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This Week in farm to school: 3/22/16

Anna Mullen Tuesday, March 22, 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. Request Seed Potatoes for Your School Garden
Slow Food USA is excited to announce the Ark of Taste Gardens project to showcase two important initiatives: School Gardens and Ark of Taste.  The Ark of Taste is a living catalog of delicious and culturally significant foods facing extinction. By identifying and championing these foods, we keep them in production and on our plates. The Ark of Taste Gardens project will engage classrooms in growing these special seeds in order to taste the wonderful food they produce. This year, Slow Food is excited to share two different types of Ark of Taste potatoes: Makah Ozette and Bodega Red. They’ll be sending 1 pound boxes of either, or a mixed box of both.  They ask for a $5 donation to help cover the cost of the potatoes and shipping. Request your seed potatoes 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. Webinar: USDA Planning for Farm to School Success Series
School Gardening
March 31, 2pm ET
Hear about the different ways to incorporate school gardens into your farm to school program as well as hear how schools are successfully procuring school garden produce for their meal programs. Register here

3. 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


Research & Resources
1. 2015 USDA Farm to School Census Results - vote for “One in a Melon”
USDA has released the final results of its 2015 Farm to School Census, which indicates schools have been deepening their engagement with farm to school since the first Census in 2011-20112. Visit the USDA website to see national overview statistics, state by state summaries including the dollars invested locally in each state, and full details on every district that responded. Then, vote for a school that you believe administers a creative, innovate and/or exemplary farm to school program for the “One in a Melon” award: https://farmtoschoolcensus.fns.usda.gov

2. Research: Improvements and Disparities in Types of Foods and Milk Beverages Offered in Elementary School Lunches, 2006–2007 to 2013–2014
A new study from Bridging the Gap shows that the quality of elementary school lunches improved significantly from 2006–07 to 2013-14. Elementary schools increased regular availability of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and decreased the availability of fried potatoes, regular pizza, and high-fat milks. However, significant disparities among racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups remain. Read the research here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Kid Chefs: Join the Fifth Annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge!
First Lady Michelle Obama is teaming up with PBS flagship station WGBH Boston, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to host the fifth annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge to promote cooking and healthy eating among young people across the nation. The challenge invites kids ages 8-12 to join a parent or guardian in creating an original recipe that is healthy, affordable, and delicious. One winner from each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia will be selected and have the opportunity to attend a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House where a selection of the winning recipes will be served. Learn more submit your recipe by April 4 here

Farm to school in the news
Chicago H.S. Puts Twist on Farm-to-Table With Food Lab-to-Cafeteria Harvest
Students at Schurz High School (Chicago, Ill.) spent a recent afternoon in the Food Science Lab snipping nutrient-rich microgreens — arugula, radishes and lettuce — that were destined for the next day's school lunch. "This is nutrition education, this is science, this is math, this is engineering, this is entrepreneurship.” (via DNAinfo)

West Virginia farm to school program a win-win for schools, local farmers
Cabell County Schools (W. Va.) have taken the "eat local" mantra to heart with its Farm to School initiative. Purchasing as much produce and eggs from local farms as it can, it’s a real a win-win: providing students with fresh food and providing local farmers with a steady buyer. (via The Herald-Dispatch)

Wyoming students get greens in Harvest partnership
Last week, Jackson Hole High School received a big batch of greens from a 13,000-square-foot, three-story greenhouse. Many students scooped up the fresh lettuce at the salad bar, and were excited to support local agriculture. (via Jackson Hole News & Guide)

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: 3/15/16

NFSN Staff Monday, March 14, 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 Team Nutrition Training Grants Available 
USDA's Team Nutrition initiative provides technical assistance, training, and nutrition education resources for schools and child care providers participating in USDA's child nutrition programs. Grants through this program are intended to conduct and evaluate training, nutrition education, and technical assistance activities to support the implementation of USDA nutrition standards for snacks and meals, like school breakfast. These grants can also be used to support farm to school! For example, in 2014 Montana was awarded a Team Nutrition Grant to build statewide support for nutrition education, school wellness policy implementation, and farm to school programs in school and child care environments. Learn more about the grants and apply here

2. USDA SPECA Challenge Grants Program
USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has announced more than $850,000 to support the Secondary Education, Two-Year Postsecondary Education, and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom (SPECA) Challenge Grants Program. The purpose of the grant program is to address educational needs, as determined by each institution, within a broadly defined arena of food and agricultural sciences-related disciplines. Applications are due March 18.  Find more information here

3. USDA Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program Grants 
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service is making over $26 million in grant funding available to strengthen local and regional food systems through the Farmers Market (FMPP) and Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP), and hosting a series of webinars to help potential applicants with the grant process. FMPP grants support direct producer-to-consumer marketing projects such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands, and agritourism.  LFPP funding supports projects that develop, improve, and expand local and regional food business intermediary supply chain activities. AMS will host a webinar on March 24 at 2pm ET for FMPP and LFPP applicants. More information about the webinars and grant application are available here

4. T&L Foundation Mini Grants for Child Care Community
A request for applications for mini-grants has been announced by the T&L Foundation in celebration of CACFP Week. This is an effort to support the implementation of goals for child health and wellness in the child care environment. Family child care providers on the food program (up to $250) and CACFP sponsoring organizations (up to $500) are eligible. The application process closes April 13. Learn more here

5. Healthy Eating Research Releases 2016 Call for Proposals
Healthy Eating Research is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program supports research on environmental and policy strategies with strong potential to promote healthy eating among children to prevent childhood obesity, especially among groups at highest risk for obesity: black, Latino, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander children, and children who live in lower-income communities. Findings are expected to advance RWJF's efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic, eliminate disparities, and help all children achieve a healthy weight. This call for proposals (CFP) is for two types of awards aimed at providing advocates, decision-makers, and policymakers with evidence to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. The award types are: Round 10 grants and RWJF New Connections grants awarded through the Healthy Eating Research program. Approximately $2.6 million will be awarded under this CFP for the two award types. More information is available here

6. National Black Farmers Association Scholarship Program
Applications for the National Black Farmers Association Scholarship Program are now being accepted. Deadline to submit is May 2, 2016, or when 100 applications have been received, whichever comes first. The scholarship provides up to $5,000 to students pursuing agriculture-related studies at an accredited two-year or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Register Now! Early Bird Prices for 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. 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. Register by March 31 to receive an early bird discount. Learn more at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

2. Webinar: USDA Planning for Farm to School Success Series
Promoting Your Farm to School Program
March 17, 2pm ET
You’ve put in so much hard work! Now, how do you promote your farm to school program to ensure student, school, and community engagement? Hear about programs that have successfully promoted farm to school programs while managing a tight budget. Chef Ann Cooper, Food Service Director for Boulder Valley School District in Colorado, joins us with tips and tricks for successful promotion. Register here

School Gardening
March 31, 2pm ET
Hear about the different ways to incorporate school gardens into your farm to school program as well as hear how schools are successfully procuring school garden produce for their meal programs. Register here

3. Webinar: Food Policy Networks
Mobilizing for Policy Action
Tuesday, March 29, 2:30-3:45pm EDT
Food policy councils across the nation are digging in and turning their ideas into action. There is no magic formula to get policy passed however, there are common elements that can help set up your food policy council for success. Learn to determine which policy intervention will have the most success; explore opportunities to build a public support for your policy proposal; and discover how to garner the support of key decision makers. Participants are invited to share in the stories of successes of fellow food policy councils. Speakers include NFSN Southwest Regional Lead Pam Roy, Executive Director of Farm to Table and Director of New Mexico Food and Agriculture Policy Council. Register here


Research & Resources
1. 2015 USDA Farm to School Census Results 
USDA has released the final results of its 2015 Farm to School Census today, which indicates schools have been deepening their engagement with farm to school since the first Census in 2011-20112. School districts across the country doubled their local food purchases and nearly tripled the number of school gardens since the first Census, and they are seeing more students participating in school meals, greater acceptance of healthy meal standards and reduced food waste because of it. Visit the USDA website to see national overview statistics, state by state summaries including the dollars invested locally in each state and shout outs to select high performing school districts, full details on every district that responded, grab and go graphs and charts, a photo gallery of USDA Farm to School grantees, and a contest to nominate your favorite farm to school program: https://farmtoschoolcensus.fns.usda.gov

2. Chop! Chop! Culinary Skills for Locally-Grown Produce in School Meals
“Chop, chop!” Hear that sound? It’s the sound of School Child Nutrition Directors who have a new way to help students eat more locally grown vegetables and grains.  This six-part series of free videos demonstrate to food service staff how to work with specialty crops. These free training videos will help you and your school food service staff use more locally-grown fruits and vegetables—and whole grains—in your school meal program by introducing new foods, recipes and culinary skills. These videos focus on root vegetables, dark leafy greens, brassicas, tomatoes and peppers, winter squash, and whole wheat flour and grains. Each training covers culinary preparation techniques such as hand chopping, pureeing and freezing, and offers ideas for incorporating local produce into school salad bars and menus. In addition, the videos feature discussions with farmers and their school partners  on the farm and in the school kitchen. Watch the Chop! Chop! videos and learn more here

3. Survey Open: Midwest Land Access Survey

The National Young Farmers Coalition and Land Stewardship Project are working together to better understand how to help farmers in the Midwest navigate the process of accessing land. The goal is to identify the land access challenges that beginning farmers are facing, what resources are most helpful to them, and what their suggestions are for areas where more could be done to assist them. If you are a farmer in the Midwest, please take the survey here.

4. Brief: School Fundraisers: Positive Changes in Foods Sold, but Room for Improvement Remains
This brief reviews the evidence on food-related fundraising in schools and changes to the school food environment over the past decade, providing new data from the Bridging the Gap research program’s 2013-14 school year national survey data. Read more from Healthy Eating Research here

5. Journal Article: Forging links between food chain labor activists and academics 
Interest in food movements has been growing dramatically, but until recently there has been limited engagement with the challenges facing workers across the food system. Of the studies that do exist, there is little focus on the processes and relationships that lead to solutions. This article explores ways that community-engaged teaching and research partnerships can help to build meaningful justice with food workers. Read the article here


Jobs & Opportunities

1. Campaign Manager, Healthy Schools Campaign
Healthy Schools Campaign seeks a Campaign Manager or Director. This key position will oversee the development and implementation of policy campaigns and key programs at the state and local levels. More information and the application can be found here.

2. FoodCorps Service Member Application Open
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


Farm to school in the news
Farm to Institution: Mainstreaming Local Foods - shout out to Sarah Elliot, Vanessa Herald & Anupama Joshi! 
Institutional kitchens have the potential to make huge economic impacts for local foods in any state. Thanks to the National Farm to School Network, the USDA and hundreds of partner organizations around the country, farm to school is today the best supported of all institutional local food activities. (via Edible Madison)

Farm to School Growing healthy lifestyles
Thanks to a Seed Change mini grant awarded by the National Farm to School Network to Zachary High School, first- and second-graders at Rollins Place Elementary have been tasting various fruit and vegetable recipes, learning how to cultivate their own gardens and picking up tips about how to live a healthy lifestyle. (via The Advocate)

Maui School Gardens: The Future of Farm to Cafeteria

The future of school gardens looks bright in Maui, Hawaii. Last year, Governor David Ige signed the Farm to School Act. A Maui nonprofit, Grow Some Good, is in its eighth year of nailing down strategies for sustaining school gardens. And today, Maui County’s school garden network has 45 gardens on Maui and one on Lanai. (via MauiTime)

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: 3/8/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, March 08, 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. Carton2Garden, Spring 2016 Contest
Carton2Garden wants to see your students’ creativity by re-purposing milk and juice cartons from your school cafeteria to either build or enhance your school garden. Educators can engage students in a hands-on experience creating teachable moments on environmental stewardship, sustainable packaging and healthy living. The best use of cartons in a school garden gives your school the chance to win one of 14 prizes with a grand prize valued at $5,000. Learn more here

2. Healthy Lifestyles: Healthy School Meals Grant 
National PTA is now accepting applications for the Healthy Lifestyles: Healthy School Meals Grant. This awards provides the resources necessary for local PTAs to collaborate with their school officials and food service team to improve school meals. Grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded to 25 local PTAs. Review the application and submit your completed answers online by 12:00 pm EST, Monday, April 4, 2016. Learn more here

3. Food Sovereignty Assessment Grant Program
First Nations Development Institute is accepting proposals from Native communities to conduct food sovereignty or community food assessments to gain a better knowledge and understanding about the historical, current and future state of their local food systems.   First Nations plans to award up to 10 grants of up to $10,000 each. Applications are due by March 15, 2016. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Register Now! Early Bird Prices for 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. 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. Register today at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

2. The Edible Schoolyard Project Summer 2016 Trainings
The Edible Schoolyard Project trains educators to create powerful and sustainable edible education programs in their schools and communities. Learn and experience first-hand the core principles and practical tools for bringing academic subjects to life in the kitchen, garden, and lunchroom. This summer, two trainings will be offered for teachers, administrators, food service professionals, and advocates on site at the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley in California. The Edible Schoolyard Academy will run from June 26-30 and the Edible Schoolyard Intensive: Farm to School from July 7-11.  The application deadline for both programs is March 13, 2016. Learn more and apply here

3. Save the date: 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. Call for breakout proposals will open by April 1. Learn more here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Farm to School Regional Leads, USDA Farm to School
USDA is looking for Farm to School Regional Leads in the following USDA Food and Nutrition Service locations: Southwest Regional Office: Dallas, TX; Western Regional Office: San Francisco, CA; Mountain Plains Regional Office: Denver, CO. This is an opportunity to help implement the USDA Farm to School Program, including grants, training and technical assistance, and actively participate in driving the program’s growth and evolution. Application are due March 11. Learn more here

2. Communications Associate, Shelburne Farms
The primary responsibilities of this position are to (1) support Shelburne Farms’ major communications, public relations, and marketing initiatives; and (2) coordinate communications/marketing and provide administrative support for VT FEED, a farm-to-school partnership project of Shelburne Farms. Learn more and apply here

3. FoodCorps Service Member Application Open
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


Farm to school in the news
Detroit’s Rebel Lunch Lady Wants to Fix More Than Food - shout out Betti Wiggins, NFSN Advisory Board member! 
Betti Wiggins is transforming school lunch for 46,000 Detroit Public Schools students. She’s thrown out the deep fryers, launched a 2 1/2-acre production farm and has a network of 80 school gardens that help bring farm to school. The Plate, National Geographic

Acadiana High celebrates farm-to-school movement
Lunch at Acadiana High was a bit different Thursday. The chicken that was served had been raised on the school farm, and prepared with the help of students. It’s part of a national farm-to-school initiative. Last fall, Acadiana High received a $27,000 grant through Seed Change, a project funded by the Wal-Mart foundation. The Advertiser

School Food Fight: My Interview with Senator Debbie Stabenow

In this interview, read Stabenow's predictions on whether the Senate Child Nutrition Reauthorization compromise will become law, her thoughts on using the appropriations process to legislate nutrition standards, the controversy over school meal verification and more. Huffington Post

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: 3/1/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, March 01, 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. Braitmayer Foundation Seeks Proposals for Innovative K-12 Education Programs
Braitmayer Foundation is inviting proposals from K-12 education programs in the United States that have adopted innovative practices. Priority will be given to curricular and school reform initiatives and the preparation of and professional development opportunities for teachers, particularly those which encourage people of high ability and diverse background to enter and stay in K-12 teaching. In 2016, the foundation will consider grant requests of up to $35,000. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Register Now! Early Bird Prices for 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. 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. Register today at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

2. Call for Proposals: 5th Annual UVM Food Systems Summit
The University of Vermont Food Systems Summit is an annual event drawing scholars, practitioners, and food systems leaders to engage in dialogue on the pressing food systems issues facing our world. The 2016 Summit will feature several rounds of concurrent sessions organized by Summit participants. We invite you to propose ideas for concurrent sessions in response to the 2016 Summit theme: "What Makes Food Good?" The Summit will be held June 14-15, 2016 in Burlington, VT. Submit and view proposals here

3. International School Meals Day, March 3, 2016
Since March 2013, schools across the world have celebrated International School Meals Day. This annual event celebrates food and promotes healthy living through the education environment. The fourth International School Meals Day theme is fresh and healthy local foods. Schools, organizations, government bodies, catering companies and anyone with an interest or involvement in promoting healthy eating are encouraged to get involved. Learn more here

4. 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

5. Webinar: USDA Planning for Farm to School Success, Food Safety
Thursday, March 3, 2pm EST
How can we ensure the safety of farm fresh food? We’ll share local food safety best practices, including identifying safety measures for school gardens and school salad bars. Joining us is Londa Nwadike, PhD, who serves as Extension Food Safety Specialist for both Kansas State University and the University of Missouri. She works with small-scale produce farmers, farmers market vendors, as well as schools and consumers on food safety-related issues. Register here

6. Webinar Series: Promoting Healthy Eating and Active Living through Partnerships and the National Prevention Strategy
The National Prevention Strategy (NPS) is a guide for improving the health and well-being of every American by shifting the nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on prevention and wellness. This webinar series will highlight ways various partner groups are successfully addressing two key NPS priorities, Healthy Eating and Active Living, in their communities. The target audience for the series is staff from Federal, State and local governments; Tribal organizations and communities; community and faith-based organizations and groups; health care organizations; academia; advocacy groups, and the general public. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Report: The Double Up Experience in Rural Michigan
Fair Food Network works at the intersection of food systems, sustainability, and social equity to develop solutions that support farmers, strengthen local economies, and increase access to healthy food – especially in underserved communities. Double Up Food Bucks (Double Up), a project of Fair Food Network, matches SNAP (formerly food stamps) benefits spent at participating retail locations with additional funds for the purchase of fresh Michigan grown fruits and vegetables. The Double Up program began in five Detroit farmers’ markets in 2009 and has expanded to more than 150 farmers’ markets, mobile markets, food share programs, and grocery stores around the state. This is the second of a series of papers that will look at three years of program data through a variety of lenses and discuss their implications for policy. Read the report here

2. EXPIRED! Film release
The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, in collaboration with Racing Horse Productions, has just released a short film about food waste and expiration dates. Expired? Food Waste in America profiles the waste of milk in Montana to illustrate the issue of misleading food labels as a leading cause of food waste in America and calls for a unified labeling system as a solution. The film and more resources on the problem of food waste are featured here.


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Farm to School Regional Leads, USDA Farm to School
USDA is looking for Farm to School Regional Leads in the following USDA Food and Nutrition Service locations: Southwest Regional Office: Dallas, TX; Western Regional Office: San Francisco, CA; Mountain Plains Regional Office: Denver, CO. This is an opportunity to help implement the USDA Farm to School Program, including grants, training and technical assistance, and actively participate in driving the program’s growth and evolution. Application are due March 10. Learn more here

2. Executive Director, Academy for Global Citizenship
Academy for Global Citizenship (AGC) seeks an Executive Director to lead the school, building on its groundbreaking success inspiring change at both the local and systems level. The ED is responsible for the educational outcomes and operation of the school and serves as a critical external representative for AGC's work. Learn more here

3. Kid Chefs: Join the Fifth Annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge!
First Lady Michelle Obama is teaming up with PBS flagship station WGBH Boston, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to host the fifth annual Healthy Lunchtime Challenge to promote cooking and healthy eating among young people across the nation. The challenge invites kids ages 8-12 to join a parent or guardian in creating an original recipe that is healthy, affordable, and delicious. One winner from each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia will be selected and have the opportunity to attend a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House where a selection of the winning recipes will be served. Learn more submit your recipe by April 4 here


Farm to school in the news
The local food movement could be coming to NY schools
A proposal to pay schools to bring more local foods into their cafeterias has gained broad support across New York. The idea would be a pilot program whereby the state would give additional school lunch reimbursement to districts that buy a certain percentage of their food from producers in New York. (via Democrat & Chronicle

Farm to School In Indiana - From Fencerows to Foodsheds
This excerpt from the documentary From Fencerows to Foodsheds highlights several of the innovative Farm to School initiatives in Batesville, Indiana. The film shares the inspiring stories of two Indiana communities as they work to rebuild their local food system. View the segment here

Local school lunches entirely California grown

This year, all San Diego Unified School District schools are taking part in “California Thursdays,” a program where meals on Thursdays are entire sourced locally. Last year, only 20 school participated. The district says buying poultry and other protein sources in-state boosts the economy and ensures students eat the freshest foods. (via KGTV San Diego)


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: 2/23/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 23, 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. Smart from the Start Award
Smart from the Start is seeking early childhood education or Head Start centers which offer a Pre-K program to apply for a $20,000 cash grant. The Smart from the Start Awards are designed to encourage preschool teachers to create practical, long-term improvements in nutrition and physical activity in their classroom. Ten second prize $2,500 cash grants will also be awarded. Deadline is Thursday, March 3rd, 2016. Learn more here

2. Plate of the Union, Campus Challenge
Plate of the Union, a collaborative effort to raise the voice of the millions of Americans who care about food and farm issues in the 2016 presidential election cycle, is excited to announce the launch of its Campus Challenge. The Campus Challenge is an opportunity for young people to leverage their enormous political power. Through this challenge, Plate of the Union is seeking university student groups who care about food and electoral politics to develop and execute organizing plans that drive engagement in the 2016 election cycle. How will you influence your peers, the media, and candidates to talk about food? Groups can win up to $5000 to execute their plans. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Scholarship Deadline Feb. 29 for National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
The National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications for scholarships to the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will take place in Madison, Wis., June 2-4, 2016. This event is the top national training and networking event for farm to cafeteria professionals working to improve community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. To ensure the conference reflects the full diversity of the movement, scholarships are prioritized for farmers, farmer support organizations, youth (through age 22), persons of color, food service professionals, farm to college/hospital practitioners, and early care and education providers. Don’t delay! Scholarship application are due Feb. 29 at 5pm ET. Learn more and submit your application at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

2. 2016 Food Tank Summit
April 20-21 // Washington, DC
Food Tank, in partnership with American University, is excited to announce the 2nd Annual Washington, D.C. Food Tank Summit. This two-day event will feature more than 70 different speakers from the food and agriculture field. Researchers, farmers, chefs, policy makers, government officials, and students will come together for panels on topics including; nourishing the planet, improving nutrient density, the future of organic, investing in the food movement, legislating change in the food system, and more. Learn more and register here

3. North Dakota Farm to School Conference

May 10-11 // North Dakota
You’re invited to attend the first North Dakota Farm to School and Farm to Preschool conference, coming this May. Put Our State on Your Plate: ND Farm to School Conference invites school staff, childcare staff and farmers/producers who would like to learn more about serving local foods in North Dakota schools and childcare centers to join. Conferences will be held in Fargo (May 10) and Mandan (May 11). Learn more and register here

4. 2016 Annual National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference
June 20-24 // Litchfield Park, Arizona
You’re invited to join the 2016 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference: Agriculture Blooming in the Desert. Learn more about the agenda, presenters, registration and more on the conference website

5. Webinar: Support Your School Garden with Chipotle
Monday, Feb. 29, 5pm EST
Do you want to raise money for your school garden through a 50% restaurant fundraiser? How about free burritos to feed volunteers at a garden workday? Or are you looking for ways to thank teachers and supporters? Gift cards are great! And educational materials like Grow Kits are perfect to teach kids about starting seeds. Come hear about the Chipotle Resources for School Gardens available to any school through Slow Food USA's partnership with Chipotle Mexican Grill. Learn more here

6. Webinar: USDA Planning for Farm to School Success, Food Safety

Wednesday, March 3, 2pm EST
How can we ensure the safety of farm fresh food? We’ll share local food safety best practices, including identifying safety measures for school gardens and school salad bars. Joining us is Londa Nwadike, PhD, who serves as Extension Food Safety Specialist for both Kansas State University and the University of Missouri. She works with small-scale produce farmers, farmers market vendors, as well as schools and consumers on food safety-related issues. Register here

7. Webinar: How to Build a Hydroponic System for Your Lunch Program
Wednesday, March 9, 3-4pm EST
Want to green up your school lunch program? Tune in for Fresh From The School: How To Build a Hydroponic System for Your Lunch Program webinar to learn how you can get lettuce into your lunchroom that is as local as from across the hall. Hosted by seventh-grade students from Palouse Prairie Charter School (Moscow, Idaho), this webinar will teach participants how to build a hydroponic system as affordably as possible and incorporate the produce grown by students into your school’s lunches. Register here


Research & Resources
1. New Institutional Procurement Guide
Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future has released a new report, Instituting Change: An Overview of Institutional Food Procurement and Recommendations for Improvement. This report reviews the literature and key information resources regarding institutional food service procurement systems, presents the potential benefits of a largescale shift among institutional procurement policies, discusses some of the existing barriers to the adoption of policies that favor regionally and/or sustainably produced food, and provides recommendations and tools for influencing institutional food procurement practices. This report is intended to serve as a resource for those seeking a better understanding of institutional food service procurement policies and provide a rationale for working toward reform. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Brooklyn students grow produce inside classroom 
Students in Brooklyn, N.Y. are harvesting cucumbers at a local farm, and they didn’t even have to leave their school building to get there. This winter crop was grown in the warmth of a classroom equipped with hydroponic systems the 6th, 7th and 8th graders built themselves. (via PIX 11)

Students take hand in school lunch
Students at Clearview Elementary School in Minnesota have been given the chance to explore roles in the lunchroom by learning how to prepare school meals. Almost two dozen students have signed up to participate. (via St. Cloud Times)

Nebraska schools serves locally raised meat
Students at Banner County in Nebraska will be seeing more pork and beef in their lunches. A $2,000 grant was recently provided by Farm Credit Services of America which allows Banner County Schools to process three cattle and two hogs. (via Scottsbluff Star 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: 2/16/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 16, 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 Now! Early Bird Prices for 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. Register today at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

2. Growing Education on the Farm: A Hands-on Workshop for Farmers, Ranchers and Educators
April 2-3, 2016 // Fort Collins, CO
Whether you teach summer camp on a ranch, welcome community members to your garden, or teach in a public school classroom, this workshop will offer fresh ideas and activities to improve your farm-based education programming.  Explore activities from Shelburne Farms’ publications: Project Seasons and Cultivating Joy and Wonder during this hands-on, discussion-based workshop. Registration is open through March 18. Learn more and register here.  

3. 2016 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference
April 27 - 28, 2016 // Fort Worth, Texas
The 2016 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference will bring together public and private sector educators, crop insurance agents, lenders, and other agricultural professionals to share ongoing and emerging successful risk management education efforts which target agricultural producers and their families. Conference participants will learn about what is working to help producers effectively manage the financial, production, marketing, legal and human risks associated with their agribusinesses. Concurrent Session and Poster Presentations proposals are being accepted through Feb. 19. Learn more here

4. NOFA Summer Conference: Request for Proposals
August 12-14, 2016 // UMASS Amherst
You are invited to submit a workshop proposal for the 42nd annual NOFA Summer Conference - the Northeast's foremost conference for pioneers of organic agriculture and sustainable living! Conference organizers are particularly interested in receiving proposals on topics including: local farm tours; marketing; nutrition and health; social justice; urban agriculture; and  farming and the community, among others. Consider submitting a proposal here.

5. 2016 Southeast Farm to School Conference: Request for Proposals
September 23-24, 2016 // Greenville, South Carolina
The Southeast is hosting a farm to school gathering and you are invited! ASAP's Growing Minds Farm to School program, the conference hosts, are currently seeking workshop proposals on the following topics:  Community Connections, Local Procurement and Cafeteria Connections, School Gardens, Farm to Preschool / ECE, Getting Started, and Messaging and Communications. The deadline to submit proposals is March 14, 2016 at 11:59pm EST.  You can view the conference RFP and more information about the conference on the Growing Minds website.

6. 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. Learn more here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Farm Manager, Bethel School District 
Bethel School District (Eugene, OR) is seeking a Farm Manager for the 2016 growing season. The Farm Manager is responsible for developing all aspects of a 2-3 acre district farm. This job balances running a small production farm and incorporating various educational and empowerment objectives. Learn more and apply here


Farm to school in the news
Chef to help ‘spice up’ meals for county schools
Eight school districts in Kentucky have been awarded grants to provide school food personnel face-to-face instruction from chefs. The Chefs in Schools Collaborative will help schools incorporate more fresh local foods into their menus and support local growers as part of rural economic development. (via Harlan Daily Enterprise

Supporters hope to expand farm to school program
Farm to school advocates in Vermont recently celebrated Farm to School Awareness Day at their Statehouse. Betsy Rosenbluth, Project Director for Vermont Feed, testified on the impacts of the state’s farm to school program at the Vermont House and Senate Agriculture Committee legislative hearing. (via My Champlain Valley)

Farm to School programs help build local foods infrastructure
Tammy Stotts, Farm to School coordinator for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, tries to make it easier for farmers to plan for the school market. In partnership with the USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service, the department has started collecting local-produce purchase information from Iowa schools, to be published monthly. (via The Gazette)

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: 2/9/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 09, 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
USDA Grants Available for Food Service Equipment
Can your farm to school program benefit from new kitchen equipment? There’s a grant for that! Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of $35 million in grants to help schools upgrade kitchen equipment and infrastructure. These grants provide schools with funds to purchase equipment to help meet national nutrition standards and serve healthy meals with more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dairy, and less sodium and fat.Schools can apply for USDA funding through their state or for funds from Fuel Up to Play 60 directly. Learn more here

USDA Farm to School Grant Program Schedule Update
Exciting change is underway with the USDA Farm to School Grant Program! The Child Nutrition Act, the authorizing legislation for the grant program, is currently in the reauthorization process in Congress. The most recent version passed by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry includes changes that impact the scope of the grant program. In anticipation of change, there will be a delay in the release of the FY2017 request for applications from February to September. The anticipate schedule is as follows: 

September 2016: Release FY2017 request for Farm to School Grant applications
November 2016: FY2017 Farm to School Grant applications due
May 2017: Announce awards

Check the USDA Farm to School website for updates. 


Webinars & Events
Webinar: Food Research & Action Center
USDA Community Eligibility Provision Webinar Series: Messaging and Outreach in Your Community
Wednesday, Feb. 10, 1-2:15pm ET
The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) was established by Congress in 2010 as part of the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Programs. Today, CEP is reaching over 8 million children nationwide, but many eligible schools and districts that stand to benefit are not yet electing. Sharing success stories about streamlined meal service, increased participation, and enhanced food security are effective strategies to encourage eligible districts and schools to elect CEP. This webinar will help State and local officials launch an effective and well-rounded effort to promote CEP and address common barriers to implementation. Join here.

International School Meals Day, March 3, 2016
Since March 2013, schools across the world have celebrated International School Meals Day. This annual event celebrates food and promotes healthy living through the education environment. The fourth International School Meals Day theme is fresh and healthy local foods. Schools, organizations, government bodies, catering companies and anyone with an interest or involvement in promoting healthy eating are encouraged to get involved. Learn more here

The Edible Schoolyard Project Summer 2016 Trainings
The Edible Schoolyard Project trains educators to create powerful and sustainable edible education programs in their schools and communities. Learn and experience first-hand the core principles and practical tools for bringing academic subjects to life in the kitchen, garden, and lunchroom. This summer, two trainings will be offered for teachers, administrators, food service professionals, and advocates on site at the Edible Schoolyard Berkeley in California. The application deadline for both programs is March 13, 2016. Learn more and apply here

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


Jobs & Opportunities
AmeriCorps Farm-to-School Coordinator, Green Mountain Farm-to-School 
Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS) is a nonprofit organization promoting the health and wellbeing of Vermont's children, farms and communities by providing programs to connect schools and farms through food and education. The primary responsibilities of the AmeriCorps Farm-to-School Coordinator will be to develop, grow, present, and evaluate GMFTS’ Farm-to-School Programs and provide general operational and administrative support. This is a full-time year-long AmeriCorps position. Learn more 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: 2/2/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 02, 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. Scholarships available for National Farm to Cafeteria Conference 
Scholarships are now available for the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, a biennial event hosted by the National Farm to School Network that will convene more than 1,500 diverse stakeholders working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. Scholarship awards will cover short course and/or registration fees for the conference, pending available funds. Costs associated with travel, lodging and field trips are not covered by the scholarship award. In order to ensure the conference reflects the full diversity of farm to cafeteria constituents, scholarships are prioritized for farmers, farmer support organizations, youth (through age 22), persons of color, food service professionals, among others. Additional preference will be given to first-time conference attendees and presenters. Representation from all regions of the country will also be taken into consideration when evaluating scholarship applicants. The application is available online at farmtocafeteriaconference.org. Applications must be received or postmarked by 5pm (EST) on February 29, 2016.  

Research & Resources
1. Toolkit: Increasing Local Food Purchasing by Institutional Food Service Management
Farm to Institution New England (FINE) has released a new food service toolkit titled, “Setting the Table for Success: Increasing Local Food Purchasing by Institutional Food Service Management.” The toolkit covers the basics of how institutional purchasing works and digs in deep into guidance for using the food service request for proposal and contract process to guide institutions in sharing the responsibility of identifying and sourcing local food with their supply chain partners. FINE will host an introductory webinar on February 9th at 1 pm EST to walk through how the toolkit can be used. Register for the webinar here. View the toolkit here

2. Report: How States Strengthen Local Food Systems
The National Conference of State Legislatures has released a new report examining state legislation in all 50 states enacted between 2012 and 2014 that aimed to strengthen various components of local food systems. “Harvesting Healthier Options: State Legislative Trends in Local Foods 2012-2014” focuses on six policy areas, including farm to school. View the report here

3. Resource: Structural Racism Present in the US Food System Bibliography

The 3rd edition of the annotated bibliography “Structural Racism Present in the US Food System” is now available at the MSU Center for Regional Food System’s website. This edition has more than 20 new entries as well as the digital object identifier for most of the peer-reviewed publications cited. Support for this publication comes in part from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. View the resource here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Executive Director, Urban Roots
Urban Roots seeks a highly skilled and passionate individual to serve as Executive Director and uphold its mission and vision in the community. The Executive Director is responsible for organizational leadership, management, and oversight of all employees, finances, programming, fundraising, events, and activities. Learn more and apply here

2. FoodCorps Service Member Application Open
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. Learn more about this opportunity and apply here


Farm to school in the news
Wyoming Schools Serve Student-Raised Beef
The Lander school district in Wyoming is serving up local beef to students from animals the students raised. With recent government interest in getting more locally-sourced foods into schools, the district partnered with the local FFA program to raise steers. (via Wyoming Public Media)

High School Uses Science and Fish To Help Save Garden
A San Diego, Calif. high school in danger of losing its garden because of the drought has, instead, created a sustainable living lab to grow fresh vegetables and fish. (via San Diego 7)

Students learn to raise and grow food for school lunch
For students at Prairie View Elementary in Holmen, Wis., the lunch menu includes chicken, sweet corn, and hydroponic lettuce grown by high school students. (via WXOW)

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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