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National Farm to School Network


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.

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 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.