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National Farm to School Network

News

This Week in farm to school: 5/25/16

NFSN Staff Wednesday, May 25, 2016

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. Rural Community Grant Program, Northwest Farm Credit Service
Northwest Farm Credit Service is looking for creative and collaborative approaches to addressing challenges and opportunities in rural communities. Its rural community grant program provides grants for community projects that improve rural communities within Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. This includes efforts such as building or improving facilities; purchasing necessary equipment to facilitate a program; and funding capital improvements which enhance a community’s infrastructure, viability and/or prosperity. Applications are due June 1. Learn more here.


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Election-Related Lobbying & Advocacy
Friday, June 10, 2-3pm ET
Join National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Alliance for Justice, and Food Policy Action for a webinar on election-related lobbying and advocacy. The webinar will cover the basic rules for 501(c)(3)s and the various types of activities (candidate forums, questionnaires, get out the vote efforts, etc.) that (c)(3)s can engage in during an election season.  You'll also hear from Claire Benjamin of Food Policy Action about FPA's work to hold legislators accountable on votes that have an effect on food and farming. Register here.  

2. Registration Open: Southeast Regional Farm to School Conference
September 23-24 // Greenville, SC
The Southeast is having a farm to school gathering and you are invited! On September 23-24, 2016 in Greenville, SC, join teachers, early childhood educators, parents, community health professionals, and child nutrition staff from across the southeast to strengthen existing programs and jump start new farm to school efforts. State networking sessions will be provided for states within USDA's SE region:  NC, SC, FL, KY, TN, GA, AL, and MS. Full information including the workshop schedule and field trip details is available on the Growing Minds website

3. 6th Farm-Based Education Network National Gathering 
November 4-6 // Concord, MA
Save the date! Educators, farmers, nonprofit organization staff, parents, nutrition practitioners, policy makers, students, and more will come together to share skills and resources, build relationships, and celebrate the vibrant field of farm-based education. Workshops will focus on program development, marketing, fundraising, the balance of production and education, nonprofit board management, and much more. Peer educators will showcase their sites during field trips and workshops, a keynote address will spark discussion, and group meals will allow for ample networking time. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. New CACFP Meal Pattern and Best Practices Promote Local and Seasonal
In April, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service released the final Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal pattern rules along with best practice recommendations. Several of these changes and best practices create great opportunity to increase awareness and implementation of farm to school activities in CACFP programs. See a summary of the final rule and details about opportunities for farm to early care and education on the National Farm to School Network blog.    

2. Report: The Michigan Farm to School Grant Program - The First Three Years
The story of the Michigan Farm to School Grant Program, established in 2011 and continuing today, is now available in one comprehensive report from the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. Read how MI Farm to School Grant Program has helped food program providers overcome challenges and stimulate or sustain local food purchasing programs at K-12 schools and early childhood programs in Michigan. Read the report here

3. Film: Lunch Love Community
Lunch Love Community tells the story of how a diverse group of pioneering parents and food advocates came together to tackle food reform and food justice in the schools and neighborhoods of Berkeley, California, and features Ann Cooper among others. The film can be useful in community settings to inspire engagement, and well as in education settings. It is composed of twelve interconnecting short documentaries, and comes with study guides, which is perfect for introducing topics while allowing time for discussion and teaching. Learn more here


Policy
1. House committee passes CNR amidst advocate and lawmaker concerns
Last week, the House Education and Workforce Committee approved H.R. 5003, the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016, marking another step forward in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) process, but potentially a step backward for our nation’s children. While there are considerable issues with the bill’s potential impact on the quality and access to school meals, one of the very few bright spots of bipartisanship was farm to school.  A full CNR update is available on our blog


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Farm to School Program Coordinator, Minneapolis Public Schools
This position coordinates the Minneapolis Public Schools Farm to School Program, including program development, financial oversight, staff support, community development, and public relations; liaison with internal and external partners including local procurement and food educational efforts. Application closes June 2. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Chefs in Schools program to benefit Clark County students, food service staff
With support from the National Farm to School Network’s Seed Change initiative, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Program has launched the Chefs in Schools collaborative. The program uses chefs to educate school food service personnel about incorporating fresh local foods in their menus, knife skills and proper handling of fresh local foods. (via The Winchester Sun)

Manatee schools plan garden expansions
The Manatee County School District (Florida) is expanding its school gardens and working with area farmers to get more local food in schools. In the upcoming year, the district wants to increase the food products coming from local farmers and more prominently promote the products from those local farmers in the cafeterias. (via Bradenton Herald)

Schools dishing out local food

More than 130 school districts in New York are participating in a federal pilot program in which schools use funds from the US Department of Agriculture to purchase local produce for school meals. Officials say the program expands access to local food and helps cut costs. (via The Daily News)


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: 5/17/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 17, 2016

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 & Events
1. Webinars: USDA Traditional Foods in Native Communities Webinar Series
This spring, USDA’s Office of Community Food Systems is hosting a four-part webinar series focused on integrating farm to school strategies in native communities. Each webinar will feature a guest speaker who will share tips, stories and best practices for keeping local food traditions alive in child nutrition programs that serve tribal populations. The next webinar is Partnering for Success in Tribal Communities on May 18, at 3pm EDT. Learn more and register here

2. Registration Open: Southeast Regional Farm to School Conference
September 23-24, Greenville, SC
The Southeast is having a farm to school gathering and you are invited! On September 23-24, 2016 in Greenville, SC, join teachers, early childhood educators, parents, community health professionals, and child nutrition staff from across the southeast to strengthen existing programs and jump start new farm to school efforts. State networking sessions will be provided for states within USDA's SE region:  NC, SC, FL, KY, TN, GA, AL, and MS. Full information including the workshop schedule and field trip details is available on the Growing Minds website.

3. RFP Open: Fourth Annual Yale Food Systems Symposium

September 30, New Haven, CT
The Fourth Annual Yale Food Systems Symposium planning committee is now accepting submissions to present at this year's event, to be held September 30th, 2016 at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies in New Haven, CT. This year's theme surrounds the topic of "Feeding a Growing World: Perspectives in 2016." Please see their website for the full RFP and for the online form to submit proposals.


Research & Resources
1. New CACFP Meal Pattern and Best Practices Promote Local and Seasonal
In April, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service released the final Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal pattern rules along with best practice recommendations. Several of these changes and best practices create great opportunity to increase awareness and implementation of farm to school activities in CACFP programs. See a summary of the final rule and details about opportunities for farm to early care and education on the National Farm to School Network blog.    

2. USDA Factsheets Now Available in Spanish
In an effort to reach Spanish-speaking farm to school program operators, USDA recently had three of their most popular farm to school fact sheets translated into Spanish. Check them out:
3. Minneapolis Public Schools Farm to School Toolkit
Minneapolis Public Schools has released a Farm to School Toolkit – a case study detailing how their farm to school program works. Since 2011, MPS has been proudly sourcing fresh produce, meats, baked goods, and other products from local farmers and manufacturers for meals provided to the district’s 35,500 students. This toolkit is designed to describe MPS’ farm to school program and share the many useful tools, resources and documents that have been developed since its inception. View the toolkit here

4. Identifying Farm to School Barriers and Keys to Success: Perceptions of Hourly Employees
This article from the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition outlines a study focused on identifying barriers and keys to success when using local produce from farm to school programs. Semistructured Interviews were conducted with hourly school foodservice employees. Challenges included appearance, shelf life, service to students, and availability. Keys to success included exposure and support, service, and employee motivation. Results of the study are not generalizable but were used to develop a questionnaire to identify barriers among a larger sample. Read more here.

5. USDA Farm Storage Facility Loan Expanded

USDA’s Farm Service Agency recently announced that farmers can now use the Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) program to help finance portable storage structures, portable equipment, and storage and handling trucks; the program will also continue to support stationary crop and cold storage on-farm facilities. This expansion will provide much-needed support to fruit and vegetable farmers, and other producers, who need special equipment to transport their goods to local farmers markets, schools, restaurants, food hubs, and retail establishments. Learn more here.


Jobs & Opportunities
1. USDA Office of Community Food Systems - two positions
USDA’s Office of Community Food Systems has posted two, permanent, full-time positions. One will be charged with coordinating efforts to bring more local foods into our schools programs, while the other will manage our summer and CACFP portfolio. The deadline to submit applications is Tuesday, May 17. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news

Farms that Sell Directly to Consumers May Stay in Business Longer
Opportunities to buy food directly from farmers, in urban and rural areas, have increased considerably in recent years. The number of farms that sold food at roadside stands, farmers’ markets, pick-your-own farms, on-farm stores, and community-supported agricultural arrangements increased 24 percent between 2002 and 2012. Read more on the USDA’s blog.

Gardening Project Takes Root at Marlboro Middle School

Whitcomb Middle School in Massachusetts has installed a new school garden, and students and teachers are ready to dig in. “With the introduction of growing plants and vegetables, we are able to incorporate math, science, ELA, social studies, and social skills. From the importance of water and agriculture for ancient civilizations, quantitative measurements or the life sciences, we can incorporate this project in line with curriculum. As special educators, our goal is creating this ownership over their learning experience.” (via Worcester Telegram & Gazette)

School's Curriculum Fosters Healthful Connection to Food, Environment

Philip’s Academy Charter School in New Jersey has established a new curriculum that emphasizes healthy eating and food literacy. Its mission is to foster a future generation of environmental leaders. (via Voice of America)


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: 5/4/16

NFSN Staff Wednesday, May 04, 2016

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 & Events
1. Last Chance! Join Us at the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference 
Don’t miss the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Madison, Wis., June 2-4, 2016. This event is the only national gathering of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement, making it a crucial leadership development opportunity to advance community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. The registration deadline is May 16 – that’s less than two weeks away. Register today at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

2. Webinars: USDA Traditional Foods in Native Communities Webinar Series
This spring, USDA’s Office of Community Food Systems is hosting a four-part webinar series focused on integrating farm to school strategies in native communities. Each webinar will feature a guest speaker who will share tips, stories and best practices for keeping local food traditions alive in child nutrition programs that serve tribal populations. The third webinar is coming up: Community Food Systems in Native Communities: Engaging Students on May 4, at 3pm EDT. Learn more and register here

3. Webinar: New Healthier CACFP Meal Standards: What you need to know

Food Research & Action Center
Monday, May 9, 1-2:30pm ET
USDA has issued the new healthier meal pattern for the Child and Adult Care Food Program and related programs. Join the Food Research and Action Center and USDA for a webinar on the new rules and USDA’s implementation plans. Learn what you need to know about USDA's recently issued healthier CACFP meal pattern and nutrition standards for the Child and Adult Care Food Program in Head Start, child care centers, family child care homes, afterschool programs, emergency shelters and adult day care and school meal programs in school-based PreK. Register here

4. Webinar: School Garden Education for Children Experiencing Behavioral and Mental Health Challenges

Slow Food USA
Tuesday, May 17, 2pm ET
School Gardens for students with behavioral and mental health challenges provide interesting opportunities to develop positive and empowering life skills. The Creeks School Garden in Portland Oregon integrates practical education theory and methods into tangible, thoughtful teaching exercises that results in dynamic behavioral changes. The Creeks School Garden team will describe: the learning characteristics of these special children, their school settings, the importance of community partnerships, and specific activities that help these student’s gain confidence and develop productive collaborative relationships. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Film: Food Frontiers
Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future has released a short film that tells a half-dozen stories about projects around the country that are aimed at increasing access to healthy food. One of the stories covers farm to school programs in Riverside, Calif., and Claremont, Calif., including extensive material on farm to school pioneer Rodney Taylor and his farmer collaborator Bob Knight. Watch the film here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Executive Director, Washington Sustainable Food & Farming Network
The Washington Sustainable Food & Farming Network has re-opened its search for a new Executive Director. WSFFN’s Executive Director will lead The Network into a new decade, providing both vision and action to strengthen sustainable food and farming systems. The position will remain open until filled. Learn more here.

2. Wellness Dietitian, Burke County Public Schools
Burke County Public Schools (Georgia) seeks a Wellness Dietitian to join is School Nutrition team. The position is heavily involved with the district’s farm to school and Early Head Start work. Learn more and apply here


Farm to school in the news

Trying To Alleviate Food Deserts In Arizona's Desert - shout out to Cindy Gentry, NFSN Arizona State Lead!
There are a number of food deserts in and around Maricopa County, Ariz. - areas in which residents have little-to-no access to healthy food. In this radio interview, Cindy Gentry, food systems coordinator for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, speaks about the role schools play in trying to alleviate food deserts. Listen here.

Local Food Learning Lab Sparks Growth - shout out to ASAP, NFSN Southeast Regional Lead Agency! 
Preschoolers at ASAP's new Growing Minds Learning Lab are getting their hands dirty this summer. Hear them talk about their gardening experiment and find out how the Child Care Center of First Presbyterian Church of Asheville, N.C. is bringing local food into the lives of its littlest learners. Listen here.

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: 4/26/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 26, 2016

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 & Events
1. Register today! National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
June 2-4, 2016 // Madison, Wisconsin 
Don’t miss the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Madison, Wis., June 2-4, 2016. This event is the only national gathering of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement, making it a crucial leadership development opportunity to advance community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. Event organizers expect more than 1,500 attendees, and the last event sold out before the registration deadline, so don’t wait. Registration closes May 16. Learn more at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

2. Webinar: How to Successfully Implement Salad Bars in Your School Cafeteria

Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools
Thursday, April 28, 3pm ET

School salad bars are one of the easiest ways to meet the fruit and vegetable standards for school lunch, increase participation in the lunch program, reduce plate waste and increase student’s fruit and vegetable consumption. The Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative has donated salad bars to more than 4,500 schools nationwide and has resources to help schools successfully implement salad bars. Hear from school food service directors about their experience with salad bars and how you can apply for salad bars from LMSB2S. Register here

3. Webinar: Farm to Summer: Incorporating local foods in Summer Food Service Programs

MSU Center for Regional Food Systems
May 3, 2016 2:00-3:30 pm ET
Summer Food Service Programs can be an ideal time to start looking at local purchasing. At the height of the Michigan farming season, there is more local product available than at any other time in the year. Farmers are often willing to sell seconds or bulk surpluses at a discounted rate, and what better way to take advantage of those than in your Summer Food Service Program! Join the Michigan Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture, and MSU Center for Regional Food Systems for an interactive and informative webinar covering all things Farm to Summer. Hear about farm to summer programs happening in Michigan, learn how to incorporate local purchasing into your site’s meal program, and see how Farm to Summer programs can increase nutritional quality of meals and boost participation rates. Register here

4. Webinar: School Garden Education for Children Experiencing Behavioral and Mental Health Challenges
Slow Food USA
Tuesday, May 17, 2pm ET
School Gardens for students with behavioral and mental health challenges provide interesting opportunities to develop positive and empowering life skills. The Creeks School Garden in Portland Oregon integrates practical education theory and methods into tangible, thoughtful teaching exercises that results in dynamic behavioral changes. The Creeks School Garden team will describe: the learning characteristics of these special children, their school settings, the importance of community partnerships, and specific activities that help these student’s gain confidence and develop productive collaborative relationships. Learn more here

5. USDA's Minority Farmers and Ranchers Advisory Committee
May 10-12 // New Orleans
Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Office of Advocacy and Outreach is announcing a meeting of the Minority Farmers and Ranchers Advisory Committee. The committee is being convened to consider issues involving minorities. The members will deliberate on recommendations to be prepared for USDA Secretarial consideration. The meeting will be open to the public. Public written comments for the committee's consideration may be submitted by close of business on May 6. More details here

6. Call for Proposals: School Food FOCUS 2016 National Gathering

December 6-8, 2016 // Braselton, Georgia 
School Food FOCUS is seeking proposals that demonstrate how more healthful, regional and sustainable school food can drive food systems change. They seek innovative and dynamic speakers who can share the opportunities and challenges of institutional procurement. Ideal proposals will highlight inspirational success stories and emphasize the importance of equitable food access for all children. All proposals should be submitted to the online form by Friday, May 27, 2016. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Survey Results: Farm to School in Early Care and Education Builds Healthy Kids with Bright Futures
In 2015, the National Farm to School Network surveyed early care and education providers across the country. Nearly 1,500 providers serving 183,369 young children in 49 states and Washington, D.C., responded and shared fascinating insight into the important work that they are doing to connect young children to healthy, local foods and food related educational opportunities. The results show that farm to school in early care and education is on the rise across the country. 54% of respondents are already doing farm to school activities and another 28% plan to start in the near future. A new infographic and factsheet are available with more survey results. To see the results and learn how the National Farm to School Network is working to expand farm to school in early care and education, visit farmtoschool.org/earlychildhood

2. CDC Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity: Data, Trends and Maps 
The CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity's Data, Trends and Maps online tool allows you to search for and view indicators related to nutrition, physical activity and obesity. You can search on the basis of a specific location or an indicator. Access this powerful data tool here.

3. Engagement and Cultural Competence Webinar Recording
Suzanne Bronheim, PhD from the National Center for Cultural Competence presented "Community Engagement to Address Cultural Competence" on March 31st.  During this thought-provoking and practical webinar, Bronheim discusses the difference between community engagement and community outreach, cultural brokering, and specific strategies program managers can use for engaging diverse communities.  This was the third cultural competence webinar provided by the National Center during the Healthy Places for Kids to Eat (HPKE) project. The HPKE project is part of a cooperative agreement between ASPHN and CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. Watch the recording here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Executive Director, West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition
The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition seeks a dynamic, entrepreneurial, committed leader to help build and support West Virginia’s rapidly growing local food system. The position of WVFFC Executive Director is one that advocates for sound legislative policy to benefit West Virginia farmers and consumers, builds stakeholder partnerships, and continues the Coalition’s success in promoting food and agriculture as a critical part of West Virginia’s economy. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
A Model Network: The National Farm to School Network - shout out to Anupama Joshi, NFSN Executive Director and Co-Founder! 
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group has profiled the National Farm to School Network as a model network on their blog. Read how our strategies of connecting people with information, policy advocacy and networking have supported the growth of the farm to school movement across the country. Read more here

Bill aims for slow food to simmer in La. schools - shout out to Katie Mularz, Louisiana State Lead! 
Louisiana Sen. Francis Thompson wants to incorporate a farm to school program in all Louisiana public schools. Thompson's Senate Bill 240, which overwhelmingly passed by the Senate last week, would require such a program be developed and implemented by the state departments of education and agriculture. (via The News Star)

Students use love of science & nutrition to help others enjoy healthier school lunches
Mays High School in Atlanta, Ga. uses aquaponics and hydroponics to grow year round herbs and vegetables and teach students about healthy eating. School officials say the program allows student to apply cutting edge, economical and sustainable methods that yield safe and nutritious food in Atlanta Public Schools cafeterias. (via Fox 5 Atlanta)

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: 4/19/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 19, 2016

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. USDA Grants for Food Safety Training, Outreach and Technical Assistance
The USDA has announced the availability of $4.7 million in grants for food safety education, training, and technical assistance projects that address the needs of owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors, small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers, food hubs, farmers' markets, and others. The grants, offered through the Food Safety Outreach Program and administered by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), are designed to help these stakeholders comply with new food safety guidelines established by the Food and Drug Administration under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Register today! National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
June 2-4, 2016 // Madison, Wisconsin 
Don’t miss the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Madison, Wis., June 2-4, 2016. This event is the only national gathering of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement, making it a crucial leadership development opportunity to advance community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. Event organizers expect more than 1,500 attendees, and the last event sold out before the registration deadline, so don’t wait. Registration closes May 16. Learn more at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

2. Webinars: USDA Traditional Foods in Native Communities Webinar Series

This spring, USDA’s Office of Community Food Systems is hosting a four-part webinar series focused on integrating farm to school strategies in native communities. Each webinar will feature a guest speaker who will share tips, stories and best practices for keeping local food traditions alive in child nutrition programs that serve tribal populations. The second webinar is coming up: Incorporating Traditional Foods in Child Nutrition Program Menus on April 20, at 3pm EDT. Learn more and register here

3. Webinar: Food Systems Change through Procurement Policy

Wednesday, April 27th, 2:00-3:30 pm ET
Join FoodPolicyNetworks.org and Chesapeake Foodshed Network for an overview of the Center for a Livable Future’s recent report, Instituting Change, which examines the benefits and barriers to increased institutional procurement of regionally and sustainably produced food. Hear findings from a recent analysis of the economic potential for regional food procurement among institutions in the Chesapeake region. Finally, learn about the Center for Good Food Purchasing and implementation of the Center’s Good Food Purchasing Policy in Chicago and the Twin Cities. Register here

4. Webinar: How to Evaluate Economic Benefits of Local Food Systems

Thursday, April 28, 3pm ET
Local and regional food systems are helping revitalize rural and urban communities across the country.  The authors of a new USDA guide to evaluate the economic impacts of investing in farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSA), food hubs, and other local food systems will discuss the toolkit during a free webinar. The Economics of Local Food Systems: A Toolkit to Guide Community Discussions, Assessments and Choices, developed by the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) in cooperation with Colorado State University (CSU), uses real-world projects, experiences, and applied research to help community leaders, planners, economic development specialists, public agencies, and private businesses or foundations evaluate the economic benefits of local and regional food systems. Register here

5. Webinar: How to Successfully Implement Salad Bars in Your School Cafeteria
Thursday, April 28, 3pm ET
School salad bars are one of the easiest ways to meet the fruit and vegetable standards for school lunch, increase participation in the lunch program, reduce plate waste and increase student’s fruit and vegetable consumption. The Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools initiative has donated salad bars to more than 4,500 schools nationwide and has resources to help schools successfully implement salad bars. Hear from school food service directors about their experience with salad bars and how you can apply for salad bars from LMSB2S. Register here

Research & Resources
1. Survey Results: Farm to School in Early Care and Education Builds Healthy Kids with Bright Futures
In 2015, the National Farm to School Network surveyed early care and education providers across the country. Nearly 1,500 providers serving 183,369 young children in 49 states and Washington, D.C., responded and shared fascinating insight into the important work that they are doing to connect young children to healthy, local foods and food related educational opportunities. The results show that farm to school in early care and education is on the rise across the country. 54% of respondents are already doing farm to school activities and another 28% plan to start in the near future. A new infographic and factsheet are available with more survey results. To see the results and learn how the National Farm to School Network is working to expand farm to school in early care and education, visit farmtoschool.org/earlychildhood

2. New Community Action Model

Active Living By Design developed its initial Community Action Model and “5P” strategies (Preparation, Promotion, Programs, Policy and Physical Projects) as an evidence-informed framework for increasing active living and healthy eating in communities through comprehensive and integrated strategies. This new model highlights the importance of a community’s context, defines six essential practices that undergird success and focuses the action approach from the original 5Ps to our new 3P approach (Partner, Prepare and Progress). It also presents some expected impacts. This updated model can be useful to community coalitions and local leaders seeking a collaborative approach to creating healthier places and to funders seeking a tested approach for local investments. Learn more here

3. ChopChop: The Fun Cooking Magazine for Families
The award-winning ChopChop Magazine is an engaging tool for teaching kids about food and where it comes from, cooking, nutrition and health. Inspire and teach kids to cook real food through delicious, kid-tested recipes, fun food facts and puzzles, gardening activities and games to keep kids moving. Teachers use ChopChop as part of wellness and nutrition education programs throughout the country. Available in English and Spanish and endorsed by the Academy of Pediatrics, ChopChop is a quarterly magazine and does not contain any advertising. You can purchase a 1-year subscription (4 issues) for just $14.95. Teachers can purchase a special classroom package of 30 copies for $40 (shipping and handling included). Each teacher package includes curriculum which includes classroom activities, printables and math lessons in math, science, ELA and social studies. Download a free sample of ChopChop curriculum here.  ChopChop can also be purchased in large quantities of boxes of 50 copies for $65/box (includes shipping). For more information on custom programs and pricing, please contact Evilee Ebb at ev@chopchopmag.org. 


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Farm to Early Education Program Specialist, Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children
The Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children seeks a Farm to Early Education Program Specialist to implement its Farm to Early Education program and develop a statewide Farm to Early Education Coalition. Learn more and apply here

2. Nutritionist, Food and Nutrition Service

Food and Nutrition Service seeks a Nutritionist in its Child Nutrition Program. This position will including work on Team Nutrition materials to support the CACFP. Application closes April 25, 2016. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Teams compete for top prize in first Farm to School cook off
School cooks in Maine recently faced off in a farm to school cook off. The teams followed their own recipes and used locally sourced ingredients to create both breakfast and lunch meals. Two more competitions like this are lined up over the next month.  All of the recipes will be collected and put into a cookbook for Maine schools. (via WCSH6)

Eating local: Farm to School creates student learning from gardens to cafeterias
Nutrition education is homegrown in the Ferguson-Florissant School District (Mo.), where Kelly Bristow leads farm to school programming that gives children of all ages an appreciation of food and nutrition – from farm to plate. (via The St.Louis American)

Revamped School Garden Grows Veggies, Interest in Many Subjects
A school in New Jersey has discovered that student and faculty energy plus community-minded businesses and strong vision can be transformed into an outdoor classroom for teaching students about living off the land in a healthy manner. (via Cape May County Herald


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: 4/12/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 12, 2016

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. Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools
The Chef Ann Foundation has $250,000 available to support school lunchroom learning programs. Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools is a grant program 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. Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is eligible to apply. Grants will be determined on an ongoing basis depending on available funding; there is no application deadline. Learn more here. An information webinar about applying for the grants will be offered on Wednesday, April 27 from 4-5pm ET. Register here


Webinars & Events
1. Register today! National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
June 2-4, 2016 // Madison, Wisconsin 
Don’t miss the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Madison, Wis., June 2-4, 2016. This event is the only national gathering of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement, making it a crucial leadership development opportunity to advance community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. Early bird registration is open now, including pre-conference short courses and field trips. Event organizers expect more than 1,500 attendees, and the last event sold out before the registration deadline, so don’t wait. Registration closes May 16. Learn more at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

2. Webinar: School Food FOCUS
The Raw Deal: Strategies for Handling Fresh Poultry
April 13, 1-2 pm EST
Interested in procuring fresh poultry for your PK-12 school district but not quite sure how to get started? Don't be held back from integrating fresh poultry into your menus. Learn how to create a culture of food safety and hear directly from the experts as they share tips and resources for success. School Food FOCUS is a national collaborative that leverages the knowledge and procurement power of large school districts to make school meals nationwide more healthful, regionally sourced, and sustainably produced. Register here

3. Webinars: USDA Traditional Foods in Native Communities Webinar Series
This spring, USDA’s Office of Community Food Systems is hosting a four-part webinar series focused on integrating farm to school strategies in native communities. Each webinar will feature a guest speaker who will share tips, stories and best practices for keeping local food traditions alive in child nutrition programs that serve tribal populations. The second webinar is coming up: Incorporating Traditional Foods in Child Nutrition Program Menus on April 20, at 3pm EDT. Learn more and register here

4. Call for Breakout Proposals: Southern Obesity Summit
November 13-15 // Houston, Texas
The Southern Obesity Summit (SOS) is the largest regional obesity prevention event in the United States, drawing hundreds of participants from 16 Southern States consisting of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.  Together, these states join forces to fight obesity. Share your insights and expertise with your peers at this event. Breakout proposals will be accepted through May 13. Learn more here

5. School Garden Teacher Training, Occidental Arts & Ecology Center
OAEC’s School Garden Teacher Training supports your school in creating and sustaining garden-based ecological literacy programs and helps you build a strong cohort of colleagues. Our residential training is for individuals or teams of teachers, garden educators, administrators and core parent volunteers. Two trainings will be held: June 20-24, 2016 and July 11-15, 2016. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. New eBook: Teaching in Nature's Classroom: Core Principles of Garden-Based Education
In this publication, veteran farm and garden educator Nathan Larson shares a philosophy of teaching in the garden through fifteen guiding principles and engaging stories from the field. The book features vivid paintings by mural artist Becky Redelings, an inspiring foreword by Whitney Cohen of Life Lab, and connections to the research literature provided by Alex Wells and Dr. Sam Dennis of the Environmental Design Lab at UW-Madison. Thanks to generous public health funding, free ebook editions are currently available. Visit the Wisconsin School Garden Network at www.wischoolgardens.org to learn more about this publication and other free school garden resources.


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Farm to School Manager, Colonial School District
Colonial School District in New Castle, Delaware seeks a Farm to School Manager in its Nutrition Services department. This position is responsible, but not limited to, connecting & managing agricultural education programs to our Penn Farm initiative, managing and operating farm duties, organizing logistics and planning for CSA, farm to table, and school garden programs, support in grant writing, maintaining budgets, data collection of harvest records, plant yields and promoting healthy food programs into schools. Application closes April 14. Learn more and apply here

2. Vote: USDA Farm to School “One in a Melon” Awards
Know a school district in your state with a great farm to school program? Nominate them for a USDA Farm to School Award! USDA is currently running a friendly contest to designate a “One in a Melon” award winner in every state. Voting takes place via the USDA Farm to School Census website. The contest runs through April 15th. Find your school district here and vote today!


Farm to school in the news
Fulton, Mo. schools ahead of curve on food
Lawmakers in Missouri are considering legislation that would require school districts to source 10% of their food locally by December 2019. School nutrition professionals in one district describe steps they took to join the national farm to school trend. (via Fulton Sun)

Students stock schools with produce
This farm to school program has students getting their hands dirty while feeding lunchrooms with hundreds of pounds of fresh produce from the Hub at the Horizon Center in Gainesville, Fla. (via WCJB-TV)

Farm To School - Great Food Local
Strawberry farmers, representative from the Arkansas Children’s Hospital and USDA, county extension personnel and other stakeholders recently gathered to promote and brainstorm ideas to grow farm to school programs in their state. (via Newport Independent

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: 4/5/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 05, 2016

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 & Events
1. Register today! National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
June 2-4, 2016 // Madison, Wisconsin 
Don’t miss the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Madison, Wis., June 2-4, 2016. This event is the only national gathering of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement, making it a crucial leadership development opportunity to advance community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. Early bird registration is open now, including pre-conference short courses and field trips. Event organizers expect more than 1,500 attendees, and the last event sold out before the registration deadline, so don’t wait. Registration closes May 16. Learn more at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

2. Growing Power Conference: Request for Proposals
November 18-20, 2016 // Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Save the date for Growing Power’s Urban and Small Farms Conference, to be held Nov. 18-20 in Milwaukee, Wis. The theme for the 2016 conference is "Let’s Scale It Up! Growing Food and Farmers: Best Practices in Growing, Distribution and Community Building”. The Request for Proposals is open through April 15. Registration is now open. Learn more here

3. Webinars: USDA Traditional Foods in Native Communities Webinar Series
This spring, USDA’s Office of Community Food Systems will host a four-part webinar series focused on integrating farm to school strategies in native communities. Each webinar will feature a guest speaker who will share tips, stories and best practices for keeping local food traditions alive in child nutrition programs that serve tribal populations. The first webinar will be: What Does Farm to School Look Like in Native American Communities? on April 6 at 3pm EST. Learn more and register here

4. Webinar: USDA Planning for Farm to School Success Series
Curriculum Integration
April 7, 2pm EDT
Experiential education is an important component of successful farm to school programs. This webinar will help you plan for your farm to school educational efforts and brainstorm food, agriculture, and nutrition-related educational activities with which you can engage students. Register here


Research & Resources
1. 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge
As part of a commitment to racial equity and food justice, Food Solutions New England is working to normalize the conversation about race and racism. This exercise, originally developed by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. and Debby Irving, is about creating dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of power, privilege, and leadership. Participation in an activity like the Racial Equity Challenge helps people learn how to engage the complex problems that exist in the food system, and become better leaders. The 21-day challenge starts on April 10. Learn more and sign on here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Director of Program Strategy & Operations, School Food FOCUS
School Food FOCUS (FOCUS) is a national collaborative that leverages the procurement power of large school districts to make school meals across the country more healthful, regionally sourced, and sustainably produced. FOCUS seeks a dynamic, organized leader to direct program development and implementation during an exciting period of growth for the organization. The Director of Program Strategy & Operations will oversee all aspects of program design, delivery, and assessment for FOCUS Learning Labs, in addition to managing a growing staff and team of consultants. Learn more here

2. Nutritionist, Food and Nutrition Service

Team Nutrition is looking for creative Nutritionists, with excellent project management skills, to join their team in the Nutrition Education and Promotion Branch of the Child Nutrition Programs at the Food and Nutrition Service. This position closes April 11. Learn more and apply here

3. Education & Outreach Specialist, Washington State Department of Ag
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is seeking a farm to institution specialist to work with a dynamic and energetic WSDA team to increase use of locally-grown fruits and vegetables in state agencies, employee cafeterias, preschools, senior programs and other institutions. Learn more and apply here

4. Executive Director, Growing Gardens
Growing Gardens seeks a highly skilled and passionate individual to serve as Executive Director and uphold our mission to strengthen people and communities to grow their own food. Growing Gardens accomplishes this through a Home Gardens program working with families, a Youth Grow program in local schools, the Lettuce Grow program serving inmates in Oregon’s correctional facilities, and educational workshops. Learn more and apply here


Farm to school in the news
How One South Lake Tahoe School Got Kids To Love Salad
A South Lake Tahoe, Calif. school is growing its own fresh and healthy food year-round with the help of two Sierra Growing Dome greenhouses. Teachers say they see a noticable difference in kids who have taken classes in the domes since starting school - they're opting for many more vegetables at lunchtime. (via KUNR Public Radio)

From Garden to Cafeteria: Students learn to grow healthy food
Budding gardeners in 50 Atlanta Public Schools are growing food to help feed the district’s 45,000 students. “I can’t wait to see my friends in the lunch room eating our radishes,” said Maynard H. Jackson High School senior, Caston Noorullah. (via Atlanta INtown Paper)

A Burgeoning Effort to Restore Native Foods in an Unlikely Food Desert

The salmon and berries that once nourished a network of tribes in California’s Klamath Basin are now scarce. This effort with youth hopes to reverse the trend. (via Civil Eats)

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: 3/29/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, March 29, 2016

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. Action for Healthy Kids: Breakfast and Game On Grants
Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) is now accepting School Grants for Healthy Kids applications for the 2016-2017 school year. Up to 550 schools will receive School Breakfast grant awards ranging from $500 to $5,000 to support increased breakfast participation. 500 schools will be awarded Game On grants ranging from $500 to $2,500 for physical activity and nutrition initiatives. Applications are due April 1, 2016. Learn more and apply here

2. Aetna Foundation: 2016 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant Program
The Aetna Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of its 2016 Cultivating Healthy Communities grant program. Aetna Foundation recognize that health is local: it begins in our homes, schools, jobs, and neighborhoods. By creating more chances to make healthy choices in these places, we can empower whole communities to lead healthier lives. With this RFP, they seek to fund programs that will increase opportunities for health in underserved, low-income communities. The five target areas are: Healthy Behaviors; Community Safety; Built Environment; Social/Economic Factors; and, Environmental Exposures. This will be a highly competitive, multi-staged funding opportunity and application process.  All Stage 1 applications must be received by April 15 at 3pm ET. Learn more here

3. Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools
The Chef Ann Foundation has $250,000 available to support school lunchroom learning programs. Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools is a grant program 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. Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is eligible to apply. Grants will be determined on an ongoing basis depending on available funding; there is no application deadline. Learn more here.


Webinars & Events
1. National Farm to Cafeteria Conference Early Bird Discount Ends March 31
Don’t miss the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Madison, Wis., June 2-4, 2016. This event is the only national gathering of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement, making it a crucial leadership development opportunity to advance community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. Early bird registration is open now, including pre-conference short courses and field trips. Event organizers expect more than 1,500 attendees, and the last event sold out before the registration deadline, so don’t wait. The early bird discount ends March 31. Learn more at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

2. Vermont FEED Training: A Dairy for Every Classroom, July 2016
A Dairy for Every Classroom is a professional development course intended for middle, high school, and career and technical education teachers who are looking to deepen or expand their personal knowledge, curricular connections, and project-based learning opportunities related to dairy agriculture and the contributions the industry makes to the health of people and their communities. This course has been developed with the needs of teachers in mind and will provide teachers the time and ability to focus on projects of their choice, as well as opportunities to learn from colleagues and experts from the field.  Utilizing a unique learning format, the course includes a three-day residential intensive at Vermont Technical College in July; an independent work project period; and a two-day curriculum retreat at Shelburne Farms in late September. Learn more and apply here

3. 2016 Sustainable Agriculture Education Association National Conference
July 29–31, 2016 // Santa Cruz, California
When it comes to food and agriculture education that is experiential, interdisciplinary, and systems-based, the SAEA conference strives to walk the talk. The SAEA champions innovative educational approaches for sustainable agriculture through the development, application, and research of teaching and learning practices. The goal of the conference is to connect educators, teachers, students, apprentices, staff, and administrators who focus on teaching and learning at the adult level. Presentation proposal submissions are accepted through April 17. Learn more here

4. Webinars: USDA Traditional Foods in Native Communities Webinar Series
This spring, USDA’s Office of Community Food Systems will host a four-part webinar series focused on integrating farm to school strategies in native communities. Each webinar will feature a guest speaker who will share tips, stories and best practices for keeping local food traditions alive in child nutrition programs that serve tribal populations. The first webinar will be: What Does Farm to School Look Like in Native American Communities? on April 6 at 3pm EST. Learn more and register here


Research & Resources
1. Toolkit: The Economics of Local Food Systems
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has realized a new resource created by the USDA and Colorado State University that will help communities and businesses evaluate the economic benefits of investing in local food systems. The Local Food System Toolkit provides detailed guidance in seven modules to measure and assess the expected economic impacts of local food investments. Using real-world projects, experiences, and applied research, it provides grounded, credible, and useable assessment methods. The Local Food System Toolkit can be used by policy makers, community leaders, private businesses or foundations to offer specific estimates that will help them decide whether to invest in initiatives that increase local food activity. Download the toolkit here.  

2. How to Track State Legislation: A Guide to Understanding the Process
This guide explains generally how a bill makes its way through the legislative process and how to track a bill though this process. It also provides links to every state legislature website and their session dates for 2016. Please note: this resource was created by CQ Roll Call, a for-profit entity, and is an advertisement for their StateTrack legislation tracking system. Even so, it is a helpful and concise resource if you are looking to start working on state policy. Download the resource here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Agricultural Marketing Specialist II (Farm to School Coordinator), State of South Carolina Department of Agriculture
The Farm to School Coordinator will plan, develop  and  implement the SC Farm to School Program. Responsibilities include working with grants, providing training and technical assistance for the program, identifying training and technical assistance voids in the Farm to School community and filling these needs by modifying existing resources and/or creating new program offerings. Learn more and apply at www.jobs.sc.gov. Application closes April 7.

2. FoodCorps Service Member Application Closes March 31
Are you a leader passionate about healthy food, farms and kids? Become a FoodCorps service member! FoodCorps recruits talented leaders for a year of paid public service building healthy school food environments in limited-resource communities. Applications are due by March 31, 2016 at 6pm PT. Learn more and apply here

3. Farm to ECE Professional Development Opportunities
The Penn State Extension Better Kid Care (BKC) Program provides professional development opportunities for early learning and care professionals who are caring for children, ages 0-8. All modules are also accepted for the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential and CEUs are available for completed lessons (10 hours = 1 CEU) and are approved for professional development credit in 40 states and the District of Columbia. There are several modules available that address the goals of the Farm to Early Care and Education program. These include Fresh Harvest: Children Grow in the Garden, Children Can Cook!, Healthy and Hunger Free Children: Resources for Families: Let’s Move Child Care Obesity Prevention Series and Get Outdoors, Explore! Content for each two-hour module is available free of charge. There is a $5.00 fee for a certificate of completion. Visit http://extension.psu.edu/youth/betterkidcare for more information. 

4. Help Update The Real Food Standards
The national student-led Real Food Standards Council is undertaking the project of updating the Real Food Criteria—the standards by which we define ‘real food’ for hundreds of universities. Everyone is invited to participate in the revision process. The public comment forum will be open  until April 1, 2016. Your feedback and commentary will be considered by the student-led National Real Food Standards Council. This council is guided by a growing team of  industry and movement veterans generously serving as advisors to the project. Submit your feedback here
 

Farm to school in the news
A Local Apple a Day... Benefits Kids, Farmers and the Environment
The New York State legislature is reviewing a proposal that would reward school districts for sourcing locally grown ingredients in school lunches. The proposal, which is the first of its kind, would reimburse schools an extra five to twenty-five cents per meal for dedicating more of their purchasing budgets to local food. (via Huffington Post Blog)

Farm to School efforts growing in Nebraska
Preschoolers at five grade schools in Lincoln, Neb. will get their hands dirty this spring, thanks to a USDA Farm to School Grant. In addition to gardening, Lincoln Public Schools will use the grant to expand local food purchases and take students on farm field trips. (via Lincoln Journal Star)

School gardens becoming more popular
Prairie View Elementary in Eden Prairie, Minn., built its first edible with several garden beds in 2012. Within the last year, the school has also added three indoor tower gardens and four cold frame gardens that extend the growing season. It’s an example of a large number of school gardens sprouting up and expanding around the country. (via Eden Prairie News)

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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