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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.

This Week in Farm to School: 7/25/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, July 25, 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. Target Field Trip Grants
The Target Field Trip Grants program provides funds for K-12 field trips in order to give students throughout the country the opportunity to explore more of the world outside the classroom. Online applications will be accepted between August 1 and October 1, 2017. Learn more and apply

2. Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools

The Chef Ann Foundation presents Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools. This grant is designed to help increase kids’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables and create experiential nutrition education when and where students make their food choices: in the cafeteria. The $2,500 one-year grants support food costs to incorporate school-wide fruit and vegetable tastings into the school's nutrition program. Grants will be determined on an ongoing basis depending on available funding. Learn more and apply

Webinars
1. Climate Changes Health: How Climate is Changing Your Dinner Plans

July 27 // 1-2pm ET
Brought to you by the American Public Health Association and Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, this webinar will feature public health experts covering topics including food systems, food production, energy in food distribution, and how all affect our health. Learn more and register
 
2. 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

3. 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

Action Item 
1. Survey: The Future of Midwest Agriculture
The University of Minnesota and Future iQ are collaborating to explore the future of Midwest agriculture. This survey is open to all stakeholders and people who have an interest in the future of Midwest Agriculture, which covers the major agricultural areas of the central parts of USA and Canada.

 Events
1. NESAWG: It Take a Region Conference 

November 9-11 // Baltimore, MD
Calling all youth food justice advocates! You are invited to help plan and participate in NESAWG's 2017 It Takes a Region Conference. The Youth Track at our conference features sessions for youth led by youth showcasing all the amazing ways young people contribute to a just and sustainable food system! Want to lead a session at the conference? Submit your ideas through our Call for Proposals by August 15th at 5pm. 

2. 7th Annual Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference
November 10-12 // Atlanta, Georgia 
Since 2010 BUGS has been creating a space for black urban and rural farmers, food justice activists, chefs, educators, policy makers and everyday citizens to come together and share innovative ideas, projects, and best practices for reclaiming and reshaping our food system. The 2017 conference theme is “Rooted and Rising:  Black Southern Land Legacies of Resistance & Resilience". Workshop proposals must be submitted by August 1. Read more

Resources
1. FRAC and AFT’s New Breakfast Blueprint

FRAC and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) have partnered to develop Breakfast Blueprint: Breakfast After the Bell Programs Support Learning, a comprehensive guide for planning, implementing, and evaluating breakfast after the bell programs. It also includes a section on incorporating farm to school in breakfast after the bell programs, created in partnership with the National Farm to School Network. 

2. New Fact Sheet: Gardens in Tribal Communities
FNS' Office of Community Food Systems has a new fact sheet, "Gardens in Tribal Communities". This resource focuses on Tribal Nations leveraging their school gardens as a tool to preserve tribal language and culture, and as a source of food for child nutrition programs. 

Job Opportunities 
1. 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

2. Agricultural Program Coordinator, Kentucky Department of Agriculture
The KY Department of Agriculture seeks to hire a Agricultural Program Coordinator.  This position will coordinate the statewide expansion & growth of the Senior Farmer Market Program, Farm to School Program, & the Junior Chef Program. Learn more and apply

3. Sprouting Farms Education and Outreach Coordinator, Marshall University 
The Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI), West Virginia’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center is accepting resumes for an Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Sprouting Farms project. The successful candidate will join a highly motivated, statewide team to oversee the Apprenticeship, Incubator, and Mentor Farms programs of Sprouting Farms. Read more and apply

Farm to School in the News
Feeding the Virgin Islands

Nate Olive explains that the Virgin Islands is a small market, and the school program “means everything” to farmers like him. The program came along at an especially opportune time—in 2012 just as a local oil refinery closed and the subsequent job loss cut his CSA membership by half. He says the school lunch initiative provides a consistent market for local farmers. (Hakai Magazine

Mississippi Teacher is an Advocate for Ag Education
Willis says his agriculture-based teaching method allows students to accomplish more during the first month of school than they previously could have accomplished by Christmas. For example, they learn about weight, measurement and data collection by weighing their eggs and strawberries. “They have to grade their eggs and write on them,” Willis says. “In addition to all the math in each dozen eggs, parents enjoy getting fresh eggs from their child’s school hens.” In the spring, when students are ready for more of a challenge, Willis teaches them to mill wheat and make yeast bread. There are class contests for the earliest and biggest strawberries picked, and the kids get to take the berries they grow home. (Farm Flavor)

The Woman Who Reinvented Healthy School Meals in Detroit Is Ready to Do the Same for Houston
" 'They don’t teach home economics anymore, so young men and women don’t know how to prepare a meal, don’t know how to cook a vegetable, don’t even know how to boil a pot of beans. So we try to provide those services, to expose kids,” says Wiggins. “I’m trying to change the attitude, trying to teach kids they can have good, local food, they can grow food, they can change their food habits.' " (Houstonia Magazine

Wyoming is Growing Young Minds with Green Gardens
Kristin Vogel, Chair member of Wind River Farm to Plate shared, “We had a gardener come in and teach us about propagating strawberries. All the kids are going to be taking home a strawberry plant and they will know how to care for them if they choose to have a garden of their own.” This garden is the first of more to come in the Fremont County School District. (KCWY 13

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: 7/18/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, July 18, 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. Building Successful Collaboration for Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Grant 
July 18 // 1 ET
Presented by New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and their partner, Allison Goin, this webinar will focus on the importance of building and cultivating strong partnerships and collaborations for BFRDP. Learn more and register

2. Economics of Healthy Food Incentives at Michigan Farmers Markets

July 24 // 2-3 ET
This webinar will debut new findings of a recent study of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the healthy food incentive program Double Up Food Bucks activity at Michigan farmers markets. Hosted by Michigan State University. Learn more and register
 
3. 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

4. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: Farm to School in Native Communities

August 3 // 2-3pm ET
In partnership with numerous tribal communities, 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

Action Item 
1. Experiences of People of Color pursuing careers in STEM and agriculture
People of Color ages 18 and over pursuing STEM and agricultural careers or those employed in those fields are invited to participate in a research study through a short survey. The purpose of the study is to understand the experiences and perceptions of minorities in these fields. 

Resources 
1. African Americans have lost untold acres of farmland over the last century
"Many factors contributed to the loss of black-owned land during the 20th century, including systemic discrimination in lending by the US Department of Agriculture, the industrialization that lured workers into factories, and the Great Migration. But the lesser-known issue of heirs’ property also played a role, allowing untold thousands of acres to be forcibly bought out from under black rural families—often second-, third-, or fourth-generation landowners whose ancestors were enslaved—by real-estate developers and speculators." Read more

2. New CACFP Recipes Using Summer Produce  

Check out these chef-developed and kid approved recipes. Make them at your family child care home or center; there are yields for 6, 25, and 50 servings. Crediting information is provided to help you incorporate the recipes into the updated Child and Adult Care Food Program meal patterns.

3. Cultivating Equitable Food-Oriented Development: Lessons from West Oakland
The second of a three-part series by PolicyLink and Mandela MarketPlace, this case study highlights the ongoing work of Mandela MarketPlace and its partners to build a local food system that prioritizes community ownership in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read more

4. Six Reasons Local Food Systems Will Replace Our Industrial Model
"The local food movement is so decentralized and dispersed that it is impossible to accurately estimate the size or importance of the movement. The USDA estimated the value of local food sales by farmers at $9 billion in 2015. This figure does not reflect the “retail value” of food sold by farmers to local restaurants or retailers. Virtually everywhere I go, I discover new local foods initiatives." Read more

Policy
1. Secretary Perdue Praises Farm to School at SNA Conference
USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue gave a speech at last week's School Nutrition Association annual national conference in Atlanta. In his remarks, Perdue praised farm to school efforts saying, "I want to encourage each of you, if you’re not doing that already, to work with your state departments of agriculture on growing your farm to school partnerships. Locally grown food and hands-on gardening experiences in schools can only be good for our children." Watch a video of Perdue's address here (farm to school remarks start at 16:00).

2. Organics, Specialty Crops, And Local Food On Display In Senate Hearing 
Last week, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing to discuss opportunities and challenges facing the organic, specialty crop, and local and regional food markets as Congress prepares to reauthorize the farm bill. Among the witnesses testifying was Haile Johnston, Co-Founder and Director of The Common Market, and NFSN Advisory Board member. “USDA investment has yielded staggering results… it’s safe to say that The Common Market would not be where we are today had it not been for those investments,” said Haile in his testimony to the Committee. “It is critically important that the next farm bill continue support for these and other local food programs to build on our efforts and support new local and regional food systems across the country.” Read more

Job Opportunities 
1. Early and School Food Academic Specialist, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems
The Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) is seeking an annual full-time Academic Specialist to lead efforts promoting good food access and awareness in early child care and education environments (ECE) and K-12 schools. Learn more here by searching for job posting #446354 under faculty/academic staff. 

2. Policy Intern, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
NSAC is seeking to hire a paid, full-time Policy Intern to be based in their Capitol Hill office. This position is term, mid-August through early-January. Learn more

3. Executive Director, Tilth Alliance

Tilth Alliance seeks a strategic and inspiring executive director who is committed to cultivating a sustainable and equitable food system in Washington State. Learn more and apply

4. Food Hub Coordinator, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
New Entry is seeking to hire a Food Hub Coordinator. This position will oversee operation of the multi-farmer World PEAS Food Hub distributing fresh, locally-grown produce throughout the Merrimack Valley and Boston area. Learn more and apply

5. School Garden Coordinator and Science Teacher, The Nueva School
The Nueva School seeks a dynamic garden and science educator to become part of their faculty. Learn more and apply

Farm to School in the News
Educators Gather to Advance Farm to School Practices
From June 27-29, 72 educators from New England and New York gathered for a kick-off to the year-long Northeast Farm to School Institute, which advances food, farm and nutrition education and expands the amount of local products served in school cafeterias. “We were very excited this year to have school teams from the six New England states plus New York — the largest FTS Institute that we have hosted,” said Betsy Rosenbluth, project director of Vermont FEED and NFSN Vermont Core Partner. (Lancaster Farming

Charlotte,
NC school garden position is far from a ‘fluff job’
"Garinger Farm is an example of what a school garden program can achieve. But sustaining and expanding these accomplishments can’t be done by volunteers, or by asking already-overburdened teachers to take on a new set of tasks. It requires dedicated resources. By making gardens and nutrition a greater central-office priority, our new superintendent has set the stage for making CMS into a national model for this essential endeavor." (Charlotte Observer)

Indiana school boosts agriculture teaching with master gardeners
"About 100 plants, including a trio of trees, several dozen shrubs and many perennial flowers, were recently planted outside the library at Southwest Elementary School in Greenwood. And now, several master gardeners will be assisting teachers in using the garden to help students learn about the role bugs play in agriculture." (Daily Journal)

Read past editions of This Week for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country.

A “Try New Things” Attitude Pays Off in Georgia

NFSN Staff Monday, July 17, 2017
By Molly Schintler, Communication Intern

 Donna Martin with students at Burke County Public Schools. 
During the 2013-2014 school year, a secretary at Burke County Public Schools in Georgia had a farmer son with too many watermelons. She approached Donna Martin, School Nutrition Program Director, and asked if the school ever served local food. Donna has a ‘try new things’ attitude, so she served the watermelon and then dabbled in procuring a few other local items from farmers that she already knew. It did not take Donna long to recognize the positive impact that local food purchasing had on the students, community and farmers.  “I don’t understand how anybody can say ‘no’ to doing this (farm to school),“ Donna commented.  

Donna recognizes how farm to school is a win for everyone in the community, but she is realistic about the challenges. She says there is a whole list of barriers she’s come across; however, her ‘try new things’ attitude – that same attitude that allowed her to say “yes” to local watermelon – seems quick to overshadow the entire list. Donna and her team point out that the challenges are manageable if you are open to constantly learning, adjusting and assessing not only your own needs, but also considering farmers’ needs. Donna explained it as, “We can tell a story about practically every single one of our farmers and how we developed a relationship with them…once we develop relationships and they trust us, they are willing to go out on a limb.” Fisheads Aquaponics and Freeman’s Mill are two of the farmers that have gone out on a limb with Donna and her team in the name of bringing local food to the Burke County schools, and the effort has paid off. 

Fisheads Aquaponics: Located 17 miles from the Burke County Public Schools, Fisheads is an aquaponics operation focused on growing greenhouse lettuces since 2013. Lisa Dojan’s family has been conventionally farming in the county for four generations, so when Lisa and her husband decided they wanted to start a business, the aquaponics venture allowed them to keep their family roots in agriculture while trying something a little bit different and new. Before the operation was completely up and running, Burke County started a relationship with Lisa by coming to tour the greenhouse. Now, Burke County Schools has a standing order for Fisheads lettuce, and Lisa and her farm team supply lettuces to several school districts.

Freeman’s Mill: In telling his story, Stacey Freeman says that farming and milling are in his blood. Heading up Freeman’s Mill as a fifth generation miller in Statesboro, Ga., Stacey’s operation grinds corn and wheat into grits and flour. Stacey works with a number of school districts. In fact, he sells his products to over twelve schools, including five thousand pounds of wheat and grits annually to the Burke County Schools. As his farm to school sales have grown over the past six years, he has taken note that he is filling more and more 25 pound bags of grits and whole-wheat flour for bulk sales, as compared to the 2 pound bags for farmers market.

The increase in sales to schools has meant that Stacey was able to recently expand the mill and purchase new machinery. Fisheads has experienced similar growth. In order to keep up with the demand for their lettuces, the farm is doubling their production with the addition of a second greenhouse, and because the farm is expanding, Lisa hopes to hire their farm intern as a full time manager. 

Freeman’s Mill and Fisheads Aquaponics are just two of thousands of examples of farmers and producers across all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. Territories who have experienced significant financial opportunity when they are willing to “try new things” with local, institutional markets. Donna Martin and her team are a shinning example of the many food service workers throughout the country who have help their students win everyday by providing access to real food so they can grow up healthy. Stacey may have put it best when he simply stated, “For this to work, we all have to come together.” So let Donna and her team, Lisa and Stacey inspire you to try something new and make a connection with a local producer in your community! 

Photo Credit: All photos were provided by the Harvest Bright: Burke County Farm to School Program 

2017 Innovation Awards Celebrate Beginning Farmers and Farmer Veterans

NFSN Staff Thursday, July 13, 2017
Farmer Dylan Strike with students at Strike Farms. (Photo Credit: Gallatin Valley Farm to School)
Farmers play a crucial role in the success of farm to school, from growing local food served in meals and snacks to hosting field trips to show kids where their food comes from. However, farmers are often underrepresented in the farm to school movement. While schools across the country are eager to purchase from local farms, access and connections with farmers remains one of the biggest barriers to implementing farm to school activities. 

In 2015, we launched our Innovation Fund to support new and emerging initiatives with the potential to make significant contributions to our mission of increasing access to local food and nutrition education to improve children’s health, strengthen family farms and cultivate vibrant communities. Recognizing the need to continue supporting farmers’ presence in the farm to school movement, this year's awards are focused on exceptional examples of producers whose success in connecting with schools can provide a model for other farmers looking to do the same. 

With funding support from Farm Credit, the 2017 Innovation Fund Awards celebrate beginning farmers (in their first 10 years of farming) and farmer veterans. This year’s awards have been given to two farmers in recognition of their exemplary efforts in selling local produce to schools and engaging kids in learning where their food comes from. The farmers have each received $3,500 awards in celebration of their work, and they will be sharing their stories, experiences and lessons learned with our members so that others may learn from their success. This year’s awardees are: 

Dylan Strike, Strike Farms
Bozeman, Montana
Dylan Strike founded Strike Farms just outside of Bozeman, Montana in the fall of 2013. Starting with four acres in its first growing season, Strike Farms has rapidly scaled up and today grows over 100 varieties of organic vegetables, herbs and flowers on 20 acres with the support of 21 employees. With a goal of normalizing local food access and providing high-quality, sustainable food for the local community, Strike Farms products can be found in Bozeman-area grocery stores, farmers markets, CSA shares, restaurants and schools – for whom Strike Farms has supplied numerous crops for the Montana Harvest of the Month program. In addition to growing healthy food for school lunch trays, Dylan and his team have welcomed hundreds of local students for farm tours and farm to school summer camps, where kids learn how food makes it from farm to fork and the benefits of local food systems. 

Jon Turner, Wild Roots Farm Vermont
Bristol, Vermont
Jon and Cathy Turner founded Wild Roots Farm Vermont in Bristol, Vermont in 2015. Wild Roots Farm Vermont is a community-based farming project focused on regenerative agricultural practices to develop resilient food systems and healthy soil. Having served three tours with the Marines, one of Jon’s hopes for the farm is to create an educational landscape where veterans can learn about growing food while also helping themselves reintegrate after coming home from war. The farm has offered workshops, tours and internship opportunities to hundreds of community members, students, school children and the veteran population with an aim of empowering the next generation of farmers to view the landscape from a whole systems perspective. In addition to providing extensive educational opportunities, Wild Roots Farm Vermont grows and sells organics vegetables, berries, mushrooms and pastured poultry for eggs and meat with the Vermont Proud, Homegrown by Heroes label. Jon is the founder and former president of the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Vermont and currently sits on boards for NOFA-VT (Northeastern Organic Farmers Association of Vermont) and the Addison County Farm Bureau.  

 Farmer Jon Turner with students at Wild Roots Farm Vermont. (Photo Credit: Wild Roots Farm Vermont)
Learn more about the Innovation Fund Awards and awardees from 2016 and 2015 here. Stay tuned to hear more from Dylan and Jon about their farm to school stories and success! 
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