I'm happy to introduce a new weekly feature on our blog, "This week in farm to school." Every week, we will 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.
Funding & Grants
1. New Bag the Junk Contest from National Education Association’s Health Information Network
Calling all educators, food service and other support professionals, administrators, students, and families—NEA's Health Information Network wants to hear your Smart Snacks stories! Share your successes and challenges with healthy school foods from vending machines, cafeteria à la carte lines, school stores, and fundraisers. Enter here for a chance at $300 and a professional video made about your school for national coverage. Good luck and don't forget to pass on this opportunity to colleagues and students! Ask firstname.lastname@example.org any contest questions.
Webinars & Events
1. 10th Immigrant and Minority Farmer Conference, February 7-8
Minority and immigrant farmers are invited to participate in the 10th Annual Immigrant and Minority Farmer Conference (IMFC). The conference will be held February 7-8 at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education and Conference Center located at 1890 Buford Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota.The IMCF focuses on the special needs and interests of immigrant and minority farmers and addresses their needs by bringing together farmers, farm advocates, educators, professionals, experts, and agency officials to one conference to exchange knowledge, network, and support.
The conference is free to farmers. The cost for other interested people is $60 for one day and $100 for both days. Language interpretation is available in Spanish, Hmong, Karen, Bhutanese, and Somali. Interested in attending? Click HERE to register today!
2. Farm to Institution Summit, April 7-9
The Farm to Institution Summit is a first-year conference that will bring together leaders from the Northeast who are working to get more local and regional food into schools, colleges, health care and other institutions. Please join us -- and up to 800 other farm to institution advocates -- for three exciting days of learning, sharing, exploring and connecting. The Farm to Institution Summit will be held at UMass Amherst in Amherst, Massachusetts on April 7-9, 2015. Learn more at www.farmtoinstitution.org/summit.
1. Farm to Preschool Opportunity at MSU Center for Regional Food Systems
The Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) is accepting applications for an Academic Specialist to support outreach and research efforts promoting good food access and awareness in childhood development and education environments. The position will support existing CRFS initiatives and help to develop additional programming capacity in this arena. For the full position description and to learn more about CRFS, visit foodsystems.msu.edu. Applications will be accepted until February 20, 2015 or until a suitable candidate is identified.
Farm to school in the news
Tok embraces Farm-to-School with year-round greenhouse
Gateway Greenhouse, built in 2013, is entering its first full year of growing. The goal: provide fresh vegetables to the Alaska Gateway School District, which serves about 375 students. Students get to take part, learn about cultivation and experience the joy of eating fruit and vegetables picked on the spot. (via News Miner)
Farm-to-school movement reaches the Commonwealth
Last week, 375 interested parties met to applaud farm to school participation in local school — and discuss the challenges that still remain — at the 2015 Massachusetts Farm to Cafeteria Conference, held at the College of the Holy Cross here. The tenor of the sold-out gathering was both celebratory (“Look how far we’ve come!”) and hortatory (“Look how far we still have to go”). (via Boston Globe)
Would Kids Eat More Veggies If They Had Recess Before Lunch?
A study just published in Preventative Medicine suggests it does. Researchers found that students who have recess before lunch tend to eat more servings of fruits and vegetables than kids who eat lunch first. (via NPR News)
Notes From the Garden: Raising the Next Generation of Gardeners
In terms of health and longevity in this day of fast food and prepared junk food, shouldn’t we be teaching our children good eating habits as well as math? Henry Homeyer recently visited a school where all the kids love veggies and fruits — food grown right at the school. (via Valley News)