This Week in farm to school: 1/17/17
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 Announces $27 Million in Grants Available to Support the Local Food Sector
On January 11, USDA announced requests for applications for the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP), the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP), and the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP), which offer $27 million in grants to fund innovative projects designed to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses. These grants can be used to support farm to school activities. For example, in 2014 Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation received a LFPP grant to expand a pilot Farm to Early Care Project in Central Brooklyn by increasing access to farm fresh, healthy food for 1,500 children while generating increased revenue for participating farmers. Learn more here.
Webinars & Events
1. 2017 New England Farm to Institution Summit
April 5-7 // Leominster, Mass.
Registration is now open for the 2017 New England Farm to Institution Summit, April 5-7, 2017 at the Doubletree Hotel in Leominster, Massachusetts. The program features a dynamic and inspiring array of sessions, speakers, activities, cooking demonstrations, field trips, exhibitors, entertainment, and networking time. In addition to focus areas on schools, health care, and college campuses, there will be sessions related to correctional facilities. Cross-cutting topics include supply chain management, food waste, racial equity, skill building, and much more. Learn more and register here.
2. 2017-2018 Northeast Farm to School Institute
June 27-29 // 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. The year-long Institute kicks off with a Summer Retreat held at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT from June 27-29, 2017. During the Summer Retreat, participants will develop a comprehensive school-wide Farm to School Action Plan that includes curriculum, local procurement, utilizing outdoor learning spaces, and cultivating family and community connections. Applications are due March 9. Learn more here.
1. Take the National Young Farmer Survey
Take the National Young Farmer Survey and let Congress know that #FarmersCount! The survey is conducted every five years by the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) in order to understand and elevate the issues that matter most to young farmers and aspiring farmers. It is crucial that the survey results represent all young farmers and aspiring farmers, no matter where they live or what they grow. Survey answers are completely confidential. 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 Director
The National Farm to School Network seeks a Policy Director to joins its team. The Policy Director is responsible for leading NFSN’s policy advocacy work. NFSN serves as a national voice for the farm to school movement and a leading resource on national, state and local policies that impact farm to school and farm to ECE. Read the full position description here. Applications due January 27, 2017.
Farm to school in the news
Texans Embrace MLK Day Of Service in School Garden
Volunteers in east Dallas spent MLK Day knee deep in dirt and mulch to help a small school garden become something much bigger. “The garden is the heart of the community, so when you bring people together in the garden, they start seeing nature differently, they see themselves differently and they see the world differently.” (via KERA News)
Balancing farm chores and school work near Lake Placid
Not every school can boast its own flock of sheep or herd of horses. But at North Country School in New York, daily homework includes farm chores, even in the dark winter months. Twice a day, students feed livestock and check barn conditions. In the spring, there's all-school maple syrup production, and garden and chicken harvests in early autumn. (via North Country Public Radio)
Public schools eyed as potential buyers for blueberry crop
The Maine Wild Blueberry Commission has received a $50,000 grant from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to market wild blueberries for public school breakfast and lunch programs. (via The Ellsworth American)