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This week in farm to school: 6/30/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 30, 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. Webinars: New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
Sustaining your Program after Community Food Projects Funding
Tuesday, July 14, 1:30pm EST
This webinar will discuss challenges and strategies for sustaining a program after your initial funding has finished. The presenters, Chris Brown of Agriculture and Land Based Training and Jennifer Hashley of New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, will each speak about experiences from their own organizations. They will address challenges they have faced with sustaining a program, and lessons they have learned from the process. Register here.

Whole Measures for Community Food Projects
Thursday, July 23, 1:00pm EST
This webinar will introduce Whole Measure for Community Food Systems (WM CFS), a values-based, community-oriented tool for planning and evaluation of Community Food Projects. We will talk about how CFP grantees can utilize the Whole Measures CFS frame for their annual Indicators of Success reporting, a collective impact report for all CFPs, as well as a tool for community organizing. This will be an introductory webinar geared towards existing CFP grantees, and prospective grantees. Register here

2. Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative Conference
H.E.A.L Our Food System Gathering, Sep 25-27, 2015, Chicago, IL 
The Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative (GFJI) 2015 Gathering will be held in Chicago, IL in partnership with Growing Power, Inc. This year’s theme is "H.E.A.L. Our Food System,” which will be explored with a variety of local community organizations and growers. The Gathering will build upon learning and sharing from our previous gatherings to move us toward a vision of “Community/ Unity/ Opportunity/ Equity/ Harmony.” The Growing Food and Justice for All (GFJI) is a comprehensive network that views dismantling racism as a core principle which brings together social change agents from diverse sectors who are working to bring about new, healthy, and impoverished communities throughout the world. Learn more and register 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

2. Farming is Public Service, National Young Farmers Coalition 
The National Young Farmers Coalition's (NYFC) new report, Farming Is Public Service: A Case for Adding Farmers to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, says that student loan debt is one of the key barriers preventing more would-be farmers and ranchers from entering agriculture. The report contains data from a new survey of more than 700 young farmers as well as data compiled from the USDA Census of Agriculture. According to the report, 30% of survey respondents said their student loans are delaying or preventing them from farming while 48% say their loans are preventing them from growing their business or obtaining credit to invest in their farm. NYFC and a coalition of more than 100 other farming organizations are calling for Congress to add farmers to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Jobs & Opportunities 
1. USDA Beginning Farmer Advisory Committee USDA is seeking up to 20 new members to serve on the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Advisory Committee. Organizations or individuals can nominate someone.  Nominations are due July 17.  More info can be found in the Federal Register Notice.  Please share with your networks. 

2. Chopped is casting The Food Network television show “Chopped” is seeking chefs located in New York, NY, Houston, TX, Asheville, NC, and San Francisco for casting. In addition to professional chefs, amateur cooks and teens are encourage to apply for special episodes. Applications accepted through August 2015. Apply at www.choppedcasting.com

Farm to school in the news
High hopes for Farm to School Act 2015 -  featuring Director of Programs, Helen Dombalis!  
After a successful first round of USDA grants under CNR 2010, advocates are hoping to leverage strong bipartisan support to triple funding to $15M. But as the Farm to School movement matures, the conversation is not just about new grants. It’s about institutionalizing the presence of local food in schools, and how else this year’s CNR can help that happen. (via Inside School Food

'Edible classroom' sprouts into success at school in Waconia, Minn. 
The garden, plus a half-acre orchard, produces nearly one-thousand pounds of fresh organically-grown food every year. The majority is distributed to the district's four schools. “It's really important for kids to be able to connect to their environment, connect to their town or their city, and I think this is is just a great way for them to do it.” (via Fox 9 - Twin Cities

'Eat your veggies' is a message best delivered to the young 
Under the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable plan, 151 New Jersey schools will provide produce for a minimum of two days each month from September to November and from April to June. The program also teach students about the food grown in the Garden State, and supports local farmers. (via NJ.com)

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: 6/24/2015

NFSN Staff Wednesday, June 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. 



Funding & Grants 
1. USDA Seeks Applications for Loans and Grants to Create Jobs and Support Rural Economic Development
The USDA is accepting applications for loans and grants to support business expansion, create jobs and increase economic opportunities in rural communities. Funding is being provided through USDA's Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). RMAP provides loans and grants to Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs) to help microentrepreneurs – very small businesses with 10 or fewer employees – access capital to start or grow businesses. MDOs use the funds to provide training and technical assistance to small businesses or to establish revolving loan funds that provide micro-loans, typically $5,000 to $50,000, to rural microentrepreneurs. The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized the program through 2018. For Fiscal Year 2015, more than $16 million is available in loans and grants. Details about how to apply for this are on page 35299 of the June 19 Federal Register. Application forms may be obtained from any USDA Rural Development State Office. More information can be found in this USDA press release

Webinars & Events 
1. Kansas City Schoolyard Garden Summit, July 14
Sign up today for an exclusive Kansas City Schoolyard Garden Summit event on July 14, 2015, featuring a keynote address from Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. This regional summit is intended to share best practices among schools and school districts, as well as provide provide fun, educational methods to use school gardens for healthy food options, curriculum and to involve community members. It will also give an overview of the schoolyard garden movement in Kansas City, and provide tips for starting and maintaining a school garden. The Summit will be held at Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts. More information & registration details can be found here.   
2. NESAWG 2015 Conference, November 13-14, Saratoga Springs, NY
Putting MOVE in the Movement
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 conference (Nov 13-14), learn and strategize with hundreds of attendees—from farmers to researchers to policymakers—as we work to build a movement and realize the change we want to see. Shirley Sherrod, a longtime civil rights activist and advocate for family farms and food justice, will deliver the keynote speech, addressing the conference theme: Putting Move in the Movement. Visit the conference website for more information. 

Resources 
1. New Edible Schoolyard Training Videos
The Edible Schoolyard recently debuted a new series of professional development videos with great tips for creating effective and inspiring learning environments – indoors and out. Watch the first three videos and stay tuned for more to come this summer!

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. Procurement Specialist, Community Alliance with Family Farmers
The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advocate for California family farms and sustainable agriculture. CAFF is a farmer member organization that works statewide to increase the economic viability of California family farmers and to connect communities with their local producers. The Procurement Specialist will work on a variety of projects that provide technical assistance to farmers in selling their products to different markets, primarily institutions such as schools and hospitals. The ideal candidate will have a strong competency in sustainable procurement work, farm to institution, and regional food systems in California. This position will be located in either the Davis or Oakland office. Applications due by July 8. More information can be found on the CAFF website

Farm to school in the news
Fresh From Farms to Schools -- It Just Makes Sense
Nancy Brown - CEO, American Heart Association, recently spent a day at a Dallas school to learn more about how a USDA Farm to School Grant helped Dallas Independent School District bring locally-grown produce into cafeterias. She shares the steps the district is taking to ensure the next generation is a healthier one. (via Huffington Post)

Vermont institute helps schools grow farm-to-school programs
Presented by Vermont FEED, the Northeast Farm to School Institute will host 13 school from around the region when it kicks off on Wednesday at Shelburne Farms. The institute will focus on professional development in order to design a more integrated curriculum that includes food, farm and nutrition in all aspects of student learning. (via Washington Times)

Farm to School program gives students hands-on experience
With several classes each year for teachers, school nutrition staff members, the community and people from across the state, the Cherokee Farm to School program is a way to train gardeners who can go back to their communities and make an impact. (via Cherokee 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: 6/16/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 16, 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. 



Funding & Grants 
1. Find your community of supporters with Barnraiser
The National Farm to School Network is partnering with Barnraiser, a crowdfunding platform dedicated to good food and farming projects, to elevate farm to school activities across the country. From school gardens in North Carolina to community cooking education in California, these projects are being funded by people who believe in the power of farm to school activities to support vibrant communities and to empower children and families to make healthy food choices. NFSN will be a featured partner on the site with a page that aggregates farm to school crowdfunding campaigns from across the country. If you would like help initiating a crowdfunding campaign for your farm to school initiative, check out the Barnraiser Campaign Guide and/or contact Marie Sayles, Projects & Partnerships Director, at marie@barnraiser.us. Don't forget to let us know when your project is live! 

Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, July 14, 1:30pm EST 
Sustaining your Program after Community Food Projects Funding
This webinar with New Entry Sustainable Farming Project will discuss challenges and strategies for sustaining a program after your initial funding has finished. The presenters, Chris Brown of Agriculture and Land Based Training and Jennifer Hashley of New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, will each speak about experiences from their own organizations. They will address challenges they have faced with sustaining a program, and lessons they have learned from the process.

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

2. Child Nutrition Reauthorization National Call-in Day, Tuesday, June 23
Nearly 16 million children in America face hunger. As parents, educators, doctors and nutritionists, religious and business leaders, and anti-hunger advocates we believe that every child should have access to the nutrition they need to grow up healthy and thrive.  The federal child nutrition programs are critical supports for low-income children in need. Tell Congress to invest in our children and take action on a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Make your voice heard on June 23!
  1. Call the toll-free hotline at 888-398-8702
  2. Listen to the pre-recorded message and enter your zip code when prompted.
  3. State that you are a constituent and give your name and your hometown.
  4. Let them know you are calling about the child nutrition programs and deliver this important message:
    • “On September 30, the child nutrition bill will expire, and it’s time Congress got to work. As your constituent, I ask you to pass a strong child nutrition bill that invests in and improves child nutrition programs so that our nation’s kids have the fuel they need to grow up healthy and succeed.”
  5. Dial back in to make sure you speak with both of your Senators and your Representative
You can also visit www.feedingamerica.org/CNRAction to call Congress directly.

Jobs & Opportunities
1. NFSN is hiring a Farm to Preschool Associate
Join our team! National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications for a full time Farm to Preschool Associate. The Farm to Preschool Associate will be responsible for managing the implementation of a comprehensive farm to preschool growth plan for NFSN, with a focus on seamless integration of farm to preschool within all priority areas of NFSN including information/resource services, networking/partnership building and policy/advocacy. This position will report directly to the Director of Programs of NFSN. Projected start date: early July 2015. For a full position description and application instructions, click here. Please share this listing with anyone you think is interested and qualified. The deadline to apply is June 18, 2015.

Farm to school in the news 
Lafayette school lunch contest encourages kids to eat what they grow
The contest featured teams of three to four students with a teacher, community leader and a local chef using vegetables the kids grew at their schools. The Advocate

Farm to School Institute expands
Vermont FEED is expanding its pioneering Farm to School Institute to school teams from across New England and New York. Thirteen teams have recently been selected to participate, thanks to funding from a USDA Farm to School grant. Morning Ag Clips

Lettuce alone in Swampscott
Swampscott High School held its second annual Salad Day, offering students fresh veggies, a cooking demonstration and a lesson in local food. “A lot of people think eating fresh is more expensive,” Brandy Wilbur told the students. “But you can keep it simple, local and a lot more fresh … and cheaper.” The Daily Item

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: 6/9/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 09, 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. 



Funding & Grants
1. Grow your farm to school program with a Seed Change mini grant! (KY, LA, PA ONLY)
The National Farm to School Network is accepting applications from eligible schools and school districts in Kentucky, Louisiana and Pennsylvania for  $5,000 mini grants to help jump start new farm to school activities or ramp up existing programs. Grants can be used for local food for tastings, new processing equipment, hosting events, building school gardens and more. All nonprofit schools and school districts in Kentucky, Louisiana and Pennsylvania are eligible to apply. Deadline for applications is Monday, June 15 at midnight ET. For more information and to apply, visit farmtoschool.org/seedchange
2. Find your community of supporters with Barnraiser
The National Farm to School Network is partnering with Barnraiser, a crowdfunding platform dedicated to good food and farming projects, to elevate farm to school activities across the country. From school gardens in North Carolina to community cooking education in California, these projects are being funded by people who believe in the power of farm to school activities to support vibrant communities and to empower children and families to make healthy food choices. NFSN will be a featured partner on the site with a page that aggregates farm to school crowdfunding campaigns from across the country. If you would like help initiating a crowdfunding campaign for your farm to school initiative, check out the Barnraiser Campaign Guide and/or contact Marie Sayles, Projects & Partnerships Director, at marie@barnraiser.us. Don't forget to let us know when your project is live! 

Webinars & Events
1. 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.
2. Slow Food USA & American Heart Assoc. Garden Twitter Chat, June 10, 1pm EST
In honor of National Garden Week, Slow Food USA is teaming up with the American Heart Association for a garden-themed Twitter Chat. Do you have a home, community or school garden? Use #lifeiswhy and #SlowFoodUSA to add your voice. This chat will last from 1-2 PM EST and the topic will be gardening and healthy living. Follow @SlowFoodUSA for more information. 

Policy & Actions
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. NFSN is hiring a Farm to Preschool Associate
Join our team! National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications for a full time Farm to Preschool Associate. The Farm to Preschool Associate will be responsible for managing the implementation of a comprehensive farm to preschool growth plan for NFSN, with a focus on seamless integration of farm to preschool within all priority areas of NFSN including information/resource services, networking/partnership building and policy/advocacy. This position will report directly to the Director of Programs of NFSN. Projected Start Date: June 30, 2015. For a full position description and application instructions, click here. Please share this listing with anyone you think is interested and qualified. The deadline to apply is June 18, 2015.
2. REAP Food Group
REAP Food Group is a nonprofit organization in Madison Wisconsin that nourishes links between land and table to grow a healthful, just and sustainable local food system. REAP Food Group is currently hiring for several positions: 
Farm to School Program Coordinator: This person will provide management and training support to four half-time AmeriCorps Farm to School educators. Additionally, the Farm to School Program Coordinator will work directly with school staff, area chefs and community organizations to carry out chef in the classroom programming, manage farm to school volunteers, plan educational farm to school events and provide general program support. More info here

Communications Director: This person will develop and implement the overall communications strategy for the organization, including promotion of REAP’s mission and events, public relations, member and donor communications, website management, design of printed materials, and social media outreach. The Communications Director will be involved in event planning and represent REAP at media events and before audiences at other outreach events. More info here

AmeriCorps Farm to School Educators: REAP Food Group is seeking candidates to fill four half time AmeriCorps positions with the REAP Farm to School program. This is a one-year appointment with a 900 hour commitment (average 20 hours/wk). Members will work with elementary, middle and high school students; as well as teachers, farmers, food service personnel, parents and a wide range of community partners on Farm to School program implementation within the Madison Metropolitan School District. More info here

Farm to school in the news
Roosevelt serves up home grown food for lunch program
Kindergarten students help maintain a school garden, and serve up spinach, lettuce and radishes to their classmates for lunch. (via Gazette Extra)
Students receive fresh, local produce through N.C. Farm to School program
Schools receive North Carolina peaches, Asian pears, watermelon, sweet potatoes, collards, apples, cabbage, carrots and more. “We try to really introduce different things to everyone.” (via Salisbury Post)
Fifth Graders Learn Lessons on Gardening, Healthy Lifestyles
Fifth graders in Minnesota are teaching each other the best way to plant potatoes."A garden is a living laboratory. When kids can be out learning how to do it, doing the research and applying it with their hands, the knowledge that they have, it really sticks and stays with them for a lifetime." (via  Fox 21)

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: 6/2/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 02, 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. 



Funding & Grants
1. Grow your farm to school program with a Seed Change mini grant! (KY, LA, PA ONLY)
The National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications from eligible schools or school districts in Kentucky, Louisiana and Pennsylvania for $5,000 mini grants to help jump start new farm to school activities or ramp up existing programs. Grants can be used for local food for tastings, new processing equipment, hosting events, building school gardens and more. All nonprofit schools and school districts in Kentucky, Louisiana and Pennsylvania are eligible to apply. Deadline for applications is Monday, June 15 at midnight ET. For more information and to apply now visit: www.farmtoschool.org/seedchange
2. Voice for Healthy Kids Grant
Voices for Healthy Kids, a joint initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and American Heart Association (AHA), advances policy strategies to help all young people eat healthier foods and be more active. This initiative is working to advance coordinated issue advocacy campaigns by providing funding to coalitions focused on ending childhood obesity. Campaigns with a goal of implementing strong physical activity and healthy eating standards in out-of-school time programs may be eligible for this funding. Applicants must be a nonprofit organization with the ability to lobby, and applications should focus on individual campaigns seeking public policy change at the state, local or tribal level. Learn more and apply for funding here
3. USDA announces funding to assist with organic certification costs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced that approximately $11.9 million in organic certification assistance is available through state departments of agriculture to make organic certification more affordable for organic producers and handlers across the country. The funding is provided on a cost share basis and certification assistance is distributed by two programs. Through the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program, $11 million is available to organic farms and businesses nationwide. Through the Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost Share Program (AMA), an additional $900,000 is available to organic producers (crop and livestock operators only) in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. More information can be found here
4. USDA seeks applications for grants to help socially-disadvantaged producers
USDA is now accepting applications to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Funding will be made available through USDA's Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grant Program, which assists organizations that provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Examples of technical assistance are conducting feasibility studies, developing business and strategic plans, and providing leadership training. USDA plans to make up to $3 million in grants available. The maximum award under this notice is $175,000. More information on how to apply can be found on page 28937 of the May 20 Federal Register. Applications submitted by mail must be postmarked by July 20, 2015. Electronic applications must be submitted at www.grants.gov no later than midnight Eastern Time July 14, 2015. More information can be found here

Webinars & Events
1. 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 the call for proposals here
2. Field to Tray: Strengthening farm to school purchasing in the Mid-Atlantic, Rockville, MD, Nov. 5
Field to Tray will bring together farm to school leaders including school nutrition professionals, farmers, suppliers, government representatives and nonprofit organizations for a day of learning and networking at the first farm to school conference in the Mid-Atlantic.  Field to Tray will highlight best practices and strategies for connecting local and regional farm products to more schools. From using school garden produce in the cafeteria, to farm to school funding opportunities for farmers, to adding local foods to school menus, this gathering will empower the Mid-Atlantic to ramp up farm to school purchasing practices for long-term success. Find more information here
3. Farm to School Coalition of NC Conference, July 25, Raleigh
Save the date for the first annual state-wide NC F2S Conference at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh, NC. To be notified of updates from the NC F2S Coalition including how to register, email caroline.stover@foodcorps.org and ask to be added to the Coalition listserv. 

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. Summer Leadership Summit for Native Youth in Food & Agriculture, July 19-28
There are still slots open for the second annual Summer Leadership Summit for Native Youth in Food & Agriculture at the University of Arkansas School of Law, July 19-28. All slots will be fully paid, travel included, for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian youth between the ages of 13 and 18 who are passionate about food and agricultural production and have the courage to lead their Tribes and communities into the future. The deadline to apply has been extended for First Time Students and Summit Fellows to June 15th, or until all spaces are full. For more information and application details can be found here
2. Call for Proposals: The 2015 Young Farmers Conference
Every December, hundreds of beginning farmers from across the United States gather at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture to learn from agricultural luminaries, peers, and advocacy organizations at the Young Farmers Conference. On December 2-4, 2015, Stone Barns Center will host the 8th annual Young Farmers Conference, providing participants with access to inspiring keynotes and unique workshops that address soil science, technical skills, agricultural policy, farm business management, conservation and more. To submit a workshop proposal, visit this website. The deadline for proposals is June 15, 2015.
3. Southern SARE seeking NGO nominations for administrative council
The Administrative Council of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) program is seeking nominations of non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives with expertise in sustainable agriculture to replace outgoing Administrative Council members. NGO members are directly involved in deciding the future of research and education of the Southern SARE program. 
If you are interested in applying or nominating someone for a position on the SSARE AC, please send email your/their name, email address, postal address, phone number and the AC position applied for.  Southern SHARE will send you/them an invitation to apply for a position and the link to the Southern Region SARE On-Line AC Application System. To be considered, Southern Share must receive your e-mail nomination by June 19, 2015.  The deadline for a person to complete the SSARE On-Line Application is July 10, 2015. E-mail nominations to: John Mayne, Ph.D., SSARE Assistant Director, jmayne@uga.edu.

Farm to school in the news
Pueblo schools extend farm-to-school programs into summer
School is almost out, but that does not mean the end of free lunch for Pueblo students. Local agencies and farmers are helping the districts provide healthy options all year long. (via KOAA)
Madison district growing its own produce
For the first time, produce grown by the Madison School District will be used for its meal program. The garden is located at the Madison School District’s central production kitchen and distribution center, and herbs grown in the garden will be used in soups and sauces. (via Wisconsin State Journal)
Taco Tuesday: Students to enjoy grass-fed beef at lunchtime
Over 8,000 students in California ate lunch made with local, organic, grass-fed beef as part of the third annual “Taco Tuesday.” This Farm to School event provided an opportunity to celebrate local producers and change the face of school food across the region. (via Times-Standard)

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

This week in farm to school: 5/26/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 26, 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. 



Funding & Grants
1. Grow your farm to school program with a Seed Change mini grant! (KY, LA, PA ONLY)
The National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications from eligible schools or school districts in Kentucky, Louisiana and Pennsylvania for $5,000 mini grants to help jump start new farm to school activities or ramp up existing programs. Grants can be used for local food for tastings, new processing equipment, hosting events, building school gardens and more. All non-profit schools and school districts in Kentucky, Louisiana and Pennsylvania are eligible to apply. Deadline for applications is Monday, June 15 at midnight ET. For more information and to apply now visit: www.farmtoschool.org/seedchange
2. USDA to Give Priority Funding for Regional Economic Development Projects
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA's plan to implement a Farm Bill provision that will have a major policy impact on the way the Department helps rural communities plan and finance regional economic development strategies. The new Regional Development Priority (RDP) policy will make it easier for rural communities to access resources to invest in long-term community development efforts by giving priority to applications for Rural Development programs that include regional partnerships and strategies. Under the RDP, communities with multi-jurisdictional economic development plans will be able to request funding priority when they apply for loans and grants in four key USDA programs. More information can be found in the full USDA press release, here

Research & Resources
1. The Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics Releases 'Cooperatives in Your Community' Teaching Modules
The Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics is pleased to release "Cooperatives in Your Community", a set of teaching modules for high school students about the economics of cooperatives. The teaching modules cover two themes in cooperatives education-consumer cooperatives and agricultural cooperatives. Both teaching modules are designed to take no more than 180 minutes of class time. Each can be adapted according to the use and needs of the instructor. The teaching modules are hosted on the Council for Economic Education's EconEdLink website. 
2. Submit your school obesity prevention programs to School Health Hub
Organizations with school obesity prevention programs are asked to map their location and promote themselves as a resource to schools on the newly launched School Health Hub. School Health Hub collects data on the many effective programs and resources available to fight childhood obesity in our nation’s K-12 schools. School administrators, policymakers, funders, educators and parents can access the interactive map to identify evidence-based programs in their communities, complete with contact information. Just as importantly, the map also serves to identify gaps in resources — helping to match funders and program providers with communities in need. There's no cost to participate - the goal is to get programs on the map so we all know where we are and to then promote the Hub to schools so they can take better advantage of these programs. Click here for more information. 

Policy & Action

1. Second Bi-Annual Farm to School Census 

The USDA Farm to School Census is a crucial tool for gathering information about the state of the farm to school movement. The first census was conducted in 2013, and USDA is now seeking updated information through the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census. The Census questionnaire was distributed to school districts through state agencies the week of March 16. School district submissions must be received by May 29, 2015. Questions about the Census? Please contact matthew.benson@fns.usda.gov.

2. 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
3. Community Eligibility Provision Action: Reach out to key districts
By now, most states have published a list of schools that qualify to adopt community eligibility for the 2015-2016 school year. You can find your state's list by clicking on the link in CBPP's map. Here are some additional steps you can take to make sure districts with high-poverty schools are considering community eligibility:
  • Start the conversation by sending a letter to eligible districts in your state. This template (MS Word document) is a great place to start and we can help you tailor it.
  • Broaden your reach by asking your Member of Congress to send letters to superintendents (MS Word document) in your state.
  • Make the case for community eligibility by utilizing the resources in FRAC's implementation guide (pdf). Check out the modelpresentation (Powerpoint file), brief (pdf), and sample blog posts for inspiration.
Also, don't forget to register for FRAC's upcoming Community Eligibility Webinars with USDA: Successful Implementation Strategies, Jun 10, 2015, 1pm EST.

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Nutrition Research Coordinator, Boston Children’s Hospital 
The Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital is conducting a major clinical trial to investigate how diet composition affects metabolism and risk for obesity-related disease.The Center seeks a Nutrition Research Coordinator to provide advanced dietary and operations support for this controlled feeding study. The Nutrition Research Coordinator will support study participants, aiming to maximize participant engagement (one-on-one counseling, group presentations, telephone check-ins) and also support daily operations of the dietary intervention. More information & application instructions can be found here
2. Farm Fresh Specialist and Event Specialist, TX Dept of Agriculture
Farm Fresh Specialist: Plan, develop, implement and coordinate the Farm Fresh Initiative and related functions of the Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) Food and Nutrition (F&N) Division. Farm Fresh includes Farm to School, Farm to Childcare and Farm to Summer Site activities. Provide highly complex consultative services and technical assistance to agency staff, producers, governmental agencies, community organizations and the general public. 

Event Specialist: Coordinate special events for the Food and Nutrition Division (F&N) of the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA). Responsible for contributing to the promotion of F&N programs through its public events and activities. 
3. Call For Papers: Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development
Call for Papers on Labor in the Food System
From migrant laborers and apprentices in our fields, to cutters in meatpacking plants and line workers in restaurants and food service, the world's food system is balanced on the backs of an often exploited group of people. The food system may be the largest employer in the world, but there is a dearth of research on the subject of labor in the food system. Click here (then scroll down) for details. Submission deadline: Sept. 22, 2015, with papers to be published in the winter 2015–16 issue or spring 2016.
 
Call for Commentaries on Race and Ethnicity in Food Systems
Despite the best intentions of many, the food movement manifests levels of whiteness and privilege that tend to exclude significant parts of society, and thus does not address the needs of the excluded. JAFSCD invites commentaries (preferably 1,500–2,000 words) from activists, scholars, and other food systems development professional and practitioners on issues and strategies related to race and ethnicity in food systems. Click here for details. Submission deadline: June 15, 2015, for publication in the summer 2015 issue.

Farm to school in the news
Northwest Side students dig into dirt to fight obesity
Oriole Park Elementary School in Chicago is fighting child obesity by having its students plant a garden at the school. (via Chicago Tribune)
Teaching Kids How to Grow Their Own Food — With Fish
Since September students in Pennsylvania have been harvesting vegetables from their aquaponics system, which has provided a yearlong biology curriculum incorporating STEM education, as well as lessons in horticulture, sustainable agriculture, nutrition, and more. (via State College.com)

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

This week in farm to school: 5/5/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 05, 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. 



Funding & Grants
1. Grow your farm to school program with a Seed Change mini grant! (KY, LA, PA ONLY)
The National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications from eligible schools or school districts in Kentucky, Louisiana and Pennsylvania for $5,000 mini grants to help jump start new farm to school activities or ramp up existing programs. Grants can be used for local food for tastings, new processing equipment, hosting events, building school gardens and more. All non-profit schools and school districts in Kentucky, Louisiana and Pennsylvania are eligible to apply. An informational webinar on how to apply for the Seed Change mini grants will be held on Thursday, May 21 at 2pm EST. Deadline for applications is Monday, June 15 at midnight ET. For more information and to apply now visit: www.farmtoschool.org/seedchange 

Webinars & Events
Webinar: USDA Food and Nutrition Services, May 6, 3pm EST
Summer Meals: Make Your Program the Talk of the Town!
USDA Summer Meals Program experts, partners, and special speakers will provide resources, technical guidance examples, and best practices that can make your Summer Meals Program a total success! This webinar will cover: access strategies on how to promote and increase participation through fun activities; explore how to take advantage of resources such as your local newspaper and radio; engage your community using social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Register here

2. Webinar: New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, June 2, 1pm EST
Community Food Projects: Planning & Community Engagement Strategies
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project will be hosting a webinar for organizations interested in learning more about how to prepare for the Community Food Projects grant program. Long-range planning and community engagement are two fundamental aspects of a successful proposal, so it's important to start thinking about it now. Presenters Aley Kent from the International Rescue Committee and Tes Thraves from the Center for Environmental Farming Systems will each speak about examples from their work. Register here

3. Webinar: USDA Food and Nutrition Services
Community Eligibility Provision Webinar Series
Join USDA Food and Nutrition Services to hear the USDA, the advocacy community, and state level official share success stories and best practices for implementing CEP. All webinars are from 1-2pm EST. 
  • May 20: State and Local Education Funding
  • May 27: Administrative Review
  • June 10: Successful Implementation Strategies

4. USDA Farm to School South Regional Workshops, October - November 2015
Registration is now open for various USDA Farm to School Regional Workshops, to be held in October and November 2015 in Arkansas. Teachers, school administrators, school nutrition staff, farmers and community partners from the South Region, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Tennessee are invited to attend. More information and registration can be found here


Policy & Action

1. Second Bi-Annual Farm to School Census 

The USDA Farm to School Census is a crucial tool for gathering information about the state of the farm to school movement. The first census was conducted in 2013, and USDA is now seeking updated information through the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census. The Census questionnaire was distributed to school districts through state agencies the week of March 16. School district submissions must be received by May 29, 2015. Questions about the Census? Please contact matthew.benson@fns.usda.gov.


2. 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

3. Extension of Comment Period: Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
USDA Food and Nutrition Service invites interested persons to submit comments on a proposed rule change to the meal pattern requirements for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) to better align the meal patterns with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA). If you are interested in using NFSN’s submitted comments as a template, please contact our Policy team. All comments can be submitted online here. To be assured of consideration, comments must be postmarked on or before May 27, 2015.

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Culinary Farmer, SAS Institute Inc., Cary, North Carolina
This individual will be responsible for hands-on involvement of all aspects of gardening, farming, instruction and product demonstration for SAS and/or other SAS related business. Responsibilities include creating a clean, organized and efficient garden/farm. Applicants should have an associate’s degree in Horticulture or two years of related farming experience. Full job description and application can be found here

2. Call for breakout proposals, Southern Obesity Summit
The Southern Obesity Summit Planning Committee invites proposals for breakout sessions for the 9th Annual Southern Obesity Summit. The breakout sessions at the Summit will help attendees develop strategies and provide resources and tools to use in their work to reverse the obesity epidemic through working together with other southern states. These workshops should showcase effective strategies that are scalable, evidence-based or promising practices that have application across a broader population base. The Summit will be held November 15-17 in Jackson, Miss. For more information, click here

Farm to school in the news
The farm-to-school movement finds fertile ground in Colorado
Late last month, USDA Farm to School program grantees gathered in Denver to discuss strategies for improving and strengthening farm-to-school efforts. Here are some of their success stories. (via Westword)

Planting seeds: Young students in Brooklyn learn to grow and sell foods in school gardens 
Brooklyn’s farms may be long gone, but one school is giving students a chance to delve into the city’s agricultural roots. Kids at Public School 216 in Gravesend learn to grow, cook and even sell fruits, vegetables and herbs in a half-acre garden oasis in the school’s backyard. (via NY Daily News)

Seed to Table program lets Sisters students grow, eat local
Sisters Middle School in Oregon takes its sixth graders on a field trip to a local farm to teach nutrition science by growing and eating local. (via The Bulletin)

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: 4/28/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 28, 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: Slow Food USA, May 7, 2pm EST
May School Garden Webinar: The Edible Schoolyard
The Edible Schoolyard Network is an online community for educators and advocates working to transform how children eat and learn. This session will highlight how to use the Edible Schoolyard Network as a tool to map your program, connect with peers around the world, and contribute to an edible education curriculum for grades preK through 12. Join from your computer, tablet or smartphone at 
Research & Resources

1. Study finds healthier school lunches offered

More elementary schools are offering healthier meals and less high-fat pizza, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has said in a three-page brief released this month. Read the “Improvements in School Lunches Results in Healthier Options for Millions of U.S. Children” brief here


2. Exploring Economic and Health Impacts of Local Food Procurement

Exploring Economic and Health Impacts of Local Food Procurement, a report by the Illinois Public Health Institute and Crossroads Resource Center, highlights practical, effective strategies for communities to add locally sourced food to their institutional food systems; recommends ways to conceptualize and measure economic and health impacts; suggests effective funding strategies; and includes Critical Analysis of Economic Impact Methodologies, which discusses the literature on the economic impact of local foods. Read the report here

Policy & Action

1. Second Bi-Annual Farm to School Census 

The USDA Farm to School Census is a crucial tool for gathering information about the state of the farm to school movement. The first census was conducted in 2013, and USDA is now seeking updated information through the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census. The Census questionnaire was distributed to school districts through state agencies the week of March 16. School district submissions must be received by May 29, 2015. Questions about the Census? Please contact matthew.benson@fns.usda.gov.


2. 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. Nutrition Policy Associate, Center for Science in the Public Interest
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is a nonprofit health advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on nutrition and food safety. The Nutrition Policy Associate advocates for improved nutrition and health policies with local, state and federal policy makers and engages health professionals, academics and concerned citizens in supporting nutrition policies. For more information or to apply, visit CSPI’s website
2. Farm Aid hiring Farm Advocate and Program Manager positions
Farm Aid is a national nonprofit working to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. They are hiring for two full-time positions in their office in Cambridge, Mass. The Farm Advocate will serve as Farm Aid’s primary direct service provider, working one-on-one with farmers across the country to address their unique resource needs through quality referrals and emotional support. The Program Manager works to strengthen family farm and rural service organizations nationally and the resources and opportunities available for family farmers through strategic management, implementation, promotion and evaluation of Farm Aid’s grant program and the Farm Aid Resource Network website. Applications are due by May 3. See links for full job details. 
3. Executive Director, Food and Child Nutrition Services, Cleveland Metropolitan School District
Under the direction of the Chief Operating Officer, this position will oversee all aspects of the district’s Child Nutrition Program (CNP) operation. The job functions include administrating, planning, directing, assessing, implementing and evaluating the program in order to meet the nutritional needs of CMSD students, as they relate to the CNP. The Executive Director shall partner with others in the CMSD and community to support a sound nutrition food program and nutrition education program while following federal, state, and local guidelines. The CNP is to provide an environment that supports healthy food habits while maintaining program integrity and customer satisfaction. Position is open until filled. Cleveland is an active farm to school district and currently part of the School Food FOCUS Upper Midwest Learning Lab. Click here for more information.

Farm to school in the news
Search for antibiotic-free chicken a struggle for schools
Two businesses and two Oregon school districts are teaming up, all in the name of chicken. They want to serve healthier chicken that’s raised without antibiotics, bought at a fair cost, and locally grown in Oregon. KGW
Farmers are banding together to form food hubs and compete against the big players
A movement toward more fresh produce has spawned food hubs that buy from local growers and sell to schools, hospitals and restaurants. The result in Minnesota has been Sprout, which by last year was supplying five area school districts, three hospitals, an assisted-living facility and several restaurants with more than 100,000 pounds of produce from 47 growers. Star Tribune
Voice for Education, Prof. Olivia Thompson
An interview with College of Charleston professor Olivia Thompson, who heads up a farm to school initiative in South Carolina that creates school-based gardens that provide learning opportunities, along with fresh and nutritious food, for students. Voices for Education: South Carolina School Boards Associate

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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