News from the National Farm to School Network
1. National Farm to School Network Names New Executive Director
National Farm to School Network has announced Helen Dombalis as its new Executive Director. Helen is a nationally recognized leader in cultivating equitable food systems through strategic farm to school partnerships and policy advocacy, and previously served as the Senior Director of Programs and Policy for the National Farm to School Network. As Executive Director, Helen will collaborate with stakeholders nationwide to explore and execute farm to school innovation, programming, and advocacy to advance racial and social equity and to grow and sustain the farm to school movement. Read the full announcement here.
2. Save the Date: 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 20-24, 2020 // Albuquerque, New Mexico
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 20-24, 2020! Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event will convene a diverse group of food service professionals, farmers, educators, students, representatives from nonprofits and government agencies, public health professionals and more to learn, network, and strengthen this important movement. Are you passionate about supporting local agriculture and fostering a culture of food literacy in your community? This event is for you. Visit farmtoschool.org/conference to learn more and start making plans to join us in Albuquerque!
Grants & Funding
1. USDA AMS Grants: Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP)
Due: June 18
The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) Request for Proposals is now open. LFPP supports the development, coordination, and expansion of local and regional food businesses to help increase access and availability to locally and regionally produced agricultural products. The National Farm to School Network is interested in partnering with applicants to provide training and technical assistance or evaluation services for grant proposals. If you would like to discuss NFSN contract services for grants or collaborative proposals, please contact Lacy Stephens, NFSN Program Manager, at email@example.com by May 30th.
Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Farm to School: Cafeteria, Classroom, Community
Wednesday, May 22 // 1 PM ET
Farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers through the core elements of farm to school - local food procurement, school gardens, and food and agriculture education. This Webinar Wednesday session hosted by the School Nutrition Association will offer an overview to farm to school, including why it matters and how it supports the goals of child nutrition program, promoting successes, and evaluating your activities. Speakers include Helen Dombalis and Alena Paisono from the National Farm to School Network. Participants will be provided tips and tools for implementing successful farm to school activities. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDNs/NDTRs. Register here.
2. Webinar: Developing a Food Procurement Policy or Profile
Tuesday, May 28 // 2 PM ET
Hosted by the Chesapeake Foodshed Network, this webinar will provide guidance on how a school, college, or hospital can develop a food procurement policy or profile. Developing a policy or profile can institutionalize good food values that prioritize support for local farmers and food producers, sustainable or regenerative agriculture practices, and women and minority-owned farms and food businesses. Register here.
3. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to School Resource Roundup: Resources for Implementing State Farm to School Strategies
Wednesday, May 29 // 3 PM ET
Responding to the rapid growth and interest in farm to school, the National Farm to School Network’s 2017-2019 Strategic Plan prioritizes building the capacity of its partners to advance farm to school at the state level through three complementary strategies: (1) state farm to school networks, (2) state farm to school positions at state agencies and university Extension offices, and (3) state farm to school policies. To support these efforts, the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) has developed an accompanying resource for each of the three strategies:
- State Farm to School Networks Toolkit (updated March 2019)
- State Farm to School Positions Guide (updated February 2019)
- State Farm to School Policy Handbook (updated April 2019)
4. Webinar: National Farm to School Network’s Racial and Social Equity Assessment Tool for Farm to School Programs and Policy
Thursday, May 30 // 1-2 PM ET
In this upcoming webinar, hosted by the Michigan Farm to Institution Network and the Michigan Local Food Council Network, National Farm to School Network (NFSN) staff members will share their assessment tool that helps to identify inequities embedded within programs and policy and support decision-making to advance racial and social equity. Guest speakers are Helen Dombalis, Executive Director, and Alena Paisano, Program Manager of Seed Change in Native Communities, both from NFSN. Register here.
5. Webinar: School and Community Farm Stands Webinar
Thursday, May 30 // 3-4 PM ET
School gardens can be used to engage the community through school and community farm stands, which take on various issues centered around food access and education. Please join us in virtual panel discussion where we will dig into some different ways in which farm stands are being implemented, and impacting students and the community. This session will follow a unique format and will give a lot of time for audience questions. If you have a question for the panelists, please share in you registration so that they can seek to address it. Register here.
6. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: Child Nutrition Reauthorization and Federal Policy Advocacy - How You Can Get Involved
Thursday, June 6 // 1 PM ET
The next Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) is at the forefront of food policy discussions in Washington. A diverse community of voices should be heard in policymaking, but do you find it challenging to get involved? Join Chloe Marshall, National Farm to School Network Policy Specialist, to learn about CNR and how you can advocate with impact! Register here.
7. Course: Breakthrough Leaders for Sustainable Food Systems
May 20 - June 6 // Online & Burlington, VT
True leadership is about the capacity of people and communities to shape the futures they desire. This 3-week online and on-campus cross-disciplinary program develops visionary leaders by offering solutions to the social, environmental, diet, and health impacts of our food system. The University of Vermont is a recognized leader in the food systems movement, providing learners with unique access to hands-on learning and collaboration with scholars, activists, leaders, and professionals in the field. Learn more here.
1. Farm to Community Programming Director, Farm Fresh Rhode Island (Pawtucket, RI)
Farm Fresh Rhode Island is seeking a full-time Farm to Community Programming Director. The Farm to Community Programming Director is responsible for supervising all of Farm Fresh RI’s Farm to School and Nutrition Education program activities by managing relationships with community partners, managing program staff, supervising performance measurement, and participating in Farm Fresh RI Farm to School and Nutrition Education program strategy. Learn more and apply here.
2. Farm to School Coordinator, Green Mountain Farm to School (Newport, VT)
The Farm to School Coordinator will work with school staff to develop, implement and evaluate Farm to School program activities such as taste tests, farm field trips, school gardens, nutrition education and more. This position is part of the Lyndon Economic opportunity AmeriCorps Program (LEAP). Learn more here.
Farm to School in the News
Warm Springs second-graders visit Sisters farm
In April, 40 second-graders from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs traveled on a school bus to Sisters, OR. They disembarked on ancestral lands of the Northern Paiute tribe, which is now the home of Seed to Table Farm. Seed to Table was invited by tribal members to help expand experiential, nutrition education through gardening and outdoor experiences. During last month’s visit, the students tasted food right out of the ground, planted seeds and learned about the five main things plants need to grow. Now a month later, the students returned to reap the harvest they’d planted in April. (The Nugget Newspaper)
Farm to table program nourishes students at Massachusetts high school
The concept of farm-to-table really hits home for students at Haverhill High School who plant vegetable and berry gardens each spring, harvest their crops to enjoy throughout the summer, then enter their bounty into the Topsfield Fair in the fall for judging. About 75 students in several different special education programs are involved in this program of hands-on learning. (The Eagle-Tribune)
Alabama students harvest knowledge in the garden
The harvest has been plentiful in the first year of the expanded raised bed garden at Maplesville High School. The raised beds have kept the agricultural science students busy and given them opportunities to teach some of the younger students at the K-12 school about plants. (The Clanton Advertiser)