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National Farm to School Network

News

This Week in Farm to School: 1/30/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, January 30, 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. Get Schools Cooking
Chef Ann Foundation has opened applications for Get Schools Cooking, a comprehensive three-year program that includes on-site assessment, strategic planning, and continued technical support for school districts transitioning to scratch-cooked operations. Learn more and apply today.

2. Center for Disease Control Grant
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced the availability of fiscal year 2018 funds to implement initiatives to improve student health and academic achievement through nutrition, physical activity, and the management of chronic conditions in schools. This grant is available to state education agencies (SEAs). Deadline: March 5, 2018. Learn more here


Webinars
1. Selecting, Installing, and Managing School Garden Bed Systems
January 30 // 4-5 PM ET
The National School Garden Network is presenting this webinar focused on choosing the best garden bed system for your school garden program. When you are working with multiple school garden sites, the number of variables to consider increases and using standardized bed systems with all of your schools can provide both benefits and challenges. In this webinar, we will hear from SGSOs who have developed  standard garden bed packages and find out what has worked for them and how they source their materials. Register here

2. Anybody can be an advocate: Measuring your council's readiness to work on policy
January 31 // 1:30 - 2:45 pm EST
The Food Policy Networks project is offering a webinar on the Get it Toolgether: Assessing Your Food Council's Ability to Do Policy Work toolkit. Adapted from the Alliance for Justice’s Advocacy Capacity Tool (ACT), the toolkit is designed to help food policy councils (or similar coalitions of diverse stakeholders) assess their capacity to do policy work. It provides them with appropriate resources to increase their knowledge of the policy process and improve their advocacy skills. Join us for a conversation with the toolkit developers to learn about how the toolkit can be used to advance your council’s policy efforts. Register here.

3. Empowered Eaters: A Road Map for Stronger Nutrition Education Policies

January 31 // 3-4 PM ET
The Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior is presenting this webinar. With such a pressing need today for great nutrition education, alongside accessible and affordable healthy food, how are federal, state, and local governments responding? To answer this, the Tisch Food Center just launched a series of “Empowered Eaters” reports. This webinar details the landscape of public policy and investment in nutrition education, using New York as a case study. The reports provide a road map to strengthen the complex public systems that currently support nutrition education. SNEB Members attend webinars free as a benefit of membership. Non-member cost is $25. Register here

4. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Farm to School and Food Waste 

February 1 // 2-3 PM ET
Farm to school initiatives across the country are changing the way students and community members view and consume fresh, local foods and interact with their local food community. In many places, that change includes reducing food waste. From food banks to composting to sharing tables, join the National Farm to School Network's February Trending topics webinar to learn about best practices, initiatives, and resources to reduce food waste through farm to school. Register here

5. NFSN WEBINAR Advancing Equity Through Farm to School
February 13 // 3-4pm ET
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) recognizes racial and social equity as a central tenet of farm to school and has just released an organizational equity statement to publicly convey NFSN's commitment to advancing equity through farm to school and to share our equity journey. Join NFSN partners and staff on February 13 at 3pm ET to review the organization's equity statement and to hear from farm to school practitioners about their successes and challenges with advancing equity through farm to school. Register here

6. Beef to School Webinar
February 13 // 4:00pm EST
Join USDA's Office of Community Food Systems, Montana Beef to School Project, Montana State University, and school food service directors to learn about successful strategies for serving local beef in schools. The webinar will explore the Montana Beef to School Project’s findings and resources - including two new beef to school solicitation templates designed to help school districts purchase local beef! Participants will also hear from two school food service directors who will share their strategies and lessons learned for purchasing and serving local beef in schools. 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. Scholarship applications to cover the cost of registration fees and/or selected short courses continue to be accepted until Feb. 12 at 8pm ET. Learn more at www.farmtocafeteriaconference.org

2. 41st Annual National Food Policy Conference 
March 28-29 // Washington, DC
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. Learn more here.

3. 2018-19 Northeast Farm to School Institute 
June 26-28, 2018 // Shelburne, VT
The Northeast Farm to School Institute is a unique year-long professional learning opportunity for twelve school teams from New England and New York. Whether you're a long-time Farm to School advocate or looking to begin integrating food, farm, and nutrition programs into your school community, you're invited to form a team and apply. Learn more and apply


Resources
1. Equity in Farm to School
As a network of farm to school stakeholders and partners in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and U.S. Territories, the National Farm to School Network has the unique opportunity to work alongside communities to address inequities in the food system. We also hold significant collective potential to advance racial and social equity as a central tenet to organizational programming, partnerships and policies, which enables the accomplishment of our vision and strengthening of the farm to school movement. We invite you to learn about our commitment and join us in making farm to school a reality for every community across our country. 

2. FNS Releases First Mobile App with Food Buying Guide

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has announced its first ever mobile application, putting critical information at the fingertips of food service professionals and making it easier for them to serve wholesome, nutritious, and tasty meals through FNS’s child nutrition programs. “The Food Buying Guide" Mobile App mobile app is available to the public and can be an immediate resource to over 280,000 program operators responsible for USDA’s National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Summer Food Service Program as well as the countless food industry representatives working with these programs. 

3. Happy Multicultural Children's Book Day!

January 27 was Multicultural Children's Book Day. To celebration, the Food Trust's Ready Set Grow program shared this outstanding multicultural collection of farm to ECE books. A great collection for reading any time of year!


Policy News

1. House Forms Bipartisan Nutrition Group 
The Food is Medicine Working Group was formally launched in the House of Representatives last week, and is focused on emphasizing the link between nutrition programs and health outcomes. The group is part of the House Hunger Caucus and is led by Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.).

2. Update on H.R. 3738, “The Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act” 
H.R. 3738, or “The Healthy Breakfast Help Kids Learn Act of 2017,” was introduced on September 12, 2017 and now has 31 legislators signed on as cosponsors of the bill. 


Farm to School in the News

Massachusetts schools encourage healthy eating
District Wellness Director Ryan Sherman said the McGovern School - which serves the town’s preschool through first-grade students - will have a new garden this year. In addition to tying in to the school’s science curriculum, the plan for the garden is to encourage students and teachers to eat more fresh produce, he said. “If students are involved in the production of healthy foods, they’re more likely to try them,” he said, noting the importance of establishing healthy habits at an early age. (Milford Daily News)

Oregon students going ‘green’

The grossest job is probably, “digging through the compost and peeling the stickers off banana skins,” said student Jayden Dewitt.“’Tis not for the fainthearted,” chimed in classmate Quinn Kelley. Eighteen middle school students in teacher Garron Lamoreau’s leadership class are working to achieve “zero waste” lunches and other environmental goals at Butte Creek to make it the only certified Oregon Green School in the Silver Falls School District. (Statesman Journal)

Arizona school harvests and sells crop of winter veggies
“We teach the business end of agriculture and agribusiness as well as the things the students need to know to grow a garden,” said CGMS teacher Michael Cruz. (PinalCenteral)

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: 1/23/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, January 23, 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. Center for Disease Control Grant
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced the availability of fiscal year 2018 funds to implement initiatives to improve student health and academic achievement through nutrition, physical activity, and the management of chronic conditions in schools. This grant is available to state education agencies (SEAs). Deadline: March 5, 2018.

2. 2018 Project Orange Thumb Grant Application
The Fiskars Project Orange Thumb Grant Program will grant 30 recipients $3,500 in gift cards and tools to help support their goals of neighborhood beautification and horticulture education. The garden initiative must be for a not-for-profit or 501(c)(3) organization within North America that has not received a Project Orange Thumb grant in the past. The Project Orange Thumb team looks for organizations committed to the long-term success of gardens that will promote healthy and sustainable food sources, community collaboration and neighborhood beautification. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Using the new Economic Impact Calculator to Assess your Project: A Discussion on the Connections to the USDA AMS Toolkit and Framing Used to Develop the Calculator
January 24 // 2-3 PM ET
During this webinar oriented toward local food practitioners and project managers, presenters will highlight the use of two key resources for conducting economic impact studies of food system initiatives. The first is a new online calculator to estimate economic impacts of representative food system. Through a collaborative companion project, this calculator follows the best practices for project framing and assessment laid out in the USDA’s “The Economics of Local Food Systems: A Toolkit to Guide Community Discussions, Assessments and Choices.”  The webinar will include partners who intend to use this new tool, and preview another webinar that will explore some of the applied research that can help us better understand how to further refine our economic impact estimates and add more value to the calculator’s results. Register here.

2. #CommunityFood: It Takes a Network

January 24 // 3:30 PM ET
The National Food Food Network invites you to join this webinar where they will launch the  Food Systems Leadership Network, a new national Community of Practice dedicated to supporting non-profit community-based organizations working on food systems change.  In this webinar, we will introduce the Food Systems Leadership Network, highlight its unique components (mentorship and grant opportunities), and discuss how the Network will add value to both your organization’s work and your growth as a food systems practitioner. Register here.

3. A Closer Look at how the Business Decisions and Financial Performance of Local and Regional Small and Mid-Size Farms Influence Community Economic Outcomes
January 25 // 2-3 PM ET
This webinar for agricultural lenders, economic development professionals, and others interested in the economic outcomes associated with local foods will highlight the results of a number of projects that explore the role of local and regional food business strategies on financial performance of participating farms. We highlight early framing of this sector from a USDA NIFA project led by Oklahoma State and Colorado State Universities, recently published results on financial performance from USDA Ag Resource Management Survey data and results from Cornell University’s analysis of New York’s Greenmarkets. Register here

4. Selecting, Installing, and Managing School Garden Bed Systems

January 30 // 4-5 PM ET
The National School Garden Network is presenting this webinar focused on choosing the best garden bed system for your school garden program. When you are working with multiple school garden sites, the number of variables to consider increases and using standardized bed systems with all of your schools can provide both benefits and challenges. In this webinar, we will hear from SGSOs who have developed  standard garden bed packages and find out what has worked for them and how they source their materials. Register here

5. Empowered Eaters: A Road Map for Stronger Nutrition Education Policies
January 31 // 3-4 PM ET
The Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior is presenting this webinar. With such a pressing need today for great nutrition education, alongside accessible and affordable healthy food, how are federal, state, and local governments responding? To answer this, the Tisch Food Center just launched a series of “Empowered Eaters” reports. This webinar details the landscape of public policy and investment in nutrition education, using New York as a case study. The reports provide a road map to strengthen the complex public systems that currently support nutrition education. SNEB Members attend webinars free as a benefit of membership. Non-member cost is $25 Register here

6. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Farm to School and Food Waste 

February 1 // 2-3 PM ET
Farm to school initiatives across the country are changing the way students and community members view and consume fresh, local foods and interact with their local food community. In many places, that change includes reducing food waste. From food banks to composting to sharing tables, join the National Farm to School Network's February Trending topics webinar to learn about best practices, initiatives, and resources to reduce food waste through farm to school. Register here

7. NFSN WEBINAR Advancing Equity Through Farm to School

February 13 // 3-4pm ET
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) recognizes racial and social equity as a central tenet of farm to school and has just released an organizational equity statement to publicly convey NFSN's commitment to advancing equity through farm to school and to share our equity journey. Join NFSN partners and staff on February 13 at 3pm ET to review the organization's equity statement and to hear from farm to school practitioners about their successes and challenges with advancing equity through farm to school. Register here

8. New Jersey Farm to School Summit

March 14 // Mercerville, NJ
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture will host the second bi-annual Farm to School Summit on Wednesday, March 14 at the Robert Wood Johnson Conference Center. The day-long event will feature key players in Farm to School from across the state who will share their work in promoting school gardens, educating students in food literacy, providing taste test education with local produce procurement and nutrition education, and sharing best practices to highlight the impact these efforts are having in the schools they serve. Attendance is free with a light breakfast and lunch included. Register here. Space is limited.


Resources
1. National Young Farmers Coalition's FSA Guidebook
The Farm Service Agency Loans: The Ins and Outs of Growing a Farm with Federal Loans guidebook is written specifically to help beginning farmers and ranchers navigate the credit options offered by the Farm Service Agency, and was made possible by a cooperative agreement with FSA. Find more information on NYFC's website.The guidebook is a great resource for farmer trainings and can be shared widely. 


Take Action
1. Scholarships Open for 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
The National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications for scholarships to the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This event is the top national training and networking event for farm to cafeteria professionals working to improve community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. To ensure the conference reflects the full diversity of the movement, scholarships are prioritized for farmers and farm support organizations, farm to college / hospital practitioners, early care and education providers, food service professionals, persons of color, and youth (through age 22). Learn more and submit your application at farmtocafeteriaconference.org. The deadline to apply is Feb. 12 at 8pm ET.

2. Call for Proposals for the 2018 Place-Based Food Systems Conference
The Place-Based Food Systems Conference 2018 is now accepting proposals for presentations, manuscripts and/or posters. Community organizations, NGOs, and other civil society groups as well as academic institutions are highly encouraged to apply. Submission deadline: March 31st, 2018. Apply here


Job Opportunities 
1. Farm Director, Hillside School
Hillside School seeks to hire a new Farm Director to lead and manage their 25-acre farm. Learn more here.

2. Community Based Food Systems Intern, Wallace Center
The Wallace Center at Winrock International is seeking a Community Based Food Systems Intern to be based in Little Rock, AR or Arlington, VA. Learn more here

3. Youth Education Director, Mass Ave Project

The Buffalo, NY-based Mass Ave Project (MAP) seeks to hire a Youth Education Director. Learn more here

4. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Apprenticeship, CEFS

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Apprenticeship Program is seeking individuals from a variety of different backgrounds to participate in a hands-on work and study program that trains participants in many aspects of sustainable agriculture production and research. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News

North Mariana Island students tour agriculture center
“Part of promoting gardens at schools is to show the students where food comes from. Our islands import many perishable fruits and vegetables, of which may be produced on our islands. The importance of growing foods at school or at home is to help the students and their families understand sustainability. Sustainability in a sense where we can produce some foods at our homes for consumption, therefore decreasing some costs spent on imported fruits and vegetable” (Saipan Tribune)

Farm to School and Early Care Success in Minnesota

Check out this video featuring Minnesota's farm to school and early care programs.Farm to School and Farm to Early Care programs provide children with access to fresh, healthy food, while supporting local farmers in their communities.(Center for Prevention MN)

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s service, Washington revitalizes school garden

Volunteers rolled up their sleeves on Martin Luther King Day and got a little dirt under their nails, while also working to give the students of Suquamish Elementary School an opportunity to learn about gardening, botany and healthy eating. (Kitsap Daily News)

Kansas FFA students build school garden and pond

A garden to provide food for students who need it and a pond to give those with disabilities a quiet space. On Saturday, members of FFA participated in a community day building a garden and a koi fish pond on school property.(KWCH)

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: 1/16/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, January 16, 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. America's Promise Healthy Schools Fund
The America's Promise Healthy Schools Fund will support communities working to create healthier school environments for all children. Recognizing that school-centered health intersects with many areas outside of education - housing, employment, transportation, and food access - as well as many audiences, efforts should serve as a hub for cross-sector collaboration, youth and community engagement, and broader policy and systemic change. America’s Promise will award three to five, two-year grants of up to $30,000. Applications are due January 22. Learn more here

2. Center for Disease Control (CDC) Grant
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced the availability of fiscal year 2018 funds to implement initiatives to improve student health and academic achievement through nutrition, physical activity, and the management of chronic conditions in schools. This grant is available to state education agencies (SEAs). Deadline: March 5, 2018.

3. 2018 Project Orange Thumb Grant Application

The Fiskars Project Orange Thumb Grant Program will grant 30 recipients $3,500 in gift cards and tools to help support their goals of neighborhood beautification and horticulture education. The garden initiative must be for a not-for-profit or 501(c)(3) organization within North America that has not received a Project Orange Thumb grant in the past. The Project Orange Thumb team looks for organizations committed to the long-term success of gardens that will promote healthy and sustainable food sources, community collaboration and neighborhood beautification. Learn more here


Webinars & Events

1. NFSN WEBINAR Leveraging State Farm to School Networks to Affect Legislation
January 18 // 2-3pm ET
Join the National Farm to School Network to learn how state farm to school networks and stakeholders can have an impact on local and state legislation that supports farm to school efforts. Guest speakers will include Natalie McKinney, Executive Director of the Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation and NFSN Hawai’i Core Partner, discussing lessons learned from organizing, advocating and keeping the pressure on to successfully pass state farm to school policy. Attendees will learn about the importance of advocacy and education with policy decision makers, and take away tips and tools for jumpstarting advocacy efforts in their own communities. This webinar is open to the public, and anyone interested in learning about farm to school policy is encouraged to attend. Register here

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Farm to School and Food Waste 
February 1 // 2-3 PM ET
Farm to school initiatives across the country are changing the way students and community members view and consume fresh, local foods and interact with their local food community. In many places, that change includes reducing food waste. From food banks to composting to sharing tables, join the National Farm to School Network's February Trending topics webinar to learn about best practices, initiatives, and resources to reduce food waste through farm to school. Register here

3. Life Lab's 2018 School Garden Workshops
Santa Cruz, CA
In Life Lab's Garden Classroom on the UC Santa Cruz campus, professional trainers bring inspiration and information to educators interested in bringing learning to life in the garden. Workshops are available on a variety of garden / outdoor learning topics and will be hosted throughout 2018. For more details and registration information, visit: www.lifelab.org/gcworkshops


Resources & Research
1. Supporting Local Food Councils
Supporting Local Food Councils” is a free resource that is open to all. There are 15 modules in the course, which take about 1-2 hours per module to complete. There is no deadline for completion and the videos/course materials can be accessed at any time – including during your food council meetings. This resource was designed with extension professionals and other community development specialists in mind as these individuals are often asked to engage in local food 
systems work. 

2. Question Keeper Database

The Question Keeper Database, from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Local Foods, is a database of survey questions that allows you to build your own evaluation questionnaire. The overall purpose is to enable everyone working in the area of food systems do their own evaluation. The Question Keeper recently expanded farm to school/early care and education content and is easily searchable by content areas and target audience. Find out more and register for a free account here. If you would like to suggest survey/question content to add to the database, please email Lacy Stephens (lacy@farmtoschool.org). 

3. Food Justice Requires Land Justice
"The food justice movement is one of the most promising political developments of the last generation. It has broadened and deepened environmentalism by knitting together concerns about economic inequality, labor rights, environmental health, and sustainable agriculture. But what often goes unmentioned in discussions of food justice is that it all begins with the land—who owns it, how they own it, and how it gets passed down from one generation to the next. This is something Savi Horne never forgets: food justice requires land justice." Read more here.


Take Action

1. Scholarships Open for 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
The National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications for scholarships to the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This event is the top national training and networking event for farm to cafeteria professionals working to improve community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. To ensure the conference reflects the full diversity of the movement, scholarships are prioritized for farmers and farm support organizations, farm to college / hospital practitioners, early care and education providers, food service professionals, persons of color, and youth (through age 22). Learn more and submit your application at farmtocafeteriaconference.org. The deadline to apply is Feb. 12 at 8pm ET.

2. Start Planning for National School Breakfast Week (March 5–9)
Have you started planning for National School Breakfast Week (NSBW)? Students, parents, food service staff, educators, public officials, and advocates from across the country will be celebrating school breakfast during NSBW — March 5–9, 2018.


Job Opportunities 

1. Director of Communications & Member Relations, Federation of Southern Cooperative/ Land Assistance Fund
The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund is seeking an accomplished Director of Communications & Member Relations who has 5-10 years of communications experience. Learn more here

2. Director of Finance and Administration, Tilth Alliance
Tilth Alliance seeks a Director of Finance and Administration to act as a key member of the senior leadership team, overseeing the organization’s financial planning and management functions. Learn more here

3. Multiple Positions, New Haven Ecology Project/Common Ground 

Common Ground seeks a Farm Based Education Coordinator  and an Interim Farm Manager for their New Haven, CT based program. 


Farm to School in the News
Washington Breakfast After the Bell and Farm to School
Washington HB 1508 passed the House on January 10, 2018. The bill acknowledges that school food programs are associated with improvements for students’ absenteeism, test results and graduation rates. Furthermore, it requires “high-needs” schools to offer breakfast after the bell to each student. Finally, the bill also increases support for farm to school programs. (School Nutrition)

Wisconsin Farm to School steps away from PTO

It’s been a busy year for Cambridge’s Farm to School Program. It has maintained a Chef in the Classroom series, arranged for the planting of berries, greens and other produce at school farms, gardens and greenhouses, hosted pizza-making nights and taught elementary schoolers to recycle and to compost their lunch leftovers. Now, the Farm to School program is making possibly its biggest move yet. Recently, it stepped out from under the umbrella of the Cambridge PTO, where it had been a committee, and became its own organization. (HNG News)

Mancos Ranch helps supply Colorado farm to school program

A year and a half into its existence, Durango School District 9-R’s food distribution center is thriving and has allowed the district to expand its offerings. The distribution center aggregates fruits, vegetables and meat from local farms for 9-R and other nearby school districts. (The Journal)

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: 1/9/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, January 09, 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. America's Promise Healthy Schools Fund
The America's Promise Healthy Schools Fund will support communities working to create healthier school environments for all children. Recognizing that school-centered health intersects with many areas outside of education - housing, employment, transportation, and food access - as well as many audiences, efforts should serve as a hub for cross-sector collaboration, youth and community engagement, and broader policy and systemic change. America’s Promise will award three to five, two-year grants of up to $30,000. Applications are due January 22. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. NFSN WEBINAR Leveraging State Farm to School Networks to Affect Legislation
January 18 // 2-3pm ET
Join the National Farm to School Network to learn how state farm to school networks and stakeholders can have an impact on local and state legislation that supports farm to school efforts. Guest speakers will include Natalie McKinney, Executive Director of the Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation and NFSN Hawai’i Core Partner, discussing lessons learned from organizing, advocating and keeping the pressure on to successfully pass state farm to school policy. Attendees will learn about the importance of advocacy and education with policy decision makers, and take away tips and tools for jumpstarting advocacy efforts in their own communities. This webinar is open to the public, and anyone interested in learning about farm to school policy is encouraged to attend. Register here

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Farm to School and Food Waste 
February 1 // 2-3 PM ET
Farm to school initiatives across the country are changing the way students and community members view and consume fresh, local foods and interact with their local food community. In many places, that change includes reducing food waste. From food banks to composting to sharing tables, join the National Farm to School Network's February Trending topics webinar to learn about best practices, initiatives, and resources to reduce food waste through farm to school. Register here

3. Call for Workshop Proposals for MT Farm to School Summit 2018
Organizers are seeking presenters for the Montana Farm to School Summit: Cultivating Connections, to be held Sept. 13-14, 2018 at University of Montana in Missoula. Proposals are open for workshop (50 minute) and Montana Food Talks (5 minute) sessions. The deadline to submit a proposal is March 31, 2018. Learn more here


Take Action
1. Scholarships Open for 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
The National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications for scholarships to the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This event is the top national training and networking event for farm to cafeteria professionals working to improve community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. To ensure the conference reflects the full diversity of the movement, scholarships are prioritized for farmers and farm support organizations, farm to college / hospital practitioners, early care and education providers, food service professionals, persons of color, and youth (through age 22). Learn more and submit your application at farmtocafeteriaconference.org. The deadline to apply is Feb. 12 at 8pm ET.

2. USDA Farm to School Census coming in 2019
The USDA Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) plans to initiate data collection for the 2019 Farm to School Census in early 2019 for school year 2017 – 2018. We are halfway through the school year, so now is the time to think about how you track your farm to school activities. Need some assistance tracking your activities? Check out USDA’s Farm to School Activity Tracking Sheets or connect with your USDA Farm to School Regional Lead for guidance.


Job Opportunities 
1. 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

2. Little City Sprouts Coordinator, Hartford Food System
Hartford Food System is seeking a part-time Coordinator to direct and implement our Little City Sprouts (LCS) program. LCS provides children aged 2-5 years in Hartford, CT early learning centers with the opportunity to learn about, grow, cook and taste fresh healthy food through food-related field trips, gardening, nutrition, and cooking lessons designed for them. Learn more here

3. Food Tank Research and Writing Fellowship
Food Tank is hiring two highly skilled, creative, and hardworking Research and Writing Fellows with experience in and a commitment to food justice, food policy, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture. Learn more here

4. Communications Director, Food Solutions New England
Food Solutions New England seeks a Communication Director. The position is based at the Sustainability Institute at UNH. To learn more, visit the UNH Job Page. All applicants MUST apply through the UNH job page. The position is number PS0704FY18, Communication Director, Food Solutions New England. The deadline to apply is January 21, 2018. 


Farm to School in the News

New York Governor Announces $1 Million Awarded to 12 Farm to School Programs
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $1 million has been awarded to 12 farm to school projects across New York State. The projects will benefit 219,471 students in seven regions across the state. The program also supports the expansion of the NY Thursdays Program, a school meal initiative that uses local, farm-fresh foods on Thursdays throughout the school year. (New York State Governor’s Office)

Indiana FFA chapter teaches ag from piggy to plate
Farm to school activities are paying off for Paoli Jr. Sr. High School’s FFA chapter. They are now able to buy all of their own inputs by selling the products they produce. And in addition to selling to the school, the chapter has also been selling pork and lettuce to retailers and restaurants in the community. (Ag Daily)

Where's the beef (from)? Hawai’i school lunches go local
Hawaii's effort to grow its own food is taking a step forward as public school students are being served locally-grown beef for the first time in decades."The DOE is committing to a whole year of these purchase, very similar," said Jayson Watts of the Lieutenant Governor's office. "They're going to try a whole lot of different things," including bananas and mangoes. Locally-grown bananas are next for the farm to school tryout next month. (HawaiiNewsNow)

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: 12/19/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, December 19, 2017
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. Get Out and Grow: School Garden Sweepstakes 
Your school could win $15,000 toward a garden—plus a visit from a Team USA Athlete! Smucker Away From Home wants to help schools across the country develop gardens that help cultivate hard work and healthy eating habits. The Get Out and Grow School Garden Sweepstakes is open to School Administrators or Foodservice Directors of K-12 schools. Learn more and apply here.

2. America's Promise Grant
As many as five two-year grants of up to $300,000 are available for school districts and organizations working toward creating healthier school environments. This exciting new funding opportunity is brought to you by America's Promise Alliance in partnership with FoodCorps and four other core partners. Deadline to apply is January 22, 2018. Watch the informational webinar and learn more here.

3. Tater Tats Seed Fund Grants for Growers

Are you a growers? Tater Tats aims to help people grow vegetables--whether that means growing vegetables for the first time, expanding an operation, or experimenting with crazier, more delicious varieties. They applaud commitment to the land, to biodiversity, to the legacy of heirloom varieties, and want to help you grow! Tater Tats is giving ten percent of 2017 sales to subsidize seed purchases by offering $300 grants to vegetable producers nationwide. The deadline for next year's funding is December 31, 2017. Learn more and apply here


Webinars
1. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics: SNAP-Ed and Farm to School
January 4 // 2-3pm ET
SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education), an evidence-based program aimed at helping people make healthier food choices and live healthier lives, offers a growing opportunity to bring food, nutrition and agriculture related education as well as gardening, local food procurement and other farm to school initiatives into schools and communities across the country. We will hear from practitioners from University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and other SNAP-Ed programs about the integration of farm to school in both direct education and policy, systems and environmental change SNAP-Ed initiatives. Register here.

2. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to ECE Quarterly Webinar: Placing Equity at the Center of Farm to Early Care and Education

January 9 // 3-4:15pm ET
At the intersection of multiple sectors, including policy, education, food systems and social justice, farm to early care and education (farm to ECE) can be a platform for advancing racial and social equity. Access to farm to ECE opportunities may be one approach to addressing health and education inequities by increasing access to healthy, local foods and high-quality education opportunities for children and communities while promoting ECE policies that address inequity. Farm to ECE can, at the same time, address inequities in the food system by changing ECE purchasing practices and policies. Join the National Farm to School Network, the Policy Equity Group, the Food Trust, and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems to learn how these organizations are both evaluating internal structures and practices to prioritize equity and working towards programs and policies that place equity at the center of farm to ECE initiatives. Register here.

3. Webinar: Opportunities in the 2018 Farm Bill: Federal Efforts to Advance Equitable and Sustainable Food Systems

Jan. 9 // 3-4:15pm ET
This webinar will provide a brief overview of the Farm Bill and status of the reauthorization process, as well as highlight four key policy pillars within the legislation: the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), healthy food incentive programs such as Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI), and sustainable agricultural and local/regional food system development. Speakers will discuss challenges and opportunities in each policy arena and highlight opportunities to get involved in shaping the next Farm Bill. Hosted by the Healthy Food Access Portal. Register here

4. NFSN WEBINAR Leveraging State Farm to School Networks to Affect Legislation

January 18 // 2-3pm ET
Join the National Farm to School Network to learn how state farm to school networks and stakeholders can have an impact on local and state legislation that supports farm to school efforts. Guest speakers will include Natalie McKinney, Executive Director of the Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation and NFSN Hawai’i Core Partner, discussing lessons learned from organizing, advocating and keeping the pressure on to successfully pass state farm to school policy. Attendees will learn about the importance of advocacy and education with policy decision makers, and take away tips and tools for jumpstarting advocacy efforts in their own communities. This webinar is open to the public, and anyone interested in learning about farm to school policy is encouraged to attend. Register here


Take Action
1. Scholarships Open for 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
The National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications for scholarships to the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This event is the top national training and networking event for farm to cafeteria professionals working to improve community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. To ensure the conference reflects the full diversity of the movement, scholarships are prioritized for farmers and farm support organizations, farm to college / hospital practitioners, early care and education providers, food service professionals, persons of color, and youth (through age 22). Learn more and submit your application at farmtocafeteriaconference.org. The deadline to apply is Feb. 12 at 8pm ET.

2. 2018 Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference Call for Proposals
Hosted at University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu campus July 27-29, 2018. Exploring themes of: Indigenous knowledge, decolonization and socio-ecological resiliency in agroecology and sustainable food systems education. Proposals are due by 11.59 pm on Feb. 5, 2018. Learn more and submit your proposal here

3. NYC: GreenThumb GrowTogether 2018 Workshop Request for Proposals

Help ring in GreenThumb’s 40th anniversary through workshops based around the theme “Honoring our Roots.” You are invited to submit a workshop proposal for the 34th Annual GreenThumb GrowTogether Conference on Saturday, March 31, 2018. Please submit your proposals by Monday, January 8, 2018. Learn more and submit your proposal here

4. USDA Inviting Comments on School Lunch Ingredients

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is inviting comments on what it called “food crediting,” the system that defines how each food item fits into a meal for the National School Lunch Program and other federal child nutrition programs. 


Resources 
1. 2018 Farm Bill Updates
The U.S. House Committee on Agriculture has launched a new online resource designed to provide updates and information related to the 2018 Farm Bill. 

2. 25 Children’s Books Growing Young Minds
Food Tank has compiled a list of 25 children’s books that can help stimulate food and agriculture awareness across all ages. From learning about where food comes from and the hardworking hands that grow it, to the importance of vibrant ecosystems, to cultural food diversity, these books will make great gifts for hungry young minds. Read more


Job Opportunities
1. Multiple Positions, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project's Farmer Training Team seeks to higher an Incubator Farm Manager and a Beginning Farmer Education & Curriculum Coordinator. Both positions are based in Lowell, MA. 

2. ProFarmer In-field Education Manager, Hudson Valley Farm Hub

The Hudson Valley Farm Hub is seeking a full time ProFarmer In-field Education Manager. She/he/they will be responsible for in-field instruction, mentoring, and the daily supervision of ProFarmer trainees, who are full-time, year-round Farm Hub employees. Learn more and apply

3. Farm Director, Hillside School
Hillside School for boys seeks to hire a full-time Farm Director to manage their 25-acre farm. Learn more and apply.


Farm to School in the News
Florida Elementary students to share harvest
“The kids love it,” said program educational coordinator Krista Keisu on Wednesday, December 6. “It’s so crazy to see them get excited about trying broccoli and cucumbers. They get to be part of growing the food, which makes them more inclined to want to try it.” (The Gabber)

Mississippi State University students design agriculture optional school in Tennessee

Seventeen undergraduates and two master’s students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences landscape architecture major spent the semester reimagining the master plan of Bolton High School in Arlington, Tennessee. Located in a small town just northeast of Memphis, the high school plans to return to its rich agricultural roots as an agriculture optional school. The school district has optional programming, with schools that provide “creative and rigorous coursework and extra-curricular programs” with a “specialized learning focus.” (MSU News)

Foodie fight: Louisiana Schools’ culinary programs compete to create the next top lunch

High school students will vote with their plates Thursday, Dec. 14, in school cafeterias across St. Tammany Parish to help choose the winner of the Pro Start culinary program Grab and Go Menu Competition. (New Orleans Advocate)

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: 12/12/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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. Tater Tats Seed Fund Grants for Growers
Are you a growers? Tater Tats aims to help people grow vegetables--whether that means growing vegetables for the first time, expanding an operation, or experimenting with crazier, more delicious varieties. They applaud commitment to the land, to biodiversity, to the legacy of heirloom varieties, and want to help you grow! Tater Tats is giving ten percent of 2017 sales to subsidize seed purchases by offering $300 grants to vegetable producers nationwide. The deadline for next year's funding is December 31, 2017. Learn more and apply here


Webinars
1. Webinar: You are How You Eat: Food, Culture, and Social Inequality
December 12 // 12-1pm ET
Community Food Center's Canada presents this webinar focused on how inequality plays out through a variety of aspects of our current food culture. Though there are synergies and momentum toward progressive change building within the food movement, there are also complex dynamics related to race, class, gender, and social inequality. Sociologist Alice Julier has looked at subjects ranging from food as a vehicle for gentrification to how race, gender, and socio-economic experience reveal themselves around the dinner table. Register here

2. Webinar: Food Policy Storytelling: An Introduction to Harnessing the Power of Story Maps
December 13 // 1-2:15pm ET 
Sharing a powerful food policy story is vital to garnering support for new policies. Esri Story Maps, a web-based tool that combines maps with narrative text, images, and multimedia content, provides one platform to develop and share these stories. Join us for an overview of the types of story maps available, how they have been used to tell impactful food policy stories, and a brief demonstration to help you get started making a story map of your own. You will hear from the head of Esri’s Story Maps team as well as a practitioner that has used story maps to communicate about her work on environment, agriculture, and food policy in Missouri. Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future staff members will also share their experiences using story maps to support food policy in Maryland. Register here

3. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics: SNAP-Ed and Farm to School
January 4 // 2-3 PM ET
SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education), an evidence-based program aimed at helping people make healthier food choices and live healthier lives, offers a growing opportunity to bring food, nutrition and agriculture related education as well as gardening, local food procurement and other farm to school initiatives into schools and communities across the country. We will hear from practitioners from University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and other SNAP-Ed programs about the integration of farm to school in both direct education and policy, systems and environmental change SNAP-Ed initiatives. Register here.

4. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to ECE Quarterly Webinar: Placing Equity at the Center of Farm to Early Care and Education
January 9, 2018 // 3-4:15pm ET
At the intersection of multiple sectors, including policy, education, food systems and social justice, farm to early care and education (farm to ECE) can be a platform for advancing racial and social equity. Access to farm to ECE opportunities may be one approach to addressing health and education inequities by increasing access to healthy, local foods and high-quality education opportunities for children and communities while promoting ECE policies that address inequity. Farm to ECE can, at the same time, address inequities in the food system by changing ECE purchasing practices and policies. Join the National Farm to School Network, the Policy Equity Group, the Food Trust, and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems to learn how these organizations are both evaluating internal structures and practices to prioritize equity and working towards programs and policies that place equity at the center of farm to ECE initiatives. Register here.

5. Webinar: Opportunities in the 2018 Farm Bill: Federal Efforts to Advance Equitable and Sustainable Food Systems
Jan. 9, 3-4:15pm ET
This webinar will provide a brief overview of the Farm Bill and status of the reauthorization process, as well as highlight four key policy pillars within the legislation: the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), healthy food incentive programs such as Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI), and sustainable agricultural and local/regional food system development. Speakers will discuss challenges and opportunities in each policy arena and highlight opportunities to get involved in shaping the next Farm Bill. Hosted by the Healthy Food Access Portal. Register here


Events
1. Rooting DC
March 3, 2018 // Washington, DC
Rooting DC is a free day-long conference on urban agriculture and gardening. Rooting DC is currently seeking conference proposals for both interactive hour-long workshops and 7-minute "pressure cooker" talks that explore the topics of urban food consumption and production. The Workshop proposal deadline is Friday December 15, 2017. Submit your proposal here

2. MSU: Center for Regional Food Systems' Food Talk 2017
December 14 // East Lansing, MI and Virtual via ZOOM
In Food Talk 2017 each TED talk-style speaker will focus on one important food system issue, followed by a few minutes for questions. Food Talk is a unique opportunity to engage with MSU Faculty, Academic Staff, and Extension Educators helping to improve our food system. You have the option to register to attend in-person or via Zoom live streaming. Register here


Resources & Research
1. Study: Farm to school programs limit plate waste
Researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences found that students at schools with a farm to school program ate 37% more vegetables and 11% more fruit than the average student consumed before their school adopted the program, according to the release. The study is published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, according to the release. Read more

2. An Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the U.S. Food System: Fifth Edition
Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems presents this annotated bibliography which provides current research and outreach on structural racism in the U.S. food system for the food system practitioner, researcher, and educator. Structural racism in the United States has been defined as the “normalization and legitimization of an array of dynamics—historical, cultural, institutional, and interpersonal—that routinely advantage whites while producing cumulative and chronic outcomes for people of color. This fifth edition contains 9 videos and 47 new citations.

3. Are states creating equitable school funding systems?
Research shows state lawmakers may be falling short when crafting equitable school funding systems. One analysis shows that 21 states - up from 14 the year before - provide less funding to schools with higher concentrations of low-income students. Read more


Job Opportunities
1. Multiple Positions, National Young Farmers Coalition
The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) seeks a California Organizer to mobilize young farmers and ranchers across California to advocate for critical policy reform, and a full-time Policy Specialist to grow their federal policy team in DC. Learn more

2. Agriculture Institute Director, University of Wisconsin Extension

The Agriculture Institute Director is a senior level administrator who will provide organizational and cross-disciplinary leadership for the Agriculture Institute within Cooperative Extension. This full-time role will be responsible for strategic, financial, and operational oversight of centers within the institute, including the Center for Animal Agriculture, Center for Crops and Soils, Center for Farm Management, and Center for Horticulture. Learn more

3. Operations Assistant, Fair Food Network
Fair Food Network seeks to hire an Operations Assistant to be primarily based out of the Ann Arbor, Michigan office, but will also be responsible for maintaining the Detroit office and liaising with out-of-state staff on their local offices. This position is full-time. Learn more

4. Farm-to-Early Care and Education Program Specialist, Boulder County Public Health  
The Farm-to-Early Care and Education Program Specialist position is responsible for completing the goals and objectives of the FTECE Program with partial support provided by the City of Boulder Health Equity Funding for Boulder residents. This is a part time, benefited position. Learn more

5. Education Coordinator, Real Food Farm 
Real Food Farm is seeking an Education Coordinator Real Food Farm is Civic Works’ 8-acre urban farm enterprise that grows fresh vegetables and fruit in and around Clifton Park in Northeast Baltimore. Learn more


Farm to School in the News
Farm Fresh Fridays introduce Texas students to new veggies
“I tried the zucchini and I had not tried it before,” Bell said. “I thought it was a cucumber and I really liked it because it had a kick to it.” Students even experimented with the vegetables and dipped them in sauces and paired them with other foods from their lunches. (Killeen Daily Herald)

Thanksgiving starts in the garden for California students 
Each year in the fall, Crane School’s fifth-grade students harvest veggies from the school’s garden beds and prepare a big pot of soup for their class. They use a pitchfork to gently pry each carrot loose from the dirt. (Santa Barbara Family Life)

New greenhouse expands opportunities in Missouri
Central Missouri Master Gardeners has built a greenhouse for Callaway Hills Elementary School that will in time help students develop their green thumbs, and provide more vegetables to the school cafeteria and the Samaritan Center. (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: 12/05/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, December 05, 2017
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 FY 2018 Farm to School Grant RFA 
The USDA FY 2018 Farm to School Request for Applications (RFA) is now open. On an annual basis, USDA awards up to $5 million in competitive grants for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs. Applications are due Dec. 8, 2017. Learn more here

2. NIFA’s Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program (AgVets)
AgVets seeks to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on, and immersive model farm and ranch programs offered regionally that lead to successful careers in the food and agricultural sector. The program encourages the development of training opportunities specifically designed for military veterans. Eligible applicants must be nonprofit entities.The letter of intent deadline is Jan. 11, 2018. The application deadline is Feb. 8, 2018. See the request for applications for details.

3. Farm Asset Builder

Farm Asset Builder is an Individual Development Account (IDA) matched savings program. Farmers work with Angelic Organics Learning Center and partners to improve their financial and business planning skills, while also saving a monthly portion of their earned farm income that will then be MATCHED! Savings will then be used to purchase items (or assets) that help grow your farm business. Application period ends Friday, December 8, 2017. Read more and apply


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Building a Successful Food Forest
December 6 // 3:30-4:30 CT
The Wisconsin School Garden Network is partnering with colleagues at La Crosse Area Family YMCA, GROW La Crosse, and Coulee Region Ecoscapes to discuss how to build a successful food forest. A food forest, large or small, is a great way to enhance your youth garden with fruit trees, fruiting shrubs, and other edibles! Register here

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics: Youth Engagement through Farm to School
December 7 // 2-3pm ET
Farm to school initiatives across the country are changing the way young people view and consume fresh, local foods and interact with their community. This month’s focus on youth engagement through farm to school will highlight unique approaches and initiatives to engage youth in their communities and food systems and empower youth to be leaders and active voices in the farm to school movement. Join us for the webinar to hear speakers discuss initiatives, best practices, resources and more to boost youth engagement in farm to school. Register here

3. Webinar: You are How You Eat: Food, Culture, and Social Inequality

December 12 // 12-1pm ET
Community Food Center's Canada presents this webinar focused on how inequality plays out through a variety of aspects of our current food culture. Though there are synergies and momentum toward progressive change building within the food movement, there are also complex dynamics related to race, class, gender, and social inequality. Sociologist Alice Julier has looked at subjects ranging from food as a vehicle for gentrification to how race, gender, and socio-economic experience reveal themselves around the dinner table. Register here

4. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to ECE Quarterly Webinar: Placing Equity at the Center of Farm to Early Care and Education
January 9, 2018 // 3-4:15pm ET
At the intersection of multiple sectors, including policy, education, food systems and social justice, farm to early care and education (farm to ECE) can be a platform for advancing racial and social equity. Access to farm to ECE opportunities may be one approach to addressing health and education inequities by increasing access to healthy, local foods and high-quality education opportunities for children and communities while promoting ECE policies that address inequity. Farm to ECE can, at the same time, address inequities in the food system by changing ECE purchasing practices and policies. Join the National Farm to School Network, the Policy Equity Group, the Food Trust, and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems to learn how these organizations are both evaluating internal structures and practices to prioritize equity and working towards programs and policies that place equity at the center of farm to ECE initiatives. Register here.

5. Food Tank Summit Events

Each Summit features 30+ speakers (to be announced soon) and includes a delicious breakfast and lunch, with tons of other terrific opportunities and surprises. Washington, D.C. Summit (February 28): Cultivating the Next Generation of Young Food Leaders presented in partnership with George Washington University and World Resources Institute, Seattle Summit (March 17): Growing Food Policy presented in partnership with Food Action, and Boston Summit (April 19): Exploring the Paradox of Hunger and Obesity presented in collaboration with the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and Oxfam America. Read more


Resources & Research
1. School Nutrition Association’s 2017 Trends Report
As school nutrition professionals work to promote healthier choices and boost school meal participation, a recent SNA survey reveals school menus feature more international flavors, made-to-order entrees and cleaner label options. Read More.

2. Racial Equity in the Farm Bill: Context and Foundations
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has launched a new blog series focused on the Farm Bill as a tool for advancing racial equity in food and agriculture. In this first post from the series, NSAC wades into the complex and historical issues of racial equity, setting the stage for subsequent posts that will focus on the specific challenges faced by people of color in the food and farm system and recommendations for creating lasting institutional change.


Job Opportunities
1. Program Manager, Green Shoots for New Americans
The Green Shoots for New Americans - Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program (RAPP) is an educational urban farming program, located on Buffalo, New York's east side, that provides adult refugees adaptive farming and marketing skills. Green Shoots seeks to hire a Program Manager. Learn more

2. Executive Director, The Northern Colorado Food Cluster

The Northern Colorado Food Cluster is looking for an Executive Director to lead the organization in promoting food systems-led economic development in the Northern Colorado region. Learn more

3. Farm Manager, Allegheny Mountain Institute
Allegheny Mountain Institute is seeking a Farm Manager to manage the farm central to AMI's Farm and Food Education Fellowship, an intensive, hands-on cooperative experiential learning and training program in Highland County, VA. Learn more

4. Education Director, Wright-Locke Farm
Wright-Locke Farm is now hiring an Education Director to develop, manage, and facilitate youth and adult education programs. The Education Director is a full-time, year-round salaried position. Learn more

5. Garden Teacher, Pacific Elementary School 
Pacific School in California is hiring a Garden Teacher. Grow food with kids for a leading school meal program. Truly a unique school and part-time job. Learn more


Farm to School in the News
Anchorage School District is Really Living the Farm to School Dream
What do you get when you combine a former Minnesotan who grew up on a farm, a farmer in the Matanuska Valley who has many potatoes too small to sell, and 30,000+ Thanksgiving meal lunches for students in Anchorage schools? You get an excited Student Nutrition Department Executive Director, a happy farmer, and students thrilled about the fresh, nutritious, local mashed potatoes in their lunch! (KTVA The Voice of Alaska

New Mexico Teacher Prepares Fresh Lunches for 160 Students Every Day - From Scratch

“On pizza day, I will make five full-sized trays of focaccia and split down the middle, so we have 10 pieces. We make tomato sauce (sometimes we use fresh tomatoes from the school garden) and fresh herbs, we top that with green chile and other toppings. The kids go crazy … I love that.” (Babble)

Iowa Schools are Using Local Produce to Make Global Recipes
Every school day in October, the 550 students at Decorah Middle School sampled recipes from around the world. This program not only connected students to global foods, they also made local connection by using local, seasonal fruit and vegetables whenever possible. (The Lunchbox)

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



This Week in Farm to School: 11/28/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 28, 2017
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 FY 2018 Farm to School Grant RFA 
The USDA FY 2018 Farm to School Request for Applications (RFA) is now open. On an annual basis, USDA awards up to $5 million in competitive grants for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs. Applications are due Dec. 8, 2017. Learn more here

2. Voices for Healthy Kids (VFHK) Grant 
Voices for Healthy Kids (VFHK) has opened a new round of funding to specifically support school health at the state and local level. Applications are due Dec. 8, 2017 and must be focused in passing policy related to these specific issue areas: Physical Education, School Marketing, Wellness Policies, School Food – Meals & Smart Snacks standards, Water Access. Watch this webinar for more information. 

3. Farm Asset Builder
Farm Asset Builder is an Individual Development Account (IDA) matched savings program. Farmers work with Angelic Organics Learning Center and partners to improve their financial and business planning skills, while also saving a monthly portion of their earned farm income that will then be MATCHED! Savings will then be used to purchase items (or assets) that help grow your farm business.  Application period ends Friday, December 8, 2017. Read more and apply


Webinars

1. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics: Youth Engagement through Farm to School
December 7 // 2-3pm ET
Farm to school initiatives across the country are changing the way young people view and consume fresh, local foods and interact with their community. This month’s focus on youth engagement through farm to school will highlight unique approaches and initiatives to engage youth in their communities and food systems and empower youth to be leaders and active voices in the farm to school movement. Join us for the webinar to hear speakers from as they discuss initiatives, best practices, resources and more to boost youth engagement in farm to school. Register here

2. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to ECE Quarterly Webinar: Placing Equity at the Center of Farm to Early Care and Education

January 9, 2018 // 3-4:15pm ET
At the intersection of multiple sectors, including policy, education, food systems and social justice, farm to early care and education (farm to ECE) can be a platform for advancing racial and social equity. Access to farm to ECE opportunities may be one approach to addressing health and education inequities by increasing access to healthy, local foods and high-quality education opportunities for children and communities while promoting ECE policies that address inequity. Farm to ECE can, at the same time, address inequities in the food system by changing ECE purchasing practices and policies. Join the National Farm to School Network, the Policy Equity Group, the Food Trust, and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems to learn how these organizations are both evaluating internal structures and practices to prioritize equity and working towards programs and policies that place equity at the center of farm to ECE initiatives. Register here.


Events

1. National Farmers Union Online Conference
December 4-7
This FREE four-day online conference is focused on developing agricultural leaders from all backgrounds, and provides an opportunity for beginning farmers to acquire the skills they need to run a successful operation. The conference will highlight leaders in the field of agriculture and focus on building a network for beginning farmers and ranchers throughout the country. Register here.

2. Future Harvest CASA's Conference
January 11-13 // College Park, Maryland
The program for Future Harvest CASA's 19th Annual Cultivate the Chesapeake
Foodshed Conference is up and registration is open. This conference offers over 40 sessions and pre-conference workshops; three nationally renowned keynotes -- Gabe Brown, Michael Twitty, and Ira Wallace -- farmer-to-farmer chats and quick-learn "lightning rounds." Register here

3. National Child Nutrition Conference

April 19-21, 2018 // San Antonio, TX
Scholarship applications for the 2018 National Child Nutrition Conference is open now through Wednesday January 24, 2018. Fifteen winners will receive complimentary conference registration, lodging and $300 towards travel. The recipients will be selected by the conference committee and notified by February 9, 2018. Scholarships are available in all the following categories: CACFP Sponsoring Agency, Head Start, School District, Food Bank, Tribal Nation, At-Risk/Afterschool, Summer Food, Child Care Center/Home Provider. Learn more.


Resources & Research
1. First Nation Institute's New Nutrition Education Toolkit for FDPIR
The First Nations Institute has launched a new FDPIR Nutrition Education Toolkit. The toolkit provides resources to help Native communities prepare healthy and tasty meals using the foods available through the FDPIR program. It contains free educational resources, including several cookbooks, videos featuring traditional foods and cooking methods, and additional materials on traditional, ancestral beverages. One of the featured resources is the First Nations cookbook, titled Cooking Healthier with FDPIR Foods, which provides healthy recipes using foods found in the FDPIR food package. 

2. Results and Recommendations from the 2017 National Young Farmer Survey
America’s farmers are retiring and need replacements. But who will take their place? A new survey by the National Young Farmers Coalition finds that today’s young farmers are doing things differently than generations past. They are operating smaller farms, growing more diverse crops, selling directly to consumers, committed to sustainable and conservation-minded farming practices, highly educated, primarily female, increasingly racially diverse, and optimistic about the future. Learn more about the challenges they face and opportunities for policy reform to support them by reading the report here: www.youngfarmers.org/survey2017

3. Study: Impact of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act on School Breakfast & Lunch Participation Rates
A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health evaluated National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program participation over a 7-year period before and after the implementation of the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), which required healthier school lunch options beginning in school year (SY) 2012–2013 and healthier school breakfast options beginning in SY2013–2014. Results from the study find that the HHFKA did not have a a negative impact on school meal participation over time. Read more

4. Article & Research: Becoming (and Remaining) a Farmer is Hard

Civil Eats looks at the new academic research that suggests the 2014 Farm Bill’s efforts to support beginning farmer initiatives may not have been effective for addressing many of the obstacles beginning farmers face, including access to land, student loan debt, and, in the case of farmers of color, discrimination from predominantly white land owners in this country. Many farmer advocacy groups say the biggest issues facing beginning farmers are more structural and systemic than a lack of skills. “These structural barriers—whether rooted in informal social networks or systemic ethnocentrism, hold back some beginning farmers who otherwise energetically apply themselves to overcoming their individual knowledge deficits.” Read more.  


Job Opportunities

1.Working Lands Alliance Project Director, American Farmland Trust
American Farmland Trust seeks an energetic self-starter to lead Connecticut’s Working Lands Alliance (WLA). This is a telework position and requires extensive travel throughout Connecticut and occasional travel elsewhere in the region. Read more here

2. Midwest Cover Crop Assistant, Practical Farmers of Iowa
Practical Farmers of Iowa is seeking an experienced professional to serve as our Midwest Cover Crop Assistant who will work directly with the growing PFI Cover Crop Team. Read more here


Farm to School in the News

In New Jersey, garden recess continues to grow
“There​ ​are​ ​some​ ​students​ ​who​ ​come​ ​to​ ​the​ ​garden​ ​every​ ​week​​ ​​​simply​ ​to make​ ​a​ ​connection,​ ​to talk​ ​and​ ​play​ ​quietly​ ​with​ ​the​ ​adults​ ​or​ ​other​ ​children​ ​in​ ​the garden. Others​ love​ ​to​ ​​search​ ​in​ ​the​ ​compost​ ​and​ ​under rocks​ ​and​ ​logs​​ ​for​ ​insects,​ ​salamanders ​and​ ​snakes.”​ Some students run ​into​ ​the​ ​garden to​ ​pull​ ​a​ ​carrot,​ ​paint​ ​a​ ​picture​ ​or​ ​taste​ ​some​ ​food​ ​before returning ​to​ ​their​ ​recess​ ​play. (Village Green NJ)

Alabama school partners with local restaurant on herb project

Students at the Dothan Technology Center will plant herbs, tend to them as they grow, then sell them to a local restaurant at market price. "The basis of it is to allow special needs and at risk students the ability to start doing tasks and jobs that can help them perform when they reach adulthood." (Dothan First)

In Michigan, students and families celebrate Thanksgiving tradition

The annual Thanksgiving tradition at the Grand Haven school is based on the book, “Stone Soup.” In the book, townspeople share their food to make a meal for everyone. In addition to donated ingredients, students harvested their school garden for items such as potatoes, parsley, kale, onion, oregano, turnips and carrots. The kids also made bread and butter to accompany the soup. (Grand Haven Tribune)

New York middle school students host harvest dinner
Eighth-grade students at Saranac Lake Middle School entertained their parents at the Harvest Dinner with an array of projects focused on sustainability, pollution and taking care of the earth. (Adirondack Daily Enterprise)


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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