Reports from the Field
As the farm to school movement grows, this newsletter highlights pivotal policies, news, publications, and events. Please contact us if you have any comments or suggestions.
Also, thank you to everone that commented on the member survey to assist us in developing our strategic plan. More information will be available on www.farmtoschool.org soon.
How can I learn more about the impacts of farm to school?
Bearing Fruit: Farm to School Program Evaluation Resources and Recommendations To order a copy, click here.
What USDA Can Do for Farm to School Community Food Security Coalition, National Farm to School Network, School Food FOCUS
This document is a ten-point roadmap for national coordination between government and partners promoting Farm to School and sustainable procurement practices. (pdf)
Oregon Farm to School Coordinator Oregon Department of Agriculture
The coordinator serves as the agency’s program manager and primary liaison with Oregon School Districts, Oregon Department of Education, NGO’s and stakeholders interested in increasing utilization of locally produced food product in K-12 school feeding programs. See full position here.
Farm to School Field Guide by Community Alliance with Family Farmers
For parents and community members, this brief 8 page guide gives helpful tips and steps on how to start a Farm to School program. (pdf)
This story is about a farmer that builds a bridge (metaphorically speaking) from his fields to the school lunchroom cafeterias in Oregon. (Video link)
Nov. 9-13: VA Farm to School Week, Virginia
Nov.11-12: Arkansas Farm to School Conference, Arkansas
Dec. 17: National Good Food Network Webinar on Farm to School, Anywhere & Everywhere!
Save the Date!
May 17-19, 2010: 5th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, Detroit, Michigan
Follow us on Twitter!
Help Raise $10K for Farm to School
Thanks to everyone's support we've made it to the semi-finals on the "Awaken Your Senses Challenge!" You can now push us over the finish line and help us win the $10,000 simply by visiting www.youtube.com/quaker and voting on "Cherries Jubilee" the video starring food Blogger Jen Yu userealbutter.com who is playing for National Farm to School Network.
At the end of this week the blogger with the most votes wins, and they will be able to award $10,000 to their favorite food charity...US!
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and vote!
Voting ends Friday, November 13th! Spread the word!
USDA Focus on Farm to School
USDA Farm to School Facebook Chat
On November 5, USDA Deputy Secretary Merrigan hosted her second Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Facebook chat with the focus on Farm to School. This social media platform enables the public to see and hear live video/audio and to type in questions for the Deputy Secretary to answer.
Holding her newly acquired farmer trading cards, Merrigan began the online discussion with a report on her visit to the St. Paul, Minnesota school district last week. The St. Paul school district purchased 110 thousand pounds of regional food valued at $76,000 in the first six weeks of the school year, accounting for 56% of their total produce purchases. Learn more here.
Merrigan took note of the National Farm to School Network and our One Tray team, which is a national campaign to improve child nutrition by encouraging a more direct connection between local farms and federal nutrition.
Merrigan also reported on the Department's Farm to School Tactical Team which has been formed with representatives from the Agriculture Marketing Service and the Food and Nutrition Service. The goal is to collect information and create a library of knowledge on the Know Your Farmer website. Merrigan said that USDA is deeply interested in Farm to School and hopes to see an equally high level of support in Congress when it takes up the Child Nutrition Act reauthorization, scheduled to begin early in 2010. Check back here for the archive.
Join Farm to School on Facebook!
National Farm to School Network Midwest Regional Lead Agency Opening
Application Deadline: December 1, 2009 - SEE RFP
The National Farm to School Network (the Network) is seeking
applications from organizations to serve as the Midwest Regional Lead
Agency for the Network
for the period of December 1, 2009 to April 30, 2010. Since its establishment
in 2007, the Network has supported eight Regional Lead Agencies (RLA) across
the country to support and promote Farm to School programming in regions.
Regional Lead Agency will support Farm to School activities in the following
states: Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and
Oklahoma. Go here to learn more.
New Funding Opportunity with the Health Impact Project
The Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, is a national initiative designed to promote the use of health impact assessments (HIAs) as a decision-making tool for policymakers. HIAs are a flexible, data-driven approach that identifies the health consequences of new policies, and develops practical strategies to enhance their health benefits and minimize adverse effects.
The project issued a rolling call for proposals and is now accepting applications to fund up to 15 HIA demonstrations at the local, state or tribal level. Grants will range from between $25,000 and $150,000 each. For more information and to apply online, visit www.healthimpactproject.org.
VIRGINIA SCHOOLS PARTICIPATE IN FARM TO SCHOOL WEEK NOVEMBER 9 - 13, 2009
by Elaine J. Lidholm. States News Service.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) and the Virginia Department of Education have designated the week of November 9 13, 2009, as Virginia Farm to School Week. The agencies are encouraging all schools in the Commonwealth, kindergarten through college, to purchase, serve and promote Virginia Grown foods in their cafeterias that week. Read the entire article.
By RACHEL L. SWARNS. The New york times.
Indeed, Obama administration officials describe him as a vital conduit to the first family. “How do I get to the first lady, how do I try to transmit ideas and messages to her? Sam Kass,” said Kathleen Merrigan, the deputy agriculture secretary. “He’s been a real ally when we talk about farm to school.” Read the entire article.
by Jennifer Wilkins. The Ithaca Journal.
Making healthier food choices more affordable and available to all Americans is a logical complement to - if not an essential component of - reform. Read the entire article.
By Lauren Ware. Civil Eats.
Several years ago, a movement began with students and has grown into a revamping of the school lunch program, with direct-farm purchasing, a school garden, and even a whole-school composting system. It started when two fourth-grade students accompanied Lakeview’s principal, Linda Aiken, to a Vermont Rural Partnership conference and returned with an enthusiastic plan to start a salad bar. Read the entire article.
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