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: 8/29/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 29, 2017
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. Whole Kids Foundation's School Garden Grant
Created in partnership with FoodCorps, the Garden Grant program provides a $2,000 monetary grant to support a new or existing edible garden at either a K-12 school, 501(c)(3) Non-profit working in partnership with a K-12 school, or 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The application period is open September 1, 2017 thru October 31, 2017. Read more and apply

2. Health Impact Project Funding
The Health Impact Project offers up to $100,000 funding to communities and organizations seeking to promote the consideration of health in policy and decision-making. Eligibility varies based on the specific call for proposals.  Deadline: Sept. 15. 

Webinars
1. Growing a Healthy Foundation for Learning: What's New in Local School Wellness Policies (Wellness Policy Series, Part 1)
August 31 // 2-3pm ET
In July 2016, the USDA updated requirements for local school wellness policies (LWPs). As a result most school districts will need to realign and strengthen existing LWPs. This session will outline the guidelines, review the latest research, and highlight current policy work at the state and local level. Register here. This is the first in a two-part webinar series on LWPs. 

2. Promoting equity in local food systems through Cooperative Extension

September 6 // 3-4pm ET
How can we apply equity and anti-racism principles to our food system work? In answer to this question, this webinar provides three examples from the Cooperative Extension System of efforts to promote equity and undo racism in local food systems. Register here

3. Native Farmers and Food Businesses: Postharvest Handling Food Safety 
September 7 // 3-5pm ET
The IFAI has developed this series of food safety webinars to help Native American farmers, ranchers and food producers to understand the importance of food safety and what is necessary to reach compliance under the FSMA. Attendees will learn about produce safety, food-borne pathogens, worker health, wildlife, land use, post-harvest handling, and legal issues associated with food safety in Indian Country. Register here

4. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics: Farm to School for Children with Special Needs
Thursday, September 7, 2-3pm ET
Learn about opportunities and best practices for utilizing farm to school initiatives to support learning and development for every child. Hear success stories from leaders of programs across the country who are serving students with special needs. Register here.

5. NFSN WEBINAR Advocacy in Action: 2017 Farm to School Policy Opportunities

Thursday, September 21, 2-3pm ET
Join the National Farm to School Network to learn about current federal legislative activities and state policy efforts that are advancing opportunities for the expansion of farm to school in K-12 and early care education settings nationwide. Presenters will share stories and key learnings from recent policy efforts, and discuss advocacy opportunities for getting involved in current initiatives. Register here

Events
1. Save the Date: 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 26-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
Save the date for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, coming to Cincinnati, Ohio, April 26-27, 2018! Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event will convene more than 1,200 movement leaders working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of healthy food and agricultural literacy across America. Cafeterias in schools, early care and education settings, universities, prisons and hospitals serve more than 40 million Americans every day, placing the farm to cafeteria movement at the forefront of the fight to end obesity and strengthen local food systems and economies. The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is the only national gathering of stakeholders from across this movement, making it the premiere opportunity to learn, network and collaborate with like minded leaders from across the country. Learn more and sign-up for updates at farmtoschool.org/conference

2. Ample Harvest: 2nd Annual Food Waste Weekend
September 8-10 
Food Waste Weekend is a first of its kind opportunity for the clergy of all faiths to speak to their congregations about the waste of food in America on the weekend of September 8-10, each from their own faith perspective. Learn more and access all of the resources

3. Louisiana Farm to School Conference 2017
October 24 //  Baton Rouge, LA
The LSU AgCenter is hosting a statewide farm-to-school conference to bring together school administrators, teachers, parents, food service managers, farmers, and food distributors in the interest of Louisiana agriculture, school gardens, and healthy school meals. The conference will center on education, gardening, and procurement, with technical assistance in areas such as curricula incorporation and culinary education, food and garden safety, and local food procurement. Register here

Action Item
1. Tell us who you would like to be the keynote at the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference!
The National Farm to School Network announced a 'Save the Date' for their 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 26-27, 2018. Participate in this short survey to let NFSN know who you would like to see as the keynote speaker at the conference. 

Resources
1. Growing Head Start Success with Farm to Early Care and Education
To make it easier for Head Start stakeholders to implement farm to early care and education, the National Farm to School Network has created Growing Head Start Success with Farm to Early Care and Education. This new, comprehensive resource aims to promote understanding amongst Head Start stakeholders of how farm to ECE supports achievement of Head Start Program Performance Standards and contributes to learning and development benchmarks as outlined in the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework. Dig into this new resource here.

2. National Farm to School Network in Action: January-May 2017

As a collective, the National Farm to School Network brings people together, develops programs, drives policy change and educates on the benefits of farm to school and farm to early care and education at the local, state and national levels. A new report showcases connections made, policies advanced and successes from across the country between January-May 2017. This report summarizes input received from 42 Core Partners and 78 Supporting Partners in states, Washington, D.C. and U.S. Territories, most of whom began their work with NFSN in March, as well as 11 national staff. View the report here

Job Opportunities
1. School Food Program Manager / Lead Cook & F2S Coordinators, Mala`ai Kula in Kaua`i, Hawai`i 
Malama Kaua`i is seeking to fill three positions for their native Hawaiian farm-to-school pilot program. The positions will play leadership roles in the island of Kaua`i's first large-scale farm-to-school effort, focusing on traditional and local food system building through procurement and education. Apply here

2. State Food Systems Specialist, University of Florida Extension

University of Florida Extension's Family Nutrition Program (FNP) is seeking to hire a State Food Systems Specialist. The Food Systems Specialist  will promote and expand Farm to School activities at the state and county levels. Apply here

3. Communications Coordinator, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

The Communications Coordinator is a full-time position with the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA).  The Coordinator develops and implements CFSA’s Communications and Marketing strategies to increase visibility, advance their mission, and grow the membership base and support. Apply here

4. Operations and Financial Coordinator, Phat Beets Produce

Phat Beets is looking for an Operations and Financial Coordinator to join their Oakland based collective. The Operations and Financial Coordinator will serve as a member of the core staff for Phat Beets, and overseeing operations and managing financial processes for the organization. Apply here

Policy Updates
1. Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee votes to restore Farm to School funding
Agriculture groups and schools are celebrating lawmakers' decision to continue funding for the state's farm to school program. Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal would have cut $66,400 allocated in previous budgets for the program's state coordinator. Last week, the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee voted to restore that funding in the next state budget. Read more here

2. Unanimous Support Secures the Future of "Farm to School" in Oregon

Unanimous support from the Oregon House, Senate and governor has passed a bill that supports local food in schools. House Bill 2038 allocates $4.5 million for schools to continue to buy Oregon-grown and processed foods and to support agriculture- and garden-based education. Read more here.

Farm to School in the News
School yard garden for Ohio students blossoms 
Curriculum Director Scott Bloom designed a curriculum around the school yard garden, which the Master Gardeners of Miami County will be instructing to the fifth graders. The students will be utilizing the garden in the fall and the spring, planting a variety of types of flowers and vegetables with the latter eventually making it into the schools’ cafeterias.(Piqua Daily Call)

Healthy Kids in Henderson County, North Carolina

In Henderson County, WIC has a new program to connect families with fresh produce. They’re kicking off a Tour de Daycare project this fall. Named after the famous bicycle race Tour de France, Tour de Daycare brings nutrition education to multiple daycare centers in the county and helps them start school gardens. (ASAP

Austin Elevates School Lunch
In AISD cafeterias, students eat meals made from scratch, often featuring vegetables procured from the six participating schools’ Garden to Cafe programs or local farm Johnson’s Backyard Garden. Through this they’re introduced to new flavors and ingredients in dishes such as cilantro lime drumsticks and vegan lentil chili Frito pie. (Austin Monthly

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.

Farm to ECE and Head Start: A Natural Alignment

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 29, 2017
By Tiffany Turner, Senior Fellow, Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation 

Farm to early care and education (ECE) offers benefits that strongly parallel the goals and priorities of the early care and education community, with a particularly strong alignment with Head Start priority areas, including an emphasis on experiential learning opportunities, parent and community engagement, and life-long health and wellness for children, families and caregivers. Additionally, farm to ECE expands healthy food access for children and families, provides additional market opportunities for farmers and supports thriving communities. 

To make it even easier for Head Start stakeholders to implement farm to ECE, the National Farm to School Network has created Growing Head Start Success with Farm to Early Care and Education. This new, comprehensive resource aims to promote understanding amongst Head Start stakeholders of how farm to ECE supports achievement of Head Start Program Performance Standards and contributes to learning and development benchmarks as outlined in the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework. Growing Head Start Success is designed with clear, easy to read tables that directly align Program Performance Standards and the Early Learning Outcomes Framework with specific farm to ECE activities from each of the three core elements of local procurement, gardening, and food, agriculture and nutrition education. 

The resource can be used in a variety of ways. For example, if a Head Start program is working on their community wide strategic planning and needs assessment (Part 1302, Subpart A, 1302.11), they can look to Growing Head Start Success and identify at least three farm to ECE focused ways to meet this standard: (1) identify resources for local food access in the community, (2) opportunities to use food-based education to increase family and child nutrition knowledge, or (3) identify community organizations to support onsite and community gardens. Integrating food access and local food resources as a component of community assessment creates a foundation for utilizing local food opportunities to support other standards around family engagement, family support services, and community partnership and coordination. 

In another instance, a Head Start teacher is seeking ways to support vocabulary development (a sub-domain of Language and Communication) for her preschool age students. The teacher can find the “Vocabulary” sub-domain in Growing Head Start Success and see specific farm to ECE activities, books and resources that directly support goals in the “Vocabulary” sub-domain. The teacher chooses a rhyming storybook describing how vegetables grow to help children act out directional and positional words. In choosing a farm to ECE related book, the teacher is not only supporting appropriate development within the domains, but also promoting food knowledge, exposure and acceptance.    
 
The resource also offers three profiles of Head Start programs leading the way in addressing performance and learning standards with farm to ECE. STEP, Inc., of Pennsylvania, Inspire Development Centers of Washington State, and Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota offer these recommendations for integrating farm to ECE in Head Start:

Tips for Farm to ECE in Head Start Success: 

  • Develop a team of staff who can be stewards of the initiative and engage with local partners, such as farmers market managers who can connect ECE programs with local farmers.
  • Start small and experiment with different types of farm to ECE activities to find what works for your community. Grow from those small successes.
  • Focus on building community buy-in and support from many different stakeholders, from the teachers, staff, and parents in the Head Start Program, to local schools or business who can provide promotion and support.
  • Connect with and visit other Head Start programs integrating farm to ECE to better understand opportunities and best practices in implementation. 

To help you share out this exciting new resource, we’ve created a Communications Toolkit with sample social media and blog posts. By promoting this resource widely, we hope that even more Head Start programs choose farm to ECE to meet program and learning standards while providing children, families and communities with the myriad benefits that farm to ECE has to offer. 

The National Farm to School Network is available to provide additional training, customized support and tools for your organization on a consultation basis. To learn more, contact Lacy Stephens, Farm to Early Care and Education Associate, at lacy@farmtoschool.org.

This Week in Farm to School: 8/22/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 22, 2017
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. Voice for Healthy Kids 
The American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are working to create a culture of health through Voices for Healthy Kids. The goal of the grant opportunities within this initiative is to make effective strategic investments in ongoing state, local, and tribal public policy issue campaigns in order to increase public policy impact on healthy weight and living among children. Learn more. Applications are due September 6. 


Webinars
1. Introduction to USDA's Community Food Project 
August 23 // 1-2pm ET
If your organization is considering applying for a CFP grant, or would like to learn more about CFP, we encourage you to attend this introductory webinar. We'll present the background of the grant program and discuss eligibility and types of projects, program goals, technical logistics and general timeline of the application process, the importance of community engagement, and the Indicators of Success for project evaluation. Register here

2. School Nutrition Association: Host a Legislator Site Visit
September 6 // 2-3pm ET
Bringing your legislator in for a behind-the-scenes look at the daily operation of your school cafeteria could make the difference in preventing block grants, preserving funding and expanding commodity support. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs. Learn more and register
 
3. Promoting Equity in Local Food Systems through Cooperative Extension
September 6 // 3-4pm ET
How can we apply equity and anti-racism principles to our food system work? In answer to this question, this webinar provides three examples from the Cooperative Extension System of efforts to promote equity and undo racism in local food systems. Register here

4. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: Farm to School for Children with Special Needs
Thursday, September 7, 2-3 PM ET
On this webinar, participants will learn about opportunities and best practices for utilizing farm to school initiatives to support learning and development for children with special needs and hear success stories from leaders of programs across the country serving students with special needs. This webinar is open to the public, register here.

5. Professional Development Models for Training Garden Educators 
September 12 // 4-5pm ET
School Garden Support Organizations work to prepare teachers, organization staff, and community volunteers to lead students in garden-based learning activities. Learn different approaches School Garden Support Organizations use to lead high quality professional development for garden educators. Hosted by Vanessa Ford, Director of Training & Curriculum Development, REAL School Gardens. Register here


Resources & Research
1. Young Food Justice Leaders Speak Out
Youth have the energy, idealism, creativity, and conviction needed to move the food movement forward. Nowhere is this fact more apparent than at a gathering of Rooted in Community (RIC), a national network of youth-centered food justice organizations. In late July, RIC convened more than 100 youth activists and 40 adult allies from around the United States for a five-day leadership-training summit in Greensboro, North Carolina. The gathering aimed to prepare its participants to advocate for resilient, equitable, and thriving communities—all through the lens of food. Read more

2. WASTED: Second Edition of NRDC’s Landmark Food Waste Report

The Natural Resources Defense Council released the second edition of their Wasted report.  It provides an extensive picture of the current state of wasted food in the U.S. including on-going drivers, new statistics, key areas of progress since we released the original Wasted report in 2012 and recommendations for further progress. In tandem, we announced Phase Two of the Save The Food campaign.

3. Students Practice Mindful Eating
Research now shows, learning to eat mindfully can empower people to make conscious choices about what — and how much — to eat. That can lead to weight loss and better health. Mindful eating can even be used to combat eating disorders. Read more

4. Obesity in Indian Country Is Mostly the Same; Why That’s Incremental Progress

There is an epidemic of diabetes in Native American communities. Yet it’s also true that adult diabetes rates for American Indian and Alaska Natives have not increased in recent years, and there has been a significant drop in both vision-related diseases and kidney failures. Incremental progress. Now a new study, one that is built on a massive amount of data, reports that obesity among Native American youth is mostly the same. Learn more


Job Opportunities
1. Urban Agriculture Manager, Gary Comer Youth Center
Gary Comer Youth Center in Chicago seeks to hire an Urban Agriculture Manager. This position will play a leadership role to increase the impact of existing and new social enterprise ventures focused on teens, young adults and urban agriculture. Learn more and apply

2. Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 

The RWJF is seeking to fill the role of Program Office/ Senior Program Officer in the Research - Evaluation - Learning Unit (REL). The program officers/senior program officers (PO/SPO) in the Research-Evaluation-Learning (REL) unit are professional staff responsible for creating, developing, implementing, and managing the research and evaluation aspects of the Foundation’s initiatives. Learn more and apply

3. Director of Garden Programs, Pennsylvania Horticulture Society 
The PHS based in Philadelphia seeks to hire a Director of Garden Programs to lead PHS’s thinking and action in supporting a thriving and growing network of community and school gardens and gardeners. Read more and apply


Farm to School in the News
Michigan Expands 10 Cents a Meal Pilot to Broader Regions of the State
Michigan legislators expanded the popular 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms program from $250,000 in general funds last year to $375,000 for the upcoming school year; and added a third, six-county region in Washtenaw in southeast Michigan in which schools are eligible to apply for funds via competitive grants, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced in a press release Thursday. (Groundwork Center

Iowa Elementary School Learning Healthier Habits

On Thursday, August 10, Franklin Elementary School gave their summer school students a special treat. They got to taste salsa, pesto, and lemonade made with ingredients they grew all summer, along with using honey from their bee hive. (Voices of Muscatine

A Fresh Start: Kentucky Schools food service partners with local farmers
Anderson said he encourages his employees to find ways to work alongside teachers in classrooms and partner for unique learning projects. Past partnerships have come in the form of marketing projects for new cafeteria items and life skills lessons in budgeting, cooking and meal planning. (Richmond Register)


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: 8/15/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 

Webinars

1. CommunityFood: Exploring Innovations in Community Food Systems 
August 17 // 3:30pm ET
The National Good Food Network and the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative of the University of Arkansas are excited to present this webinar highlighting themes in innovation emerging among community-based organizations across Indian Country, rural communities, and cities across America. Register here

2. School Nutrition Association: Host a Legislator Site Visit

September 6 // 2-3pm ET
Bringing your legislator in for a behind-the-scenes look at the daily operation of your school cafeteria could make the difference in preventing block grants, preserving funding and expanding commodity support. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs. Learn more and register
 
3. Promoting equity in local food systems through Cooperative Extension
September 6 // 3-4pm ET
How can we apply equity and anti-racism principles to our food system work? In answer to this question, this webinar provides three examples from the Cooperative Extension System of efforts to promote equity and undo racism in local food systems. Register here

4. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: Farm to School for Children with Special Needs
Thursday, September 7, 2-3 PM ET

While farm to school offers abundant benefits for all children, we have learned from our partners that the core elements of farm to school – including hands on education, spending time in gardens, and cooking and tasting local food – offers additional benefits to students with special needs, supporting their learning and growth in many different environments. On this webinar, participants will learn about opportunities and best practices for utilizing farm to school initiatives to support learning and development for children with special needs and hear success stories from leaders of programs across the country serving students with special needs. This webinar is open to the public, Register here.

5. Farmers Markets as Engines of Economic Activity: Power in Numbers
September 11 // 2-3pm ET
As we approach the end of peak season in Michigan, this webinar from Michigan State University will celebrate the many ways farmers markets contribute to community economic development across the state. Findings from recent research projects will quantify effects from consumer, producer and community perspectives. Register here

6. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to ECE Quarterly Webinar: Farm to Early Care and Education in Head Start – A Natural Alignment
Tuesday, October 10, 3-4 PM ET
Head Start offers vital, high quality early care and education (ECE) opportunities to low-income families across the country. Farm to ECE offers benefits that support the goals and priorities of the ECE community, with a particularly strong alignment with Head Start priority areas, including an emphasis on experiential learning opportunities, parent and community engagement, and life-long health and wellness for children, families and caregivers. Join this webinar to learn about the exciting new resource from NFSN, “Growing Head Start Success with Farm to Early Care and Education,” which aligns Head Start Program Performance Standards and the Early Learning Outcomes Framework with farm to ECE opportunities and to hear from Head Start practitioners about best practices and successes in implementing farm to ECE in the Head Start setting. This webinar is open to the public, so please share widely. Register here.  


Events
1. 2017 NIFTI National Field School 
November 8-10 // Pacific Grove, CA
Now in its sixth year, the NIFTI National Field School's goal is to bring together leaders in the field of beginning farmer training to build skills, discuss perspectives and experience on how to best support the next generation of farmers in the US, and to reinforce and advance one another’s work. Read more and register. Early bird registration price ends September 5. 

2. Food First's Food Sovereignty Tour

November 10-19 // Cuba
Food First's Food Sovereignty Tours guide travelers and activists interested in alternative food movements to international destinations to explore other food systems and their fight for food sovereignty. Join them this November on their tour to Cuba to learn firsthand from farmers, professors, government officials, and educators about the agroecology movement across the country. Learn more

3. Community Food Systems Conference

December 5-7 // Boston
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project's 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


Resources
1. Preserving Indigenous Farming Knowledge and Practices
Over the centuries, indigenous peoples have provided a series of ecological and cultural services to humankind. The preservation of traditional forms of farming knowledge and practices help maintain biodiversity, enhance food security, and protect the world’s natural resources. There are approximately 370 million indigenous peoples in the world occupying or using up to 22 percent of the global land area, which is home to 80 percent of the world’s biological diversity. Read more about five indigenous farming practices that have helped shape sustainable farming systems and practices all over the world.
2. Racial Justice in the Farm Economy Needs Community Capital
How can we secure food justice in the United States when 98% of all farmland is owned by White people? When Black farmers own less than 3 million acres of rural land today, compared to over 15 million acres just a century ago? When 180 million acres were stolen from Native communities in the 19th and 20th centuries? Developing a just food system requires (1) confronting the reality of racial disparity in farmland ownership and its negative impacts on wealth distribution, health outcomes, and cultural vitality, and (2) replacing the current reality with an equitable distribution of farmland that prioritizes communal stewardship, local control, and diversified ownership. Read More

3. Engage Native and Rural Communities, Families and Schools in Education

Rural schools serving tribal communities face unique challenges. Schools thrive when everybody is working together and involved in the education process. Rural schools, particularly those on and near reservations, face unique challenges in building bridges to schools that serve tribal and border communities. In some of those schools, staff members are not aware or interested in understanding Native culture or the boarding school history that impacts the students they are teaching. Read more to learn 10 of the best suggestions from the Montana OPI to make rural schools a more welcome place for Native children.

4. Farm to School Podcast Recommendations

Last month, the National Farm to School Network asked: what are your favorite farm to school and food systems podcasts? And we heard from lots of you - our Core Partners and Supporting Partners, members, social media followers and staff. Here is an abbreviated list of the most shared recommendations. The next time you are working in the school garden or on the farm, dicing vegetables for school lunch, or commuting to work, try one of these podcast for some food for thought! Read more and start listening

Job Opportunities
1. Marketing and Promotion Specialist, Montana No Kid Hungary
Montana's Department of Public Health and Human Services is seeking to hire a Marketing and Promotion Specialist for the Montana No Kid Hungry. The Marketing and Promotion Specialist has responsibilities such as organizing and promoting contests, developing “messaging” for the website and social media presence, writing articles and expanding “messaging” for the online quarterly newsletters. Learn more and apply

Farm to School in the News
Making Fresh Foods the New Norm in Michigan
In 2015, Vandyke Elementary implemented the Greenway Grows programming and school garden. The garden serves as an outdoor learning laboratory during the school year and summer programming. With the addition of the salad bar, the Vandyke Green Team students will be able to begin collecting compostable waste to help fuel their garden. (Grand Rapids Herald Review)

Manzo Elementary's School Garden (Arizona)
This video shows how young students in west Tucson work together at Manzo Elementary's school garden to plant and harvest vegetables sustainably for their community. (ASU School of Sustainability)

Garden Club in Missouri Continues to Blossom

Clark-Vitt Elementary teacher Linda Schwoeppe didn’t know much about gardening when her students asked her to start a garden club two years ago. She said that in many ways, she’s learned as the students have, day-by-day. (eMissourian)

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: 8/08/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 08, 2017
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 

Webinars

1. Supporting Immigrant Families

August 10 // 3pm ET
As the new school year starts, the threats to immigrants – documented and undocumented — have many children, parents and educators concerned. This webinar, hosted by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), will focus on challenges facing families, districts and advocates across the country and possible strategies to address them. Register here

2. Food Policy Roundtable – Elevating the Community’s Voice
August 14 // 1-2pm ET
Food Policy Networks will host the Food Policy Roundtable Webinar to focus on elevating the community's voice. Many food policy councils strive for diverse representation across races, classes, occupations, genders, and ages to ensure they prioritize the food systems issues and solutions most appropriate to their communities. However, councils continue to be challenged to find effective strategies for engaging and empowering those most impacted by food systems issues. Learn strategies for effective community inclusion. Register here

3. Farm Bill 101
August 15 //  3-4:30 ET
Join NSAC and SSAWG for a farm bill primer and grassroots strategy session. This four-part farm bill webinar series is designed to provide farmers, food producers and anyone who eats and cares about food an opportunity to get in-depth information about the farm bill, share information and concerns and develop ways to get involved and participate in farm bill grassroots activities. Register here

4. Promoting equity in local food systems through Cooperative Extension
September 6 // 3-4pm ET
How can we apply equity and anti-racism principles to our food system work? In answer to this question, this webinar provides three examples from the Cooperative Extension System of efforts to promote equity and undo racism in local food systems. Register here


Action Items 
1. Join this year’s Green Apple Day of Service
Green Apple Day of Service is an opportunity to join schools across the world in celebrating the central role that schools play in preparing the next generation of leaders in sustainability. A school’s event improves the health and safety of the learning environment while strengthening student civic leadership, environmental literacy, and project management skills. Schools and the community leaders who support them can choose their own date for their project, and they have access to mini-grants and personalized guidance to help them make their projects a reality. Sign up to participate at greenapple.org.

2. Agricultural technical assistance providers invited to participate in study
Syracuse University, The Pennsylvania State University, New York University, and the National Center for Appropriate Technology invite agricultural technical assistance providers to take part in a national study. The study seeks to examine local and regional agricultural production and intermediated markets, and will examine the opportunities and risks of four main marketing opportunities for farmers—direct-to-consumer, direct-to-institution, direct-to-retail, and selling to intermediaries (such as distributors or food hubs), who in turn sell the products as local food. Read more and participate in the short survey

3. National Geographic looking for ideas in food security
National Geographic has an open call for ideas to address how we feed a planet approaching 9 billion people. $25,000 will be given to the top idea in food security to further its implementation. Submission is a one-minute video describing the idea. Learn more

Events
1. 2017 South Carolina Farm to Institution Summit
September 19 // Columbia, SC
The purpose of the summit is to bring together key farm to institution players to further encourage local procurement, reinforce healthy, local foods education, and provide the skills to establish a garden, farmers’ market or CSA program on site. The keynote will be Anupama Joshi, the Executive Director and Co-founder of the National Farm to School Network. Learn more

2. 2017 Georgia Farm to School Summit 
October 5-6 // Augusta, GA
Early bird registration now open for the 2017 Georgia Farm to School Summit. Hear from Keynote Betti Wiggins and Honorary Co-Chair Donna Martin, tour farm to school programs, and choose from 21 education sessions including focused content for school nutrition, educators, and early care providers. Register here.

3. Ohio School Garden Conference
October 13 // Columbus, OH
Educators, after-school personnel and interested public are invited to attend the Ohio School Garden Conference. Planned discussions include garden-based nutrition education, after-school gardening, hands-on activities and more. Register here

Resources
1. Growing Local: A Community Guide to Planning for Agriculture and Food Systems
The American Farmland Trust and Growing Food Connections have announced the publication of Growing Local: A Community Guide to Planning for Agriculture and Food Systems. Written for farmers, community residents and food policy councils, as well as planners and local government officials, this practical guide highlights real-life examples of ways communities are growing food connections from field to fork.

2. Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food System Investments to Transform Communities
The Federal Reserve and USDA are unveiling a new report  to showcase how local and regional food systems can help the economies of rural and urban communities, as well as increase access to healthier food and create a more productive workforce. The report is intended to signal that local food is no longer just for "foodies," but instead is in high demand by consumers across the country and is ripe for investment and financing.

3.Celebrating School Garden: Snapshots from across the country
Every school garden is its own classroom where kids learn several subjects at once -- science, math, and even the arts. Harvest time teaches the most important lesson of all: the satisfaction of knowing where your food comes from. Read more about some of Edible Communities' favorite stories about school gardens from coast to coast.

4. Hawaii Pollinators and School Garden Toolkit
The Hawaii Center for Food Safety (HCFS) is excited to share a helpful new resource for school garden teachers. The Hawaii Pollinators and School Garden Toolkit is a free resource for teachers to integrate into their school garden curriculum. 

Policy News
1. Oregon Governor Signs Farm to School Funding Bill
Oregon House Bill 2038 expands funding for the statewide Farm to School and School Garden grant program. The bill provides funding for Oregon schools to purchase Oregon-grown and processed products and to provide food, agriculture, and garden-based educational activities. Oregon Governor Katherine Brown signed the bill into law on August 2, 2017.

2. House Representative introduce school food and nutrition policy

Congressman Cartwright introduced the “Nutrition Education Act”, Congresswoman DeLauro introduced the “Safe Chicken and Meat for Children Act of 2017”, and Congressman Poliquin reintroduced the “Fruit and Vegetable Access for Children Act.” Read more

Farm to School in the News
Minnesota school district's first gardener growing into the job
Hiring a garden manager has allowed the garden to expand. Children are involved from early education through high school. "This year, we've been able to open it up," she said. Plus, they get to eat the veggies. The cooks use much of it in summer meals and as snacks, while potatoes, onions and peppers will be stored for use throughout the winter. (Echo Press)

Maine student gardeners farm food, life skills

Four years ago, four Brunswick High School students took pickaxes to a coarse, overgrown plot of land beside the school’s parking lot. Now, nearly 10 students spend three mornings a week getting paid $9 an hour to weed, water, hoe and harvest the plot, which has expanded to 14,000 square feet. (The Forecaster)

Virginia school garden has families learning, growing together
“We call it the heart of our school,” said kindergarten teacher Marykirk Cunningham, who also oversees the garden. “We have the kids say ‘our garden’ so they know it’s for everyone.”It’s known as the Garden Lab. Aptly named, it’s considered just as much of a learning space as any of the classrooms that surround it. Students’ work begins the first week of the school year, as they create a plan for planting, maintaining, harvesting, cooking and even composting crops. (Loudoun Now)

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.


Food For Thought: Farm to School Podcast Recommendations

NFSN Staff Monday, August 07, 2017
By Molly Schintler, Communications Intern



The farm to school movement is about a lot more than farms and schools. In fact, farm to school is intrinsically tied to our food system, and the food system connects to just about everything: public policy, economics, social and cultural traditions, history, equity, and more. Podcasts are a great way to learn more about the complexities of our food system, broaden our understanding of farm to school, and foster a sense of connection to others in our field of work through storytelling. 

So we asked: what are your favorite farm to school and food systems podcasts? And we heard from lots of you - our Core Partners and Supporting Partners, members, social media followers and staff. Below is an abbreviated list of the most shared recommendations. The next time you are working in the school garden or on the farm, dicing vegetables for school lunch, or commuting to work, try one of these podcast for some food for thought! *Note: Most descriptions come from the podcast creators.

Heritage Radio Network is a great umbrella resource, as their entire set of programs delves into the U.S. food system and provides a platform for artisans, chefs, activists, policy experts and farmers to share their perspectives on eating, food production and the future of agriculture. A few of pointed recommendations include: 

  • Inside School Food: Looking for an inside view of K-12 food service? Host Laura Stanley shares conversations about what’s happening across the spectrum of school food, from coping with regulations to meeting sustainability goals.
  • Eating Matters: With food emerging as a critical policy area, host Jenna Liut and food policy experts discuss the issues that shape our everyday experiences of buying, cooking and eating food.
  • The Farm Report: Host Erin Fairbanks and her guests dig into the nitty-gritty of agriculture, exploring distribution networks, policy issues and other topics in the world of ag and food.
The Secret Ingredient: In every episode of The Secret Ingredient, you'll learn new ways to think about how you eat everyday. The hosts talk with the people whose life's work has been to understand the complex systems of production, distribution, marketing and impact these foods have on our lives. They won't tell you what to eat, but they will tell you why you're eating it. Make sure to check out Episode 19: School Food.

The Female Farmer Project: This podcast series aims to serve as a platform for women to discuss agricultural issues, and give power to traditional, cultural and experience-driven knowledge.  

How to Health: Dr. Laurie Marbas and Katie Reines, MS, RD share inspiring stories of individuals conquering chronic disease, overcoming incredible obstacles, and the experts to help you find health. Changing health by changing the food we eat. Don't miss Episode 55: Chef Ann Cooper: Renegade Lunch Lady

The Rudd Report: Hosted by Kelly Brownell, Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity Director, the series features experts in nutrition, food marketing, food policy and law, the food industry, and weight bias.

The Racist Sandwich: This podcast serves up a unique perspective on food and how the ways we consume, create and interpret it can be political. From discussions about racism in food photography to interviews with chefs of color about their experiences in the restaurant world, hosts Soleil Ho and Zahir Janmohamed hash out a diverse range of topics with humor and grace. 

Future of Agriculture: Hosted by Tim Hammerich, this podcast looks into the diversity that is agriculture and agribusiness. The global population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050 and agriculture is expected to produce more food with less land and less water. Agribusiness will be part of the future to constantly innovate and find sustainable ways of meeting the challenges of tomorrow. 

Gastropod: This podcast looks at food through the lens of science and history. Each episode examines the hidden history and surprising science behind a different food and/or farming-related topic. Listen to interviews with experts and visit labs, fields and archaeological digs while discovering new ways to understand the world through food.

Bite: Join acclaimed food and farming blogger Tom Philpott, Mother Jones editors Kiera Butler and Maddie Oatman, and a tantalizing guest list of writers, farmers, scientists and chefs as they uncover the surprising stories behind what ends up on your plate. 

The Bioneers: The greatest social and scientific innovators of our time celebrate the genius of nature and human ingenuity. From social and racial justice to women’s leadership and indigenous knowledge, this award-winning series features breakthrough solutions for people and the planet. 

The Uncertain Hour: This Marketplace podcast documentary series is brought to you by the Wealth & Poverty Desk. The first season is a timely, immersive look at the welfare system 20 years after reform. Follow the money and read the fine print to magnify how one of the most controversial federal programs works.

Check out more suggestions from our followers and tell us about your favorites on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Or, send us a note here. Happy listening!

65 Free Farm to School Recipes From The Chef Ann Foundation

NFSN Staff Wednesday, August 02, 2017
Guest post by Sarah Flinn, Marketing Manager, Chef Ann Foundation

Chef Ann Cooper has been reforming school food for almost 20 years, and when recently asked what she’d do if she had a magic wand, her response was quick and to the point:

1. We need to feed kids—all kids should have access to healthy food at school every day.
2. We need to teach kids food literacy. 

“What is it that we do numerous times a day from the day we’re born to the day we die? It’s eat. It’s not trigonometry. But what do we test students on? We have to teach kids about healthy food and where it comes from.”

Why Farm to School?

We know that one of the best ways to teach kids about their food is to show them where it comes from. Through farm to school activities we aim to connect kids to local farms, farmers and food, and to let them see, smell and touch the fresh produce. But above all else, they need to taste it.

It’s great when schools have activities to teach kids about local produce, but we’ve found that those learning experiences in the lunchroom are even more impactful when the students later see those same ingredients incorporated into their school meals. 

Free Farm to School Recipes

For many schools, a barrier to serving local food is a lack of recipes that utilize farm-fresh ingredients. That’s why we’re so excited to provide 65 new Farm to School recipes on The Lunch Box! Not only do these recipes credit towards the USDA meal pattern, they’ve also been created and tested in a school kitchen, and are taste-taste approved by students. 

The recipes on The Lunch Box are consistently the most utilized resources that the Chef Ann Foundation provides to schools and we’re not surprised why:

  • All of our recipes (there are over 300 of them) are free for anyone to download at any time. 
  • The recipes can be scaled for any number of servings, taking the guesswork out of purchasing.
  • Each recipe also includes the full cost analysis for your specific school or district’s size in addition to the cost per serving—making it easier to plan your budget while incorporating these new recipes into your menu cycle. 
Bringing Farm to School to Pre-K

For the schools that are serving lunch to our youngest kids, the pre-kindergarteners, recipes have been even harder to come by, but our farm to school recipes are among the first recipes that credit towards the new Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) that go into effect this fall. We’ve also put together a complete 6-week menu cycle for Pre-K (and all other grade levels). 

Removing the Barriers to Scratch-Cooking

When you get down to the root of everything that we do at the Chef Ann Foundation, it all leads back to helping as many schools as possible serve healthy, scratch-cooked food to all of our students, regardless of their age or family’s income. When we can help schools with the recipes they need to do that and encourage schools to use their buying power to boost their local economy and decrease their carbon footprint at the same time, everyone wins. 

One last thing, did we mention that these meals are really delicious? Doesn’t Chicken Piccata, Tuna with Lemon and Dill, or a Black Bean Empanada sound more appealing than a frozen burrito or chicken nuggets? You can find all of the new farm to school recipes for free here.

This Week in Farm to School: 8/01/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 01, 2017
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 


Webinars
1. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to ECE Webinar: State Agencies as Leaders and Partners in Growing Farm to ECE
August 2 // 3:30-4:30pm ET
State agencies (including departments of agriculture, education and health) can be key leaders and partners in facilitating growth and institutionalization of farm to ECE at the state level. Join us to learn more about the variety of ways that state agencies across the country are leading the way in farm to ECE. Representatives from Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the South Carolina Departments of Health and Environmental Control and Social Services will share their innovative programs and strategic approaches to growing and supporting farm to ECE in their states. This webinar is open to all so please share widely. Register here

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: Farm to School in Native Communities
August 3 // 2-3pm ET
In partnership with numerous community leaders, the National Farm to School Network has been exploring opportunities to expand farm to school activities in Native communities. We’ve learned from our partners that with a community-based and multi-generational framework, farm to school can be a nexus of economic development, food sovereignty, health and nutrition, and cultural revitalization. On this webinar, learn about unique opportunities and challenges of farm to school in Native communities, and hear several examples of success from Native community leaders. This webinar is open to all so please share widely. Register here

3. FNS Presents: Partnering for More Successful Summers
August 8 // 2-3pm ET
Join FNS for "Partnering for More Successful Summers: Bringing together Summer Meals, SNAP-Ed and local farmers to better serve communities". Participants will learn how to identify , develop, and leverage possible partnership activities between Summer Food Service, SNAP-Ed, Farm to Summer and Farmers Markets. Register here

4. Budget and Matching Funds for BFRDP Applicants 

August 15 // 1-2 ET
New Entry and their partner, Allison Goin, will present another webinar in their Beginning Farm and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) webinar series for potential applicants. This webinar will dive into the budget and match requirement for the BFRDP grant application. Register here

Action Items
1. OAO Seeking Grant Reviewers
For this year’s 2501 Grant competition, the OAO is seeking reviewers currently working in the grants arena and/or working directly with farmers and ranchers in the field offices of U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Reviewers will be required to review and evaluate evidenced-based grant proposals to provide outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers. If you are interested in serving as a reviewer, please contact Kenya Nicholas at kenya.nicholas@osec.usda.gov or via phone at (202) 720-6350 asap.

Events
1. 2018 Green Schools Conference and Expo
May 3-4 // Denver, CO
The 2018 Green Schools Conference and Expo brings together influential individuals in the fields of education, building design and construction, facilities management, public administration, and more. It’s always a fun time, and a great place to reconnect with friends and colleagues while advancing the green schools movement. The call for proposals is open through August 11th. 

Resources
1. Bake For Good Kids
King Arthur Flour presents the Bake For Good Kids program which encourages students to use "math + science + reading + baking know how = something delicious". This program will provide students the ingredients they need to make homemade bread while also teaching them how to do it.

2. Holistic Efforts are Making a Dent in Childhood Obesity

When it comes to childhood obesity, it might just take a village. Or that’s the implication of a two-year, community-wide intervention in two low-income Massachusetts towns, Fitchburg and New Bedford, which took place between 2012 and 2014. The journal Obesity published three separate studies on the project called Massachusetts Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration (MA-CORD) earlier this month. Read more

3. Five Ways Schools Can Boost the Local Food Economy

Getting local food into a public school system’s meal program seems pretty much like a no brainer. The practice would boost local economies and support smaller-scale farms. It would likewise reduce the environmental impacts related to wide-range distribution. Perhaps most importantly, offering locally sourced lunches would provide the potential for connecting students to agriculture and providing nutrition education, paving the way for future shifts to our food system. Read more

Job Opportunities 
1. School Garden Program Coordinator, Mill City Grows
Mill City Grows seeks a School Garden Program Coordinator to oversee and provide support to Lowell Public Schools’ Garden Leadership Teams in accordance with Mill City Grows’ School Garden Model including identifying potential school garden partners, facilitating school garden leadership team meetings, building garden leadership capacity through MCG’s Garden Coordinator Institute, and encouraging networking between schools. Learn more and apply.

2. Director, GrowNYC
GrowNYC’s Grow to Learn Director leads Grow to Learn NYC: The Citywide School Garden Initiative. Grow to Learn is a partnership between GrowNYC, the Green Thumb division of the NYC Parks Department, and the NYC Department of Education, with a mission to support the growth of a sustainable learning garden for every NYC public school. Learn more and apply

3. Agriculture Development Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
The Agriculture Development Coordinator position will coordinate outreach and
education to Vermont’s produce industry related to FDA’s Food Safety
Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule requirements and the execution of
the Vermont Produce Safety Program. Search Job Code #621843 here for more information. 

4.  Farm to School Specialist, Tennessee Department of Education
The Tennessee Department of Education’s Office of School Nutrition is seeking to hire a Farm to School Specialist. This person will grow partnerships with Tennessee farmers, help school districts to start or expand their school garden efforts, and educate school staff on proper local food procurement methods. Learn more and apply. Learn more and apply

Farm to School in the News
New York families care for school districts' gardens throughout the summer
"Families in the community are also involved in the garden upkeep. Each week, a different family volunteers on a first-come, first-served basis. Each family commits to care for the garden every other day or up to five days a week. Custodians help volunteers access the garden on weekdays." (Newsday)

Rhode Island School Embraces Biodiversity to Attract Beneficial Insects, Pollinators
"As the first of its kind in Rhode Island, The Compass School Biodiversity Garden will be a demonstration site for what can be accomplished at other schools, and as such will serve as a location for teacher workshops and field trips." (Eco RI News

Unanimous Support Secures the Future of "Farm to School" in Oregon
"Unanimous support from the Oregon House, Senate and governor has passed a bill that supports local food in schools. House Bill 2038 allocates $4.5 million for schools to continue to buy Oregon-grown and processed foods and to support agriculture- and garden-based education." (KATU2)

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.

Previous   1 2 3 4 5 .. 38   Next