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Farm to school is taking place in all 50 states, D.C. and U.S. Territories! Select a location from the list below to learn more or contact a Core Partner.
National Farm to School Network is proud to announce that we have been selected as one of the recipients of the 2023 Patrick Leahy Farm to School Grant Program. We are incredibly excited to launch our Farm to School Coordinators Project with support from the USDA and Life Time Foundation.
Our goal with this project is to scale up farm to school implementation nationwide by establishing more dedicated farm to school coordinator positions at school districts. We will be providing unique professional development opportunities, supporting school communities, and developing research-driven resources to help make the case for the farm to school coordinator position. As a result, we envision increased ownership and capacity for farm to school programs at the community level.
This fall, National Farm to School Network will be convening a Farm to School Coordinators Community of Practice (CoP) for current farm to school coordinators and a School District Working Group (WG) for school districts who don’t yet have a farm to school coordinator but want to work towards hiring one. Continue reading to learn more and apply!
The Farm to School CoP is a two-year collaborative space for eight farm to school coordinators where members will engage in peer-learning and co-develop strategies to navigate farm to school implementation and bring learnings back to their work.
Who Should Join the Community of Practice?
While farm to school covers a broad scope in food and school systems, the people doing the work may feel isolated as they may be one of the few people at their organization building that connection between farm and school.
Am I doing this right? Does a model already exist so I don’t have to reinvent the wheel? And does anyone else understand the work I do?
If you're serving as farm to school coordinator (even if that is not your exact title) at a school district or School Food Authority (SFA); you want to be part of a peer group that will support your work; and you want to help inform best practices for farm to school coordinators, the CoP could be for you!
Participants of the CoP will get the chance to meet with their peers to problem solve, share best practices, support one another, and assist with the development of resources such as fact sheets, how-to guides, job descriptions, etc. that can help them and others. Meetings will be co-created by participants with guidance from NFSN staff.
The CoP supports NFSN’s collective Call to Action: 100% of communities will hold power in a racially just food system. NFSN’s approach is reflected here, building authentic relationships valuing connections over transactions.
Am I a Farm to School Coordinator?
You do not need to have a specific “Farm to School Coordinator” title. Do you do any of the following?
Requirements to Apply:
Time Commitment: Zoom and In-Person
CoP participants will be required to attend 11, 1.5 - 2 hour Zoom sessions approximately every other month. Zoom meeting times are planned to occur between 1:00 to 5:00pm EST and specific schedules will be finalized together with participants.
Additionally, CoP participants will be required to attend two in-person convenings. In June 2024, CoP participants will meet together for a full-day retreat style convening. Location TBD. In 2025, CoP participants will take part in a leadership training with Shelburne Farms (Location and details TBD).
CoP participants will receive a total stipend of $4,750 ($2,375 per year) with the expectation that a portion of the stipend will be used towards travel expenses (i.e. transportation, lodging, and food) to the 2 in-person gatherings. CoP participants will be able to determine their own travel needs to the meeting venue. Funds beyond travel are compensation for your participation.
The Working Group will consist of a two-year cohort of 10 individuals from school districts across. the country. They will meet eight times with the intent to build the case for farm to school for their school district as well as others across the country.
The WG will work together with the goal of creating a farm to school coordinator position at their school district. They will also help in the creation of resources that will be shared with other school districts also trying to create a farm to school coordinator position. Some activities may include writing job descriptions, identifying funding sources, and connecting with champions at your school district to help move this forward.
Note: The purpose of the WG is to work collaboratively to determine how these positions could be implemented in your school district. While we cannot guarantee that you will get a farm to school coordinator by the end of the WG, the aim of this group is to provide a collaborative space, with guidance from NFSN staff, to go through the process of building a case that can be used at your school district and others.
Who Should Join the Working Group?
We know anecdotally that having a farm to school coordinator leads to more robust farm to school programming, which in turn supports students, schools and communities. We also know there are barriers to implementing a farm to school coordinator position in school districts including funding and approval.
If you are part of a school that doesn't currently have a farm to school coordinator position but would like to add one, the WG could be for you!
The goals for the WG are to support participants to advocate to create a farm to school coordinator position at their school district as well as create resources that others can also use to case build at their school districts. Participants of the WG will work together along with guidance from NFSN staff to identify needs, opportunities, barriers, and actions. They will also inform the research component of the project and share best practices and resources.
The WG supports NFSN’s collective Call to Action: 100% of communities will hold power in a racially just food system. NFSN’s approach is reflected here, building authentic relationships valuing connections over transactions.
Requirements to Apply
Working Group participants will be required to attend eight, 1.5 - 2 hour sessions. Meeting times are planned to occur between 1:00 to 5:00pm EST. Specific schedules will be finalized together with participants.
Working Group participants will receive a total of $450 ($225 per year) for their participation.