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National Farm to School Network

News

This Week in farm to school: 2/16/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

This Week in farm to school: 2/9/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 09, 2016

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


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

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

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

Check the USDA Farm to School website for updates. 


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

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

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

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


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

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

This Week in farm to school: 2/2/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 02, 2016

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



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

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

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

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

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


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

2. FoodCorps Service Member Application Open
Are you a leader passionate about healthy food, farms and kids? Become a FoodCorps service member! FoodCorps recruits talented leaders for a year of paid public service building healthy school food environments in limited-resource communities. Learn more about this opportunity and apply here


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

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

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

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

This Week in farm to school: 1/26/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, January 26, 2016

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



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

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. Webinar: Healthy Schools Campaign
The ABCs of School Gardens Webinar
Wed., March 9, 9-10am CST
Interested in starting a school garden or need help gathering excitement for an existing one? Join this webinar to learn: how garden-based learning positively impacts student learning and to explore ways school gardens offer hands-on, experiential learning opportunities in a wide array of disciplines and promote student health. This seminar is part of Healthy Schools Campaign’s highly-regarded Fit to Learn professional development for principals and educators. Register here


Policy & Action
1. Senate Agriculture Committee passes its draft of Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization
Last week, the Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously approved their version of the Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization (CNR). The bipartisan bill, Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016, is a big victory for the farm to school movement, with all priority policy pieces recommended in the Farm to School Act of 2015 included. A full summary of the bill markup is available here. Learn about the next steps in the reauthorization process and how you advocate for farm to school priorities in CNR here


Research & Resources
1. Sea to Campus Case Studies
Farm to Institution New England has released a series of case studies that explore how and why institutions are serving up locally caught seafood. The case studies focus on what lessons these sea to institution pioneer have to share with others that have yet to develop local seafood programs. The case studies highlight models from three higher education institutions, two public K-12 schools, and one hospital. View the case studies here


Farm to school in the news
RGJ Citizen of the Year: Jeff Bryant of Urban Roots - Congratulations, Jeff, NFSN Nevada State Co-Lead!
Jeff Bryant is working to make Northern Nevada a better place, not just for today, but for generations to come. Bryant is the executive director of Urban Roots, a nonprofit that teaches youngsters where their food comes from. For his work in 2015, Bryant has been selected as the Reno Gazette-Journal’s Citizen of the Year. (via Reno Gazette-Journal)

Quincy schools eye increase in locally sourced food in cafeterias
- shout out to Simca Horwitz, NFSN Massachusetts State Co-Lead!
The 5,000 daily meals dished out to Quincy, Mass. students already feature some local fare, but a USDA Farm to School Grant will now help expand initiatives like one started last school year to add local fish to the menu. Simca Horwitz, NFSN Massachusetts State Co-Lead, discusses the benefits the grants have had on area schools. (via Boston Globe

Senate bill offers hope for nutrition act
- shout out to Erin McGuire, NFSN's Policy Director!
In a critical first step forward, the Senate Agriculture Committee passes its draft of the long-delayed Child Nutrition Act reauthorization. “Farm to school programs are a great way to help introduce kids to healthier eating habits and teach them about where their food comes from,” said Erin McGuire, Policy Director at the National Farm to School Network. “We applaud the Senate Agriculture Committee’s decision to expand the reach of the Farm to School Grant program by providing this additional funding.” (via Morning Ag Clips)

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: 1/19/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, January 19, 2016

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



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

2. Registration now open for the Midwest Farm to School Conference
The Midwest Farm to School Conference is coming to Nebraska City, Nebraska, on Wednesday, March 2, 2016! This full day event will bring together those interested in building the farm to school initiative in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas, including food service professionals, teachers, students, farmers, ranchers, parents and other engaged in farm to school activities. Throughout the day, the event will spark connections and provide the necessary paths to bring the farm to more of our region’s schools. A keynote address will be given by Chef Robert Rusan, a School Nutrition Association's 2015 School Nutrition Hero. Farm to school is not a "one size fits all" program - come share what you know and learn from others as we build a healthier future for our kids, schools, farms, and communities. Register by Feb. 1 to receive an early bird discount! More information is available here.

3. Applications available for the Northeast Farm to School Institute
Vermont FEED is excited to invite school communities in New England and New York to apply for the 2016-2017 Northeast Farm to School Institute – a unique, year-long professional development program for 12 selected school teams! The Institute is designed for schools with farm to school programming that are looking to boost their program’s impact in the cafeteria, classroom, and community. Institute school teams spend three days at the Kickoff Summer Retreat at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont, where they will participate in professionally-led workshops, network with their peers, and create a farm to school action plan. Each team will also have an experienced farm to school coach to support them in carrying out their action plan through the school year. Applications are due March 11, 2016. Learn more and apply here

4. Webinars: USDA Farm to School - NEW REGISTRATION LINK
Looking for great resources to help launch a successful farm to school program in 2016? The USDA Farm to School team has you covered with a new Planning Farm to School Success webinar series. The series will guide viewers through the USDA Farm to School Planning Toolkit with eleven 30-minute webinars. Note the link to register for the webinars has been update. Register and learn more here

5. Webinar Series: Food Forward
Food Forward is a free webinar series on plant-based meal options. In this informational two-part series, hear from a panel of school foodservice professionals that successfully implemented plant-strong entrees that appealed to all customers, while embracing the health, environmental and financial benefits.

Webinar 1: Powering Up with Plant-Strong Programs
January 27, 4-5pm EST
Learn why K-12 school districts across the country are increasing their plant-strong menu offerings each week to complement the national nutrition standards while meeting student demand. Register here.

Webinar 2: Powering Up with Plant-Strong Menus and Marketing
February 10, 4-5pm EST
As a follow up to Powering Up with Plant-Strong Programs, attendees will hear a more in-depth discussion on menu planning and marketing ideas that can increase participation and excitement, while promoting sustaining health habits to every customer. Register here


Policy & Action
1. Senate Agriculture Committee releases its draft of Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization
On Monday evening, the Senate Agriculture Committee released its draft of the Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization (CNR). Nearly all of the policy changes recommended in the Farm to School Act of 2015 have been included in this draft along with a doubling in funds for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, raising the grant funding level from $5 to $10 million. The Senate Agriculture Committee hearing to pass this bill out of committee will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 20. This is a major victory for farm to school, but this Senate Agriculture Committee draft is only the first step of many in signing CNR into law. The next step will be for the committee to agree on a final version of the bill and send it to the Senate floor for voting. Sign up for the National Farm to School Network newsletter and follow us on Twitter for the latest CNR updates. 

2. Farm to School Program Models Survey
Green Mountain Farm-to-School and Food Connects seek to better understand and develop farm-to-school program service models that generate revenue and commitment from schools in order to establish sustainable and permanent programming in communities. You are invited to participate in a brief survey to help them compile crucial best-practice methods and information. The survey closes Friday, Jan. 22. Take the survey here. 


Research & Resources
1. Healthy Communities Navigator Tool
Trust for America's Health has released Healthy Communities Navigator: Cross-sector Grants, Success Stories and Policy Papers, a dynamic searchable interactive platform that provides stakeholders with community and population health resources, grants and examples. View the tool here.  

2. New Study: Latino Kids Have Less Healthy Food Options In and Near Schools
Salud America! has released a report that finds children in high-density Latino neighborhoods more frequently have easy access to unhealthy food options in cafeteria vending machines or within a few blocks of their schools. Read the “Making a Healthy School Environment the Norm for Latino Kids” study here

3. Free online course: An Introduction to the U.S. Food System
An Introduction to the U.S. Food System: Perspectives from Public Health is a free, six week course offered online through the Johns Hopkins University partnership with Coursera. Topics include food security, food animal production, aquaculture, food waste, and the farm bill. Learn more about the course and register here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. FoodCorps Service Member Application Open
Are you a leader passionate about healthy food, farms and kids? Become a FoodCorps service member! FoodCorps recruits talented leaders for a year of paid public service building healthy school food environments in limited-resource communities. Learn more about this opportunity and apply here

2. Program Manager, FoodWhat
FoodWhat is a youth empowerment and food justice organization that uses food, through sustainable agriculture and health, as the vehicle for growing strong, healthy, and inspired teens. FoodWhat seeks a highly motivated, detail-oriented and energetic person to join our staff in this newly created position of Programs Manager. This position will work in concert with our Farm Manager and Executive Director in the planning and implementation of our farm-based Spring, Summer, and Fall core youth programming, in-school Winter Community Educator program, and year-round Junior Staff training. Learn more here.  

3. School Farm Coordinator, The Delta Schools
The Delta School is a newly founded progressive prek-12 independent school in The Mississippi Delta. The School Farm Coordinator is a full-time position that offers critical support teachers and students to ensure that a school can maximize the educational potential of the school garden. Learn more and apply here


Farm to school in the news
How Agriculture is Helping These At-Risk Teens
BoysGrow, a Kansas City nonprofit, helps teenage boys find footing in the world through growing and selling fresh vegetables. The young men work on an 10-acre farm, and produce and market their own organic food and artisan farm products like salsa and barbecue sauce. Civil Eats

The Montauk Fishburger: Sustainable Local Food for School Lunches
An alliance of Hamptons, N.Y. chefs has come up with a plan to introduce students to sustainable local eating. Their new fishburger, which includes only local species of wild finfish that are rated sustainable, will be served on bread rolls utilizing organic flour from indigenous strains of wheat harvested in the area. Curbed: Hamptons

Connecting the classroom, cafeteria, and community to the local agricultural 

Farm to school efforts have proven to be a winning proposition for all involved in Maryland. Farmers and distributors are benefitting from local business, money is put back into the local economy, and students are eating healthier foods and being educated on agriculture. Hagerstown Magazine

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: 1/12/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, January 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. The National Collaboration to Promote Health, Wellness, and Academic Success of School-Age Children
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced the availability of funds to implement a National Collaboration to Support Health, Wellness and Academic Success of School-Age Children.  The FOA "will fund national nongovernment organizations to support states, school districts, and schools for nationwide implementation of cross-cutting approaches to promote .health and prevent and control chronic diseases and their risk factors." Approximately $2,250,000 per year is available for  per year for five years.  Deadline to apply is January 19. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Save the Date: 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Save the date for the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, to be held June 2-4, 2016 in Madison, Wisconsin. The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is a biennial event that convenes a diverse group of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement who are working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. The conference is hosted by the National Farm to School Network, in partnership with local host organizations. The scholarship application opens Jan. 15. Registration opens Feb 15, 2016.

2. Growing Power: Save the Date and RFP
Save the date for Growing Power’s International Urban and Small Farms Conference, Nov. 18-20, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wis. The bi-annual conference theme for 2016 is "Let's Scale it Up! Growing Food and Farmers: Best practices in growing, distribution and community building.” Learn more about the conference and submit a proposal to present here
 
3. Webinars: USDA Farm to School - NEW REGISTRATION LINK
Looking for great resources to help launch a successful farm to school program in 2016? The USDA Farm to School team has you covered with a new Planning Farm to School Success webinar series. The series will guide viewers through the USDA Farm to School Planning Toolkit with eleven 30-minute webinars. Note the link to register for the webinars has been update. Register and learn more here

4. Webinar: Chef Ann Foundation
Procurement Methodology and Best Practices for the Scratch-Cooking Production Environment 
Thursday, Feb. 11, 4pm EST
Join Beth Collins, Director of Operations at Chef Ann Foundation and the Culinary and Nutrition Services team at Minneapolis Public Schools to learn their procurement strategies for supporting their scratch-cooking menu program. It's that "planning" time of  year! Register here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Illinois Farm to School Network Coordinator, Seven Generations Ahead
Seven Generations Ahead (SGA) is seeking to hire a full-time Illinois Farm to School Network Coordinator to work in tandem with SGA’s Farm to School Program Manager to build upon SGA’s body of farm to school work and work collaboratively across the state to advance farm to school goals. The position will focus on developing and facilitating the Illinois Farm to School Network, designed to engage private and public sector agencies, non-profits, schools, health departments, and other community institutions in advancing local, sustainable and healthy food access and education in Illinois. Learn more here

2. FoodCorps Service Member Application Open
Are you a leader passionate about healthy food, farms and kids?
Become a FoodCorps service member! FoodCorps recruits talented leaders for a year of paid public service building healthy school food environments in limited-resource communities. Learn more about this opportunity and apply here

3. Oxbow Education (“Ox Ed”) Farmer-Educator
Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center is looking to fill a full-time, seasonal farmer-educator position to plan and oversee the growing and upkeep of Ox Ed one-acre Kids’ Farm and Living Playground. As part of the Ox Ed team, the farmer-educator will assist in delivering farm and environmental education programs in the spring, summer, and fall. Learn more and apply here


This Week in farm to school: 1/5/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, January 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. Save the Date: 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Save the date for the 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, to be held June 2-4, 2016 in Madison, Wisconsin. The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is a biennial event that convenes a diverse group of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement who are working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. The conference is hosted by the National Farm to School Network, in partnership with local host organizations. Registration opens Feb 15, 2016.

2. Webinars: USDA Farm to School
Intro to Farm to School: Planning and Building a Team
January 14, 1pm EST
How does a farm to school team function? Learn tips and best practices for building a farm to school team, facing struggles and surprises, and building a foundation for a successful project. Register here. 

Setting Goals and Establishing an Evaluation Baseline

January 28, 2pm EST
How do you know if your activities are helping local farmers and improving student health? Learn how to integrate program planning/evaluation tools and techniques that will document outcomes and show the impacts of farm to school programs. Register here. 

3. Webinar: PolicyLink and Healthy Food Access Portal
Leveraging Institutional Purchasing Power to Expand Access to Healthy Food
Thursday, Jan. 12, 2-3:15pm
You’re invited to join PolicyLink and the Healthy Food Access Portal for a discussion on leveraging university, hospital, and public school purchasing power to expand access to healthy food. Learn more and register here.

4. 2016 Annual Soil & Nutrition Conference, Feb. 8-9, Stockbridge, Mass.
The 5th Annual Soil & Nutrition Conference will gather farmers, researchers, nutritionists and food system advocates for a multidisciplinary conversation exploring the potential to improve food quality through regenerative agriculture that builds soil, crop and ecosystem health. The conference will explore how soil health and crop quality are interrelated, and how a renewed focus on the food qualities that industrial agriculture forgot – flavor and nutrition – can help drive transformation with important societal benefits. Learn more and register here. 


Research & Resources
1. New Study: Effects of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act
It’s been just over five years since the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act was signed into law, requiring foods served as part of the National School Lunch Program to contain more whole grains, vegetables and fruits. A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics reveals that school lunches have indeed gotten healthier, and close to the same number of students are still participating in the school lunch program. Read the study here.  

2. Documentary: In Defense of Food
Join author Michael Pollan on a fascinating journey to answer the question: What should I eat to be healthy? Busting myths and misconceptions, In Defense of Food reveals how common sense and old-fashioned wisdom can help us rediscover the pleasures of eating and at the same time reduce our risks of falling victim to diet-related diseases. Information about the documentary and resources, including a comprehensive education program for middle school students created by the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education and Policy at the Teachers College, Columbia University, are available here. 

3. Documentary Screening Opportunity
Filmmaker Ernie Zahn has created a 25 minute documentary about the plight of tomato farmworkers in Immokalee, Florida titled Fair Tomatoes. The film discusses workers’ efforts to expose unjust working conditions, raise the living wage, and encourage the big buyers of tomatoes to rethink how they do business. Ernie is eager to share this film wildly through screening events, particularly in the Southwest. If you are interested in hosting a screening of Fair Tomatoes or would like to learn more, please contact Ernie directly at ernie@npeaches.org.


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Research and Policy Program Manager, Detroit Food Policy Council
The Detroit Food Policy Council seeks a Program Manager to plan and implement the Council’s research and policy activities. The successful candidate will be familiar with land use, economic development and policy related to urban food systems. Learn more and apply here. 

2. Executive Director, Friends of Great Kids Farm
Friends of Great Kids Farm seeks qualified applicants to serve as Executive Director of their dynamic organization in Baltimore. The Executive Director will oversee execution of Friends of Great Kids Farm’s mission: to support and promote Baltimore City Public Schools’ Great Kids Farm. Learn more and apply here. 

3. Director, Minnesota Food Charter Network

This position will foster the development of the Minnesota Food Charter Network and implementation of Food Charter strategies, represent the Minnesota Food Charter Network in communities, manage budget and business operations, and provide direct support to multiple teams charged with various Minnesota Food Charter Network responsibilities. Learn more here (Job ID: 305825). 

4. Illinois Farm to School Network Coordinator, Seven Generations Ahead
Seven Generations Ahead (SGA) is seeking to hire a full-time Illinois Farm to School Network Coordinator to work in tandem with SGA’s Farm to School Program Manager to build upon SGA’s body of farm to school work and work collaboratively across the state to advance farm to school goals. The position will focus on developing and facilitating the Illinois Farm to School Network, designed to engage private and public sector agencies, non-profits, schools, health departments, and other community institutions in advancing local, sustainable and healthy food access and education in Illinois. Learn more here. 


Farm to school in the news
Getting a taste of new veggies
This Farm-to-Child Care initiative in Minnesota saw impressive results after encouraging child care program to offer local, fresh veggies to young children through taste tests and other farm to child care curriculum. (via Detroit Lakes Online)

From farm to classroom: McKinley students learn to plant, harvest and cook
McKinley Elementary in Davenport, Iowa has surpassed its sixth year of farm to school activities for kindergartners through fifth-graders. Read about the impacts of their successful farm to school model. (via Quad-Cities Online)

Bel Air High students learn about fish, plant farming in new aquaponics lab
Students in the Environmental Science II class at Bel Air High School are learning to grow and harvest crops through aquaponics systems, and how the food their growing contributes to a healthy diet. (via Baltimore Sun)


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: 12/22/15

NFSN Staff Tuesday, December 22, 2015

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

Grants & Funding
1. Native Agriculture & Food Systems Projects Grants
First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) is now accepting grant proposals under its Native Agriculture & Food Systems Initiative. Through the generous support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, First Nations plans to distribute up to 10 grant awards averaging $30,000 each to support projects that aim to strengthen local food-system control; increase access to local, healthy and traditional foods; and decrease food insecurity and food deserts, all with an emphasis on serving Native American children and families. The application deadline is Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. Learn more here


Webinars & Events

1. Save the Date: 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Save the date for the 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, to be held June 2-4, 2016 in Madison, Wisconsin. The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is a biennial event that convenes a diverse group of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement who are working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. The conference is hosted by the National Farm to School Network, in partnership with local host organizations. Registration opens Feb 15, 2016.

2. Webinar: PolicyLink and Healthy Food Access Portal

Leveraging Institutional Purchasing Power to Expand Access to Healthy Food
Thursday, Jan. 12, 2-3:15pm
You’re invited to join PolicyLink and the Healthy Food Access Portal for a discussion on leveraging university, hospital, and public school purchasing power to expand access to healthy food. Learn more and register here.


Research & Resources
1. Documentary: In Defense of Food - premieres Dec. 30 on PBS
Join author Michael Pollan on a fascinating journey to answer the question: What should I eat to be healthy? Busting myths and misconceptions, In Defense of Food reveals how common sense and old-fashioned wisdom can help us rediscover the pleasures of eating and at the same time reduce our risks of falling victim to diet-related diseases. In Defense of Food premieres Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, 9pm ET on PBS. The film  will be accompanied by a comprehensive education program for middle school students created by the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education and Policy at the Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition, an extensive outreach program has been designed to help food and health organizations and community groups use the film to spark deeper engagement and action in support of healthier homes, schools and communities. Learn more here. 


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Program Specialist, USDA
The U.S. Department of Agriculture seeks a Program Specialist to join its Food and Nutrition Service. This position will serve as the Farm to School Coordinator for the Midwest Regional Office, Supplemental Nutrition Program Division. To qualify, candidates must possess extensive experience implementing and managing community food systems or farm to school programming and have proven effective working relationships with community food systems or farm to school practitioners and coalitions. The application deadline is Dec. 30. Learn more and apply here


Farm to school in the news
10 best farm to school stories from 2015
From national media covering the impact of the USDA Farm to School Program, to regional stories of communities transforming the way kids eat, 2015 was filled with great farm to school storytelling. Check out our list of the 10 best farm to school stories from the past year on our blog

Through gardens, schools integrate lessons in science, the environment
Parents are working with officials in school districts across Northern Virginia to create school gardens that will not only provide an outdoor oasis but also foster student learning about nutrition and the environment. (via The Washington Post

School program pushes for more New York grown cafeteria food

A new “New York Thursdays” program has been announced for New York City Public Schools. The program aims to bring more food grown in the Empire State to students in Big Apple schools every Thursday. (via New York Daily News)


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

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