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News

This Week in Farm to School: 4/10/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 10, 2018
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. Humana Foundation RFA
The Humana Foundation has an open Request for Applications (RFA) through April 27 for LA, FL, TN, KY, and TX focusing on food security and social connection. The Humana Foundation invests in nonprofit organizations that address the barriers keeping people from overcoming social determinants of health. Social determinants of health are the conditions under which people are born, grow, live, work and age that impact overall health and well-being. More than $191 million has been funded by the Humana Foundation since 1981 to support the communities we serve. Learn more here.


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: More Plants Please!
April 10, 2pm MT
How is your food service program making a positive impact on the environment? Learn why getting more plant forward meals into school lunch matters during this Chef Ann Foundation webinar. Hear from Friends of the Earth U.S. and Novato Unified School District about how more plant-based meals can have a positive environmental impact as a part of a healthy, nutritious meal, and how you can make plant forward meals fit into your school lunch menus. Curious? Register here

2. Webinar: Racial Equity in Food Systems Work: Beginning the Journey
April 24 // 3-4:30pm ET
Hosted by the eXtension working group on Undoing Inequality in the Food System which is part of the eXtension Community, Local and Regional Community of Practice and the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, this presentation is intended to inspire Extension educators who want to make racial equity a more intentional part of their work – and an introduction to resources and tools to help do so. This webinar will begin to discuss what racial equity training is and how it benefits Extension work, and also, suggest additional resources and tools useful to those who want to bring racial equity training to their organizations. Register here

3. Unlocking Our Food Systems Change Capacity: A Two-Day Leadership Retreat
June 5-7 // New Orleans, LA
The Food Systems Leadership Network is excited to announce an upcoming opportunity to connect with other leaders, reflect on our individual and collective work, and dig into the tools of systems leadership and systems thinking for social change. Applications are now being accepted for “Unlocking Our Food Systems Change Capacity: A Two-Day Leadership Retreat,” to be held June 5-7, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Applications are due April 15. Learn more and apply here.


Take Action
1. Recognize your #LunchHeroes on School Lunch Hero Day
On Friday, May 4, SNA will kick off School Nutrition Employee Week (May 7-11) with a celebration, as we take part in the 6th Annual School Lunch Hero Day. School Lunch Hero Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the hardworking professionals in school cafeterias across the country, who fuel our emerging future leaders with the healthy meals that make a difference in their success. Nominate your school lunch (s)heroes today

2. Celebrate CACFP's 50th Birthday!
They say “a picture is a worth a 1,000 words.”  What would a thousand pictures be worth?  The National CACFP Forum wants us to find out together.  It’s time to celebrate 50 years of the CACFP and all of those who have been involved in making it a success - YOU.  May 8th, 2018, is the 50th Birthday of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the National CACFP Forum and the National Farm to School Network want to celebrate with the entire CACFP community by creating a billboard sized birthday card on Capitol Hill. The birthday card will be a mosaic made of thousands of images from the diverse community of programs serving CACFP meals and snacks. Send an image of your CACFP program; serving healthy meals, doing a healthy celebration, or implementing a CACFP best practice, like serving local and seasonal food. Submit a healthy celebration picture through this form and be entered into a drawing for Kaplan materials courtesy of our partnership with Nemours and sponsorship by Kaplan. Together, we can show Congress the impact they’ve made and will continue to make by supporting the food program.  Send your image, by April 14th, to smarshall@cacfpforum.com or post it on your social media page using the hashtag #CACFP50 (but make sure the post is public or we won’t see it!).  Learn more here.


Research & Resources
1. Food Hubs: A flagship socially conscious business model and key to scaling up local food
Food hubs are maturing into a strong, stable model for socially conscious business and are helping to scale up the local food market, according to a just-released report from the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) and the Wallace Center at Winrock International. Read the report here

2. Determining the True Costs of Our Food Through Systems Thinking 
“Systems thinking: an approach for understanding eco-agri-food systems,” is part of a new, ground-breaking report from the Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity for Agriculture and Food (TEEB AgriFood). This report addresses how to evaluate our agriculture and food systems while considering a range of social, human, and environmental dimensions across the value chain. It is creating a framework for looking at all the impacts of the ‘eco-agri-food’ value chain, from farm to fork to disposal, including effects on livelihoods, the environment, and health. This can help farmers, decision makers, and businesses more explicitly look at the impacts of different practices and policies. 

3. National Young Farmers Coalition Launches Finding Farmland Calculator
NYFC is proud to share a newly upgraded tool for the farmer's digital toolbox: the Finding Farmland Calculator. The calculator, a decision-making tool built specifically for farmers seeking land, enables farmers to understand farm financing options, determine what they can afford, and prepare to work with a lender. 


Job, Service, & Education Opportunities
1. Partnership Coordinator Americorps VISTA, Appetite for Change
The VISTA member at Appetite For Change/Northside Fresh Coalition will develop community partnerships & create systems to better connect the broader community with urban growers & local produce retailers on the northside of Minneapolis. Learn more here

2. Americorps VISTAs, Farm Fresh Rhode Island
Farm Fresh RI is seeking to fill several full-time, year term Americorps VISTA positions including: Food Literacy VISTA, Growing & Garden VISTA, Volunteer Coordinator VISTA. Learn more here.

3. Operations Coordinator, Edible Schoolyard Berkley 
Edible Schoolyard Berkley seeks to hire an Operations Coordinator. Learn more here

4. Communications Director, National Young Farmers Coalition
The National Young Farmers Coalition seeks a communications director to lead their external communications from their Hudson, NY headquarters. Learn more here

5. Bloomberg Fellows Program
The Bloomberg Fellows Program is an initiative to provide world-class public health training to individuals engaged with organizations tackling critical challenges facing the United States. When fully implemented, each year, 50 fellows will receive full-tuition scholarships to attain the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School’s Master of Public Health (MPH). Following graduation, Bloomberg Fellows will work for at least one year for such organizations, putting their new skills to use. These individuals and organizations will then join a growing network of scholarship, education and practice devoted to using the tools of public health to address the problems of the twenty-first century. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
In Texas, learning garden grows Pre-K student's curiosity for nutrition
The impact of the program reached beyond the garden fence. Some of the student’s families have planted seeds at home and learned new recipes from school demonstrations. With all senses part of the nutrition lesson, students are bound to find a new favorite food. (Ken5)

Fifth generation Arkansas farm family continues tradition
“In the past few years, farm-to-school programs have been really good for us,” Morgan said. “Lamar school actually had an opportunity through the NFL’s Play60 program where they brought the kids out to us, picked their own peaches and then returned to their school’s cafeteria to process everything.” (Farm Talk Newspaper)

New food processor job created to bring more local food to New York’s school cafeterias
“This is totally new,” said Maria “Flip” Filippi, local foods program leader. “I think it’s exciting because there’s a lot of interest from local schools to buy local produce and it will make it easier for them. It lowers the burden for the farmer and it lowers the burden for the school.” (Watertown Daily Times)

New Hampshire teen cook off a treat and challenge for everyone involved
With whisks flying, butter melting, garlic sauteing and knives chopping, the kitchen at Nashua High School North was a cacophony of sounds and smells during Wednesday afternoon's New Hampshire Teen Cook Off. Three teams, Nashua, Hollis Brookline and Souhegan competed to see who could make the best, most nutritious school lunch with a few locally sourced ingredients. (San Francisco Chronicle)

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: 4/03/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, April 03, 2018
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. Aetna 2018 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant Program
Aetna Foundation is inviting projects that address issues in the following domains to apply for the 2018 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant: Built Environment, Community Safety, Environmental Exposures, Healthy Behaviors, and Social/Economic Factors. These grants are expected to award up to $2 million to organizations in the contiguous United States through this program. This will be a highly competitive funding opportunity with a two-stage application process. All Stage 1 applications must be received by April 18. Learn more here

2. Crafting Winning Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program Proposals
April 12 // 2pm ET
In 2018, $30 million in funding is available through the USDA AMS Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) to support an array of direct-to-consumer and local food market projects. These competitive grant opportunities are important sources of support for building local and regional food systems. But if you don’t have much experience with grant writing, applying for a federal grant can seem like a big lift. In this webinar, the Wallace Center, the Farmers Market Coalition, Colorado State University, and USDA AMS are teaming up to bring you information for Crafting Winning LFPP/FMPP Proposals. Register here. Applications for both LFPP and FMPP need to be submitted on www.grants.gov by 11:59pm EST on May 7th, 2018. You can learn more about applying for the LFPP Grant and access the RFA here


Events & Webinars
1. Last Chance: Registration for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference ends 4/9 
April 25-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
Last chance to register for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference! Join 1,000 local food leaders, sustainable agriculture advocates and public health professional from across the country in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, for three inspiring days of learning, networking and movement building. This biennial 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. Registration ends next Monday, April 9. Learn more and register today at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

2. Rethinking Procurement: The Complexity of Advancing Local and Regional ECE and K-12 Procurement Systems
April 3 // 11am-12:30pm ET
Join KHA Inc. for the Rethinking Procurement: The Complexity of Advancing Local and Regional ECE and K-12 Procurement Systems webinar, featuring leaders and experts in ECE settings and K-12 schools, who will provide context and grounding in food procurement policies, implementation, model successes and critical solutions to barriers. The Rethinking Procurement webinar will explore the complexity of ECE and K-12 procurement systems and nuances in the process of obtaining healthy, local, and sustainably grown food. Register here

3. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Family Engagement Through Farm to Early Care and Education
April 5 // 2pm ET
Parent and family engagement in the early years of life is vital to healthy development and healthy relationships. Farm to early care and education (ECE) offers a unique opportunity to engage families in activities in the ECE setting while offering nutrition, culinary and gardening education that can impact food practices and health behaviors in the home. Join the National Farm to School Network,  the Farm to Family Project, and Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness to hear about innovative programs that are leveraging farm to ECE as a key to family engagement and, in doing so, increasing healthy food access, healthy behaviors, and healthy relationships for children, families and communities. Register here.

4. WEBINAR More Plants Please!
April 10, 2pm MT
How is your food service program making a positive impact on the environment? Learn why getting more plant forward meals into school lunch matters during this Chef Ann Foundation webinar. Hear from Friends of the Earth U.S. and Novato Unified School District about how more plant-based meals can have a positive environmental impact as a part of a healthy, nutritious meal, and how you can make plant forward meals fit into your school lunch menus. Curious? Register here


Research
1. Tisch Food Center: Nutrition Education in NYC Schools
The Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy (Tisch Food Center) in the Program in Nutrition at Teachers College, Columbia University, has studied 40 organizations that run 101 nutrition education programs in schools across New York City. See what's they've found in A is for Apple: The State of Nutrition Education Programs in New York City Schools, and learn more in the Nutrition Education Programs in NYC Schools Database


Job Opportunities
1. Program Director, Land For Good
Land For Good is seeking to hire a Program Director. This is a unique opportunity to work on critical issues facing farmers, rural communities, and the food system. Learn more here

2. Research Coordinator, Colorado State University

Colorado State University’s inter-disciplinary Food Systems Initiative is hiring a Research Coordinator. Learn more here.

3. Farm to School Coordinator, Food and Health Network 
The Food and Health Network, a collaborative eight-county network based in Whitney Point, NY, is hiring a Farm to School Coordinator. Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News
Gardening with Minnesota Class
The students at Crossroads have significant challenges, but their story has a lot of heart and the schoolyard gardens feed families in need. Master Gardeners help Minnesota students grow and donate 13,000 pounds of vegetables to food shelves in a single season. (University of MN Extension)

North Carolina districts, farmers connect to freshen up cafeteria offerings
Students in some North Carolina schools are being served more locally produced foods. School nutrition professionals in one district are using local, antibiotic-free beef to make meatloaf for school meals. (Mountain Express)

California students run their own food business out of a classroom
The Growing Leaders class at Willard Middle School performs this complex operation every two weeks, cooking about 300 meals, often with produce they’ve grown themselves, and packaging them up for customers who’ve ordered online ahead of time. (Berkleyside)

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


This Week in Farm to School: 3/27/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, March 27, 2018
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. $5 Million for Farm to School included in Funding Bill 
Last week, Senate and House leaders worked on an appropriations bill to fund the federal government through Sept. 30, and through this process, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Cochran (R-MS) championed a huge win for farm to school! The final bill, which was signed by the President on Friday, includes $5 million in discretionary funding for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, which doubles the current available funding for this highly impactful and important program for one year. This is great news and a big victory for the farm to school movement! Read more on the National Farm to School Network blog here

2. Aetna 2018 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant Program
Aetna Foundation is inviting projects that address issues in the following domains to apply for the 2018 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant: Built Environment, Community Safety, Environmental Exposures, Healthy Behaviors, and Social/Economic Factors. These grants are expected to award up to $2 million to organizations in the contiguous United States through this program. This will be a highly competitive funding opportunity with a two-stage application process. All Stage 1 applications must be received by April 18, 2018 at 3PM ET. Learn more here

3. Crafting Winning Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program Proposals
April 12th // 2pm ET
In 2018, $30 million in funding is available through the USDA AMS Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) to support an array of direct-to-consumer and local food market projects. These competitive grant opportunities are important sources of support for building local and regional food systems. But if you don’t have much experience with grant writing, applying for a federal grant can seem like a big lift. In this webinar, the Wallace Center, the Farmers Market Coalition, Colorado State University, and USDA AMS are teaming up to bring you information for Crafting Winning LFPP/FMPP Proposals. Register here. Applications for both LFPP and FMPP need to be submitted on www.grants.gov by 11:59pm EST on May 7th, 2018. You can learn more about applying for the LFPP Grant and access the RFA here


Webinars
1. Rethinking Procurement: The Complexity of Advancing Local and Regional ECE and K-12 Procurement Systems
April 3 // 11am-12:30pm ET
Join KHA Inc. for the Rethinking Procurement: The Complexity of Advancing Local and Regional ECE and K-12 Procurement Systems webinar, featuring leaders and experts in ECE settings and K-12 schools, who will provide context and grounding in food procurement policies, implementation, model successes and critical solutions to barriers. The Rethinking Procurement webinar will explore the complexity of ECE and K-12 procurement systems and nuances in the process of obtaining healthy, local, and sustainably grown food. Register here

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Family Engagement Through Farm to Early Care and Education
April 5 // 2pm ET
Parent and family engagement in the early years of life is vital to healthy development and healthy relationships. Farm to early care and education (ECE) offers a unique opportunity to engage families in activities in the ECE setting while offering nutrition, culinary and gardening education that can impact food practices and health behaviors in the home. Join the National Farm to School Network,  the Farm to Family Project, and Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness to hear about innovative programs that are leveraging farm to ECE as a key to family engagement and, in doing so, increasing healthy food access, healthy behaviors, and healthy relationships for children, families and communities. Register here.

3. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: State-Supported Farm to School Positions
May 10 // 2pm ET
State-supported farm to school positions within state agencies and Extension offices offer vital leadership and support to further institutionalize the farm to school movement. Join this webinar to learn about a valuable new resource from the National Farm to School Network which highlights the growth and prevalence of state-supported farm to school positions and offers tools, resources and best practices for advocating for and maintaining state positions. Hear from NFSN Core Partners in South Carolina, Missouri and Oregon as they share successes, challenges and lessons learned and take away practical steps to advancing state-supported positions. Register here.


Events
1. Deadline Approaching: Register for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference by 4/9! 
April 25-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
The 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. 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. Registration ends April 9. Learn more and register today at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.

2. 11th Annual Future of Food and Nutrition 
April 7 // Boston, MA
The 11th Annual Future of Food and Nutrition Graduate Student Research Conference is a unique venue for graduate students across disciplines and from around the country to present original research relating to the food system and nutrition science. Learn more and register here

3. 2018 Urban Food Systems Symposium
August 8-11 // Minneapolis, MN
The goal of the Urban Food Systems Symposium is to bring together a national and international audience of academic and research-oriented professionals to share and gain knowledge on urban food systems and the role they play in global food security. This symposium includes knowledge on: urban agricultural production, local food systems distribution, urban farmer education, urban ag policy, planning and development, food access and justice, and food sovereignty. Learn more and register here


Research & Resources
1. 10 Cents a Meal: New Michigan Department of Education Legislative Report
Hot off the press! Learn about Michigan's 10 Cents a Meal program in the new Michigan Department of Education's 2017-2018 Legislative Report . The 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms pilot program provides grant- winning school districts with up to 10 Cents a Meal in matching funds to purchase locally grown fruits, vegetables and dry beans. 

2. Research: Farmers’ perspectives on adoption and impacts of nutrition incentive and farm to school programs 
Farmers market nutrition incentive (FMNI) and farm to school (F2S) programs are two community-based initiatives that support farmers while simultaneously lessening the burden of local food access for lower income populations. In this study, published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development, researchers explore farmer perceptions, barriers to adoption, and impacts of FMNI and F2S programs. Participating farmers perceived FMNI and F2S as providing advantageous social impact and various economic opportunities. However, participants and non-participants had differing perspectives on program complexity, compatibility with their business model, and the degree to which others have succeeded when participating. The most significant barriers relate to issues with product pricing, customer engagement, and logistics. Read more here

3. Women’s History Month and Farm to School
To quote Dolores Huerta, a historical food activist who is still leading change in our food system today: “That's the history of the world. His story is told, hers isn't.” Dolores co-founded the National Farm Workers Association alongside César Chávez in the 1960s. For decades, she has championed farmworkers rights, and yet many people recognize Chávez’s name and not Huerta’s. If today’s students are taught about local food sheroes past and present, then we can start to tell a more complete, equitable history of our nation’s food system.  In the garden, classroom, and cafeteria, let’s educate our students about women who lead. Read more about local food sheroes on the National Farm to School blog here


Job Opportunities
1. Executive Director, The Green Heart Projects
The Green Heart Project, a non-profit organization that builds school gardens and farm-to-school programs in the Charleston, South Carolina area, is seeking an Executive Director to lead the organization. Learn more here

2. Chief Operating Officer, Center for Science in the Public Interest
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a non-profit health-advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., is seeking to hire a Chief Operating Officer. Learn more here

3. Manager of Corporate Partnerships, American Farmland Trust
American Farmland Trust seeks a Manager of Corporate Partnerships to generate significant corporate revenue through corporate partnerships and cause-marketing opportunities. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Montana is planting seeds of a movement
Innovative programs are taking hold in Montana’s schools to equip children with the knowledge and desire to shape our food systems in the coming generations. As the stewards of our future, they will grow what we eat and influence the mechanisms by which it’s prioritized, processed, stored and distributed. One such program is Harvest of the Month, which began three years ago as a pilot project and is now a fully formed statewide program with 143 participating K-12 schools, overseen by Montana State University’s farm to school coordinator (and NFSN Montana Core Partner!), Aubree Roth. (Flathead Beacon)

Iowa school’s greenhouse is cultivating an interest in gardening
Thanks to a growing interest in gardening and the availability of a greenhouse, Central students have been able to stock their school salad bar with leaf lettuce and cherry tomatoes during the winter months. (Clayton County Register)

Washington students enjoy food performance
Chef Arran Stark recently prepared purple sprouting broccoli while giving an engaging performance and a history of broccoli, sharing with high school students the importance of eating seasonally. He also offered cooking tips and tricks, and shared the story of his journey to becoming a chef. (PT Leader)

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

This Week in Farm to School: 3/20/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, March 20, 2018
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. 2018 Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations Nutrition Education Grant RFA
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has announced that the Request for Applications (RFA) for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations Nutrition Education (FDPNE) grant has now been posted to Grants.gov. The FDPNE grant funds projects that provide nutrition information and services to Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) participants, helping the organizations that serve this population find new ways to aid their constituents. Indian Tribal Organizations and State agencies that are current FDPIR allowance holders (have a direct agreement with FNS to administer FDPIR) are eligible to apply. You can read about projects funded last year here

2. Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom Grants
The Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom grant is available to high-need schools and districts in Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah to cover the upfront costs often associated with the startup and implementation of breakfast in the classroom and “grab n’ go” programs, such as purchasing equipment, outreach efforts to parents, program promotion, and other related expenses. Learn more here

3. National Education Association Grants

Student Achievement Grants, offered by the National Education Association (NEA) Foundation, are for projects that help students learn how to think critically and solve problems in order to improve student learning. Learning & Leadership Grants, offered by the National Education Association (NEA) Foundation, are for professional development opportunities for individuals or groups. Grants are available to current members of the National Education Association who are educators in public schools or public institutions of higher education. Preference is given to proposals that incorporate STEM and/or global learning into projects, which can include farm to school activities. Two levels of funding are available: $2,000 and $5,000. The next deadline for applications is June 1. 

4. Aetna 2018 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant Program
Aetna Foundation is inviting projects that address issues in the following domains to apply for the 2018 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant: Built Environment, Community Safety, Environmental Exposures, Healthy Behaviors, and Social/Economic Factors. These grants are expected to award up to $2 million to organizations in the contiguous United States through this program. This will be a highly competitive funding opportunity with a two-stage application process. All Stage 1 applications must be received by April 18, 2018 at 3PM ET. We will not accept any late or incomplete applications. You must submit a Stage 1 application in order to be considered for Stage 2. Learn more here


Webinars

1. Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) Applicant Webinars
March 27 & 28 // 2pm ET 
On March 7, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced the availability of $27 million in grants to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses through the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program. Read updated information about these grants and register for upcoming webinars to learn more about them. AMS will host two webinars to help farmers, producer groups and other potential applicants to understand the program requirements. The Grants.gov webinar on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, at 2 p.m. (ET), will cover how to register in Dun & Bradstreet, track a submitted application, find funding opportunities and apply for those opportunities. The FMLFPP webinar on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, at 2 p.m. (ET), will provide an overview of the program objectives, eligibility and basic information about the application process.

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Family Engagement Through Farm to Early Care and Education

April 5 // 2pm ET
Parent and family engagement in the early years of life is vital to healthy development and healthy relationships. Farm to early care and education (ECE) offers a unique opportunity to engage families in activities in the ECE setting while offering nutrition, culinary and gardening education that can impact food practices and health behaviors in the home. Join the National Farm to School Network,  the Farm to Family Project, and Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness to hear about innovative programs that are leveraging farm to ECE as a key to family engagement and, in doing so, increasing healthy food access, healthy behaviors, and healthy relationships for children, families and communities. Register here.


Events
1. 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference: Register today!
April 25-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
Registration for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is open until April 9th. Explore the conference website to learn more here. The Conference program offers 36-skill building workshops, educational short courses, experiential field trips, inspiring keynote addresses and more! Learn more at www.farmtocafeteriaconference.org

2. 2018 Annual National SNA Conference
Registration is now open for the School Nutrition Event of the Year - #ANC18 - July 9-12 in Las Vegas. Preparations are in full swing for SNA's 72nd Annual National Conference, a premier learning and networking event for School Nutrition Professionals. SNA staff and volunteers are busy making sure every detail is ready to welcome you to the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas this summer. Learn more and register here


Take Action
1. There’s Still Time to Respond to the 2017 Census of Agriculture
USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) needs a Census of Agriculture response from ALL the nation’s producers. In order to get an accurate representation of American agriculture – of all farmers and ranchers across the country – NASS will continue to accept completed census questionnaires through spring. NASS is committed to giving producers every opportunity to be represented in these widely-used data. Federal law mandates that everyone who received the 2017 Census of Agriculture questionnaire complete it and return it even if not currently farming. NASS will follow-up via mailings, phone calls, and farm visits with producers who have not yet responded. To avoid these additional contacts, farmers and ranchers are encouraged to complete their census either online at www.agcounts.usda.gov or by mail as soon as possible. For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov. For questions about or assistance filling out the census, producers can call toll-free (888) 424-7828.

2. Participate in Slow Food's Plant a Seed Campaign 
Slow Food is excited to launch their Plant a Seed campaign for Spring 2018. This year, they are focusing on the Three Sisters — bean, corn and squash — with varieties on the Ark of Taste. They are able to offer free kits to the first 300 schools in need. Use promo code plantschoolfree if you would like a kit but cannot afford to pay. Once those run out, or if you have the budget to pay, you can use plantschoolhalf for a 50% discount. If you're not using this for a school garden, Slow Food requests that you pay full price. Order your kit here


Job Opportunities
1.School Garden Specialist, Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Public Schools is seeking a school garden specialist to l support district-wide initiatives to increase the number of edible school gardens operating in Chicago Public Schools (CPS), provide ongoing training to schools on garden programming, and oversee educational opportunities through the CPS Farm to School program. Learn more here

2. Grants Specialist, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets seeks a Grants Specialist to assist the Grants and Contracts Team and program managers across the Agricultural Development Division. Learn more here

3. State Director of School Nutrition, Tennessee Department of Education
The TN DOE seeks to hire a State Director of School Nutrition to ensure USDA programs are delivered efficiently, effectively and with integrity and a focus on customer service. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Northern Mariana Islands’ school garden teaches not just farming
“We see that many our students’ minds come alive in the garden in a way they don’t in the classroom. The environment itself is transforming. There’s something about being outside in a natural setting that seems to stimulate the senses,” Atalig added. (Saipan Tribune)

In West Virginia, Sunshine Farm teaches many lessons at Crellin Elementary

“We incorporate reading and writing and use ‘I wonder’ questions that students have about the animals and plants as research projects,” McCauley said. “Using these authentic ‘wonders’ make the projects meaningful to students.”(Garrett County Republican)

In Whitefish Township, Michigan students use old food, recycled supplies to grow veggies for lunch
“It’s better hands-on because you’ll learn how to do it. When you’re working with other people in a class it teaches you how to work as a group together. Also teaches you how to produce food and enough, because some of the seeds don’t always give you something, so you have to learn how to adapt to that,” Student Emma Nelson, said. (8&10 News)

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

This Week in Farm to School: 3/13/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. 

Grants & Funding

1. USDA NIFA Higher Education Challenge (HEC) Grants Program
This grant is focused on improving formal, postsecondary-level agricultural sciences education - USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is seeking applications for this grant. Eligible applicants include "... public or private nonprofit colleges and universities offering a professional degree in at least one discipline of FANH sciences, land-grant colleges and universities, and colleges and universities having significant minority enrollments and a demonstrable capacity to carry out the teaching of food and agricultural sciences ..." Learn more here and read the request for applications here

2. USDA Announces Support Available for Specialty Crops, the Local Food Sector, and Agricultural Marketing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced nearly $89 million in available funding to support specialty crop growers, strengthen local and regional food systems, and explore new market opportunities for farmers and ranchers. USDA helps fund projects that bolster rural economies across the country. Learn more here

3. 2018 United Fresh Start Foundation Community Grants Program

The program supports organizations that provide children with access to fresh fruit and vegetables after school, on weekends, and during summer, extending the impact of our Foundation beyond the school day. We are offering Community Grants of up to $2,500 to eligible non-profit organizations. Applications must be submitted through the online portal. You can learn more about the grant and access the online portal here. Applications are due by Friday, March 30, 2018.


Webinars & Events
1. CACFP Halftime: Thirty on Thursday
March 15 // 2pm for English version and 3pm for Spanish version EST
Presented as part of USDA Team Nutrition’s FREE monthly CACFP Halftime: Thirty on Thursdays webinar series, this webinar will focus on the option to serve meat and meat alternates in place of grains at breakfast in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Preschool meal patterns. For more information, including recordings of past webinars and registration for future webinars, visit the CACFP Halftime: Thirty on Thursdays webpage.

2. The Business of Farm to School

March 15 // 5pm ET
This webinar will cover the procurement (purchasing) rules that schools follow, describe questions and talking points to discuss when selling to and building relationships with schools, identify which products schools are looking for, and highlight the different Child Nutrition Programs (CNP’s) that provide these opportunities- hint- it’s not just school lunch! This webinar is coordinated by USDA Office of Community Food Systems and the National Young Farmers Coalition, and is geared towards farmers and producers selling to schools as a new market. Register here

3. USDA Summer Meals Webinar Series
Summer meals are critical to the health and well-being of our children. Register for these 2018 Summer Meals Webinars to learn more about this important program:
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 @ 1:00 pm EST - Tribal and Rural Summer Meals
Tuesday, April 17, 2018 @ 1:00 pm EST - What Cities Can Teach Us About Summer Meals
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 @ 1:00 pm EST - Boosting Your Budget – Summer Meals Financial Planning
Tuesday, June 14, 2018 @ 1:00 pm EST- Middle of Summer Strategies 

4. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Family Engagement Through Farm to Early Care and Education
April 5 // 2pm ET
Parent and family engagement in the early years of life is vital to healthy development and healthy relationships. Farm to early care and education (ECE) offers a unique opportunity to engage families in activities in the ECE setting while offering nutrition, culinary and gardening education that can impact food practices and health behaviors in the home. Join the National Farm to School Network,  the Farm to Family Project, and Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness to hear about innovative programs that are leveraging farm to ECE as a key to family engagement and, in doing so, increasing healthy food access, healthy behaviors, and healthy relationships for children, families and communities. Register here.

5. 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference: Early Bird Deadline March 9

April 25-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
Last chance to save on Early Bird registration for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This biennial event, hosted by the National Farm to School Network, is the top national training and networking event for farm to cafeteria professionals working to improve community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. Save when you register before the Early Bird deadline on March 9 at 11:59pm ET. Regular registration closes April 9. Learn more at www.farmtocafeteriaconference.org


Take Action
1. 2018 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge
Join Food Solutions New England (FSNE)  April 2-22nd for the 2018 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge. This resource is built on the understanding that we cannot talk about and work for sustainability, food security, and economic prosperity in our food system without facing the realities of discrimination and social inequity in our food system and beyond. 

2. Celebrate School Lunch Hero Day 
School Lunch Hero Day, May 4, is only two short months away! Have you started planning your celebration? This event is the perfect opportunity to showcase the many ways that school nutrition professionals, at every level, make a difference in the lives of their student customers. For ideas and resources, visit www.schoolnutrition.org/SLHD.


Resources & Research
1. Farm to school resources now available in Spanish
Three key National Farm to School Network fact sheets are now available in Spanish and ready for download in our online resources library: 
Los Beneficios De De La Finca A La Escuela (Benefits of Farm to School) 
Comenzar Con De La Finca A La Escuela (Getting Started with Farm to School)
Comenzar Y Mantener Un Huerto Escolar (Starting a School Garden) 
These are in addition to an existing Spanish version of our "Getting Started with Farm to Preschool" (Introducción A De La Granja Al Pre-Escolar) fact sheet. They're also exciting additions to the Non-English Resource section of our library.

2. Contribute to Farm to School Research for a Thesis Project
Students from Blekinge Institute of Technology, studying a Master in Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability, are currently working on the thesis project "Opportunities and Barriers of the Farm to School Concept in the Swedish School Lunch System". They are researching about how to improve food education in schools through a program that involves school gardens, classroom education and collaboration with local farmers, both for farm visits and procurement for school lunches. They are looking for 3 US farmers and 3 US teachers willing to take part in the 20-30 min interviews via Skype to share their opinion about the Farm to School Program. If you agree to speak to these students or if you would like to contribute to their research by any other means, please e-mail iuliiasolodovnik@gmail.com.


Job Opportunities
1.Southern CA Nutrition Policy Advocate, California Food Policy Advocates
California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA) is now accepting applications for a Southern CA Nutrition Policy Advocate position. Learn more and apply here

2. Garden Coordinator, CitySprouts
CitySprouts is seeking a full-time, year round Garden Coordinator to join their Boston-area staff. Learn more and apply here

3. Executive Director, Wholesome Wave
Wholesome Wave Georgia is seeking an Executive Director to lead the nonprofit organization in its mission to increase accessibility and affordability of fresh, healthy, locally grown food for all Georgians. Learn more and apply here.

4. Field Education Manager, Duke Campus Farm
The Duke Campus Farm is seeking a field education manager: a good land steward with solid growing experience who can be the backbone of their one-acre production operation and who is passionate about educating and empowering college students to make change in the food system. Learn more and apply here.

5. FoodCorps Service Members
FoodCorps service member applications are open for the 2018-2019 school year. The deadline to apply is March 15, 2018 at 6pm PST. Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News
In Louisiana, Gardens Grow a ‘Culture of Health'
The garden at Lessie Moore Elementary School recently yielded a supply of collard greens. At the invitation of P.E. teacher and garden sponsor Christy Parker, the Good Food Project came to the school to host a cooking demonstration. (The Town Talk)

New Hampshire Students Growing in More Ways Than One

By building gardening, food planning and food preparation into the curriculum, LEAF is ensuring those kids get a nutritious meal at school, while also setting them up to be healthier, more capable individuals in the long run. (Sentinel Source)

Arkansas’ Carolyn Lewis Elementary Greets Guests

Arkansas farmers, educators, school nutrition staff, parents, distributors and value-chain coordinators attended the day to learn more about how Farm to School works, how to work with students during hands-on learning, serve the local food in the school cafeteria and how to sell their products to the schools. (thecabin.net)

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

This Week in Farm to School: 3/06/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, March 06, 2018
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

1. New Entry's National Ag Apprenticeship Learning Network 
March 6 // 1 PM ET
Register to join New Entry’s National Ag Apprenticeship Learning Network for Network Resources and Approaches, an online event which will launch the Ag Apprenticeship Toolkit and offer a briefing on the power of networks by Andrew Crosson of Rural Support Partners. This event will include a tour of the Ag Apprenticeship Toolkit, the capstone resource from Year 1 of the National Ag Apprenticeship Learning Network, and will detail how participation in networks can strengthen local, regional and national food systems work. Register here

2. The Business of Farm to School
March 15 // 5pm ET
This webinar will cover the procurement (purchasing) rules that schools follow, describe questions and talking points to discuss when selling to and building relationships with schools, identify which products schools are looking for, and highlight the different Child Nutrition Programs (CNP’s) that provide these opportunities- hint- it’s not just school lunch! This webinar is coordinated by USDA Office of Community Food Systems and the National Young Farmers Coalition, and is geared towards farmers and producers selling to schools as a new market. Register here

3. Trending Topics Webinar: Family Engagement Through Farm to Early Care and Education
April 5 // 2pm ET
Parent and family engagement in the early years of life is vital to healthy development and healthy relationships. Farm to early care and education (ECE) offers a unique opportunity to engage families in activities in the ECE setting while offering nutrition, culinary and gardening education that can impact food practices and health behaviors in the home. Join the National Farm to School Network,  the Farm to Family Project, and Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness to hear about innovative programs that are leveraging farm to ECE as a key to family engagement and, in doing so, increasing healthy food access, healthy behaviors, and healthy relationships for children, families and communities. Register here.


Events

1. 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference: Early Bird Deadline March 9
April 25-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
Last chance to save on Early Bird registration for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This biennial event, hosted by the National Farm to School Network, is the top national training and networking event for farm to cafeteria professionals working to improve community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. Save when you register before the Early Bird deadline on March 9 at 11:59pm ET. Regular registration closes April 9. Learn more at www.farmtocafeteriaconference.org

2. Edible Schoolyard 2018 Summer Academy - Applications Open

June 24- 28 // Berkeley, CA
This foundational training program from Edible Schoolyard is designed to strengthen your program and build your leadership in the field. All Academy participants spend one day each on school gardens, cooking with kids, and organizational development – learning about curriculum development and integration, inclusive classrooms, best practices for hands-on learning and student buy-in, and organizational culture. Learn more here. Application Dealine: March 18. 

3. Slow Food Nations
July 13-15 // Denver, CO
Slow Food invites you to join the Slow Food Nations’ festival of flavor, culture and exploration! From the Taste Marketplace and outdoor street cafe, to workshops and family fun, Slow Food is taking over downtown Denver. Kick it off with an opening party featuring the best of Colorado, and connect with farmers and artisans, chefs and food lovers. Free and open to the public with select ticketed events. Learn more here


Take Action
1. Request for Public Comment from USDA and HHS
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have announced a new step in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) development process. For the first time, the departments will seek public comments on the proposed priority topics and supporting scientific questions that will guide the development of the upcoming 2020-2025 edition of the DGA. The public may submit comments through the Federal Register; the comment period will be open from Feb. 28, 2018 to March 30, 2018. The topics, supporting scientific questions, and link to submit public comments will be available at DietaryGuidelines.gov.

2. School Garden Survey
Calling all school gardeners and school garden coordinators! The Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy Program cultivates research about connections between a just, sustainable food system and healthy eating. Help them continue to deepen their understanding of school gardens by completing this survey. Each school that completes the survey will have the chance to win a $100 VISA gift card.

3. Crop Farmers Survey

Cornell University needs crop farmers’ input on a short survey about soil, crop, and pest management practices. Help reduce burdensome regulations and improve incentive programs by taking this survey. Participants will be eligible to win $500. 


Resources & Research

1. Native Communities are Fighting for a More Inclusive Farm Bill
Farm policy has long ignored tribal governments and communities. A coalition of tribes aims to change that. Although agriculture continues to play a big role in Native life today, the Quapaw’s ability to feed themselves is nearly unique. While the overwhelming majority of farm operators in the U.S. are white, among farmers of color an estimated 30 percent are Native American or Alaska Native, and together they generate $3.3 billion in sales each year. But Native producers have little access to critically important resources such as credit, insurance, or loan programs, and that fact limits their ability to be fully autonomous. Hoping to ensure that the voices of the nation’s original caretakers are heard, Native American groups have come together to advocate for more inclusion, greater funding, and extensive revisions in the upcoming farm bill. Read more here

2. New Study: Students Need Help Navigating Food Environments
A new study in the Journal of School Health, by Dr. Marissa Burgermaster and the Tisch Food Center team, provides further evidence that nutrition education needs to happen hand-in-hand with efforts to improve the food environments students encounter on a daily basis. Read more here


Job Opportunities

1. Garden Educator, CommunityGrows
CommunityGrows in San Fransisco, CA is recruiting for a part-time Garden Educator with the potential to move to full-time with benefits after June 30. Learn more here

2. Farm Manager, City Green

City Green, a 501c(3) urban farming and gardening organization based in Clifton, NJ, is seeking to hire a full-time Farm Manager. Learn more here

3. Garden Manager, Edible Schoolyard NYC
Edible Schoolyard NYC seeks to hire a full-time, year-round Garden Manager. Learn more here

4. Sustainability Coordinator, University of Massachusetts Amherst
The UMass Amherst Permaculture Initiative seeks a skilled individual who embodies holistic sustainability and shows a demonstrated commitment to social justice to fill the Sustainability Coordinator of Campus Gardens position. Learn more here.


Farm to School in the News

From seed to stomach: Washington farm team helps sprout integrated garden program
Mimi Cord enjoys everything about being on the South Whidbey Elementary School’s sixth grade farm team. Cord’s farm team is part of a new integrated program for grades 3-8, led by South Whidbey School Farms. Each grade takes part in either planting, farming or cooking the food. (South Whindeby Record)

Tennessee Educator works to transform students’ nutrition
“My goal is to empower the kids and show them that they can cook at home,” Stanton told The Daily Herald. “I try to build that confidence and empower them.” (Colombia Daily Herald)

Missouri school cooking club gets taste of community's support
Elementary school students worked elbow-to-elbow with each other Wednesday night while preparing meals. Then, the 15 fourth- and fifth-graders stood shoulder-to-shoulder, serving dinner to more than 100 people at Callaway Hills Elementary School. The event was the culmination of six weeks of lessons the students had taken as members of the school's cooking club. It was also a fundraiser to help the school's cooking and gardening clubs continue to operate into the future. (News 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: 2/27/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 27, 2018
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. 

National Farm to School Network News

1. NFSN Names 2018 National Partner of the Year: National Education Association
As a national organization uniquely situated at the intersection of numerous sectors, networking and partnership building are at the core of the National Farm to School Network’s efforts. To support this work, we’re expanding engagement in farm to school through the annual designation of a “National Partner of the Year.” In 2018, we are excited to announce the National Education Association (NEA) as NFSN’s National Partner of the Year. Through intentional programmatic collaboration, resource sharing and cross-promotion, we aim to better connect NFSN and NEA members towards fostering a nation of healthy, well-nourished kids engaged in our food system. Learn more here.

2. Farm to School Act Update
Introduced last fall, the Farm to School Act of 2017 is gaining momentum. While the marker bill has yet to be attached to a legislative vehicle (a bill that will pass), there are 13 House members and 12 Senators signed on as co-sponsors. Please reach out to your Representatives and Senators to ensure they know you want them to co-sponsor this important piece of legislation. Please also thank the current cosponsors! Moreover, lend your support by adding your name to our citizen and organizational sign-on letters. Your voice is crucial for helping us continue to advocate for this important legislation. With questions or for support in contacting your representatives, contact Policy Director Maximilian Merrill at maximilian@farmtoschool.org.

3. NFSN submits comments on USDA's Requests for Information: Food Crediting in Child Nutrition Programs

The purpose of this Request for Information was to help FNS gather feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders on how FNS' crediting system can best address today's evolving food and nutrition environment, as well as to offer first-rate customer service to those operating and benefitting from the Child Nutrition Programs. National Farm to School Network stressed that it hopes, "FNS will begin to shift away from including manufactured and processed food items in the crediting system, with an aim to provide nutritious and naturally nutrient-dense foods from local farms."


Grants & Funding 
1. Request for Applications: Agriculture in the Classroom Program 
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Agriculture in the Classroom Program (AITC) serves nearly 5 million students and 60,000 teachers annually through workshops, conferences, field trips, farm tours, and other educational activities. Programs emphasized by the NIFA AITC office include: Agriculture and Science literacy; Agricultural careers; Nutrition; and, Pre-service and professional develop opportunities for teachers. Applications may be submitted by State agricultural experiment stations, State cooperative extension services, all colleges and universities, other research or educational institutions or organizations, Federal and private agencies and organization and individuals. View the Request for Applications here. Applications are due Tuesday, May 1, 2018.

2. Action for Healthy Kids Grants

Action for Healthy Kids is now accepting applications for school grants for the 2018-2019 school year. Schools may apply for School Breakfast grants to pilot or expand their school breakfast programs or Game On grants to fund physical activity and nutrition initiatives. Parents and parent groups can apply for Parents for Healthy Kids grants to bring health programs to their children’s schools through parent engagement. Visit ActionforHealthyKids.org/Grants for more information. The application deadline is April 6. 

3. Wallace Center Mini-Grants and Scholarships

The Food Systems Leadership Network, an initiative of the Wallace Center at Winrock International, is currently accepting application for Organizational Capacity Building Mini-Grants (up to $1,000 per organization) and Professional Development Scholarships (up to $500 per individual). The deadline to apply is Thursday, March 1. Learn more here


Webinars

1. Farm to School 101 & Funding Opportunities
February 28 // 5pm ET
USDA’s Office of Community Food Systems and the National Young Farmers Coalition invite you to attend “Farm to School 101 & Funding Opportunities.” This webinar will cover what USDA means by “farm to school”, the different ways to incorporate farm to school programs into your business plan, and how working with schools can impact and bring value to your operation.  Funding, including grant opportunities, will be covered. Register here.

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Engaging Farmers in Farm to School

March 1 // 2pm ET
One of the primary objectives of farm to school is to strengthen the connection that communities have with local food producers. Farmers and producers can also garner economic and social benefit through these strengthened relationships. Join this webinar to hear from farm to school practitioners and farmers about innovative yet practical approaches to engaging farmers in a wide variety of farm to school activities and learn how this engagement contributes to kids, communities, and farmers winning through farm to school. Register here.  

3. The Business of Farm to School
March 15 // 5pm ET
This webinar will cover the procurement (purchasing) rules that schools follow, describe questions and talking points to discuss when selling to and building relationships with schools, identify which products schools are looking for, and highlight the different Child Nutrition Programs (CNP’s) that provide these opportunities- hint- it’s not just school lunch! This webinar is coordinated by USDA Office of Community Food Systems and the National Young Farmers Coalition, and is geared towards farmers and producers selling to schools as a new market. Register here

4. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Family Engagement Through Farm to Early Care and Education

April 5 // 2pm ET
Parent and family engagement in the early years of life is vital to healthy development and healthy relationships. Farm to early care and education (ECE) offers a unique opportunity to engage families in activities in the ECE setting while offering nutrition, culinary and gardening education that can impact food practices and health behaviors in the home. Join the National Farm to School Network,  the Farm to Family Project, and Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness to hear about innovative programs that are leveraging farm to ECE as a key to family engagement and, in doing so, increasing healthy food access, healthy behaviors, and healthy relationships for children, families and communities. Register here.

5. Food Systems Leadership Network: Non-Profit Boot Camp eLearning Series
Ongoing
The Food Systems Leadership Network, an initiative of the Wallce Center, is offering a free Non-Profit Boot Camp eLearning Series focused on strengthening the fundamentals of food-focused, non-profit, community based organizations: strategy, fundraising, HR, and finances. Each three-week course consists of three, 30-minute webinars immediately followed by a group office hours session on Zoom. Course participants are then eligible for free one-on-one coaching and consulting from the trainer. Course 1: Demystifying Strategic Planning continues this Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 3pm EST for its third and final lesson. Click here to register for the webinar. By joining the Food Systems Leadership Network site you can access the recordings of sessions 1 and 2, and course-related resources. The second course in Non-Profit Boot Camp series, Course 2: Fundraising Fundamentals with Diana Abellera and Aimee Retzler, will start Wednesday, March 7 at 3pm EST with “Thinking Through Your Development Plan.” Click here to register for all three sessions of Fundraising Fundamentals.


Take Action
1. 2019 USDA Farm to School Census
The time is finally here to prepare for the next USDA Farm to School Census! The Census will be distributed in the winter of 2019, but school districts and partners should begin tracking activities that are happening right now. Need help tracking local food purchases and farm to school activities?  Check out these evaluation resources and connect with your USDA Regional Farm to School Lead. A copy of the Census questionnaire will be made available to the public as soon as it is finalized.


Events

1. Early Bird Deadline Approaching for 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 25-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
Early Bird registration is now open for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This biennial event, hosted by the National Farm to School Network, is the top national training and networking event for farm to cafeteria professionals working to improve community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. Get the best rates on all ticket options by registering before March 9. Regular registration closes April 9. Learn more at www.farmtocafeteriaconference.org

2. 6th Annual Every Kid Healthy Week
April 23-27, 2018
Every Kid Healthy is not just a sentiment; it’s an annual week-long recognition of wellness achievements in school communities across the country, launched by our partners at Action for Healthy Kids in 2013. Join us in celebrating the sixth annual Every Kid Healthy™ Week from April 23–27 by helping schools host fun and interactive health-promoting events. For more information on how to get involved and additional resources to help you plan an event, go to EveryKidHealthyWeek.org. #EveryKidHealthy

3. Resignation Open for 41st Annual National Food Policy Conference
Coordinated by the Consumer Federation of America, the National Food Policy Conference is a unique collaboration among consumer advocates, the food industry and government, and a key national gathering for anyone interested in agriculture, food and nutrition policy. View an updated agenda with confirmed speakers and register here.


Job Opportunities

1. Education and Training Specialist, Institute for Child Nutrition (ICN)
The University of Mississippi's Institute of Child Nutrition is seeking to hire a full-time Education and Training Specialist. Learn more and apply here.

2. Farm to School Educator, Corvallis Environmental Center
The Farm to School Educator will work as an integral part of the Corvallis Environmental Center team, and will be responsible for daily implementation of the Corvallis Farm to School program educational activities. Learn more here

3. Paid Internships, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is seeking a Grassroots Intern and a Policy Intern to join their team this spring and summer. Both internships are paid, full-time, and located at NSAC’s office in Washington, DC. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News

Farmers growing stronger on St. Croix, Virgin Islands
With the help of staff, former students who came to the island to help and other volunteers, the Farm to School program is being resurrected. Last week, Bibb lettuce was sent to the St. Croix schools and 90 cases were shipped to St. Thomas. (St. Thomas Source

Jack Johnson drops by for school lunch in Hawai'i
Mililani High School hosted musicians Jack Johnson, Paula Fuga and Kawika Kahiapo for lunch last week as it continued to develop its from-scratch lunch menu utilizing locally produced food as part of the state’s ‘Aina Pono Farm to School Program. (Star Advertiser)

California students are learning the farm-to-table chain behind their meal

“What we’re trying to do is give them an experience of the awareness, the sustainability, the business, the pleasure, the value of food and all these different aspects,” said Glory Johnson, one of the board members managing the program. “The value of what we’re teaching them will be a healthier way of eating and appreciating the food we have.” (Orange Country Register)

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: 2/20/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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. Slow Food's Plant a Seed Campaign
Slow Food is excited to launch their Plant a Seed campaign for Spring 2018. This year, they are focusing on the Three Sisters — bean, corn and squash. They are able to offer free kits to the first 300 schools in need. Use promo code plantschoolfree if you would like a kit but cannot afford to pay. Once those run out, or if you have the budget to pay, you can use plantschoolhalf for a 50% discount. If you're not using this for a school garden, they ask that you pay full price. Order your school garden kit here


Webinars

1. State Of The Farm Bill: A Conversation With U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Staff
February 22 // 2pm ET
The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future is delighted to welcome U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forest Committee staff for a discussion about the state of the farm bill. Learn about the process for reauthorization, where things stand now, and what is to come for the farm bill. Hear about different bills being proposed to protect, reform, and add to the bill. Engage in a discussion with these insiders on the Hill about the state of SNAP, funding for local food programs, urban agriculture, and local food and healthy food access programs in the farm bill. Submit your questions for the presenters when you register or bring them with you to the conversation. Register here

2. Webinar: Farm to Institution New England (FINE) Metrics
February 27 // 11-12pm ET 
The New Hampshire Food Alliance is excited to share their newly created webinar series highlighting the importance of food systems work going on across New Hampshire, and in many cases the information presented proves valuable throughout the Northeastern region. The next webinar will feature work by Farm to Institution New England, and their research on the impact of the farm-to-institution sector, including barriers and recommendations about local food procurement and policy. Register here

3. Farm to School 101 & Funding Opportunities
February 28 // 5pm ET
USDA’s Office of Community Food Systems and the National Young Farmers Coalition invite you to attend “Farm to School 101 & Funding Opportunities.” This webinar will cover what USDA means by “farm to school”, the different ways to incorporate farm to school programs into your business plan, and how working with schools can impact and bring value to your operation.  Funding, including grant opportunities, will be covered. Register here.

4. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Engaging Farmers in Farm to School

March 1 // 2pm ET
One of the primary objectives of farm to school is to strengthening the connection that communities have with local food producers. Farmers and producers can also garner economic and social benefit through these strengthened relationships. Join this webinar to hear from farm to school practitioners and farmers about innovative yet practical approaches to engaging farmers in a wide variety of farm to school activities and learn how this engagement contributes to kids, communities, and farmers winning through farm to school. Register here.  

5. The Business of Farm to School
March 15 // 5pm ET
This webinar will cover the procurement (purchasing) rules that schools follow, describe questions and talking points to discuss when selling to and building relationships with schools, identify which products schools are looking for, and highlight the different Child Nutrition Programs (CNP’s) that provide these opportunities- hint- it’s not just school lunch! This webinar is coordinated by USDA Office of Community Food Systems and the National Young Farmers Coalition, and is geared towards farmers and producers selling to schools as a new market. Register here


Events
1. Registration Open for 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 25-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
Early Bird registration is now open for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This biennial event, hosted by the National Farm to School Network, is the top national training and networking event for farm to cafeteria professionals working to improve community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. Get the best rates on all ticket options by registering before March 9. Regular registration closes April 9. Learn more at www.farmtocafeteriaconference.org

2. School Nutrition Association’s Spring Industry Boot Camp
May 9-10 // National Harbor, MD
Are you an industry representative new to the multi-billion-dollar school nutrition market, or a seasoned veteran that wants to brush up on the intricacies of this complex segment? Designed specifically for industry partners, SNA's Spring Industry Boot Camp is a dynamic educational seminar that provides a thorough overview of today's school nutrition environment, including new information on procurement ethics, a tour of a local cafeteria and a two-hour panel discussion with major city school nutrition directors. Reserve your spot here

3. National Children & Youth Garden Symposium 2018
July 11-14 // Ithaca, NY
National Children & Youth Garden Symposium is excited to be back to Ithaca, New York this year. Join this gathering to network with like-minded teachers, garden designers, community leaders, program coordinators, and others involved with connecting kids to the natural world. Registration opens in April. Learn more here


Job Opportunities
1. Program and Production Coordinator, Montezuma School to Farm Project 
The Montezuma School to Farm Project (MSTFP) seeks a Program and Production Coordinator. MSTFP's mission is to unite local agricultural heritage with its growing future by engaging students at the crossroads of sustainable agriculture, resource conservation, health and economics through educational experiences in outdoor garden classes, on field trips and summer farm camps. Apply here by February 26 at 5pm MT. 

2. Chef Educator & Kitchen Manager, Greensboro Children’s Museum
Greensboro Children’s Museum seeks to hire a full-time, Edible Schoolyard Chef Educator & Kitchen Manager. This position is responsible for leading and coordinating all aspects of the cooking school at The Edible Schoolyard at GCM. Learn more here

3. RFS Programs Outreach Coordinator, Catholic Charities New Hampshire 
The NH Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities NH, seeks a Recipe For Success (RFS) Program Outreach Coordinator. The RFS Program Coordinator position is responsible for coordination support of USDA Summer Food Service Sponsorship and Cooking Maters. Learn more here

4. Assistant Director of Education, Wright-Locke Farm Conservancy
Wright-Locke Farm Conservancy is hiring an Assistant Education Director to help develop, manage, and facilitate outdoor youth programs for its 2018 program season. The Assistant Education Director is a full-time position held March-October 2018. Learn more here

5. Farm Educator, Calypso Farm & Ecology Center

Calypso Farm & Ecology Center in Fairbanks, Alaska is seeking a full-time Farm Educator for April 3-September 29. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Nutrition and school gardens off to great start in Louisiana 
Students in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade at Bains Lower Elementary School have been gardening and learning about nutrition this year during their Play 30 physical activity time. (The Advocate)

Illinois students learn to cook healthy foods

Convinced she didn't like red bell pepper, the fourth-grader tried it on a slice of homemade pizza – and found out it tasted good. "Also I never thought I liked pepperoni," Brooklyn said. "Now I like it." Trying new foods, and learning how to cook healthy foods, is a goal of the after-school cooking class at St. Peter School that complements efforts to offer healthier foods in the school cafeteria. (Herald-Whig)

Indiana serves up first batch of school-raised beef to students

Cheeseburgers and beef tacos were on the menu this week at Maconaquah Middle School. But these weren’t just any cheeseburgers and tacos. They were made from a cow raised by students right outside the cafeteria doors. (Kokomo 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.

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