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National Farm to School Network

News

This Week in farm to school: 4/12/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 

Grants & Funding
1. Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools
The Chef Ann Foundation has $250,000 available to support school lunchroom learning programs. Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools is a grant program designed to help increase kids’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables and create experiential nutrition education when and where students make their food choices: in the cafeteria. The $2,500 one-year grants support food costs to incorporate school-wide fruit and vegetable tastings into the school's nutrition program. Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is eligible to apply. Grants will be determined on an ongoing basis depending on available funding; there is no application deadline. Learn more here. An information webinar about applying for the grants will be offered on Wednesday, April 27 from 4-5pm ET. Register here


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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

Read past editions of This Week  for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country. 

This Week in farm to school: 4/5/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 

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

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

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

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


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


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

2. Nutritionist, Food and Nutrition Service

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Read past editions of This Week  for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country. 

This Week in farm to school: 3/29/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 

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

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

3. Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools
The Chef Ann Foundation has $250,000 available to support school lunchroom learning programs. Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools is a grant program designed to help increase kids’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables and create experiential nutrition education when and where students make their food choices: in the cafeteria. The $2,500 one-year grants support food costs to incorporate school-wide fruit and vegetable tastings into the school's nutrition program. Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is eligible to apply. Grants will be determined on an ongoing basis depending on available funding; there is no application deadline. Learn more here.


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read past editions of This Week  for more funding opportunities, webinars and events, jobs, and ways to take action to support farm to school growth across the country. 

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. 
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