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National Farm to School Network

News

This Week in farm to school: 12/20/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Every week, we share opportunities, action items and a selection of media stories that relate to the farm to school movement. To submit an item for consideration, send us an email. To be considered, content should be of national interest to the farm to school community. Note: This Week will be on break for the next two weeks, and will resume Jan. 10, 2017. 



Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: January NFSN Farm to ECE Webinar: Good Food, Great Kids Project 
January 11, 3:30-5pm ET
pfc Social Impact Advisors, in partnership with the National Farm to School Network and the BUILD Initiative, recently developed a series of case studies on the emerging benefits of farm to early care and education (farm to ECE) initiatives. These case studies, along with the accompanying policy report, explore the policy and practice of how communities are joining forces to bring farm to ECE programs to vulnerable children and families. Join us to hear from Hilda Vega, Vice President of Programs at pfc Social Impact Advisors, about the important lessons gleaned from the project and from the team at Norris Square Community Alliance, one of the featured case studies, about how their farm to ECE model is supporting equity and inclusion in the ECE setting. Register here

2. Early Bird Deadline: Southern SAWG Conference
Jan. 25-28, 2017 // Lexington, KY
For over 25 years the Southern SAWG Annual Conference has been providing the practical tools and solutions you need. It is the must-attend event for those serious about sustainable and organic farming and creating more vibrant community food systems. This popular event drew over 1,400 farmers and local food advocates from across the nation last year. The general conference line-up includes 56 educational sessions, plus a state networking session for each of the 13 states in Southern SAWG’s region, and another 16 information exchange sessions where you get to exchange ideas and information with those who share your interests. Early bird registration closes Dec. 21. Learn more here

3. Save the Date: Local Foods Impact Conference
April 3-4, 2017 // Washington DC + Livestream
Congressionally authorized grant and loan programs to support local food systems have expanded in recent years. Quantifying and evaluating the impacts of these programs is critical. The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, in partnership with The George Washington University, will host a Local Food Impacts Conference April 3 and 4, 2017 in Washington DC. Join to explore how to best measure the impacts of local food investments, improve coordination across USDA agencies, and evaluate the extent to which disparate local food investments are complementary and reinforcing. Beyond metrics, this conference provides an opportunity to share local food stories with incoming members of the new Administration and Congress. Learn more here

4. Save the Date: New England Farm to Institution Summit 2017
April 5-7, 2017 // Leominster, Mass. 
The 2017 New England Farm to Institution Summit will bring together more than 500 people who are leveraging the power of schools, colleges, hospitals and other institutions to transform our food system. Learn more here


Jobs & Opportunities

1. Request for Applications: National Farm to School Network Core Partners for 2017-2019
National Farm to School Network is seeking partner organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. Territories (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands) to serve as NFSN Core Partners for 2017-2019, the next phase of farm to school and farm to early care and education growth and evolution. Organizations and agencies interested in and capable of contributing to the advancement of farm to school and ECE are encouraged to apply. Applications are due January 26, 2017. Learn more and apply at farmtoschool.org/rfa

2. Policy Specialist, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is seeking a Policy Specialist. The Policy Specialist, one of six Policy Specialists at NSAC, reports to NSAC’s Policy Director. NSAC advocates on a wide range of federal farm and food policy issues and each Policy Specialist focuses on a variety of those issues. This position will focus on farm conservation and environmental policies and programs plus at least one other issue cluster, to be determined. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Grady Scarbrough named Rural Health Champion
Dorothy Grady Scarbrough, the Executive Director of Mississippians Engaged in Greener Agriculture (MEGA) and NFSN partner, has been named a Rural Healthy Champion, an honor bestowed by the Myrlie Evers-Williams Institute for the Elimination of Health Disparities at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Read about her tireless work to connect her community to healthy food. Congratulations, Dorothy! 

Trafalgar Middle School goes farm to table
Students at a Florida middle school enrolled in agriscience classes help maintain an on-campus garden. School nutrition professionals use about 70% of the food produced in the garden, including lettuce, radishes, carrots and fruits. (via The News-Press)

Chicken coop boosts farm-to-school efforts

A Vermont elementary school will ring in the new year with a chicken coop that will house 12 chickens year-round for students to care for and learn from. The idea stemmed from a weeklong workshop the Vermont Farm to School Network held at Shelburne Farms. (via Waterbury Record)


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: 12/13/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, December 13, 2016

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



Grants & Funding
1. Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships
Annie’s scholarship program assists undergraduate and graduate students pursuing studies in sustainable and organic agriculture. This year, 15 winners will each be eligible to receive $10,000. The program is open to full-time undergraduate and graduate students studying at an accredited two- or four-year college or graduate school in the United States for the 2017/2018 school year. Applications must be postmarked by January 6, 2017. Learn more here

2. NEA Foundation: Grants to Educators 
The NEA Foundation is providing mini-grants for projects and programs that can support STEM learning, such a urban farming and other farm to school activities. Deadlines for applications are due Feb. 1, June 1, and Oct. 15. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: January NFSN Farm to ECE Webinar: Good Food, Great Kids Project 
January 11, 3:30-5pm ET
pfc Social Impact Advisors, in partnership with the National Farm to School Network and the BUILD Initiative, recently developed a series of case studies on the emerging benefits of farm to early care and education (farm to ECE) initiatives. These case studies, along with the accompanying policy report, explore the policy and practice of how communities are joining forces to bring farm to ECE programs to vulnerable children and families. Join us to hear from Hilda Vega, Vice President of Programs at pfc Social Impact Advisors, about the important lessons gleaned from the project and from the team at Norris Square Community Alliance, one of the featured case studies, about how their farm to ECE model is supporting equity and inclusion in the ECE setting. Register here

2. Save the Date: Community Food Systems Conference
December 5-7, 2017 // Boston, Mass. 
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project's Community Food Systems Conference will address common underlying themes between food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture including obstacles in urban and rural environments and fostering community empowerment to create and sustain resilient local food systems. Learn more here


Resources
1. Study: School Gardens in the City
In a newly published University of Maryland study of D.C. school gardens, researchers tracked significant differences in fifth-grade test results between students with gardens and those without. In reading, for example, 61 percent of students in garden schools tested as proficient or advanced, compared with 38 percent in schools without gardens. For math, the difference was 56 percent compared with 36 percent, and for science, 47 percent against 21 percent. Read the study here

2. School Meal Approaches, Resources, and Trends (SMART) Study
The Kids’ Safe and Healthful Foods Project, a joint initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, recently released findings from its School Meal Approaches, Resources, and Trends (SMART) Study, a national survey of 489 school nutrition directors representing school food authorities (SFAs) across the country. The report, School Meal Programs Innovate to Improve Student Nutrition, identifies approaches that have attracted children to school meals and improved their consumption of healthy options since passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The report shows that school meal programs have made great progress in getting students to eat healthy foods and many see few or no remaining challenges to implementing updated breakfast and lunch nutrition standards. Learn more here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Health & Wellness Program Coordinator, Berkeley Unified School District
The Health & Wellness Program Coordinator will assist in planning, coordinating, developing and implementing the District’s health and wellness curriculum; develop and prepare lesson plans and deliver instruction to students and families of diverse populations from a variety of cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds; develop instructional materials, methods and exercises centered on healthy nutrition, healthy cooking, physical activity and other health and wellness areas; assist in establishing program goals and objectives. Apply by January 3, 2017. Learn more here

2. PhD Research Assistantship in the Economics of Farm to School
The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (DARE) at Colorado State University is recruiting students to participate in a research project focused on evaluating the different economic impacts of farm to school programs on households, communities, and farm/value chain participants. More information can be found here


Farm to school in the news
As school gardens spread, so do the teaching moments
Some school garden lessons are obvious, such as the biology of growing a radish from seed. But the garden offers insights that go far beyond the brass tacks of cultivation. Geology, hydrology, poetry, music, ecology, cooking and microbiology all find a home in this arena we call a garden, as well as dozens of other subjects beyond most people’s imagination. Washington Post

Turnip! Talented Teens Create Rap Video Encouraging Kids To Eat Healthy
Teen members of Appetite for Change in North Minneapolis, Minn., have come up with an infectious hip-hop song appropriately titled "Grow Food," which hears the young people rap about the benefits of healthy eating. Essence 

Alabama students build outdoor classrooms
Students at an elementary school in Alabama are constructing two outdoor classrooms that include raised garden beds. The students are growing cabbage, kale and lettuce in the new beds. Shelby County Reporter 

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: 12/6/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, December 06, 2016

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



Grants & Funding
1. USDA Farm to School Grant RFA - due this week!
USDA has announced  the release of the FY 2017 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications. Up to $5 million in grant funds is available to help schools create or strengthen farm to school programs this school year. Awards ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 will be distributed in four different grant categories: Planning, Implementation, Support Service, and Training.  Applications are due by December 8, 2016. Learn more here

2. KidsGardening 2017 Youth Garden Grants
The 2017 Youth Garden Grant is an award designed to support school and youth educational garden projects that enhance the quality of life for students and their communities. Any nonprofit, school, or youth program in the United States planning a new garden program or expanding an established one that serves at least 15 youth between the ages of 3 and 18 is eligible to apply. A total of 20 programs will be awarded. Applications are due December 15, 2016. Learn more here

3. Carton 2 Garden 2017 Contest
Evergreen Packaging and KidsGardening.org are proud to present its third annual national Carton 2 Garden Contest. Open to public and private schools, contest winners will be selected based on their implementation of an innovative garden creation featuring creative and sustainable uses for repurposed milk and juice cartons. Fourteen entries will be selected to receive award packages for their efforts. Submissions are due April 12, 2017. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Sourcing and Storing Local, Fresh Foods for School Breakfast 
December 8, 3pm ET
Are you seeking out new ways to increase the use of fresh, local goods in your School Breakfast Program? Hear best practices for sourcing local dairy, grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables for school breakfast. Learn the strategies for maximizing the shelf life of these food products and how incorporating local foods can boost student satisfaction with the program. Hosted by FRAC. Register here

2. Webinar: How States are Leveraging Medicaid to Expand Health Services in Schools
December 15, 1-2pm CT
The Healthy Students, Promising Futures Learning Collaborative includes a growing number of state teams from Departments of Education and Medicaid who are exploring ways to expand health services in schools and leverage funding through Medicaid. The Collaborative is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in partnership with Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) and Trust for America’s Health (TFAH). This webinar will provide an overview of the Collaborative and highlight preliminary findings, successes and challenges that the state teams are facing. Register here

3. Webinar: January NFSN Farm to ECE Webinar: Good Food, Great Kids Project 
January 11, 3:30-5pm ET
pfc Social Impact Advisors, in partnership with the National Farm to School Network and the BUILD Initiative, recently developed a series of case studies on the emerging benefits of farm to early care and education (farm to ECE) initiatives. These case studies, along with the accompanying policy report, explore the policy and practice of how communities are joining forces to bring farm to ECE programs to vulnerable children and families. Join us to hear from Hilda Vega, Vice President of Programs at pfc Social Impact Advisors, about the important lessons gleaned from the project and from the team at Norris Square Community Alliance, one of the featured case studies, about how their farm to ECE model is supporting equity and inclusion in the ECE setting. Register here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Fruits & Veggies-More Matter Public Health Role Model or Champion
Are you seeking recognition for all of your efforts around increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables in your schools and communities? The Fruits & Veggies-More Matters Campaign (Produce for Better Health Foundation) is an opportunity to be recognized for your work promoting the consumption of fruits and vegetables in your schools and communities. Farmers/Agricultural Producers, Industry/Retail Professionals, Public Health Educators, and School Food Service employees can all be nominated as Role Models or Champions. Applications must be submitted by Jan. 5, 2017. More information can be found here


Farm to school in the news
New York Awards $500,00 for Farm to School Programs
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that $500,000 has been awarded to seven farm to school projects across New York State to increase the amount of healthy, locally grown foods offered on school menus. The projects, funded through the State’s Farm-to-School Program, will benefit nearly 300,000 students. Read more here

Providing Locally-Grown Food To Vermont Prison Kitchens
Some of Vermont's prisoners are helping to prepare Vermont-raised foods for their fellow inmates as part of a new "farm-to-prison" program. The food service that is used by some Vermont prison kitchens is run by a Newport-based organization, Green Mountain Farm-to-School. Vermont Public Radio 

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: 11/29/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 29, 2016

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



Grants & Funding
1. Voice for Healthy Kids Grant
The American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are working to create a culture of health through Voices for Healthy Kids. The goal of the grant opportunities within this initiative is to make effective strategic investments in ongoing state, local, and tribal public policy issue campaigns in order to increase public policy impact on healthy weight and living among children. Voices for Healthy Kids is focusing efforts in schools, community, and out-of-school time/early care and education. The deadline for application submission is Thursday, December 15, 2016. Learn more here

2. Lead2Feed Leadership Challenge Accepting Student Entries for Service Learning Projects
The Lead2Feed Challenge was created by the Foundation for Impact on Literacy and Learning and the Lift a Life Foundation, with assistance from the Yum! Foundation, to encourage middle and high school students to hone their leadership skills by completing a service-learning project that addresses a community need. Teams of students in 6th - 12th grades are invited to enter the challenge. Each team must complete the Lead2Feed lessons and create and execute a service-learning project designed to find and fill a need in their community. First-, second-, third- and honorable mention prizes of $20,000, $10,000, $5,000 and $1,000, respectively, will be awarded, for a total of up to $275,000.  Up to 50 teams will be recognized as winners. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. National Farmers Union Beginning Farmers - Free Online Conference
December 5-8
National Farmers Union is gearing up to host "Growing for the Future,” a new, free, online conference that will focus on issues faced by beginning farmers and ranchers, including: mentorship, business planning, USDA programs, student loans, land tenure, food safety, women and veterans in farming, conservation, and much more! The virtual conference will be held December 5-8, from 5pm to 8pm EST, and will feature a number of top speakers in agriculture, farmer-to-farmer webinars, live Q&A, a discussion board, a resource center and free giveaways. Registration is free: http://bit.ly/Growing4TheFuture


Research & Resources
1. New Resource: Reach for the Stars with Farm to Preschool
Developed by the North Carolina Farm to Preschool Network, this resource has been created to help child care centers and family child care homes integrate farm to preschool activities into their curriculum while addressing the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS). The resource is organized by four farm to preschool activities (Edible Gardening with Young Children, Farm Field Trips/Farmer Visit with Young Children, Local Food Classroom Cooking/Taste Test with Young Children, and Local Food Served in Meals and/or Snacks). ECER sub-scale items and indicator are aligned with suggested farm to preschool activities. In addition to enriching the educational experience, this resource demonstrates how star ratings can be enhanced though farm to preschool programming. Learn more here

2. State ESSA Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness - Framework for Action
This document focuses on supporting advocates who are interested in working with state-level policymakers to develop state ESSA plans. It provides practical resources and emphasizes several key areas with the greatest potential impact on student health. Learn more here

3. Research: Increasing Prevalence of US Elementary School Gardens, but Disparities Reduce Opportunities for Disadvantaged Students
This study examined the prevalence of school garden programs at US public elementary schools, as well as time trends, demographic and regional disparities, and associations with related programs such as farm-to-school. Conclusions from the study show that garden programs in elementary schools have increased over time, but there is room for wider implementation, particularly at schools serving lower-income students. Given the role of childhood in establishing food preferences and dietary consumption habits, such programs are important and can reinforce the messages imparted through nutrition education. Explore the study here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Policy Director, FoodCorps
FoodCorps is seeking a highly skilled and experienced Policy Director to lead government relations and federal and state policy initiatives at its fast-growing, entrepreneurial national nonprofit organization. As a key member of the Innovations & Strategic Partnerships Team, the Policy Director will develop and maintain enthusiastic relationships with all sectors of the Federal government, including robust relationships with USDA, CNCS, DoE, CDC, and key members of Congress. Learn more here

2. Farm to Institution Program Coordinator 
The Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center (MMFEC) of Lake County Community Development Corporation (Montana) is hiring a Program Coordinator to provide support to its food and agriculture programs. The Coordinator is primarily responsible for providing support to food and agriculture programs of MMFEC, including the Food and Agriculture Development Center (FADC), Cooperative Development program, and Farm to Institution program, through event planning, marketing and promotion, communication and outreach, social media, and program coordination. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Supporting Sustainability With Farm-to-School Food Programs
Since the National Farm to School Network was founded in 2007, the farm to school movement has grown leaps and bounds. Read how farm to school efforts, including the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, have helped transform school meals and educational opportunities for students across the country. U.S. News

Chicago students prepare farm-to-table Thanksgiving for seniors

High school students in Chicago prepared and served a farm-to-table Thanksgiving dinner to 300 senior citizens in their community. All of the food — from the eggs used in the cornbread to the 16 roasted turkeys — came from the school's 78-acre farm. Chicago Tribune 

Farm to School Teaches Kids About Food
Teaching kids where their food comes from is on the minds of farmers and teachers throughout Vermont. When Farmer Julie Walcott isn’t working on her farm, she’s helping teach kids about agriculture and introducing them to vegetable they might not ordinarily find or eat. My Champlain Valley

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: 11/22/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 22, 2016

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



Grants & Funding
1. USDA Farm to School Grant RFA
USDA has announced  the release of the FY 2017 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications. Up to $5 million in grant funds is available to help schools create or strengthen farm to school programs this school year. Awards ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 will be distributed in four different grant categories: Planning, Implementation, Support Service, and Training.  Applications are due by December 8, 2016. Learn more here

2. KidsGardening 2017 Youth Garden Grants
The 2017 Youth Garden Grant is an award designed to support school and youth educational garden projects that enhance the quality of life for students and their communities. Any nonprofit, school, or youth program in the United States planning a new garden program or expanding an established one that serves at least 15 youth between the ages of 3 and 18 is eligible to apply. A total of 20 programs will be awarded. Applications are due December 15, 2016. Learn more here

3. USDA Seeks Grant Applications for Projects to Test Fruit and Vegetable Incentives
In recent weeks, USDA requested a new round of applications for grants provided under the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant program. The FINI grant program provides grants to test incentive strategies and technologies designed to help SNAP participants better afford fruits and vegetables. Projects funded range from small pilot projects to multi-year community-based projects and larger scale multi-year projects, designed to help make the healthy choice an affordable choice for SNAP participants. The deadline to apply for the latest round of FINI grants is December 12, 2016. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. Registration Open: National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference
March 5-7, 2017 // Washington, DC
Join 1,000+ anti-hunger advocates in Washington, D.C., for two days of networking opportunities, content-rich sessions, and interactive training, followed by a day on Capitol Hill. You’ll go home with an arsenal of best practices, innovative advocacy methods, and personal connections to help you better fight hunger in your community, your state, and at the national level. Early bird registration is now open through January 13, 2017. Learn more here

2. Call for Proposals: National Children and Youth Garden Symposium 2017
July 12-25, 2017 // Greater Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington area
NCYGS is a national event to network with like-minded teachers, garden designers, community leaders, program coordinators, and others involved with connecting kids to the natural world.bExplore topics ranging from curriculum to program management to garden design and maintenance during four dynamic days of educational sessions, field trips, and expert keynote presentations. Submit session proposals by Monday, December 5, 2016. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Survey Findings: The How and Why of Local Government Support for Food Systems
In 2015, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) and the International City-County Management Association (ICMA) conducted a second national survey of local government leaders on their policies, programs, plans, and partnerships that support local food systems. More than 2,200 communities responded. The Food Policy Networks project of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future hosted this webinar, which featured CRFS and ICMA offering one of the first in-depth discussions of the study’s findings. Data indicating how and why municipal and county governments across the country are (or are not) supporting local food and farm efforts are presented, followed by discussion with three local leaders about how government supports food system initiatives in their communities. View the webinar here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Chief Programs Officer, Chef Ann Foundation
Chef Ann Foundation seeks a Chief Programs Officer (CPO) to drive the vision for, and oversee the development, implementation and evaluation of all CAF programing. The position will be responsible for ensuring that CAF programing meets the overall mission of the organization and provides schools with needed support to help them create healthier school food. Applications are due by December 15. Learn more here

2. Health Educator II, South Carolina Farm to Institution

Under general supervision of the Farm to Institution Director in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, this position (Health Educator II) will support the implementation of Farm to Institution in South Carolina. This position assists with program expansion, communication outreach, and implementation of Farm to Preschool and other Farm to Institution efforts. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Learning Gardens Plant Seeds for Healthy Food Choices
There are more than 127 learning gardens growing throughout Chicago Public Schools, from pre-kindergarten to high school. “The next generation is the generation that is going to be solving our food system challenges, and so this kind of work, this exposure to what this real food is and what it tastes like, is going to create a generation of people who… are really deeply in touch with what real food is, what it tastes like, and why it’s important and help to make those changes to our food system.” Chicago WTTW

Farm to School Efforts Positively Impact Tribal Communities
Many tribal communities are reconnecting children with their rich history and cultures by establishing farm to school programs. Tribes are integrating traditional foods into the Child Nutrition Programs, sourcing foods locally, incorporating multicultural nutrition education into classroom curriculum and providing hands-on lessons in school gardens. USDA Blog

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: 11/15/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 15, 2016

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



Grants & Funding
1. USDA Farm to School Grant RFA
USDA has announced  the release of the FY 2017 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications. Up to $5 million in grant funds is available to help schools create or strengthen farm to school programs this school year. Awards ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 will be distributed in four different grant categories: Planning, Implementation, Support Service, and Training.  Applications are due by December 8, 2016. Learn more here

2. Youth Garden Grants, Katie's Krops
Katie's Krops is accepting applications from youth between the ages of 9 and 16 for grants to start a Katie's Krops vegetable garden in their community with the purpose of donating the harvest to people in need. Selected applicants will be awarded a gift card to a garden center in their area (of up to $500), support from Katie’s Krops, and a digital camera to document the garden and the harvest. Applications are due December 31. Learn more here


Webinars & Events
1. School Food Focus 2016 National Gathering
Dec. 6-8, 2016 // Braselton, Ga. 
School Food Focus is the national collaborative that ignites change in our food system by working on both the demand and supply sides of school food. Now in its sixth year, the National Gathering is a unique space for attendees to share innovative procurement strategies, connect with supply chain leaders and strengthen the school food movement. Learn more here

2. Request for Proposals: New England Farm to Institution Summit
April 5-7, 2017 // Leominster, Mass. 
The New England Farm to Institution Summit Steering Committee invites you to respond to its request for proposals. Farm to Institution New England will be hosting the second biennial New England Farm to Institution Summit on April 6-7 in Leominster, Mass. Do you have a great idea for a workshop, roundtable, panel, field trip, demo, training, tour or meeting? Session proposal are due Friday, Nov. 18th. Learn more here

3. Whole Food Summit
Online through Nov. 16
Join Dr. Lisa Suski, founder of Miracle of Food, for a free online summit featuring seven food experts discussing issues including plant based eating, fermenting, cooking from scratch and more. Featured speakers include NFSN Advisor Miguel Villareal. Videos from the summit are available through Nov. 16. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. USDA Local School Wellness Policy Outreach Kit
Engage school staff and parents in school wellness using these ready-to-go communication tools. Sharing news about your Local School Wellness Policy is easy with these flyers, presentations, newsletter articles, and social media posts. Your school can personalize them to make them specific to your Local School Wellness Policy activities. Explore the toolkit here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Director, USDA Office of Community Food Systems
After five successful years of leading USDA's farm to school portfolio and launching a new Office of Community Food Systems, Deborah Kane is moving on to new adventures. USDA is currently seeking an equally driven, strategic and nimble leader to guide this high impact program through its next chapter of development. The director must demonstrate extensive experience implementing and managing community food systems or farm to school programming and have proven effective working relationships with community food systems or farm to school practitioners and coalitions. The director oversees a dynamic team that manages the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, conducts and disseminates research, and provides training and technical assistance related to community food systems in child nutrition programs. Applications are due Nov. 15. Learn more here

2. The Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program
The Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program, a project of the Congressional Hunger Center, is a leadership development program that trains, inspires, and sustains a network of leaders committed to social justice. The Emerson program bridges community-based efforts with national public policy to develop Hunger Fellows as effective leaders in the movement end hunger and poverty. Each year 16 participants are selected for this year-long program. Applications for the 2017-2018 class of Emerson Fellows are due January 11, 2017. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Fresh approach with farm-to-school meals in Oakland
Up to 80 percent of the produce served at Oakland Unified School District schools comes from nearby farms, as well as locally processed pasta and meat. As a sign of its commitment, the Oakland school board is now expected to adopt the Good Food Purchasing Policy. Sheila Golden, NFSN California Co-State Lead, says “Oakland is such a great model. They’re one of the biggest districts doing the things they do.” San Fransisco Chronicle 

Bringing food from the farm to school
Seventh- and eighth-graders at Thermopolis Middle School in Wyoming are feeding their school with a new vocational “farm to school” learning course. The course’s 22 students have visited local growers and producers, picked apples for the school lunch program and harvested potatoes from the school garden. Wyoming Daily News

Elementary school shows off garden to state superintendent
Georgia's school superintendent recently visited an elementary school to learn more about its school garden. The garden, which includes more than 100 plant varieties, so far has yielded more than 800 pounds of food. Gwinnett Daily Post

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

This Week in farm to school: 11/08/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 08, 2016

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



Grants & Funding
1. Schoolyard Garden Grants 
This grant provides up to $1,000 for plants, gardening equipment, curriculum, staff development and anything else that fosters connections between K-12 students and nature. Schools may design their own garden, enhance an existing garden, or better use an existing garden. Applications are due on Tuesday, December 16, 2016. Learn more and apply here.


Webinars & Events
1. Healthy and Ready to Learn: State ESSA Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness Webinar
Nov. 17, 11am-12pm CT
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recognizes the need for schools to support the whole child and specifically acknowledges the importance of student health and wellness. To help school health advocates and others take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to integrate health and wellness into education policy and practice, Healthy Schools Campaign and Alliance for Healthier Generation will be releasing Healthy and Ready to Learn: ESSA State Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness. This webinar is an opportunity to learn about this important resource and connect with other advocates working to advance student health and school wellness through ESSA state plans. Register here

2. The Role of State, Local and Tribal Governments
Nov. 17, 3-4:30pm EST
The National Prevention Strategy (NPS) is a guide for improving the health and well-being of every American by shifting the nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on prevention and wellness. This webinar series will highlight ways various partner groups are successfully addressing two key NPS priorities, Healthy Eating and Active Living, in their communities. The next webinar will focus on the role of state, local and tribal governments. Register here


Research & Resources
1. New FSMA resources from NSAC
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition been hearing questions from produce farmers about food safety training and, in particular, whether they need to sign up for a training focused on FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rule for produce farms right away. The short answer is: probably not, but you should start considering your options now! If you grow fruit or vegetables and have questions, check out this just-released FAQ from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition here. It covers such questions as: "Do I have to take a FSMA training?", How do I know if I am covered by the FSMA Produce Rule?", and more!

2. Real Food Standards 2.0
The Real Food Standards were researched over the course of 18 months, with input of 100+ industry experts, farmers, ranchers, fishermen, food service operators, and students. 130 certification and label claims were vetted; 40 now qualify as 'real food' in the final version of the Real Food Guide. Check out our most comprehensive compilation of criteria and certifications to date. Learn more here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Director, USDA Office of Community Food Systems
After five successful years of leading USDA's farm to school portfolio and launching a new Office of Community Food Systems, Deborah Kane is moving on to new adventures. USDA is currently seeking an equally driven, strategic and nimble leader to guide this high impact program through its next chapter of development. The director must demonstrate extensive experience implementing and managing community food systems or farm to school programming and have proven effective working relationships with community food systems or farm to school practitioners and coalitions. The director oversees a dynamic team that manages the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, conducts and disseminates research, and provides training and technical assistance related to community food systems in child nutrition programs. Applications are due Nov. 15. Learn more here

2. Plate to Politics and Communications Coordinator, Women Food & Ag Network
WFAN seeks a Plate to Politics and Communications Coordinator to join its team. This position will coordinate WFAN’s Plate to Politics program, and coordinate WFAN’s communications. Plate to Politics is WFAN’s training program for emerging leaders in healthy food and farming movement. WFAN’s communication efforts are focused on amplifying the voices of WFAN members and ensuring that the media narrative of food and agriculture includes women’s voices and our values of sustainability and food justice. Learn more here

3. Outreach Assistant Intern, Union of Concerned Scientists
Do you want to make food more sustainable? The Union of Concerned Scientists seeks an Outreach Intern to support its campaign to bring more funding to sustainable agriculture. In this paid, nine-month internship, you will organize and engage scientists, experts, and supporters through online and offline activities, coordinate outreach events, and assist with research and writing for UCS materials. Apply by November 21. Learn more here.  


Farm to school in the news
“Boat-to-School” Programs Source Fresh Seafood for Students
“This is a lesson farm-to-school advocates learned in the apple industry: People started selling cider apples, the really small ones, to schools because they were perfect for little kids,” says Simca Horwitz, the Eastern Massachusetts director for the Massachusetts Farm to School project, reflecting on similar uses of underutilized, abundant fish in east coast schools. “In a lot of ways, schools turning to local seafood today is where we were with land-based agriculture about 10 years ago.” Civil Eats

Local restaurants partner with schools for veggies
Mississippi restaurant customers are eating up kale grown by local second-grade students. First-grader Celia Johnston said she loves working in the garden, and she’s especially excited that the vegetables she and her classmates have grown will be put to good use at local businesses. “Our food is very good, and I think people will like to eat it,” Johnston said. Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

Farm-to-school nutrition comes full circle
Farm to school efforts are taking root in West Virginia. Mason County schools are leading the way for efforts happening across the state, serving 4,200 students locally grown peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuces, melon, potatoes, eggs, ground beef and pork. In addition to an innovate food service director, the district has wide support from the school board, school superintendent, and West Virginia University County Extension. Charleston Gazette-Mail 

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: 11/01/16

NFSN Staff Tuesday, November 01, 2016

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



Grants & Funding
1. USDA Farm to School Grant RFA
USDA has announced  the release of the FY 2017 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications. Up to $5 million in grant funds is available to help schools create or strengthen farm to school programs this school year. Awards ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 will be distributed in four different grant categories: Planning, Implementation, Support Service, and Training.  Applications are due by December 8, 2016. Learn more here

2. Safer® Brand School Garden Grant 
Safer® Brand is starting an annual school garden grant to help kids build healthy habits through gardening. The $500 grant will be awarded to a school in the United States to start a school garden in 2017. Applications are due December 1. Learn more here

3. School Food Support Initiative 
Chef Ann Foundation is currently accepting applications for an 18-month technical assistance program, which can help districts improve their meal programs and transition to scratch cook operations. Their goal is to provide up to seven school districts with technical assistance, strategic planning and funding opportunities to improve their operations. Applications will be accepted through November 30, 2016 and more details about program services and eligibility criteria, as well as a link to the online application can be found on the School Food Support Initiative Webpage. To learn more, attend an informational webinar on Nov. 2 at 2pm ET. Register here


Webinars & Events
1. Healthy and Ready to Learn: State ESSA Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness Webinar
Nov. 17, 11am-12pm CT
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recognizes the need for schools to support the whole child and specifically acknowledges the importance of student health and wellness. To help school health advocates and others take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to integrate health and wellness into education policy and practice, Healthy Schools Campaign and Alliance for Healthier Generation will be releasing Healthy and Ready to Learn: ESSA State Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness. This webinar is an opportunity to learn about this important resource and connect with other advocates working to advance student health and school wellness through ESSA state plans. Register here

2. School Food Focus 2016 National Gathering
Dec. 6-8, 2016 // Braselton, Ga. 
School Food Focus is the national collaborative that ignites change in our food system by working on both the demand and supply sides of school food. Now in its sixth year, the National Gathering is a unique space for attendees to share innovative procurement strategies, connect with supply chain leaders and strengthen the school food movement. Learn more here

3. Registration Open: California Farm to School and Garden Conference
March 27-29, 2017 // Modesto, Calif. 
Registration is now open for the 2017 CA Farm to School and Garden Conference which takes place March 27 - 29, 2017 in Modesto, Calif. Register now and join this gathering of movers and shakers in the farm to school and garden movement, including farmers, distributors, government representatives, procurement officers, educators, garden practitioners, food program administrators and others from around the state. Early bird registration is available now through December 2. Learn more here


Research & Resources
1. Montana Beef to School Case Study
The Montana Beef to School Project has written a case study report to help Montana beef producers, meat processors, schools and communities explore what factors make beef to school programs successful and encourage the use of local beef in every Montana school. The case study report features: (1) an overview of findings, (2) amazing graphics that describe our findings, (3) stories that feature the efforts of schools, beef producers, and meat processors across Montana. These lessons learned contribute to an understanding of how to make beef to school and farm to school generally more feasible in Montana. See the full case study report here


Jobs & Opportunities
1. Senior Director of Programs, Fair Food Network
Fair Food Network seeks an outstanding leader in program design, implementation, and evaluation to join the organization during a period of exciting growth. The Senior Director of Programs will provide leadership and unity to its programs to increase its impact nation-wide. The Senior Director will oversee the integration and growth of flagship programs such as Double Up Food Bucks and the Michigan Good Food Fund, in addition to growing pilot programs and leading the strategic expansion of FFN’s programs across the country. Learn more here


Farm to school in the news
Small steps, big impacts - Farm to School Month 2016 highlights
For the past 31 days, millions of schools, farmers and communities across the country have been celebrating the movement that’s connecting kids to fresh, healthy food and supporting local economies. From governors signing Farm to School Month proclamations in their states to Apple Crunches, Farm to School Month celebrations took place in all 50 states! Check out highlights of this year’s celebrations here

Farm to school program is good for students, schools, and farmers alike
"The nearly year-round nature of the school year means a longer, more dependable market for smaller suppliers, not just at harvest time,” says Abby Harper, Farm to School Specialist at the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. “Schools build stronger relationships with farmers and the farmers then see themselves as part of the community. This adds a new level of marketing and name recognition, depending on the relationship that’s been built." Second Wave Media

Does Your Kid’s School Have One of These Amazing Learning Labs?
Gardens are springing up in schools across the nation, as educators and parents look for ways to connect kids with natural, healthy, local food. Emily Jackson, Director and founder of ASAP’s Growing Minds program, and Anupama Joshi, NFSN Executive Director and Co-Founder, share the benefits and how-to’s of school gardens. Toca Boca

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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