farm to school must be communicated in order to gain funding and school policy support from parents, school boards, faculty, and staff. Read the full article here.
1. Hawai’i Senator Hirono Expresses Support for Local Products in Public School Lunches
Last week, Hawai’i Senator Mazie K. Hirono and Lieutenant Governor Doug Chin visited Mililani High School to highlight the Aina Pono Farm-to-School Initiative and Harvest of the Month programs that increase the use of locally grown produce and beef in public school lunches. Senator Hirono is a cosponsor of the Farm to School Act of 2017, which would strengthen the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Grant Program and increase the amount of local foods in schools. Read more here.
Jobs & Internships
1. Communications Intern, National Farm to School Network (Remote)
The National Farm to School Network seeks a Communications Intern to support content development and dissemination of information and resources to Core Partners and general membership. This is a paid, twelve-month position, with approximate 10 hours of work per week. The deadline to apply is May 11. Learn more here.
2. Support Services Supervisor, Bozeman School District (Bozeman, MT)
Bozeman School District is hiring a Support Services Supervisor position that manages the district's food service program. This program is poised to be a leader and innovator for community food systems and heathy children in the Gallatin Valley with a recently renovated and expanded facility, expansion of local food businesses in the area, and partnership with Gallatin Valley Farm to School, a local nonprofit. Learn more here.
3. Good Food Purchasing Specialist, Center for Good Food Purchasing (Berkeley, CA)
The Good Food Purchasing Specialist will be primarily focused on deepening the capacity of institutions to apply Good Food Purchasing Program analysis in practical and strategic decision-making. Learn more here.
4. Food Hub General Manager, Yellowstone Valley Food Hub (Billings, MT)
The General Manager will work with the staff and board of the Northern Plains Resource Council, along with a group of local producers, to launch a Food Hub in Yellowstone County in the last quarter of 2018. Learn more here.
5. 10 Cents a Meal Fellow, Groundwork Center (Traverse City, MI)
Groundwork Center seeks a dynamic, self-starter to assist with connecting local food to statewide school policy. The key element of the work is in communications, outreach, and evaluation support for a nationally recognized, statewide policy initiative focused on school children’s health and local economy entitled 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms. Learn more here.
Farm to School in the News
National Farm to Cafeteria Conference supports eating locally-grown food
At the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, held April 25-27, 2018 in Cincinnati, OH, close to 70% of all food served to the 1,000 attendees was locally sourced from Ohio and Kentucky farmers, growers, ranchers, producers and food companies. Alice Chalmers, of Local Food Connections in Ohio, talked with WKRC in Cincinnati about some of the benefits of buying locally. (WKRC)
Ohio hosts National Farm to Cafeteria event
Prior to the kickoff of the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, Ohio Farm to School’s Leadership Team hosted an Ohio Farm to Cafeteria Pre-Conference, which provide attendees with a panel and forum to discuss and learn about challenges, successes and significant issues regarding providing fresh food from farms to schools in Ohio. Education and resources were two common topics discussed throughout the panel. (Rural Life Today)
Farm to school program educates about healthy eating habits
Farm to school is taking root in new Jersey - including with little eaters! NJTV News interviews NFSN New Jersey Core Partner Beth Feehan, coordinator of the Farm to School program at the NJ Department of Agriculture, and takes a tour of Farm to ECE activities at Alphabets Preschool Center in Ashbury Park, NJ. (NJTV News)