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National Farm to School Network

News

This Week in Farm to School: 10/17/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, October 17, 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. More information about the grants is available here. The National Farm to School Network is available on a consultation basis to provide assistance to potential applicants in the areas of: planning and preparing the application, customized support for Native communities, evaluation, and focus on early care and education/pre-K. Learn more here

2. Local Foods, Local Places
Local Foods, Local Places supports locally led, community-driven efforts to protect air and water quality, preserve open space and farmland, boost economic opportunities for local farmers and businesses, improve access to healthy local food, and promote childhood wellness. Communities are invited to apply for a new round of planning assistance from Local Foods, Local Places. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on October 25, 2017.

3. Whole Kids Foundation's School Garden Grant

Created in partnership with FoodCorps, the Garden Grant program provides a $2,000 monetary grant to support a new or existing edible garden at either a K-12 school, 501(c)(3) Non-profit working in partnership with a K-12 school, or 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The application period is open September 1, 2017 through October 31, 2017. Learn more here

Webinars & Events
1. October is National Farm to School Month!

National Farm to School month is here! The National Farm to School Network has free resources, planning materials, activity ideas and a new calendar of events for ways you can get involved in October. Visit farmtoschool.org/month to get involved. 

2. Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB) Webinar: National Farm to School Month: Early Care Education Edition
October 17 // 12-1:15pm ET
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food. It is also a great time to learn more about farm to early care and education (ECE), a suite of activities and strategies that entails three core elements, including the use of local foods in meals and snacks, gardening opportunities, and food-based learning activities implemented in the ECE setting. Join speakers from the National Farm to School Network and Arizona State University to learn about opportunities to celebrate National Farm to School Month and to learn more about the vast array of benefits of farm to ECE for children, families and communities. This webinar is free and open to the public. Register here

3. Food Sovereignty Prize
October 17 // 12pm  ET
The Food Sovereignty Prize is awarded annually by the US Food Sovereignty Alliance. A U.S. and international winner will be celebrated during the ceremony. The US Food Sovereignty Alliance works to end poverty, rebuild local food economies, and assert democratic control over the food system. We believe all people have the right to healthy, culturally appropriate food, produced in an ecologically sound manner. Register here to virtually attend this event. 

4. Value-Added Producer Grant Program 

October 18 // 1:00pm ET
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development team will present a webinar introducing producers to the Value Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG). The webinar will help family farmers and ranchers to determine if applying for the competitive grant program is the right fit for their operation. Register here


Action Items
1. Call for Workshop & Poster Proposals - 9th Farm to Cafeteria Conference

The 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Cincinnati, OH, April 25-27,2017! Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event will convene more than 1,000 diverse stakeholders working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. Conference organizers are seeking workshop and poster proposals from individuals and organizations working to improve our food system, strengthen community health, empower youth, advance equity and increase opportunities for farmers. Learn more information about proposal submissions here. Proposals are due no later than 8pm ET on Nov. 14, 2017.

2. National Farm to School Month's Take Action Pledge
Celebrate National Farm to School Month by adding your name to the National Farm to School Network's Take Action Pledge! Sign the pledge and you’ll be entered to win our Farm to School Month sweepstakes! Ten winners will receive a prize package that includes: assets from the Captain Planet Foundation Project Learning Garden™ program, a Stand2Learn student standing desk, and a collection of seeds from High Mowing Organic Seeds. No action is too small – take the pledge now! 

3. 2018 National Health Outreach Conference: Proposal Submission
Proposals are now being accepted for the 2018 National Health Outreach Conference (NHOC) May 2-4, 2018, at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Mall of America in Bloomington, MI. Read more here. Proposals must be submitted by October 30, 2017. 


Policy News
1. Local FARMS Act introduced to help farmers meet growing demand for local food

Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), and Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) have introduced HR 3941, the Local Food And Regional Market Supply Act (Local FARMS Act).  The Local FARMS Act builds on the success of local and regional food economies by helping farmers tap into growing markets and helping consumers access healthy food. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has introduced a companion bill in the Senate. Among other provisions, the legislation would provide schools more resources to purchase food locally. Learn more here

2. California Gov. Jerry Brown signs Farmer Equity Act
California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation that would require California officials to focus on and address the challenges facing farmers of color in the state by making access to  state and federal resources more equitable. This comes at a critical moment as the current generation of farmers is retiring and new farmers are increasingly represented by people of color, including immigrants and refugees. The Farmer Equity Act, AB 1348 directs the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to better provide resources, outreach, technical assistance, and decision-making power to “socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers,” so called because they have been subjected to historic racial discrimination. Read more here


Resources & Research
1. Planning for Equitable Urban and Regional Food Systems

How does and can planning and design enhance the freedom and wellbeing of marginalized actors in the food system – low-income residents, people of color, small-holder farmers, and refugees – the very people the alternative food movements purport to serve? The eleven articles and two publication reviews featured in this free issue of the journal Built Environment cover a range of topics such as the importance of addressing inclusion in planning and design processes, the potential benefits of urban agriculture, and the effects of rapid urbanization on food retail and food waste in the Global South. Read more

2. Unravelling the Food-Health Nexus: Addressing Practices, Political Economy, and Power Relations to Build Healthier Food Systems

A new report by international experts draws significant linkages between industrial food and farming practices and many of the “severest health conditions afflicting populations around the world,” from respiratory diseases to a range of cancers and systematic livelihood stresses. Read more here


Job Opportunities
1. Executive Director, Food Systems Leadership Fellowship

The Food System Leadership Fellowship has begun its search for the fellowship’s first Executive Director. The Executive Director will lead a bold new national fellowship program for some of the nation’s most effective leaders working at the intersection of food, agriculture, climate, public health, community development, and social justice working to create a more sustainable and equitable food system. Learn more here

2. Farm Business Specialist, The Intervale Center
The Intervale Center seeks a  Farm Business Specialist to join their team in Burlington, Vermont. For almost 30 years, the Intervale Center has led a community food revolution that sustains farms, land and people. The Farm Business Specialist delivers high quality, custom farm business planning services that enhance the viability of Vermont’s food system. Learn more and apply

3. Visiting Assistant Professor, Indiana University

The Department of Geography invites applicants for a Visiting Assistant Professor position in Critical Food Studies and Environmental Change to begin on January 1, 2018. The position is for one semester with the potential for renewal for the 2018-2019 academic year. Learn more and apply


Farm to School in the News
Our Community: Farm to Preschool in New York 

Check out this video featuring a Long Island based farm to preschool program funded through SNAP ED through the New York State Department of Health . This Farm to ECE program aims to increase access to local and fresh produce in underserved areas of Long Island while also providing nutrition lessons to preschool students. (FiOS 1 News)

Local Produce and Good Nutrition for South Dakota Students 
National Farm to School Month is upon us, and the Huron School District Nutritional Department is making great efforts as usual to educate and provide students with local, fresh produce. “What’s not to like about kids and local produce,” said Carol Tompkins, Food Service Director at the Huron School District, “It helps everybody, the local farmers and economy, and the kids like the locally grown produce.” (Huron Plainsman)

Arkansas Elementary School Students Grow Their Own Food

Governor Asa Hutchinson proclaimed October Arkansas Farm to School Month. It's a nationwide effort to connect schools with local farms and the goal is to provide children healthy meals in cafeterias while improving nutrition. (THV 11)

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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