Grants & Funding
1. Voices for Healthy Kids (VFHK) Grant
Voices for Healthy Kids (VFHK) has opened a new round of funding to specifically support school health at the state and local level. Applications are due COB 12/8/17 and must be focused in passing policy related to these specific issue areas: Physical Education, School Marketing, Wellness Policies, School Food – Meals & Smart Snacks standards, Water Access. Watch this webinar for more information.
2. National Child Nutrition Conference
April 19-21, 2018 // San Antonio, TX
Scholarship applications for the 2018 National Child Nutrition Conference is open now through Wednesday January 24, 2018. Fifteen winners will receive complimentary conference registration, lodging and $300 towards travel. The recipients will be selected by the conference committee and notified by February 9, 2018. Scholarships are available in all the following categories: CACFP Sponsoring Agency, Head Start, School District, Food Bank, Tribal Nation, At-Risk/Afterschool, Summer Food, Child Care Center/Home Provider. Learn more.
Webinars & Events
1. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics: Youth Engagement through Farm to School
December 7 // 2-3pm ET
Farm to school initiatives across the country are changing the way young people view and consume fresh, local foods and interact with their community. This month’s focus on youth engagement through farm to school will highlight unique approaches and initiatives to engage youth in their communities and food systems and empower youth to be leaders and active voices in the farm to school movement. Join us for the webinar to hear speakers from as they discuss initiatives, best practices, resources and more to boost youth engagement in farm to school. Register here.
2. National Farmers Union Online Conference
This FREE four-day online conference is focused on developing agricultural leaders from all backgrounds, and provides an opportunity for beginning farmers to acquire the skills they need to run a successful operation. The conference will highlight leaders in the field of agriculture and focus on building a network for beginning farmers and ranchers throughout the country. Register here.
3. Registration Open: 21st Annual Georgia Organics Conference & Expo.
Feb. 16-17, 2018 // Augusta, GA
Over two days, be inspired, connected, refreshed, invigorated and challenged at the 21st Annual Georgia Organics Conference and Expo. Farmers will share techniques, hacks and acumen that lift farmer productivity and prosperity. Educators will inspire with stories of kids loving broccoli. Advocates will rally us to fight for just and clean food. Augustans will tour us around their healthy food oasis. Exhibitors will show off the latest and greatest. And we will eat good and beautiful food grown by the ultimate stewards of land, flavor and joy. Come see why food is the answer! Learn more and register here.
Resources & Research
1. Updated Resource: State Farm to School Legislative Survey: 2002-2017
Farm to school policies have been a key strategy for making local food procurement, food education and school gardens a reality for millions of children. To support the continued growth of state policy advocacy, the National Farm to School Network updated one its signature resources that tracks how farm to school supportive-bills strengthening the farm to school movement. The State Farm to School Legislative Survey: 2002-2017 offers a state-by-state review of every proposed farm to school policy since 2002, analysis of legislative trends, case studies of successful advocacy efforts and other resources for those working to advance farm to school in their communities.
2. Food from Farms: Toolkit for Direct Purchasing of Local Food
The Food from Farms: Toolkit for Direct Purchasing of Local Food provides examples and templates to start community-based local food procurement directly from farmers. The toolkit was originally developed for a small school district in northern Minnesota, and was designed to comply with USDA guidelines.The toolkit is adaptable and has been used for local food procurement by a hospital and a non-profit organization.
3. Healthy Food Policy Project
The Healthy Food Policy Project (HFPP) identifies and elevates local laws that seek to promote access to healthy food, and also contribute to strong local economies, an improved environment, and health equity, with a focus on socially disadvantaged and marginalized groups. Learn more here.
4. Dolores Huerta is Still Fighting for Farmworkers’ Rights
Dolores Huerta is having a bit of a celebrity moment. It began in 2012, when President Obama gave her the Presidential Medal of Freedom award for coining the slogan “Sí, Se Puede,” an early predecessor to his own campaign slogan, “Yes, We Can.” Now, she’s the subject of a documentary, “Dolores,” which was conceived of and produced by Carlos Santana, directed by Peter Bratt, and is screening around the country this fall. But the 87-year-old community organizer is far from your typical celebrity. Learn more.
1. Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act
A bipartisan coalition led by Representatives Tim Walz (D-MN) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) has introduced the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act (BFROA) of 2017. This bill will ensure that the 2018 Farm Bill focuses on the future of American agriculture by driving investment toward programs and policies that create opportunities for the next generation of farmers and ranchers. Learn more here.
2. Food Policy Report Card for U.S. Congress Shows Lack of Action
Food Policy Action (FPA) has released its 2017 National Food Policy Scorecard to help the public track actions taken by lawmakers in the US Congress. “While this year’s Scorecard shows a weak Congressional agenda on food policy, this is only a midterm score,” said FPA Executive Director Monica Mills. “Congress has a huge opportunity to show leadership on these issues as we move into discussions ahead of the 2018 Farm Bill. It is our job to hold them accountable during the next election cycle.” Read more.
3. Letter Sent to Appropriations on School Equipment Grant
The National Farm to School Network has signed on to a joint letter that was sent to Senate and House Appropriations Committee leaders on behalf of organizations committed to ensuring students receive fresh, healthy food daily through federal school meal programs. The letter offers support for the language included in the House of Representatives Fiscal Year 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which lowers the threshold for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) School Kitchen Equipment Grant purchases from $5,000 to $1,000. This year’s USDA School Kitchen Grant program is seeking $30 million in the appropriations bill, which is vital since nearly 90% of schools need at least one piece of updated equipment.
1. Communications Director, Pesticide Action Network
Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is seeking a passionate, pragmatic and innovative Communications Director. This is an 80% position — 4 days/week — located in either PAN’s Berkeley or Minneapolis office. Read more here.
2. Director of Development, Georgia Organics
Georgia Organics is seeking to hire a full-time Director of Development. The Director of Development is responsible for leading, planning, and accelerating fund development while fostering a culture of philanthropy within the organization. Learn more here.
3. Año Nuevo Farm Director, Pie Ranch
Pie Ranch is seeking a full-time, year round Farm Director for 68 acres at the Año Nuevo site (approximately 30 acres row crop production and 30 acres of pasture). Its current integrated crop and livestock production focus is on diverse coastal vegetables, grains and legumes, as well as cattle and poultry with subleases on the pasture land. Learn more here.
Farm to School in the News
Farm to School: Oklahoma students learning to eat and grow fresh veggies and fruits
"You’ve heard the concept ‘Farm to Table’ where high-end restaurants bring local produce to the dinner table. What about bringing that same organic food to the classroom? That’s what Muskogee Public Schools is doing with its ‘Farm to School’ program designed to teach students about health eating choices." (KJRH)
Green School Farms grows for schools in Nebraska
"We have a passion for providing local, health food to the schools to get kids excited about eating healthier." (LNKTV Health)
Arkansas school garden greens ready for harvest
Earlier this year they planted turnips, collard greens and mustard greens in a school garden. Now, the plants are ready to harvest. East Initiative students were in the garden Thursday, picking the produce. (Arkansas Matters)
Wisconsin elementary school kicks-off gardening program with Native American food presentation
A Native American chef recently visited Hintgen Elementary for food taste tests and demonstrations. The event marked the beginning of GROW La Crosse's gardening program at the school. The organization will also install and maintain a school garden for Hintgen through the program. (News8000)