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Building capacity and long-term sustainability through strong statewide networks
Mississippi schools reported the highest level of interest in starting farm to school activities in the future, according to the 2011-2012 USDA Farm to School Census, but actual participation was low while obesity rates remained high throughout the state. The goal of Seed Change in Mississippi was to build the social infrastructure and systems needed to support the growth of farm to school. By developing a strong statewide network, providing technical assistance and consultation, and investing in new resources, this project aimed to boost Mississippi’s school district participation in farm to school by 30 percent over three years (2015-2017), and facilitate lasting changes to the health and well being of all Mississippians. This project was supported with a generous grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Mississippi Farm to School Network: Led by NFSN's Mississippi Core Partners, this statewide network is championing the growth of farm to school in Mississippi. The network promotes farm to school activities and brings together a diverse audience of individual stakeholders and organizations from across the state. Within three years (2015-2017), the state network aimed to engage more than 500 active members and an Advisory Board to help guide the future of farm to school in Mississippi.
Request an Expert: A database of experts in farm to school related fields was developed to provide dedicated support to schools facing questions or barriers. These experts are deployed to assist schools in starting new activities or expanding existing programs.
Outreach and Networking Events: From local mixers and cafeteria taste tests to the statewide Mississippi Farm to Cafeteria Conference, the Mississippi Farm to School Network builds awareness of and support for farm to school activities with parents, farmers, administrators and students across the state. NFSN's Mississippi Core Partners also facilitated trainings and provided technical assistance to practitioners on the ground to help expand the number of farm to school sites in Mississippi.
Website and Resources: A Mississippi Farm to School Network website was created to serve as an online portal for information and resources on farm to school in Mississippi. The site includes how-to guides, a statewide farm to school mapping project, promotional materials for students, event information and opportunities for schools to engage students and the community with local food.
Seed Change in Mississippi was managed by the National Farm to School Network and coordinated locally by our Mississippi Core Partners.
To learn more about Seed Change, contact National Farm to School Network staff:
Keep up to date on farm to school in Mississippi by signing up for the Mississippi Farm to School Network newsletter here.
Seed Change in Mississippi was made possible by a generous grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which shares the National Farm to School Network’s belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive.