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National Farm to School Network

News

31 Days to Celebrate Farm to School

NFSN Staff Monday, October 01, 2018

October is a time of year when farms and gardens are overflowing with delicious harvests of every size, shape, color, and flavor – and a time when we come together with schools, farms, and communities from throughout the country to celebrate National Farm to School Month! The National Farm to School Network advocated for the creation of National Farm to School Month by Congress in 2010 (House Resolution 1655) and since then, the yearly October festivities have brought together thousands of students, teachers, parents, farmers, food advocates, school lunch professionals, and community members from a wide range of sectors to raise awareness of the important role of farm to school in improving child nutrition, supporting local economies, and building vibrant communities. This National Farm to School Month, join the celebration of food education, school gardens, and lunch trays filled with healthy, local ingredients. Anyone can get involved!

As National Farm to School Month has grown throughout the years, states have expanded their celebrations. Some states, such as New Jersey and Virginia, host their own statewide Farm to School Week to focus on the exciting farm to school efforts happening throughout their states. Others, such as Iowa, Massachusetts, and Minnesota, choose a specific day to raise awareness and highlight local food in their states with a “Local Food Day”. A number of states promote statewide apple crunches, including the Great Lakes region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin), Montana, North Carolina, and Alabama. From garden harvests to locally sourced lunches, states throughout the country have seized the opportunity to celebrate their local bounty and encourage those throughout their state to get involved wherever they are, all while educating their communities about the origins of their food. 
 
No matter where you live, everyone can join in the National Farm to School Month celebration! Here are a few ways to get involved this month: 
 
  • Take the Pledge: Sign our Take Action Pledge and commit to taking action to advance farm to school in your community this October.
  • Explore resources: Download our new Farm to School Month Celebration Toolkit and check out other free resources for planning and promoting celebrations in your community, including customizable posters and bookmarks, stickers, activity suggestions and communications tools. 
  • See what’s happening: Explore our national calendar of Farm to School Month events to see what celebrations are happening in your community.
  • Donate to support our work: Invest in the future of farm to school. Donate to the National Farm to School Network and help us bring farm to school to communities across the country every month! Take one small step and make a charitable donation today. 
  • Share the celebration: We want to know how you’re celebrating! Share your Farm to School stories on social media with #F2SMonth and #farmtoschool.
  • Wear your support: Check out our Farm to School Month store for t-shirts, stickers, buttons, and more to wear your Farm to School love all month long! 
  • Stay up to date: Make sure you’re signed up for our e-newsletter. We’ll be sending a few emails this month with more action ideas and ways to celebrate. Sign up here
Farm to school is a grassroots movement powered by people like you taking small actions every day to grow healthier kids, support local agriculture and cultivate vibrant communities. These next 31 days are the perfect time to celebrate how far we've come, and dig in to keep growing the movement!
 
Special thanks to our 2018 National Farm to School Month Sponsors and Supporters - including CoBank, Newman's Own Foundation, U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, Captain Planet Foundation, Organic Valley, Farm Credit, FarmLogix, and High Mowing Organic Seeds - as well as the Featured Partner and Outreach Partner organizations that are helping us spread the word about farm to school throughout October. And, thanks to you for being a farm to school champion in your community.
 
Happy National Farm to School Month!

NFSN Leadership Announcement

NFSN Staff Wednesday, September 26, 2018

By Anupama Joshi, NFSN Co-Founder and Executive Director  

After 11 fulfilling years with the National Farm to School Network (NFSN), I will be transitioning out of my role in December 2018 to take on an exciting new challenge. I am grateful for the trust and encouragement that NFSN’s Partners, members and supporters have provided for establishing and leading this phenomenal network that has shaped the farm to school movement for more than a decade, and will undoubtedly continue to be a strong force in advocating for healthy children, farmers and communities. 

Reflecting on my farm to school journey, which began in 2002, I could not have hoped for anything more rewarding than the people and partnerships that I have experienced through NFSN. I am honored to have played a small part in the larger impact we have made in the lives of children, farmers, and communities across the country.

At NFSN, I leave behind a legacy of incredibly strong partnerships that have framed farm to school as an unprecedented national success story in the good food movement - impacting 24 million children in more than 42,000 K-12 and early care and education settings, and moving $800 million in local products to fuel local economies. The commitment, innovation and vision of countless farm to school advocates and stakeholders have been critical in this success. Together, we successfully advocated for the recognition and institutionalization of farm to school at USDA through the first ever federal farm to school grant program in 2010, and development of the Farm to School Census; and for policies in more than 46 states that are paving the way forward. NFSN’s core values of collaboration, transparency and partnership have kept farm to school Growing Stronger Together!  

A Transition Committee has been convened by the NFSN Advisory Board to ensure a smooth transition in the coming months. Additional information about next steps will be shared with NFSN members in our monthly e-newsletter, as details become available. 

A heartfelt thank you for being a part of my NFSN journey. 

With gratitude,
Anupama

This Week in Farm to School: 9/25/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 

Grants & Funding
1. 2019 Youth Garden Grant
Any nonprofit organization, public or private school, or youth program in the United States or US Territories planning a new garden program or expanding an established one that serves at least 15 youth between the ages of 3 and 18 is eligible to apply. The selection of winners is based on demonstrated program impact and sustainability. The top 5 programs will be awarded grant packages worth $2,100. Grant packages worth $500 will be awarded to 20 additional programs. Applications are due Dec. 17. Learn more and apply here.

2. Annie’s Grant for Edible School Gardens
Want a school garden? Annie’s believes that showing future generations how sustainable food is grown changes their lives. Connecting kids to gardens helps them to start thinking more holistically about their food, their communities, and the planet. Applications are due Nov. 1, 2018. Learn more and apply here.


Webinars & Events
1. NFSN WEBINAR Results from the 2018 National Farm to Early Care and Education Survey
October 11, 2-3pm  ET
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN), in partnership with Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, launched for the 2018 National Survey of Early Care and Education Providers in the spring of 2018. Over 2,000 ECE providers from across the country responded and shared information about current farm to ECE initiatives, motivations for participation, challenges to starting or expanding farm to ECE, and more. Join the National Farm to School Network and Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems to hear about the survey finding and learn how you can use the results to promote farm to ECE in your state and community. This webinar will be recorded and archived for future viewing. Register here.

2. It's almost time for National Farm to School Month!
October 2018
National Farm to School month is right around the corner! The National Farm to School Network has free resources, planning materials, activity ideas and a national calendar of events with ways you can get involved in October. Check out our *new* Farm to School Month Celebration Toolkit and download resources at farmtoschool.org/month. Does your organization want to be part of this year's National Farm to School Month campaign? Sign up to be a Farm to School Month Outreach Partner at farmtoschool.org/monthpartner

3. Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners Conference
October 19-21 // Durham, NC
Registration is now open for the 2018 Black Farmer & Urban Gardeners (BUGS) National Conference. The conference is presented by Black Urban Growers (BUGS), an organization committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings. Learn more and register here.

4. 2020 National Good Food Network Conference - Local Host Organization Request for Proposals
The Wallace Center would like to partner with a place-based host organization to support and guide the planning of the 2020 National Good Food Network Conference. The NGFN Conference is the leading national conference for the food hubs, food and farm businesses, value chain coordinators, financers, and community leaders working to build sustainable regional food systems across the United States. The role of the local host is to serve as the primary link between the host community and the NGFN Conference Planning Team (staff and contracted conference coordinators) to highlight the local food systems work and stakeholders in your region. Proposals are due Monday October 22. Read the full RFP here.


Policy Update
1. Tell Congress: We need a Farm Bill Extension!
It looks very unlikely that either a farm bill or an extension will pass before September 30, the day the 2014 farm bill expires. However, it’s important that we call Congress to tell them to prioritize an extension to fund vital farm bill programs, including: Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Program; Outreach for Socially Disadvantaged & Veteran Producer; Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP); and, Farmers’ Market Promotion Program (FMPP).  Call Congress today! Here is a link to find your representative or Senator’s phone numbers. Now is the time to let them know that we need an extension to fund programs that support our work and communities!


Research & Resources
1. Seeking Examples: Affordable Care Act Community Benefit Dollars for Farm to School
NFSN is developing a new resource about how ACA Community Benefit dollars can fund farm to school activities. This is a largely untapped potential funding source for farm to school! Do you have any examples of where this has already happened? If so, please contact policyfellow@farmtoschool.org.

2. EQUITY Racial Equity Framework, The Food Trust
As a part of its statewide Farm to ECE work, The Food Trust’s Ready Set Grow team has developed an equity framework to evaluate planning, decision-making and resource allocation through a racial equity lens. The team is working collaboratively to advance racial equity in outcomes through transformative change. Together, we can promote racial healing, advance equity and co-create a future where all children can thrive. Explore the Equity Framework here.


Job Opportunities
1. Strategic Planning Consultant, National Farm to School Network (Remote)
National Farm to School Network seeks a skilled and experienced professional to facilitate a strategic planning process for the organization that will set the direction of NFSN beyond 2020. The process aims to review gains made during the 2017-2019 phase, retool strategies as needed, create space for innovation to meet the emerging needs of the movement, and plan for organizational stability and sustainability. Read the full Request for Proposals here. Proposals are due no later than Oct. 1, 2018. 

2. Executive Director, The Food Project (Boston, MA)
The Food Project is seeking a new Executive Director to lead the organization into its next, exciting phase. Must be a dynamic, inspirational, collaborative leader with strong experience working across difference. Successful applicants will have a solid understanding of organizational finance, a deep commitment to youth leadership development, proven success in fundraising, and a passion for driving meaningful food system change. Learn more and apply here

3. Student Engagement Coordinator, SFUSD’s Future Dining Experience (San Fransisco, CA)
SFUSD’s Future Dining Experience is hiring a Student Engagement Coordinator to lead and grow the departments School Food Advisory (SFA) program. This is a youth-led group that collaborates with SFUSD’s Student Nutrition Services to elevate the student voice and engage students in reimagining the school dining experience, utilizing the design thinking process. Learn more and apply here


Farm to School in the News
South Dakota campus garden supports school meals
Students at Chadron Intermediate School in South Dakota are beginning to harvest fruits, vegetables and herbs that they began to grow from seeds during the past school year. The harvest from the on-campus garden is being used in the school's meal program. (Rapid City Journal)

Montana ranchers want to see local beef in school lunch program
Four Choteau women are asking community members to work with them to provide locally-grown beef for the Choteau Public Schools hot lunch program. Ranchers Cathy Campbell, Carli Neal and Misti Redland and former rancher Darlene Yeager are working to bring a locally-grown beef program to Choteau Public Schools, patterning this venture after a similar program being used in Winnett Public Schools and other public schools. (Choteau Acantha)

New York dietician brings health and fitness education to preschool children
Registered dietitian Bonnie Schultz uses the "Eat Well, Play Hard" nutrition program to teach young children at child care centers about health and fitness. Schultz's program included bringing in pepper and tomato plants and showing children how to plant them in a raised garden in their play area. (Press-Republican)


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.

Savor Fall Flavors with a Taste Test

NFSN Staff Thursday, September 20, 2018


By Elizabeth Esparza, Communications Intern

The fall season is coming up quickly, and with it, our farms and gardens will soon be overflowing with autumnal bounty. Taste tests can be a great way to introduce students to seasonal flavors and encourage them to continue trying new foods. Research shows that children need to try new foods multiple times to know if they like them, and taste tests can be an accessible way to introduce or reintroduce foods to students who might be reluctant to eat a full serving of something new. We all have our tried and true favorites for taste tests, but once in a while, it can be fun to mix in something out of the ordinary or highlight those seasonal items that we don’t always get to work in. Read on for seven fall-inspired taste test suggestions to think about for the upcoming season.


Low Prep: 

Crabapples: Apples are amongst the most common fruits served at lunch, so why not try their tiny, incredibly tart cousin? Crabapples are generally smaller than 2 inches in diameter, making them a fun and easy size to serve whole or to chop into just a few slices. Have students compare the flavor, size, and shape to the apples they’re used to.
Persimmons: Persimmons are always a sweet treat to try in the fall, and they can be simply sliced and served for a taste test. Fuyu persimmons are probably the better choice for a tasting, as they can be served while still slightly firm. Hachiya persimmons need to get very ripe and soft before you can enjoy their sweetness raw.
Rainbow Carrots: Same great taste, new and exciting colors! Purple, yellow, white - take your pick. Rainbow carrots can be a fun way to highlight a food that many students see all year. See if students can taste a difference between their familiar orange carrots and the rainbow carrots.
Radishes: Radishes can be another familiar vegetable for students, but try tasting different varieties, such as watermelon or daikon radishes. Include the radish greens for a taste test bonus!


Higher Prep: Time in the kitchen is a precious resource, but a little extra can go a long way toward helping get students excited about new foods they might not have tried before. Here are a few suggestions that take a little bit longer to prepare. These foods are also great for a classroom lesson or afterschool program when students can help prepare them! 

Butternut squash: These delicious orange wonders can be time-consuming to dig into if you’re getting them whole and roasting them, but the sweet nutty taste can be such an interesting new flavor for students to sink their teeth into.
Pomegranates: These messy fruits and their tiny arils may not be ideal to chop up for lunchtime service from a time perspective, but if they can be worked in somewhere, you’re in for a treat. Not much compares to fresh pomegranate seeds in the fall! 
Rutabagas: Rutabagas may need to be peeled or given a good scrub before you can dig into them, but once you do, they’re a great addition to any fall day. They can be eaten raw, but roasting brings out their richest flavor. For a twist, try slicing the rutabagas thinly and bake them for a fun take on a baked chip! 


New to taste tests? Here are some resources to help you get started:

This Week in Farm to School: 9/18/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 18, 2018
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. Local Foods, Local Places Technical Assistance to Create Healthy, Economically Vibrant Communities
Federal agency partners invite communities to apply for technical assistance to help revitalize their economy, improve health, and protect the environment. Local Foods, Local Places helps communities revitalize neighborhoods through development of local food systems. Eligible applicants include local governments, Indian tribes, and nonprofit institutions and organizations proposing to work in a neighborhood, town, or city of any size anywhere in the United States. Deadline to apply is October 22. Learn more and apply here.


Webinars & Events
1. NFSN WEBINAR State Farm to School Month Proclamations
September 20, 2-3pm ET
In addition to the federal Congressional resolution NFSN championed in 2010 to establish October as National Farm to School Month, many states have passed resolutions declaring a Farm to School Week or Month. Similar language can usually be used in your state legislature or for a proclamation by your governor. Join us to learn from NFSN Core and Supporting Partners how they: 1) advocated and obtained these proclamations, 2) used these farm to school weeks/months to celebrate farm to school, and 3) used these celebrations as a springboard for more farm to school policies. Guest speakers will include NFSN Arkansas Core Partner, Emily English, of Arkansas Children’s Research Institute, and NFSN Hawaii Core Partner, Natalie McKinney, of Kokua Hawaii Foundation. This webinar will be recorded and available for future viewing. Register here.

2. NFSN WEBINAR Results from the 2018 National Farm to Early Care and Education Survey
October 11, 2-3pm  ET
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN), in partnership with Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, launched for the 2018 National Survey of Early Care and Education Providers in the spring of 2018. Over 2,000 ECE providers from across the country responded and shared information about current farm to ECE initiatives, motivations for participation, challenges to starting or expanding farm to ECE, and more. Join the National Farm to School Network and Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems to hear about the survey finding and learn how you can use the results to promote farm to ECE in your state and community. This webinar will be recorded and archived for future viewing. Register here.

3. Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG)’s 25th Annual It Takes a Region Conference
October 24 // Philadelphia, PA
Come be part of the 500+ person community of food systems leaders, practitioners, and advocates working to change the food system. NESAWG’s gathering is an opportunity for building skills, analysis, and networks that move our work out of silos and inboxes and into living connection and tangible food systems change. Learn more and register here.


Research & Resources
1. National Farm to Early Care and Education Survey Results
The National Farm to School Network, in partnership with Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, launched the 2018 National Farm to Early Care and Education Survey in the spring of 2018 National Farm to Early Care and Education Survey in the spring of 2018. We heard from 2,030 respondents serving 255,257 children in 46 states about current farm to ECE initiatives, including motivations for participation and challenges to starting or expanding farm to ECE practices, and barriers and needs for support for getting started with farm to ECE. Read more here.

2. Start Planning for National Farm to School Month
National Farm to School month is right around the corner! The National Farm to School Network has free resources, planning materials, activity ideas and a national calendar of events with ways you can get involved in October. Visit farmtoschool.org/month to start planning.

3. The Promise, Expectation, and Remaining Questions About Local Food 
This series from Choices Magazine includes four peer-reviewed articles on a variety of topics involving local food, including a local food system glossary, the economic benefits of local food, and local food policy. Read more here.

4. New Study: The economic impact of healthier school lunches 
Access to healthy food has been shown to reduce obesity and other serious diseases. For many children, food sold and served at school – through breakfast and lunch programs, as well as vended snacks and bottled drinks – is a substantial part of their diet. This report uses findings from academic research to illustrate the potential impact of providing healthier school lunches to US students. The report from the Campaign to End Obesity finds that serving healthier meals via school lunch programs could improve health outcomes, lead to improved academic performance, and increase economic opportunity for children in the United States. Read more here.

5. USDA Data on Prices of Fruits and Vegetables
Getting pushback on incorporating local produce into farm to school programs? Take a look at recent pricing information from USDA that can help show how there is variability in pricing. If one local product costs too much, it does not mean all local products will be too expensive. Read more here.

6. 2018 American's Healthiest Schools
A record 461 schools, from 26 states and the District of Columbia, have been recognized as “America’s Healthiest Schools” by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. America’s Healthiest Schools earned the distinction by successfully meeting a rigorous set of criteria for serving healthier meals and snacks, getting students moving more, offering high-quality health and physical education, and empowering school leaders to be healthy role models. The schools, 81 percent of which serve high-need populations, also receive Healthier Generation’s National Healthy Schools Award at the Bronze, Silver or Gold level, based on the standards they achieve. Learn more here


Policy News
1. Sept 28 Deadline - Let USDA know about the Value of SAE Funds for Farm to School
USDA is currently seeking comments about use of State Administrative Expense (SAE) funds, with a 9/28/18 comment deadline. SAE funds have increasingly become a way to fuel and institutionalize farm to school activity at the state level. Has your state benefitted from using SAE funds for farm to school? If so, let USDA know about this, and encourage them to keep up this approach. Questions? Contact Helen Dombalis, NFSN Senior Director of Programs and Policy, at helen@farmtoschool.org 

2. Tell Congress: We need a #FarmBillNow!
National Young Farmers Coalition is asking supporting of our nation's young farmers to call on Congress to pass a farm bill before the September 30th deadline. Many of the programs young farmers rely on do not have permanent baseline funding and will be eliminated if a new farm bill is not passed. Beginning farmer training programs, outreach to socially disadvantaged farmers, local food programs, and organic cost-share are just a few of the programs at risk. Learn more and take action here


Job Opportunities
1. Strategic Planning Consultant, National Farm to School Network (Remote)
National Farm to School Network seeks a skilled and experienced professional to facilitate a strategic planning process for the organization that will set the direction of NFSN beyond 2020. The process aims to review gains made during the 2017-2019 phase, retool strategies as needed, create space for innovation to meet the emerging needs of the movement, and plan for organizational stability and sustainability. Read the full Request for Proposals here. Proposals are due no later than Oct. 1, 2018.

2. Food and Garden Youth Educator AmeriCorps, Solid Ground (Seattle, WA)
Community Food Education at Solid Ground supports the health and wellness of communities experiencing poverty and oppressions. We provide hands-on educational opportunities for youth and adults alike, around growing, buying, cooking, and eating nutritious foods. Solid Ground’s antiracism lens frames how we approach this service. Our team of AmeriCorps educators lead classes, workshops, and events, to empower communities to navigate their food environments. Learn more and apply here.

3. Senior Government Relations Manager, Trust for America's Health (Washington, DC)
Trust for America’s Health is looking for a Senior Government Relations Manager. The Senior Government Relations Manager will be responsible for developing and managing the legislative and regulatory strategy on a range of priority issues focused on chronic disease prevention, including obesity and nutrition, physical activity, environmental health, healthcare financing (including Medicare and Medicaid), and federal appropriations that impact public health and prevention. Learn more and apply here

4. Federal Policy Associate & Federal Policy Deputy Director, Council for a Strong America (Washington, DC)
Council for a Strong America is looking for a Federal Policy Associate and a Federal Policy Deputy Director. Council for a Strong America is a national, bipartisan nonprofit that unites five membership organizations that include Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Mission: Readiness, ReadyNation, Shepherding the Next Generation, and Champions for America’s Future. Its members - law enforcement, military, business, faith, and sports leaders - promote evidence-based policies and programs that strengthen our country by enabling kids to be healthy, well-educated and prepared for productive lives. 


Farm to School in the News
New Mexico farm to school program keeps kids healthy
The New Mexico Public Education Department recently announced that it is investing in a statewide initiative to promote farm to school produce for meals in local schools. In New Mexico, the state is partnering with local farmers to bring fresh local produce to school lunch. (KSFR)

Ohio farm delivers fresh produce to local schools
A partnership between Badger Schools and Red Basket Farm in Kinsman are changing the perception of school lunch in their area. For years, Red Basket Farm has been on a mission to get fresh, local produce to as many people as possible. At first, they were selling to restaurants, but for the last several years they have added schools to the list of customers, including Badger right next door. (WFMJ)

California teens learn life lessons in the garden
After learning about the importance of character and values like integrity, patience and forgiveness, a group of teenagers headed to the back of The Storybook Garden to work on their latest project. Judy Wait, one of the founding members and board president of The Storybook Garden, runs the Green Teens program and said she puts an emphasis on the teens learning more than just how to plant plants. (The Sentinel)

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.

Results of the National Farm to Early Care and Education Survey

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Farm to ECE Supports Healthy Futures for All Children 



By Lacy Stephens, Program Manager

The Results Are In

The National Farm to School Network (NFSN), in partnership with Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (MSU CRFS), launched the 2018 National Farm to Early Care and Education Survey in the spring of 2018. Early care and education (ECE) providers across the country were surveyed to learn about current farm to ECE initiatives, including motivations for participation and challenges to starting or expanding farm to ECE practices. The survey also gathered information from sites not yet participating in farm to ECE to better understand barriers and needs for support. 

We heard from 2,030 respondents serving 255,257 children in 46 states. Of responding providers, 49% are already participating in farm to ECE and another 30% plan to start in the future. Farm to ECE participating providers see a wide range of farm to ECE benefits including increasing access to higher-quality foods, engaging parents and families, offering meaningful experiential learning, and at the same time, improving children’s health. Providers are not the only ones excited about farm to ECE. When asked about feedback that they receive about farm to ECE, 82% of respondents report positive or very positive feedback from children, 73% from parents, and 62% from staff. The benefits of and enthusiasm for farm to ECE are reaching diverse ECE settings and children of diverse racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. 


Despite potential barriers to farm to ECE, providers are successfully integrating all three core elements, including using local foods in meals and snacks (69%), gardening (75%), and educating children about where food comes from and how it grows (76%). Respondents are making great use of gardens, from taste testing (62%) and classroom lessons (61%) to producing food for program meals (38%). Local food use will likely continue to grow in ECE settings. Of all respondents (even those not participating in farm to ECE), 54% anticipate increasing their local purchases in the coming years, increasing markets for local farmers and further bolstering local food systems and economies.

Share the Results & Learn More
To lift up and celebrate these results and build awareness of farm to ECE, NFSN and MSU CRFS have developed an infographic and fact sheet that partners and supporters can use to start the conversation in their networks. These resources highlight the reach and scope of farm to ECE and the many reasons ECE providers choose to implement farm to ECE initiatives.  

To accompany these exciting new resources, NFSN and MSU CRFS also created this sharing toolkit to make it easy to share the survey results and the benefits of farm to ECE. In this toolkit, you’ll find suggested social media posts and graphics along with sample text for newsletters and blogs.  

NFSN and MSU CRFS will continue to offer ways to learn about and further explore this data. Join us for our upcoming October Trending Topics Webinar: Results of the 2018 National Farm to Early Care and Education Survey on Oct. 11 (register here). Also, look for the release of our full report and state level data from the survey in late fall. Learn more about NFSN’s farm to ECE work, find partners in your state, and learn how to get involved with farm to ECE at farmtoschool.org/earlychildhood. Visit foodsystems.msu.edu to find resources and research on regional food systems from Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.

This Week in Farm to School: 9/11/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 11, 2018
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. The Bee Grant
The Bee Cause Project empowers students, teachers, and community members to experience the wonder, ingenuity, beauty, and power of the honey bee. Join the network of passionate educators, beekeepers, and community leaders in building the buzz for integrating bees into STEAM education. Learn more and apply here.

2. Clif Bar Family Foundation Small Grants
The Clif Bar Family Foundation awards small grants for projects focused on one of five priority areas, including creating a robust, healthy food system, increasing opportunities for outdoor activity, and building stronger communities, a great fit for school garden projects. These grants are awarded for general organizational support as well as funding for specific projects. Learn more and apply here.


Webinars & Events
1. NFSN WEBINAR State Farm to School Month Proclamations
September 20, 2-3pm ET
In addition to the federal Congressional resolution NFSN championed in 2010 to establish October as National Farm to School Month, many states have passed resolutions declaring a Farm to School Week or Month. Similar language can usually be used in your state legislature or for a proclamation by your governor. Join us to learn from NFSN Core and Supporting Partners how they: 1) advocated and obtained these proclamations, 2) used these farm to school weeks/months to celebrate farm to school, and 3) used these celebrations as a springboard for more farm to school policies. Guest speakers will include NFSN Arkansas Core Partner, Emily English, of Arkansas Children’s Research Institute, and NFSN Hawaii Core Partner, Natalie McKinney, of Kokua Hawaii Foundation. This webinar will be recorded and available for future viewing. Register here.

2. NFSN WEBINAR Results from the 2018 National Farm to Early Care and Education Survey
October 11, 2-3pm  ET
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN), in partnership with Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, launched for the 2018 National Survey of Early Care and Education Providers in the spring of 2018. Over 2,000 ECE providers from across the country responded and shared information about current farm to ECE initiatives, motivations for participation, challenges to starting or expanding farm to ECE, and more. Join the National Farm to School Network and Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems to hear about the survey finding and learn how you can use the results to promote farm to ECE in your state and community. This webinar will be recorded and archived for future viewing. Register here.

3. Michigan Good Food Summit: Amplifying Voices for Equity
October 22 // East Lansing, MI
This October, the Michigan Good Food Summit will amplify underrepresented voices across the food system as we continue advancing the Good Food Charter's vision of equity, sustainability and a thriving economy for all of Michigan and its people. Whether you're a food consumer, grower or buyer; line cook, server or chef; advocate, educator or policymaker, connect with others advancing good food and equity in Michigan. Register here.


Resources & Research
1. Policy Brief: Supporting Local Foods in the 2018 Farm Bill
The Berkeley Food Institute is pleased to share a new policy brief for the 2018 Farm Bill, Supporting Local Foods in the 2018 Farm Bill, written by Ryan Smith, a graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Growing consumer demand for local food has the potential to improve food access for communities and add to farmers’ bottom line. Programs like the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Programs, the Value Added Producer Grants Program, the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program, and the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program are described in this brief. As the Farm Bill conference committee meets in Washington, it is vital that they have access to research on programs like these that support local and regional food systems. Read the brief here

2. Sharing Success: A Step-by-Step Guide for Communicating School Health Achievements
The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors has released a new resource to assist school districts and schools in promoting their school health achievements. Sharing Success: A Step-by-Step Guide for Communicating School Health Achievements outlines principles for creating compelling messages and provides real-world examples, a communications planning worksheet, and multiple additional resources. The guide, which was developed with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aims to help busy school professionals build support for healthy schools by sharing accomplishments related to school nutrition, physical education and physical activity, and chronic condition management. Read the guide here


Job Opportunities
1. Strategic Planning Consultant, National Farm to School Network (Remote)
National Farm to School Network seeks a skilled and experienced professional to facilitate a strategic planning process for the organization that will set the direction of NFSN beyond 2020. The process aims to review gains made during the 2017-2019 phase, retool strategies as needed, create space for innovation to meet the emerging needs of the movement, and plan for organizational stability and sustainability. Read the full Request for Proposals here. Proposals are due no later than Oct. 1, 2018.

2. Farm to School and Education for Sustainability (EFS) Professional Learning Educator, Shelburne Farms (Shelburne, VT)
This position is responsible for supporting K-12 educators in Shelburne Farms’ EFS, Farm to School, and place-based professional learning programs, working collaboratively with the Director of Professional Learning to create high-quality professional learning experiences for educators to transform their practice and connect them to a growing community of practice and network of educators. Learn more and apply here

3. Senior Manager, Federal Government Affairs, The American Diabetes Association (Arlington, VA)
The Senior Manager provides critical planning, support, outreach, and analysis on a variety of legislative activities and plays a key role in executing events and meetings designed to achieve the federal legislative goals of the Association and increase the Association’s presence on Capitol Hill. Learn more and apply here.

4. W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellowship, The Center for Creative Leadership
The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) is now accepting applications for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network. CCL is looking for diverse candidates who demonstrate high-potential to be a transformational leader and are at a pivotal moment in their careers to benefit from this type of fellowship program. Apply by September 30. Learn more and apply here.

5. Director of Child Nutrition, Project Bread (Boston, MA)
The Director of Child Nutrition will lead Project Bread’s Child Nutrition Outreach Program (CNOP) team, support the Chefs in Schools program, and provide content area expertise in nutrition to the organization at-large. Learn more and apply here.

6. Farm-to-School AmeriCorps VISTA (Līhu‘e, Kaua‘i, Hawai‘i)
Mālama Kaua`i’s farm-to-school pilot, Māla‘ai Kula, is seeking the next AmeriCorps member to build the capacity of Kawaikini's food and garden programs to ensure that no student goes hungry and no parent must choose between their child receiving a culturally relevant education or getting fed at school. Learn more and apply here.


Farm to School in the News
North Dakota district adopts farm to school program
Students in a North Dakota school district will have more access to fresh, locally produced foods through a farm to school program. Deb Egeland, assistant director of child nutrition at North Dakota’s Department of Public Instruction and NFSN North Dakota Core Partner, says the program will promote healthy eating and will offer educational benefits through field trips. (The Bismarck Tribune)

Maine schools celebrate success, relevance of gardens
The Maine School Garden Network is holding an event to celebrate the most successful school gardening programs in southern Maine. Called the Summer Success Garden Tour, the event will allow participants to meet and talk with local school garden educators, experience how these programs work first hand and learn about ways to enhance the school garden experience for students. (The Forecaster)

California students learn gardening in new farm to table class
Students at Rosedale Middle School are getting a firsthand understanding of the phrase “farm to table.” The school started its first farm to table class this year, which tasks around 20 students with growing trees, fruits, and vegetables in the school’s small orchard and garden. The students, mostly eighth graders, also get to pick the crops and use them in cooking. (Bakersfield.com)

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: 9/4/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 04, 2018
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 - US Gardens Grant Program
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. Applications close on Oct. 15. Learn more and apply here

2. Whole Kids Foundation - Bee Grant Program
The Bee Grant program allows for a K-12 school or non-profit organization to receive support for an educational bee hive. Four grant options are available, and all include remote consultation and assistance with Beekeeper partnership from The Bee Cause Project. Applications are doc Oct. 31. Learn more and apply here

3. Captain Planet Project Learning Garden
Schools can apply now to win a Captain Planet Foundation Project Learning Garden through partnerships with grocery retailers around the country. Grand Prize Winners will receive a one year supply of DOLE Fruit Bowls and a Project Learning Garden provided by Captain Planet Foundation, including: 5 garden beds or garden expansion (for schools with an existing garden),  mobile garden cooking cart, standards-based Learning Garden lessons and lesson supply kits, and online teacher training. Learn more and apply here.


Webinars & Events
1. NFSN Trending Topics Webinar: Results from the 2018 National Farm to Early Care and Education Survey
October 11, 2pm - 3pm  ET
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN), in partnership with Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, launched for the 2018 National Survey of Early Care and Education Providers in the spring of 2018. Over 2,000 ECE providers from across the country responded and shared information about current farm to ECE initiatives, motivations for participation, challenges to starting or expanding farm to ECE, and more. Join the National Farm to School Network and Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems to hear about the survey finding and learn how you can use the results to promote farm to ECE in your state and community. This webinar will be recorded and archived for future viewing. Register here.

2. #CommunityFood: Innovations in Leadership - Part 3: Collective Impact through Network and Systems Leadership
September 18, 12pm - 1:15pm PT
The third and final webinar in this series from the Food Systems Leadership Network will feature promising practices and success stories of alliances, networks, and collaboratives. These organizations embrace and operationalize the fact that together they can achieve much more than they can possibly do alone. Farm to Institution New England and the Center for Regional Food Systems will both share insights, best practices, and lessons learned from their extensive experience weaving food systems networks in the US. Register here.

3. Advancing Equity: Maximizing Learning in Diverse Classrooms
September 18, 4pm - 5pm ET
Join Tyrone Howard and Maurice Sykes for an hour of practical, classroom-focused strategies for teacher and child agency in the service of social and racial justice. If you are passionate about advancing equity, diversity, and eliminating barriers to high achievement. Register here.

4. NICK Kitchen Summit
Oct. 10 // Falcon Heights, MN
The first annual NICK Kitchen Summit is geared towards the nation's premier shared-use, incubator, and co-cooking kitchens owners and operators. This day-long Summit will bring together shared kitchen professionals to exchange learnings, forge new relationships, and play a part in the future of our industry. Learn more and register here


Research & Resources
1. Video Series - Michigan Farm to School: Kids in the Kitchen
Check out this new video series from MSU Center for Regional Food Systems - Michigan Farm to School: Kids in the Kitchen. Featuring Chef Sean Gartland of Flint Farmers' Market and Flint Kids Cook children, this series of three videos shows how easy it can be to incorporate local foods into ECE and K-12 menus! Each video shows how easy it is to integrate local, healthy, and affordable foods into early care and education and K-12 menus, and how children of different ages can help out in different ways in the kitchen. Recipes include a main dish with a protein and food safety and knife skill strategies with children, a side dish with natural flavoring, and an easy-to-prepare snack offering an alternative to ranch dressing kids will love. Watch here

2. National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) Measures Registry Survey
The National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) is seeking feedback from researchers, practitioners, and students engaged in assessment and research of factors related to childhood obesity (e.g., diet, physical exercise, environmental influences). NCCOR has contracted with Evaluation Design to conduct and external evaluation of NCCOR resources. Please contribute by taking a few minutes (5-10) to complete this survey. Your feedback is greatly needed to inform improvements and additions to NCCOR’s existing resources. Take the survey here.

3. USDA’s Farm to Child Nutrition Program Planning Guide
Back to school is the perfect time to tend to your farm to school program. Are you starting fresh with farm to school or cultivating new goals this school year? Either way, USDA’s Planning Guide can help you identify team members, map strategies, and set targets for the year ahead. Read more here.


Job Opportunities
1. Development Director, National Farm to School Network (Remote)
National Farm to School Network seeks a Development Director to lead the organization in strategic growth and diversification of its funding base. Reporting directly to the Senior Director of Finance and Operations, the Development Director manages all development tasks; he or she will 1) expand public contributions, explore social investment donors and implement earned income strategies, 2) develop, leverage and support fundraising partnerships, and 3) create, track and evaluate a development plan. The Development Director will work closely with the NFSN Advisory Board, staff and Core Partners to develop outreach campaigns and to achieve NFSN’s financial goals. Read full position description here. Deadline to apply is September 7, 2018. 

2. Education Coordinator, Coastal Roots Farm (Encinitas, CA)
The Education Coordinator will support the planning and implementation of Jewish and Farm educational programming and events for Coastal Roots Farm. The Education Coordinator works closely with the Education Manager to design content and curricula, deliver a wide array of educational programming and community events, and support the administrative functions of the Education Department. Learn more and apply here.


Farm to School in the News
New Jersey preschools and area farm produce a nutritious partnership
The FoodTrust’s “Ready Set Grow” farm to early care program is partnering with preschools across Salem County to support young children getting a healthy start in life, while also supporting local farmers and the local economy. The program allows students to grow their own school gardens while learning about healthy choices. And two area preschools this month brought the message home by setting up farm stands in the classrooms. (nj.com)

As school starts, Wisconsin’s REAP program heads back to class
REAP Food Group, a nonprofit organization based in Madison, has a mission to grow the local food system in southern Wisconsin. The organization’s Farm to School program, in its 11th year, brings fresh and local food to children; establishes reliable markets for local farms using sustainable agricultural practices; and provides hands-on education in Madison classrooms. (Madison Magazine)

Nebraska school takes recycling to the next level
A new lunchtime program at one Omaha elementary school is giving kids a real life lesson in environmental impact, and showing how smaller steps can really add up. A small change is making a big impact for students at Fontenelle Elementary School. A new composting program that was introduced just weeks ago is showing big promise. The idea is simple: after students have their lunch, they separate milk cartons and plastics into the trash. Then, leftover food and paper are thrown into green bins. Paper trays are stacked next to the bins. These items are all compostable. (WOWT)

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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