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This week in farm to school: 11/24/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 24, 2015

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. OFRF Invites Proposals for Organic Farming and Food System Research
The Organic Farming Research Foundation is dedicated to fostering the widespread adoption and improvement of organic farming systems in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. To that end, OFRF provides funding for research on organic farming and food systems and the dissemination of those research results to organic farmers and the greater agricultural and research communities. One-year grants of up to $15,000 are available for research projects related to agricultural production and/or a social, economic, or policy-related topic of concern to organic farmers and/or ranchers. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Proposals now being accepted for National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Organizers of the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference are seeking proposals for workshops, posters and lightning talks to feature during the two-day gathering in Madison, Wis., June 2-4, 2016. This event is the premier gathering of individuals and organizations working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. Cafeterias in schools and early care, colleges and universities, hospitals, prisons and other institutional settings serve tens of millions of Americans every day, placing the farm to cafeteria movement at the forefront of the fight to end obesity and strengthen local food systems. The 2016 conference theme Moving Forward Together lifts up new and innovative partnerships to continue building momentum and ensure long-term sustainability in the movement. The application period is open now through Dec. 4, 2015. Learn more at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

2. Webinar: National Farm to School Network
Funding Partnerships: Farm to School & Farm Credit
Tuesday, Dec. 8, 12pm CST
Join the National Farm to School Network and Farm Credit for a webinar highlighting innovative ways to partner with you local Farm Credit association, and learn how your program can grow with creative funding and partnership opportunities. Register here

3. Webinar: School Food FOCUS 
Maximize Your Procurement Dollars through Regional Purchasing: School Food and Forward Contracting
Thursday, Dec. 10, 1pm ET
Forward contracting establishes a price to be paid for a certain quantity of product to be provided at a future date. Learn how forward contracting can help maximize your procurement budget and support local farmers at the same time. Speakers will highlight the benefits and challenges of forward contracting school food, and demonstrate how to write forward contracts. Register here

4. 7th National Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference
Save the date for the 7th National Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) Conference, to be held July 29-31, 2016 in Santa Cruz, Calif. This year’s theme — “The Ecology of Food Systems” — highlights the growing demand for inclusive and critical approaches to sustainable agriculture and food education at the postsecondary level. SAEA has a strong tradition of focusing on interdisciplinary and experiential learning from a systems thinking perspective. In 2016, the conference will emphasize issues of social justice and equity. For more information about the SAEA and past conferences please visit SAEA’s website.


Research & Resources
1. New resources: Parents for Healthy Schools, CDC Healthy School
Parents have a powerful role in supporting children’s health and learning. Parents for Healthy Schools is a set of resources, developed by CDC Healthy Schools and partners, that school groups (e.g., PTA/PTO, school wellness committee) can use to motivate and educate parents to create a healthy school environment for their children. View the resources here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Education Specialist, Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom
The Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation seeks a part-time Education Specialist to join their team.  The purpose of the position is to work with the Executive Director in the continued development and expansion of the program. They’re looking for a professional to assist with designing curriculum and managing resources available toOregon teachers in an effective and appealing manner. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
How schools are using gardens to teach math
Los Cerritos Elementary School in Long Beach, Calif. has a 48,000 square-foot school garden where students learn math, social studies, science and more. For a half-hour every week, each of Los Cerritos’s classes visit the garden. (via The Atlantic)

Farm to school changes school lunch for the better in Oregon
Farm to school initiatives are changing the way kids eat in Oregon, making school lunches healthy and delicious. Check out this video clip of Portland Public Schools Nutrition Services Director, Gitta Grether-Sweeney talking about the changes. (via KATU.com)

Students dig farm-to-table learning
As school subjects go, food production — from garden or farm to table or fork — offers something for a wide variety of students. In Idaho, middle school students take on technical topics like integrated pest management and designing aquaponics systems. (via Idaho Press-Tribune)


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: 11/17/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 17, 2015

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. 2016 USDA Farm to School Grant Awards Announced
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced $4.8 million in grants for 74 projects spanning 39 states that support USDA’s efforts to connect child nutrition programs with local farmers and ranchers through its Farm to School Program. For the 2016 school year, grants will serve more than 5,211 schools and 2.9 million students, nearly 40 percent of whom are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Awards ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 are distributed in four different grant categories: Planning, Implementation, Support Service, and Training. For a complete list of 2016 Farm to School Grant recipients, see the 2016 Farm to School Grants summary page. Read the USDA press release here

2. OFRF Invites Proposals for Organic Farming and Food System Research
The Organic Farming Research Foundation is dedicated to fostering the widespread adoption and improvement of organic farming systems in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. To that end, OFRF provides funding for research on organic farming and food systems and the dissemination of those research results to organic farmers and the greater agricultural and research communities. One-year grants of up to $15,000 are available for research projects related to agricultural production and/or a social, economic, or policy-related topic of concern to organic farmers and/or ranchers. Learn more here

3. NEA Foundation Invites Applications for Learning and Leadership Grants
The NEA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the National Education Association, is a public charity supported by contributions from educators' dues, corporate sponsors, and others. The foundation supports student success by helping public school educators work with key partners to build strong systems of shared responsibility.As part of its effort to achieve this goal, the foundation is inviting applications for its Learning and Leadership Grants program. Grant amounts are $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups engaged in collegial study. Learn more here

4. Citi Foundation Announces $20 Million Community Progress Makers Fund
The Community Progress Makers Fund is a $20 million, two-year initiative by the Citi Foundation to support high potential community organizations that are transforming low-income communities by bringing together residents, nonprofits, businesses, and municipal agencies to accelerate urban progress and drive economic opportunity. The Fund will provide up to $500,000 in core operating support over two years to cutting-edge organizations in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington, D.C. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Proposals now accepted for National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Organizers of the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference are seeking proposals for workshops, posters and lightning talks to feature during the two-day gathering in Madison, Wis., June 2-4, 2016. This event is the premier gathering of individuals and organizations working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. Cafeterias in schools and early care, colleges and universities, hospitals, prisons and other institutional settings serve tens of millions of Americans every day, placing the farm to cafeteria movement at the forefront of the fight to end obesity and strengthen local food systems. The 2016 conference theme Moving Forward Together lifts up new and innovative partnerships to continue building momentum and ensure long-term sustainability in the movement. The application period is open now through Dec. 4, 2015. Learn more at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

2. National CACFP Conference, Orlando, Florida, April 21-23, 2016 
Are you on staff at a Family Child Care or Center Sponsor Agency, Head Start, Independent Center, Tribal Agency, At-Risk / Afterschool, State Agency, Summer Food Service, Food Bank, or Emergency Shelter? Join over 1,000 members of the child nutrition community in Orlando, Florida next April for an incredible few days of training, networking, and learning opportunities. The conference is presented by the National CACFP Sponsors Association in cooperation with the USDA & the National Professionals Association. Early registration closes Feb. 15, 2016. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. USDA Funding and Resources Demonstrate Commitment to New Farmers and Ranchers
USDA has announced that it will prioritize $5.6 billion over the next two years for programs and services that serve new and beginning farmers and ranchers. USDA has also unveiled a web tool at www.usda.gov/newfarmers to connect new farmers with programs and resources available. The site features advice and guidance on writing a business plan, obtaining a loan, and filing taxes. Farmers can use the Discovery Tool for personalized recommendations of USDA programs and services that may meet their needs.

2. National Food Policy Scorecard, Food Policy Action 
Food Policy Action released its National Food Policy Scorecard today, a go-to source for information about the most important food legislation considered by the House and Senate and how all members of Congress voted on those issues. The scorecard reflects the consensus of top food policy experts who select the key food policy votes each year, including issues of domestic and international hunger, food safety, food access, farm subsidies, animal welfare, food and farm labor, nutrition, food additives, food transparency, local and regional food production, organic farming and the effects of food production on the environment. The National Food Policy Scorecard lets you identify which legislators are working for sensible food policies. View the scorecard here

3. Farm to School Program Models survey
Two Vermont Farm to School non-profit organizations are doing research on other organizations that earn revenue from providing a variety of services to schools. As they refine their business models to reach more schools in a more sustainable manner, they are looking to learn from similar organizations throughout the US who are paid by schools to deliver educational programming, professional development, school garden curricula, etc. Please share this survey, and specifically to any organizations you know of who fit the criteria. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PNVBHZT The survey will close in mid-November. 


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Education Program Manager, Hudson Valley Farm Hub
The Hudson Valley Farm Hub (Farm Hub), a 1,255-acre working farm in Hurley, NY that provides training for new and existing farmers, supports research and demonstration of new practices, and serves as a resource to advance local food and farming. The Farm Hub is seeking an Education Program Manager. S/He will be responsible for developing and managing educational programming as well as assisting with some teaching and serving as a representative of the Farm Hub. Learn more and apply  here

2. Creating Healthy Communities Outreach Coordinator, Cornell University Cooperative Extension
Under guidance from Nutrition and Consumer Science Team Coordinator, work with internal and external collaborators to facilitate community based environmental changes that support healthy behaviors. Build support for obesity and diabetes prevention with decision-makers, elected officials, other stakeholders and community members to influence policy changes. Learn more and apply here

3. Farm Manager, Mills College
This position is responsible for directing and overseeing the planning, implementation and operation of the Mills College Urban Farm. The Farm Manager directs and coordinates all activities related to the farm including assisting faculty with curriculum development and coordinating community outreach events. Learn more and apply here


Farm to school in the news
Ugly tomatoes produce marinara students will enjoy
Instead of wasting in the fields, local blemished, bruised and misshapen tomatoes will make 18,000 gallons of marinara sauce for the university dining services at Harvard and Tufts. Read how NFSN Massachusetts State Co-Lead Simca Horwitz helped connect the farmers, processors and dining service directors. (via Boston Globe)

Producers give school lunch menu a beef boost
At one rural Nebraska school, the hamburgers children eat at lunch taste a little fresher than the fare eaten by their peers across the state. The beef on trays at Thayer Central Community Schools in Hebron is raised exclusively in Nebraska and donated by local ranchers. (via Midwest Producer)

Farm to School program grows
Beloit’s Farm to School program is helping to bring in locally-produced fresh fruits and vegetables to its classes and lunchrooms. Using grant funds, the district was able to hire a nutrition educator and is forming a task force to promote fresh food and nutrition. (via Beloit 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: 11/10/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 10, 2015

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 Community Food Project Grant Program
The 2016 USDA Community Food Projects Grant Program Request for Applications is open, with $8.4 million in grant funding available. Community Food Projects are designed to increase food security in communities by bringing the whole food system together to assess strengths, establish linkages, and create systems that improve the self-reliance of community members over their food needs. Eligible grant applicants include food program service providers, tribal organizations, or private nonprofit entities, including gleaners. The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project is providing free one-on-one technical assistance and resources to organizations interested in applying for the Community Food Projects Grant Program through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information and to apply for technical assistance, please visit the Community Food Projects' website. Applications are due Monday, November 30, 2015 at 5:00 pm EST.


Webinars & Events
1. Proposals now accepted for National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Organizers of the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference are seeking proposals for workshops, posters and lightning talks to feature during the two-day gathering in Madison, Wis., June 2-4, 2016. This event is the premier gathering of individuals and organizations working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. Cafeterias in schools and early care, colleges and universities, hospitals, prisons and other institutional settings serve tens of millions of Americans every day, placing the farm to cafeteria movement at the forefront of the fight to end obesity and strengthen local food systems. The 2016 conference theme Moving Forward Together lifts up new and innovative partnerships to continue building momentum and ensure long-term sustainability in the movement. The application period is open now through Dec. 4, 2015. Learn more at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.


Policy & Action
1. A National Survey of Early Care Settings: Local Procurement, Gardens and Food and Farm Education
The National Farm to School Network is currently conducting a survey of early care and education staff and providers to gain a better understanding of current farm to preschool practices as well as barriers and challenges to implementing farm to preschool/early care initiatives. Please share the following survey link with early care and education staff and providers in your networks: www.surveymonkey.com/r/NFSNfarmtopreschool. The survey will close November 17. Thank you for your time and assistance in capturing this important information! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact NFSN Farm to Preschool Associate, Lacy Stephens (lacy@farmtoschool.org) or Principal Investigator, Lydia Oberholzer (lydiaoberholtzer@gmail.com).


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Executive Director, Growing Gardens
Growing Gardens seeks a highly skilled and passionate individual to serve as Executive Director and uphold its 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

2. Call for papers: Childhood Obesity in Underserved Populations
Childhood Obesity plans to publish a special issue dedicated to Childhood Obesity in Underserved Populations. New ideas and initiatives are needed for understanding the factors that predispose or lead to obesity in these populations (biological, behavioral, and ecological). New analyses that enable us to understand why previous programs have not been successful (especially mediation and moderator analyses), and for innovative programs that deliberately attempt to minimize previous recognized problems and take new approaches to better serve these populations are needed. Editors are interested in original research and meta-analyses in regard to any aspect of childhood obesity in underserved populations. The deadline for manuscript submission is March 15, 2016. More information here

3. Program Director, Land-Based Learning
Land-Based Learning is hiring a Program Director, based at its main office in Winters, Calif. at the Farm on Putah Creek. This position will be responsible for continuing the existing training and incubator programs; supervising 3 full-time CFA staff; writing and managing grants; creating and updating annual program budgets; working with an Advisory Committee of agricultural professionals, farmers and educators; launching an urban farm in a development currently under construction at The Cannery in Davis, CA; working with our West Sacramento urban farming program to oversee farm sites, expand marketing opportunities and explore aggregation; and, in partnership with another farmer training organization, developing an accredited farm apprenticeship program. Learn more here

4. Legislative Assistant, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree
Progressive Maine Democratic Congresswoman Chellie Pingree seeks an experienced and proactive legislative assistant to handle her sustainable agriculture legislative portfolio and other legislative issues in her Washington D.C. office. Congresswoman Pingree is a national leader on local food and sustainable agriculture issues and the ideal candidate should have strong connections in these issue areas. Excellent writing and analytical skills, a proven record of generating and advancing legislative ideas, and a demonstrated ability to work with other offices and committees to advance the member’s agenda are important. Experience on Capitol Hill either in a Member office/committee or as an outside advocate is desired. The legislative assistant will be responsible for developing initiatives, tracking legislation, drafting correspondence and floor statements, and representing the Member in meetings and working closely with the district staff on outreach opportunities. Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter to Pingree.Resume@mail.house.gov. Position will begin January 2016. 

5. Development Director, The Food Literacy Project 
The Food Literacy Project seeks a Development Director to join their team in Louisville, KY. The Development Director will plan, manage and evaluate the Food Literacy Project’s resource development efforts. The primary responsibilities are to develop and oversee the annual fundraising plan in collaboration with the Executive Director and Board of Directors. Learn more here.  

6. Fellows, DC Greens
DC Greens is hiring two fellows for its 2016 Fellowship Programs. These two immersive year-long, professional development experiences are intended to cultivate growth into a career. The fellowships will provide hands on work in food access and food education and numerous opportunities for relationship building amongst our partners. Over the course of the position, the Fellows will learn the in’s and out’s of the nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses that make up the DC food landscape. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Collier County schools lead the way in farm-to-school push
"When a child gets that ripe strawberry, it's a great strawberry. They'll think 'Wow, I want to eat this more often,' and that's what we want," said Dawn Houser, head of nutrition services for the Collier County school district. "And since we are the largest multiunit food service operation in Collier county ... schools are the perfect partner for farmers." (via Naples Daily News)

Mountain View students take a food adventure
The Corvallis Environmental Center puts on the food adventures as part of its Farm to School program, which also puts on monthly tasting tables with fresh fruits and vegetables for Corvallis and Philomath schools. (via Corvallis Gazette-Times)

Granville students start a fish farm
Behind Granville High School is a different type of school: one that consists of about 130 finger-length, iridescent tilapia, swimming together in two large, black tanks within a greenhouse nestled between the school parking lots. If all goes according to plan, the tilapia will survive the winter and ultimately land as a delectable dish on students’ lunch trays come spring. (via The Columbus Dispatch

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: 11/03/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 03, 2015

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. Educator Grants, Herb Society of America
The Herb Society of America's mission is to promote the knowledge, use, and delight of herbs through educational programs, research, and sharing the experience of its members with the community. Through the Grant for Educators program, the society will award a grant or two totaling up to $5,000 to a project(s) that enhances herbal education in school systems, communities, or in any public forum (electronic or person-to-person).Visit the Herb Society's website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.  

2. USDA funding available to support new farmer training programs
The USDA recently announced the availability of $18 million to fund new farmer training and education programs across the country. These federal grants are made available to non-profit and community-based organizations, as well as academic institutions and government entities, through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). BFRDP is the only national program that explicitly provides funding to train the next generation of farmers. Grant applications are due January 21, 2016. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: USDA
New Markets & Growth Opportunities with GroupGAP
Thursday, Nov 12, 2pm EST
The Agriculture Marketing Services' Specialty Crops Inspection Division, in partnership with the Wallace Center at Winrock International, will present a webinar on GroupGAP, a new certification option for the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audit program.  This program makes GAP certification more accessible to small and medium size producers by allowing multiple growers to work together to obtain a single certification as a group.  GroupGAP certification offers growers a cost-effective means to show adherence to GAP requirements. Learn more and register here

2. Webinar: California Farm to School
Evaluating Farm to School 
Monday, Nov 16, 3:30pm CST
Join California Farm to school to learn about the National Farm to School Network’s Evaluation Framework, a tool to offer guidelines and metrics for clear Farm to School outcomes and impacts. The workshop will provide an overview of the framework as well as practical examples of how it has been used in Yolo County Farm to School programs. Register here

3. Proposals now accepted for National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Organizers of the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference are seeking proposals for workshops, posters and lightning talks to feature during the two-day gathering in Madison, Wis., June 2-4, 2016. This event is the premier gathering of individuals and organizations working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. Cafeterias in schools and early care, colleges and universities, hospitals, prisons and other institutional settings serve tens of millions of Americans every day, placing the farm to cafeteria movement at the forefront of the fight to end obesity and strengthen local food systems. The 2016 conference theme Moving Forward Together lifts up new and innovative partnerships to continue building momentum and ensure long-term sustainability in the movement. The application period is open now through Dec. 4, 2015. Learn more at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

4. Save the date: Children & Nature Network 2016 International Conference and Cities & Nature Summit
May 24th – 27th, 2016, Saint Paul River Centre Saint Paul, MN
Innovation, collaboration & commitment are the key ingredients for meaningful grassroots change. Join the Children & Nature Network and leaders from around the world to learn, connect & build the future of the children and nature movement. Early bird registration closes Nov 30. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. USDA New Farmers Tool
The USDA has announced a new, tailored web tool designed to connect burgeoning farm entrepreneurs with programs and resources available to help them get started. The new web tool is available at www.usda.gov/newfarmers. The site features advice and guidance on everything a new farm business owner needs to know, from writing a business plan, to obtaining a loan to grow their business, to filing taxes as a new small business owner. By answering a series of questions about their operation, farmers can use the site’s Discovery Tool to build a personalized set of recommendations of USDA programs and services that may meet their needs. Learn more here

2. Cultivating collective action: The ecology of a statewide food network
In order to continue to foster and grow a sustainable partnership with food network leaders across the state, University of Minnesota Extension Health and Nutrition educators explored the opportunities and challenges presented by the emergence of a statewide food network in Minnesota and the role of Extension within it. This report provides a summary of the findings and highlights opportunities, challenges, and best practices that emerged through 10 categories that describe the different phases and key activities of a network. Additionally, the report findings are presented through an overarching concept of understanding networks as ecosystems, because the processes at play within food networks mimic many of those found in nature. Read the report here

3. State School Health Policy Matrix 2.0
The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, National Association of State Boards of Education and the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America) have released the State School Health Policy Matrix 2.0, an updated guide to state-level school health policies in all 50 states for the following topics: competitive foods and beverages, physical education and physical activity and administration of medication in the school environment. Learn more here

4. New Harvard cost benefit study on childhood obesity interventions
The Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost Effectiveness Study (CHOICES) team at the Harvard Prevention Research Center has just released a new study highlighting the importance of prioritizing primary prevention for policy makers aiming to reduce childhood obesity. The paper identifies three interventions that would more than pay for themselves by reducing healthcare costs related to obesity: an excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages; elimination of the tax subsidy for advertising unhealthy food to children; and nutrition standards for food and drinks sold in schools outside of school meals. The study also underscores the importance of maintaining policies already in place. Improvements in school meal nutrition standards and current Smart Snacks regulation make the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 one of the most important national obesity prevention policy achievements in recent decades. Read the study here

5. Food Policy Council Directory
The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future’s Food Policy Networks project began surveying food policy councils (FPCs) and similar groups across North America annually in 2012. The FPC directory and map have been updated for 2015, which include updated contact information, goals, webpages and social media sites, governance structures, top priorities, and notable accomplishments for the 282 active FPCs listed across North America. Visit the directory here

6. Documentary: Food for Thought, Food For Life
Food for Thought, Food for Life is a short documentary film that educates people about the negative impact our current methods of agriculture have on the earth. In addition to providing vital information, the film gives viewers the necessary tools to make a difference in their own lives. The film is offered without a screening license fee to those who convene screening events designed to actively engage people in conversations about the food and farming sustainability issues raised by the film. Visit the Food for Thought website for a full screening kit, discussion guide, and materials.


Policy & Action
1. A National Survey of Early Care Settings: Local Procurement, Gardens and Food and Farm Education
The National Farm to School Network is currently conducting a survey of early care and education staff and providers to gain a better understanding of current farm to preschool practices as well as barriers and challenges to implementing farm to preschool/early care initiatives. Please share the following survey link with early care and education staff and providers in your networks: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NFSNfarmtopreschool. The survey will close November 17. Thank you for your time and assistance in capturing this important information! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact NFSN Farm to Preschool Associate, Lacy Stephens (lacy@farmtoschool.org) or Principal Investigator, Lydia Oberholzer (lydiaoberholtzer@gmail.com).


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Garden Manager, Colorado Rocky Mountain School
Colorado Rocky Mountain School is accepting applications for its Garden Manager position, deadline is November 20, 2015. Applicants must possess three years of gardening, organic agriculture, and horticulture in an institutional setting including two years of supervisory experience. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Farm to school: the battle for healthy eating
Palm Springs Unified School District is bringing more local food into the cafeteria with the support of local farmers. Farmer Bob Knight says, ”With farm to school, there's this opportunity to keep farming here forever as a healthy economic enterprise (and) as a healthy community enterprise that will make our community so much richer." (via The Desert Sun)

500 Minnesota districts eating farm to school lunches
Students at 1,351 schools across Minnesota are eating nutritious, locally-grown meals through farm to school programs. The initiative is a welcome boost for Minnesota’s farmers, increasing farm income by an average of 5 percent. (via Fox 9)

Creative baking from Kalispell Public School Central Kitchen
A new central kitchen has increased scratch cooking at Kalispell Public Schools - and has resulted in a decrease in plate waste. The kitchen also uses creative baking to incorporate more than 400 pounds of kitchen garden produce into student meals. (via The Daily Inter Lake)


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: 9/29/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 29, 2015

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. Webinar: National Farm to School Network
Farm to School 101
Tuesday, Oct. 13, 12-12:30pm CT
Mark your calendar for a Farm to School 101 webinar! On Tuesday, October 13 we’ll discuss the basics of the farm to school movement, its core elements, and how it is working to connect 23.5 million children to local food in schools all over the country. Register here.  

2. Webinar: NOFA-VT
Put your money where your values are: Institutional procurement tools for regional food buying
October 15, 1pm ET
Does your organization or institution need a template to assist with articulating your goals for buying local? In this webinar, NOFA-VT staff will provide an overview of research on how institutions incorporate values in their local and regional purchasing programs and show the tools they created. Please join this webinar from your computer, tablet or smartphone: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/228327701 You can also dial in using your phone: (872) 240-3212, Access Code: 228-327-701 Learn more here

3. Webinar recording: Georgetown University’s National Center for Cultural Competence 
Community Engagement to Address Cultural Competence
Cultural competence and linguistic competence are widely recognized by policy makers, researchers, educators, and providers as fundamental aspects of quality in health care – particularly for diverse patient populations. A key feature of the Public Health Accreditation Board’s Standards and Measures is partnership and collaboration with communities and populations that are impacted by the strategies and actions implemented. This type of community engagement is a cornerstone of creating culturally and linguistically competent public health policies, programs and services. Watch the webinar here

4. NESAWG's 2015 Conference - Putting MOVE in the Movement, Nov 13-14, Saratoga Spring, NY
Civil rights, labor, women’s rights—the movements that transformed our world can give us insight on ways to accelerate food systems change.  What can we learn from leaders past and present?  How can we better organize our work, our networks, our message, our media? At this year’s Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group’s conference, Nov 13-14 in Saratoga Spring, NY, learn and strategize with farm and food systems practitioners across the region—from farmers to researchers to policymakers—as we work to build a movement and realize the change we want to see.  Check out the conference website to learn more about the conference and register. 

5. Save the Date: 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Save the date for the 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, to be held June 1-4, 2016 in Madison, Wisconsin. The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is a biennial event that convenes a diverse group of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement who are working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. The conference is hosted by the National Farm to School Network, in partnership with local host organizations. More information to come soon. 

6. Green Schools Conference & Expo, March 31-April 1, 2016, Pittsburgh, PA
Mark your calendars for the Green Schools Conference & Expo, March 31-April 1, 2016. The events brings together green schools thought-leaders and champions, connecting educators, school administrators, non-profit and corporate partners, and elected officials to advance the shared mission of green schools for all within this generation. Do you believe that all students deserve to learn and play in environments that are healthy, safe and resource-efficient? Are you looking for new ideas to start or expand your school’s sustainability goals? Learn more about the 2016 Green Schools Conference & Expo here

Policy & Action
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Program Director, School Food FOCUS
School Food FOCUS seeks a dynamic, organized team leader to direct its core program implementation and development. The selected candidate will oversee a growing staff as well as a team of consultants associated with all FOCUS programs. This includes FOCUS regional and national Learning Labs as well as the supportive functions of research, data, and evaluation; supply chain; communications; peer learning; and administration. Learn more about the position here.

2. Policy Specialist, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is currently seeking a Policy Specialist for its Marketing, Food Systems, and Rural Development portfolio. This position is located at NSAC’s DC office on Capitol Hill. See the full job description here

3. Youth in Action Awards, National 4-H Council
National 4-H Council’s 4-H Youth in Action (YIA) Award is one of the highest honors a 4-H’er can achieve. The YIA Awards honor four 4-H’ers who have gained critical life skills through their 4-H experience and have utilized those skills to overcome a challenge, or challenges, they have faced. Each of the honorees are outstanding 4-H’ers who epitomize 4-H youth empowerment and leadership. For qualifications, application rules, and information on past honorees, please visit the Youth in Action Award website. All applications must be submitted by 12:00 PM ET on Monday, November 30, 2015.

Farm to school in the news
Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week celebrated
During Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture showcases schools that connect with New Jersey farmers to purchase local produce for school meals to increase student consumption of healthy produce. (via My Central Jersey)

Farm-To-School: New Program Brings The Field Trip To The Classroom
At Hillsboro Elementary School in Virginia, teachers are bringing the farm into their classrooms. They’ve created a yearlong program that is meant to connect students with local food, farmers and nutrition education. (via Leesburg Today)

Farm Fresh Fridays initiative to connect schools with farmers
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has launched a Farm Fresh Fridays initiative. Its aim is to connect schools and communities with local farmers and ranchers, and raise awareness about healthy, Texas-grown produce. “By fostering these connections and serving healthy, locally grown meals, we are building a stronger future for our state.” (via KXAN)

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: 9/22/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 22, 2015

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. Building Healthy Communities in the South & Appalachia
The Health Impact Project will award seven grants of up to $45,000 to help communities identify their most pressing health equity challenges and the factors outside of the health care sector that help drive them (for example, housing or education). Grants are available in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Wester Virginia. Applicants from outside of the public health sector are encouraged to apply, and experience conducting health impact assessment is not required. An informational webinar is scheduled for 2pm ET on Sept. 30, 2015. View the call for proposals here. Proposals are due Nov. 13, 2015. 

Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: National Farm to School Network
Farm to School 101
Tuesday, Oct. 13, 12-12:30pm CT
Mark your calendar for a Farm to School 101 webinar! On Tuesday, October 13 we’ll discuss the basics of the farm to school movement, its core elements, and how it is working to connect 23.5 million children to local food in schools all over the country. Register here

2. Webinars: Barnraiser, Crowdfunding 101
Crowdfunding for Good Food & Healthy Living
Every Thursday, 10am PT
Calling all farm to school advocates, farmers, producers, and school gardeners. Join Barnraiser's weekly webinars to learn the 5 keys to successful crowdfunding on Barnraiser. Hear the stories of successful campaigns, as well as tips, tricks and insider knowledge from the Barnriaser team to get your farm to school project successfully funded. Register for the webinar here

3. Webinar: edWeb.net
Next Generation Science in the Garden
Monday, Sep. 28, 4-5pm ET
In this webinar, Life Lab will share how to use a garden as a meaningful context in which students can engage in next generation science and engineering practices to examine disciplinary core ideas and cross-cutting concepts. Where better to explore ecological interdependence, growth and development of organisms, structure and function, adaptation, and the environmental impact of human activity than in an outdoor garden classroom? Formal and informal educators interested in using a garden to enrich science learning and connect to the new Next Generation Science Standards in grades K-5 will benefit from this live, interactive webinar. Register here.

4. Webinar: Exploring Innovation
Food Entrepreneurship: A Proven Approach to Build Your Local Economy and Jobs
Thursday, Oct. 1, 2-3:15pm CT
This discussion will highlights the economic impacts of local food systems and how food entrepreneurship can assist a community’s efforts to build a thriving economy and create jobs. Register here

5. Yale Food Systems Symposium, Oct. 30-31, New Haven, CT
The Yale Food Systems Symposium (YFSS) is a student led, interdisciplinary conference initiated by students at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. The aim of the YFSS is to provide a space where researchers, practitioners, theorists, and eaters can come together to answer the pragmatic question: how can we get from here, to a just, sustainable food system? An effort by students, for students (in a broad sense of the word), the YFSS privileges new ideas that push the conventional boundaries of food systems thinking, and as such seeks to highlight emerging researchers, innovative projects, truly interdisciplinary thinking, and  non-traditional collaboration. Learn more here

6. Register for the Food Day Apple Crunch on Oct. 22, 2015
On and around Food Day 2015 (Oct. 24, 2015), millions of people around the country will crunch into an apple in a unifying action to raise awareness about eating better diets for our health and the environment, access and affordability of fruits and vegetables, and supporting local farmers. Hundreds of thousands of school students will crunch into an apple at lunch time, joined by Americans at public Food Day events, in corporate cafeterias and at home. Because Food Day falls on a Saturday this year, most schools will be participating in the Apple Crunch on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Start planning now to join the Food Day Apple Crunch and register your event at the link below.
Click here to watch the Food Day 2015 Apple Crunch video
Click here to register for the Food Day 2015 Apple Crunch!

7. Save the Date: 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Save the date for the 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, to be held June 1-4, 2016 in Madison, Wisconsin. The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is a biennial event that convenes a diverse group of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement who are working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. The conference is hosted by the National Farm to School Network, in partnership with local host organizations. More information to come soon. 

Policy & Action
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Farm to School Coordinator, Georgia Organics 
Georgia Organics is a dynamic nonprofit working to connect organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families. The organization is currently seeking a full-time Farm to School Coordinator to work at its office in Atlanta. The Farm to School Coordinator will work directly with and provide key support to the Farm to School Director to strengthen and expand farm to school programming in Georgia in Pre-K-12 grades. Visit the Georgia Organics website for more information about this position and application instruction. 

2. Farm & Food Policy Analyst, Cornucopia Institute
The Cornucopia Institute is seeking an employee to join its team conducting research and investigations into organic and sustainable food and farming production practices with an emphasis on livestock and livestock-based food products. Get details here

Farm to school in the news
What Happens When You Teach Math in the Garden?
In garden-based education, the core curriculum helps frame the work of growing food and vice versa. Read how garden-based math lessons are working in Massachusetts. (via Civil Eats)

School greenhouse about to sprout
The new greenhouse at Mount Desert Elementary School will contain much more than plants; it will hold what school officials see as almost limitless opportunities for learning and developing life skills. (via Mount Desert Islander)

Students harvest vegetables, learning from the garden
"We see kids struggle in the classroom to pay attention, stay focused, and behave. They need a lot of assistance. But, when they get out into the garden, they don't have those problems. They are on an equal playing field, and they literally see the fruit of their labor blooming and growing." (via MassLive)

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: 9/15/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 15, 2015

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. Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant Program
Created in partnership with FoodCorps, the Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant program provides a $2,000 monetary grant to a K-12 school, or a nonprofit working in partnership with a K-12 school, to support a new or existing edible garden on school grounds. Applications for the 2016 Garden Grant Program are now open, and close on October 31. Visit the Whole Kids Foundation website for complete program guidelines, FAQ, and the online application form.

2. Let’s Move! Child Care Celebrates 4th Anniversary - Complete an action plan to win
Let’s Move! Child Care (LMCC) gives child care and early education providers the tools to help children develop healthy habits for life. As part of the anniversary of LMCC, the program is highlighting child care centers that have not only signed up, but completed their action plans to work toward creating a healthier environment at their center. Let’s Move! Child Care is awarding healthy toolkits to enable early care and education providers to continue to meet the goals of the program. These toolkits include supplies and materials on healthy meal times, physical activity, and the importance of healthy beverages. Learn more and develop an Action Plan by September 18th for a chance to win.

Events & Webinars
1. Tweet Chat: National Farm to School Network & Slow Food USA
School Gardens & #CNR2015 : Getting Involved Now 
From containers in the classroom to multi-acre farms, school gardens are sprouting up in every type of community around the country. These green spaces are providing opportunities for kids to connect with food from the soil up, and in turn, have proven to be an effective tool for helping kids learn to try and like new foods. Simply put, hands-on agriculture and nutrition education are helping shape a healthier next generation. This month, Congress has the opportunity to show its support for school gardens and other farm to school programs as it debates Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Join the National Farm to School Network (@farmtoschool) and Slow Food USA (@SlowFoodUSA) for a tweet chat on Wednesday, September 16 from 2-3pm EDT to discuss school gardens, CNR, and how the USDA Farm to School Grant Program can support healthier kids. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #gardens4CNR

2. Webinar: Food Research & Action Center
New Spanish Language Nutrition and Wellness Resources for Child Care
Friday, September 18, 1-2:30pm EDT
Join USDA, FRAC and Robert Wood Johnson to learn how you can create healthier child care environments with the newly released Spanish language version of USDA's "Nutrition and Wellness Tips for Young Children: Provider Handbook for the Child and Adult Care Food Program," and other Spanish language resources, including the Look and Cook Recipe Cards and the Two Bite Club. This is an opportunity to learn and ask questions, and the webinar will be presented in English and Spanish. Register here

3. Register for the Food Day Apple Crunch on Oct. 22, 2015
On and around Food Day 2015 (Oct. 24, 2015), millions of people around the country will crunch into an apple in a unifying action to raise awareness about eating better diets for our health and the environment, access and affordability of fruits and vegetables, and supporting local farmers. Hundreds of thousands of school students will crunch into an apple at lunch time, joined by Americans at public Food Day events, in corporate cafeterias and at home. Because Food Day falls on a Saturday this year, most schools will be participating in the Apple Crunch on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Start planning now to join the Food Day Apple Crunch and register your event at the link below.
Click here to watch the Food Day 2015 Apple Crunch video
4. Save the Date: 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Save the date for the 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, to be held June 1-4, 2016 in Madison, Wisconsin. The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is a biennial event that convenes a diverse group of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement who are working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. The conference is hosted by the National Farm to School Network, in partnership with local host organizations. More information to come soon. 

5. Field to Tray, Mid-Atlantic Regional Farm to School Conference, Nov 4-5, Rockville, MD
Field to Tray: Strengthening Farm to School Purchasing in the Mid-Atlantic will bring together farmers, food service directors, suppliers and other stakeholders from the region for a day of digging in to local food procurement strategies. The Mid-Atlantic region has experienced significant growth in farm to school practices over the past several years, and this conference will be a sharing, learning and networking opportunity for key farm to school players in the region. Register by September 5 to receive the early bird discount. Learn more about the conference and register here

6. Canada's first national school food conference, Montreal, Nov. 12 -14
Changing the Menu, the first-ever Canadian national school food conference aims to advance activities to get more healthy, local and sustainable food into the minds and onto the plates of students. The event will bring together a diverse group of participants from various sectors including health, education, food service, recreation, agriculture, policy and research. Some 400 people from coast to coast including members of indigenous communities are expected to attend the Montreal event. Find more information and register here.  

7. Growing Minds Farm to School Conference, Nov 14, Asheville, NC
With more than 10 years of experience in farm to school training and programming, ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program offers a combination of creative ideas and practical applications for school environments. This year’s conference will feature workshops focused on four specialized tracks: Early Childhood, Health and Community, Cafeteria, and Classroom. Each track features content for folks new to farm to school as well as those that want to improve their existing programs. For more information please visit the Growing Minds website.

Resources & Research
1. New USDA Farm to School Grant Program Report
Last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the release of a new report that shows that USDA’s Farm to School Grant Program, established and funded through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, has helped 12,300 schools improve nutritious meal options made with local ingredients for 6.9 million students, while expanding market opportunities for family farmers and ranchers in their communities. Through its Farm to School Grant Program, USDA has awarded 221 grants in 49 States, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands over the past three years. Fifty percent of funded projects included expanding healthy menu options offered in the cafeteria; 46 percent included training for food service staff about menu planning, meal preparation, and cooking with local and regional foods; and 65 percent included nutrition education activities. Read the full report here

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Farm to School Coordinator, Georgia Organics 
Georgia Organics is a dynamic nonprofit working to connect organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families. The organization is currently seeking a full-time Farm to School Coordinator to work at its office in Atlanta. The Farm to School Coordinator will work directly with and provide key support to the Farm to School Director to strengthen and expand farm to school programming in Georgia in Pre-K-12 grades. Visit the Georgia Organics website for more information about this position and application instruction. 

Policy & Action
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

Farm to school in the news
School nutrition leader sees produce mandate as essential - shoutout to NFSN Advisory Board member, Bertrand Weber! 
Bertrand Weber, director of the Minneapolis Public School Culinary and Nutrition Services, discusses how students in Minneapolis have come to love fruits & vegetables. Spurred by salad bars and the farm to school program, he says the consumption of fruits and vegetables in the Minneapolis district has more than quadrupled in three years. (via The Packer)

Fighting food insecurity in Detroit
How are programs in Michigan working to combat food insecurity & ensure our youngest eaters have healthy food to eat? Farm to school and farm to preschool practices play a large part. (via Model D Media)

Preston Elementary showcases local produce
Maryland kicked off the eighth annual Maryland Homegrown School Lunch Week with a Farm to School celebration at Preston Elementary School Thursday, Sept. 10. From locally sourced lunches to taste tests and farm visits, see how schools will be celebrating local food all week. (via My Eastern Shore MD)


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: 9/8/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 08, 2015

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. NFSN & Slow Food USA Tweet Chat
School Gardens & #CNR2015 : Getting Involved Now
From containers in the classroom to multi-acre farms, school gardens are sprouting up in every type of community around the country. These green spaces are providing opportunities for kids to connect with food from the soil up, and in turn, have proven to be an effective tool for helping kids learn to try and like new foods. Simply put, hands-on agriculture and nutrition education are helping shape a healthier next generation. This month, Congress has the opportunity to show its support for school gardens and other farm to school programs as it debates Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Join the National Farm to School Network (@farmtoschool) and Slow Food USA (@slowfoodUSA) for a tweet chat on Wednesday, September 16 from 2-3pm EDT to discuss school gardens, CNR, and how the USDA Farm to School Grant Program can support healthier kids. Use the hashtag #gardens4CNR to join. 

2. Webinar: USDA, Regional Rural Development Centers
Why Local Foods Matter
Thursday, September 10, 2015 11 am EDT
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s four Regional Rural Development Centers will host a webinar featuring Deb Tropp from the USDA Ag Marketing Service that will explore what is driving the public’s interest and USDA’s investments in local food initiatives. There is no need to pre-register, but on September 10th, 9 am MDT, you can go directly to this link to join. 

3. Webinar: USDA's Team Nutrition
Nutrition Education in the Classroom and Beyond: Tips for Educators
Wednesday, September 16, 3:00-4:00 pm EDT
Go back to school with tools and resources that support healthy learning! This webinar will discuss innovative ways elementary and middle school educators can integrate nutrition education into core subjects like math, language arts, and science. New teaching resources available from Team Nutrition for the 2015-2016 School Year will be shared. Register here. 

4. Webinar: The Lunch Box, Chef Ann Foundation

Kids Eat Real Food ‒ Marketing and Lunchroom Education
Thursday, September 24, 2:00-3:00 pm EDT
Join Curry Rosato, Farm to School and Events Coordinator and Chef Ann Cooper, Director of Boulder Valley School District, Boulder, CO to learn the techniques that have brought Boulder’s kids back to the lunch program and raised participation every year since 2009. Learn marketing best practices and turn your students into “real food” aficionados. Register here. 

5. Mid-Atlantic Regional Farm to School Conference, Nov 4-5, Rockville, MD
Field to Tray: Strengthening Farm to School Purchasing in the Mid-Atlantic will bring together farmers, food service directors, suppliers and other stakeholders from the region for a day of digging in to local food procurement strategies. The Mid-Atlantic region has experienced significant growth in farm to school practices over the past several years, and this conference will be a sharing, learning and networking opportunity for key farm to school players in the region. Register by September 5 to receive the early bird discount. Learn more about the conference and register here

6. Growing Minds Farm to School Conference, Nov 14, Asheville, NC
With more than 10 years of experience in farm to school training and programming, ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program offers a combination of creative ideas and practical applications for school environments. This year’s conference will feature workshops focused on four specialized tracks: Early Childhood, Health and Community, Cafeteria, and Classroom. Each track features content for folks new to farm to school as well as those that want to improve their existing programs. For more information please visit the Growing Minds website.


Research & Resources

1. Harvest for Healthy Kids Pilot Study
Harvest for Healthy Kids Pilot Study: Associations Between Exposure to a Farm-to-Preschool Intervention and Willingness to Try and Liking of Target Fruits and Vegetables Among Low-Income Children in Head Start suggests that Harvest for Healthy Kids had a positive impact on willingness to try and liking of target foods. Other studies have shown that liking is a strong predictor of intake among children. Read more about the study here

2. New USDA local procurement guide available 
Just in time for the new school year, our revised guide, Procuring Local Foods for Child Nutrition Programs, is now available and can help you decide how to buy local for your program. The guide covers procurement basics, defining local, where to find local products, and the variety of ways schools can purchase locally in accordance with regulations. This revision incorporates information about micro-purchases, buying local foods for child care and summer meal programs and more real-world examples. Check out the new guide for sample solicitation language, detailed geographic preference examples and helpful resources. 


Policy & Action

1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015


Farm to school in the news
Merced County high schools use local produce for school lunches
Perfect Summer is the name of Live Oak Farms’ sweet red and yellow peppers, delivered to Merced Union High School District (CA) campuses Wednesday. At Merced High School, the peppers are used in wraps and at cafeteria condiment stations. (via Merced Sun-Star)

Students learn to love their veggies — by planting them
A group of Oregon elementary-schoolers played a big role in promoting healthy eating habits this summer. The kids helped design and plant a local garden before celebrating their efforts with an all-veggie picnic. (via The Daily Astorian)

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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