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National Farm to School Network


This Week in farm to school: 3/14/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, March 14, 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. Request for Applications: Native Communities with Farm to School
The National Farm to School Network is pleased to announce a new mini-grant project: Seed Change in Native Communities with Farm to School. This project aims to expand farm to school activities (procurement of local and traditional foods, school gardens, and food and agriculture education) in Native communities as a strategy to leverage community-wide initiatives towards building food security and food sovereignty and towards revitalizing use of traditional foods. The project will provide five Native schools mini-grants in the amount of $5,900 to expand and promote farm to school. Native schools/early care and education sites will be selected through an open application process to partner on this project. The full RFA can be found here. Applications are due March 22, 2017 at 6pm ET. 

2. Call for Proposals: Raising Places
Nearly half of the nation’s children live in low-income communities where their families lack resources to thrive. Yet, there is limited effort to directly connect the complex systems that affect the health of a community and those who live there. Through a grant from RWJF, Greater Good Studio is launching Raising Places to partner with local leaders invested in childhood and community development to explore actionable, locally driven answers for the question, ‘What does it take to build healthier communities where all children and their families can thrive?’ Nonprofit agencies and their community teams are invited to apply to become part of this national initiative that will pilot new, community-driven projects that hold promise for creating healthy places where children and their families can succeed. Letters of Intent are due March 31, 2017. Learn more here

Webinars & Events
1. Webinar Rescheduled: Promising Partnerships: Extension and Farm to Early Care and Education
New Date: April 4, 2pm ET
With the goal of bringing practical information to improve the lives of agricultural producers, consumers, families, and children, extension is a natural fit for partnership in farm to school and farm to early care and education (ECE) initiatives. The National Institute for Food and Agriculture, in partnership with the National Farm to School Network, will be offering a webinar to share extension and farm to ECE partnerships and projects. Register here.

2. Webinar: Farm to School in the Every Student Succeeds Act
March 21, 3-4pm ET
Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this webinar will discuss new opportunities for  farm to school under the newest authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, called the Every Student Succeeds Act. In this legislation, there are various funding opportunities and policy levers that advocates and educators on the ground can utilize to move farm to school forward in their communities. This webinar is open to the public. Register here

3. Webinar: Statewide Farm to ECE Network Building
Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 3:30 – 4:30 PM ET
Statewide farm to early care and education (ECE) network building is a key approach to institutionalizing farm to ECE and increasing opportunities for all children, families, and communities to reap the many benefits of farm to ECE. Join us for the April NFSN Farm to ECE Webinar where we will hear from Emily Jackson of the North Carolina Farm to Preschool Network and Erin Croom of the Georgia Farm to Early Care and Education Coalition who will share models from their states and identify keys to success in building a statewide farm to ECE network. This webinar is open to the public so please share through your networks. Register here.

4. Webinar: The Time is Right for Strong Advocacy on Capitol Hill - Lessons and Insights from Policy Insiders
March 15, 2017, 12-1pm ET
While nobody has a crystal ball to tell us the future of federal food and nutrition programs and policy, there are signs that many recent achievements could be rolled back or reversed. Food advocates need to ensure that members of Congress - new and continuing - are fully informed of the importance of our collective work. This webinar will help participants understand actions they can take to ensure that the communities we work in and programs and policies we work on maintain critical support for the next four years and beyond. Register here

5. Life Lab: Common Core in the Garden Educator Workshop (Grades K-6)
March 31 // UC Santa Cruz Farm
Learn to use a school garden to provide a meaningful context in which students can apply their emerging skills in math and English language arts. Using lessons from The Growing Classroom activity guide, participants in this workshop will experience and discuss garden activities that support learning in math and language arts. Whether they are graphing the temperature of their compost pile over time; reading a recipe to make fresh salsa; writing a story from the perspective of an ant; or presenting to a buddy class on the animals that visited their sunflower patch, the opportunities for children to practice traditional academic subjects in the garden are limitless. Learn more here

1. Toolkit: Every Student Succeeds Act and Farm to School
In 2015, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was reauthorized as the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and it includes many new opportunities for the integration of farm to school and early care and education activities in educational settings. To help you stay aware and take advantage of the opportunities this legislation provides, the National Farm to School Network has created a toolkit outlining how farm to school activities can engage with ESSA. Explore the toolkit here

2. Youth Farm Stand Toolkit
The Slow Food Youth Farm Stand (YFS) model is a single-vendor market on school grounds that is run by the students of that school who sell freshly harvested produce from their school garden and, in some cases, produce from local farms and gardens. The YFS model is adaptable to the needs and resources of the school and community, such that in some cases, it is a supply of fresh produce for neighborhoods lacking fresh produce and, in other cases, can serve as a fundraiser to bring in needed funds to support the garden infrastructure. Slow Food USA just published the Youth Farm Stand Toolkit to walk you through the process of planning, marketing, pricing, and evaluating your YFS. Download the toolkit here

3. Ingredient Guide: For Better School Food Purchasing
School Food Focus has created a resource for school food leaders and manufacturers alike who are committed to improving the overall quality, nutritional value, and safety of food provided to all students in every school. The guide highlights unwanted ingredients to eliminate, or those to watch out for, as new food products are developed and others are modified. Download the guide here

4. Case Study: Shrinking the Carbon and Water Footprint of School Food - A Recipe for Combatting Climate Change
As schools across the nation grapple with how to feed kids healthier, more sustainable food on tight budgets, an inspiring story from Oakland Unified School District provides a roadmap for change. Friends of the Earth’s new case study shows how the district was able to significantly reduce its carbon and water footprint by replacing a share of its meat, poultry and cheese purchases with plant-based proteins. These actions also saved the district money and improved students’ access to healthful food. Read the case study here

5. NSAC Blog Series: Path to the 2018 Farm Bill
As a lead-up to the 2018 Farm Bill, around which discussions and debate in Congress have already begun, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is previewing some of the major programs and policies advocates need to know in order to effectively engage. The first post in its series, “Path to the 2018 Farm Bill,” covers the nutrition title; specifically the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), by far the largest program in the farm bill from a funding standpoint. Read the blog series here

6. Webinar Recording: Letters to the Editor 101
On March 18, 2017 WFAN’s Plate to Politics program hosted a Letters to the Editor 101 webinar focused on writing opinion pieces with an ecofeminist perspective. The presenters discussed writing effective letters, including finding your voice, framing your argument, how to submit a letter, writing as a coalition and handling reactions. Watch a recording of the webinar here

Action Opportunities
1. Survey: how can NFSN better support your farm to school efforts?
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) is partnering with the STAR program at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School to identify new and innovative ways NFSN can better support farm to school and farm to early care and education efforts to keep the movement growing strong. All farm to school and ECE practitioners and stakeholders are invited to take a short (15 minute) survey to offer their perspective on opportunities for additional services, platforms and content that the National Farm to School Network may offer. Take the survey here, and please share widely with your networks. The survey closes March 19.

2. High School Garden Programs Survey
Noehealani Antolin, a graduate student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, is conducting an online survey to ascertain information on high school garden programs across the United States. The purpose of the study is to describe educators’ perspectives about high school gardening programs across the nation, including benefits associated with having a school garden and barriers encountered with implementation and sustainability of a school garden. Please share this survey widely with your networks. All who are directly involved in high school garden programs are encouraged to participate. Take the survey here.

Job Opportunities
1. Development Director, National Farm to School Network
The National Farm to School Network seeks a Development Director to lead the organization in strategic growth and diversification of its funding base. This is a remote position and candidates will be considered from any location within the United States. The deadline to apply is March 20, 2017. Learn more here

2. Communications Professional, NESARE
University of Vermont Extension seeks a full-time communications professional for the USDA Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. This position manages outreach to farmers, researchers, educators, service providers, non-profits and other agricultural professionals in the 12 Northeast states. Learn more here

3. FoodCorps Service Member Application due March 15
FoodCorps is recruiting talented leaders for a year of paid public service building healthy school food environments in limited-resource communities. FoodCorps AmeriCorps members teach student hands on lessons in growing cooking and tasting healthy food; promote healthy eating onions in the cafeteria; and, make schools healthier place to eat, learn and grow. The FoodCorps application is open now through March 15th. Learn more here

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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