Search our Resource Database

Use the quick guide to search through our resource database. You can search by topic, setting, or keywords in order to find exactly what you are looking for. Choose a filtering mechanism above to get started.

View all resources

Use the Keyword search to filter through: descriptive keywords, title, or organization.

pick a date

pick a date

Connect with your state

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

News

Seed Change is Sprouting in Native Communities

NFSN Staff Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Launched in April 2017, the National Farm to School Network's Seed Change in Native Communities with Farm to School project aims to expand farm to school activities in Native communities and leverage community-wide initiatives towards building food security and food sovereignty and revitalizing use of traditional foods. Five Native schools have been awarded Seed Change mini-grants to expand and promote farm to school in their communities in 2017. Here are brief updates about what the school have been working on:

Hardin School District 17H&1 – Crow Reservation: Crow Nation (Montana): From bringing local food into the cafeteria with a Harvest of the Month program, to a farmer visiting classrooms to teach students about local grains, farm to school is taking root in the Hardin School District. Work is being done to prep an unused school field for transformation into an orchard and outdoor learning space with native shrubs, berries bushes, and fruit trees. Students are sure to be harvesting farm to school goodness for years to come! 

Hydaburg City School – Hydaburg, Prince of Wales Island: Haida Nation (Alaska): The school's new garden and greenhouse have been running for less than a year, and already student-grown raspberries and sugar snap peas are being incorporated into the school's lunch program. YUM!

Indian Township School – Indian Township Reservation: Passamaquoddy Tribe (Maine): This farm to school team is led by the school's librarian and after school coordinator. Following an ample harvest of squash from their new three sister's garden this summer, they're already looking forward to planning next season's garden. 

Mala`ai Kula: Kaua`i Farm-to-School Pilot – Kaua`i Island: Native Hawaiians (Hawaii): This farm to school pilot program on the island of Kaua'i aims to connect students to culturally relevant foods, such as taro and sweet potatoes, while also encouraging farmers to grow more of these foods to better align with a native diet. Read more about Mala`ai Kula's commitment to serve culturally relevant foods here

Warm Springs K8 Academy – Warm Springs Reservation: Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (Oregon): Warm Springs K8 Academy is creating a community-wide culture of wellness by engage students and their families in farm to school activities. In June, the school year's final family night, attended by over 1,000 students and family members, was a Powwow and dinner that served traditional and fresh foods including salmon and root vegetables. 

Seed Change in Native Communities with Farm to School is made possible with generous support from the Aetna Foundation, a national foundation based in Hartford, Conn. that supports projects to promote wellness, health and access to high-quality health care for everyone.

Team Nutrition Helps Grow Farm to School

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 05, 2017
The National Farm to School Network would like to congratulate the recipients of the 2017 Team Nutrition Training Grants. Team Nutrition Training Grants are competitive three-year grants of up to $500,000 per state awarded annually as part of USDA's Team Nutrition initiative, which provides resources, training, and nutrition education lessons for schools and child care providers. Eleven states were awarded grants this year. Several of these awardees are NFSN Core or Supporting Partners and many of the grants will be used to expand farm to school and ECE activities across the states! 

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will provide nutrition education and gardening activities at 40 child care centers and family child care homes using Team Nutrition’s Grow It, Try It, Like It! materials. Child care providers will also receive training on planning meals to meet the updated Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal pattern requirements and including more Missouri-grown fruits and vegetables. Participants will receive technical assistance and sub-grants to assist with taste testing activities, family engagement and nutrition education and will also have the opportunity to participate in the Culinary Skills Institute that will provide hands-on learning experiences with menu planning and food preparation to enhance child care providers’ abilities to implement the updated CACFP meal pattern requirements with local foods.

The Virginia Department of Education’s Office of School Nutrition Programs (VDOE SNP) will use their grant to support “Cultivating a Healthy School Environment: Nourish and Flourish through Training and Technical Assistance” focusing on: 1) appealing and nutritious school meals, 2) nutrition education, and 3) school environments that promote healthy eating. Eight garden-themed regional workshops for school nutrition professionals and will be conducted using peer-mentors (Cultivators) and subject matter experts (Tillers) to focus on culinary skills with farm fresh produce. Participants will also learn how to implement Team Nutrition’s Dig In! and The Great Garden Detective Adventure lessons. Participants in pilot workshops have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the approach, calling the pilot training the “best workshop in 10 years!”

Other states using 2017 Team Nutrition Grant Funding to support farm to school and ECE efforts include Montana, Rhode Island and Iowa. The Montana Office of Public Instruction will expand connections between school and local farmers in order to promote student consumption of ten Harvest of the Month Montana-grown products in the school cafeteria. The Rhode Island Department of Education will provide nutrition education in the child care setting using Team Nutrition’s Grow It, Try It, Like It! materials. They will train child care providers to prepare meals that meet the updated Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal pattern requirements and utilize Rhode Island-grown products in the meals and plan to collaborate with community nutrition partners to host events that provide recipes and cooking demonstrations for parents, caregivers and the community. Iowa Department of Education will support and improve healthy child care environments by delivering training to 30 child care centers and approximately 400 family day care homes on updated Child and Adult Care Food Program meal pattern requirements and ways to incorporate locally-grown foods on menus. They will also use Team Nutrition’s Grow It, Try It, Like It! nutrition education kit to encourage children to try new foods and grow healthy habits from the start.

Team Nutrition Training Grants offer valuable opportunity to expand and institutionalize farm to school and ECE into state training and outreach. Learn more about USDA’s Team Nutrition initiative and the innovative resources and opportunities the program offers here. We congratulate these awardees and look forward to watching farm to school and ECE flourish thanks to Team Nutrition Grants and the great work and innovation of these state agencies.   

This Week in Farm to School: 9/05/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, September 05, 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. Lowe’s Toolbox for Education® Grants
Each year, the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grants program contributes more than $5 million to fund improvements at public schools in the United States. Projects should fall into one of the following categories: technology upgrades, tools for STEM programs, facility renovations and safety improvements. Toolbox grant requests can range from $2,000 to $100,000. The Fall Grant Cycle is open through September 29, 2017. Learn more here

2. Target field trip grants

Some of the best learning opportunities happen outside the classroom. That's why Target is helping give students a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience through field trips (like visits to a local farms!). As part of the program, Target stores award Target Field Trip™ grants to K-12 schools nationwide. Each grant is valued up to $700. Deadline to apply is Oct. 1. Learn more here

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
1. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics: Farm to School for Children with Special Needs
September 7 // 2-3pm ET
Learn about opportunities and best practices for utilizing farm to school initiatives to support learning and development for every child. Hear success stories from leaders of programs across the country who are serving students with special needs. Register here.

2. Professional Development for Garden Educators
September 12 // 4pm ET
School Garden Support Organizations work to prepare teachers, organization staff, and community volunteers to lead students in garden-based learning activities. Learn different approaches School Garden Support Organizations use to lead high quality professional development for garden educators. Register here

3. Local Perspective on School Wellness Policy Implementation! 
September 13 // 1pm ET
Alliance For a Healthier Generation presents this webinar focused on implementing school wellness policies following the USDA’s final rule. This webinar will highlight the local perspective, featuring speakers from California Project LEAN, the California Department of Education, and Arvin School District. Register here

4. Tools for Assessing Economic Impact: A Primer for Food System Practitioners
September 19 // 3-4 pm ET
This webinar from Michigan State University's Center for Regional Food Systems is intended for food system practitioners interested in commissioning an economic impact assessment. It will introduce attendees to the concept and provide an overview of different tools to assess economic growth. Speakers will cover both standard commercial models and alternative, community-based approaches. Register here

5. NFSN WEBINAR Growing Opportunities: Farm to School Benefits to Farmers and Producers
September 20 // 2-3pm ET
Join the National Farm to School Network to learn about farm to school’s opportunities and benefits for farmers and producers. Catch a sneak peak of the National Farm to School Network’s forthcoming case studies on the economic impacts of farm to school, and hear firsthand experiences and tips from farmers in the movement. This webinar is generously sponsored by CoBank. Register here

6. NFSN WEBINAR Advocacy in Action: 2017 Farm to School Policy Opportunities
September 21 // 2-3pm ET
Join the National Farm to School Network to learn about current federal legislative activities and state policy efforts that are advancing opportunities for the expansion of farm to school in K-12 and early care education settings nationwide. Presenters will share stories and key learnings from recent policy efforts, and discuss advocacy opportunities for getting involved in current initiatives. Register here

Events
1. Join this year’s Green Apple Day of Service
Green Apple Day of Service is an opportunity to join schools across the world in celebrating the central role that schools play in preparing the next generation of leaders in sustainability. A school’s event improves the health and safety of the learning environment while strengthening student civic leadership, environmental literacy, and project management skills. Schools and the community leaders who support them can choose their own date for their project, and they have access to mini-grants and personalized guidance to help them make their projects a reality. Sign up to participate at greenapple.org.

2. Save the Date: Young Farmers Conference at Stone Barns

December 6-8 // Pocantico Hills, NY 
The Young Farmers Conference will feature insights from farmers, chefs, scientists, advocates, and other experts in the food and agriculture community. Lottery registration will open on September 6. Learn more

3. Virginia Urban Agriculture Summit
October 5-6 // Arlington, VA
This two day summit held at the Arlington Campus at George Mason University will feature speakers, workshops, and networking opportunities relating to urban Ag in Virginia. Learn more

4. Life Lab's School Garden Workshops
Fall 2017 // Santa Cruz, CA
In Life Lab's Garden Classroom on the UC Santa Cruz campus, professional trainers bring inspiration and information to educators interested in bringing learning to life in the garden. The 2017 Fall Educator Workshops are now open for registration. For more details and registration information, visit: www.lifelab.org/gcworkshops

Action Item
1. Survey: Keynote Speaker for 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
The National Farm to School Network’s 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 26-27, 2018. Participate in this short survey to let NFSN know who you would like to see as the keynote speaker at the conference. 

Resources
1. Bake For Good Kids
King Arthur Flour presents the Bake For Good Kids program which encourages students to use "math + science + reading + baking know how = something delicious". This program will provide students the ingredients they need to make homemade bread while also teaching them how to do it.

2. Soil Education App 

STARTING WITH SOIL, a free interactive app designed for children, provides parents and educators with an easy and fun way to allow children to discover the importance of healthy soil and see first-hand the harmonious roles that plants, animals and people (even kids!) play in keeping soil balanced so that organic food can grow. Free Download here

Job Opportunities
1. Sustainable School Lunch Sous Chef, Presidio High School
Presidio High School in San Francisco is hiring for a full time Sous Chef.  The ideal candidate interested in a person who is passionate about local, organic foods and what children are eating in school. Read more

2. Farmer Training Program Manager, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
The Farmer Training Program Manager will provide year-round technical assistance (TA), mentoring, and training to small-scale direct market beginning farmers, and serve as the point person for all management responsibilities for the Farmer Training Team. Read more

Farm to School in the News
At Meeting Street in Rhode Island, garden is a source of food and learning
Meeting Street was founded in 1946, providing some of the nation’s first educational and therapeutic opportunities for children with disabilities. Four years ago, Connelly began a program to incorporate growing food into the art curriculum. Gardening branched out to become part of a Meeting Street education, from physical and speech therapy to literacy to science. (Providence Journal)

Missouri student garden teaches science and sharing
Fourth grade teacher, Vickie Gilbert said they meet state standards on plant life cycles through a hands on activity. "It’s something that sparks an interest in them and makes them want  to know more." (Fox 14)

USDA Awards $5.3 million in Grants for School, Child Care Nutrition Efforts

Team Nutrition Training Grants are competitive three-year grants of up to $500,000 per state awarded annually as part of USDA's Team Nutrition initiative, which provides resources, training, and nutrition education lessons for schools and child care providers. (USDA FNS)

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.

Serving Up Tradition!

NFSN Staff Thursday, August 31, 2017
By Molly Schintler, Communications Intern

Since farm to school celebrates local food, farmers, communities and traditions, it looks different in every community.  So an important question for our work is, “what do culturally relevant and traditional foods look like in our schools?” Food service directors, garden educators and school administration should ask, ‘Is this food culturally relevant to my students?’ in the same way that they ask, ‘Is this food grown locally?’. The following are two stories of farm to school champions that recognize the importance of structuring farm to school activities to reflect their communities’ food cultures. 

In the capitol of Iowa’s heartland, Executive Chef Chad Taylor has been working in the Des Moines Public Schools for over 20 years. The DMPS district serves 63 locations and an average of 34,000 students daily. While the district has worked with farm to school initiatives through state funded nutrition education programs, FoodCorps, and a USDA Farm to School grant, it was not until several years ago that the district started considering the intersection of culturally relevant foods with farm to school. 

A principal from one of the district’s middle schools approached Chad with a unique challenge involving a group of immigrant students.  These middle school students were going home at lunch to eat and not returning to school because they were uncomfortable with the foods being offered through school lunch, and too embarrassed to bring their traditional foods from home. Chad met with these students and their families and asked what they would like to see offered on the school lunch menu. He did not want the changes to be a one time hit and miss, so DMPS committed to offering noodles and/or rice everyday at this middle school per the students’ request. In the end, it was a win for all students. Chad noted that, “the Midwest native students wanted to try the new foods, too.” 

Today, DMPS Food Service works to provide flavor stations in many of their schools, giving students access to a variety of culturally-relevant herbs, sauces and other flavor enhancers such as locally grown jalapenos. Chad was quick to point out that not every flavor station looks the same because every school has students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Since the 1970’s, the district has included a number of immigrant and refugee populations from Latin America, Asia and Africa. Even within a single school district farm to school is not one size fits all.

About 4,000 miles from Des Moines, a farm to school pilot on the island of Kauai in Hawaii is taking off under the direction of Megan Fox, Executive Director for the nonprofit organization Mala’ai Kula. There are approximately 350 students in the four charter schools that Mala’ai Kula serves. Most of the students are native Hawaiian and have chosen to attend these schools because of programs such as Hawaiian Language immersion, which allows students to learn in their native language before learning in English. The emphasis on the importance of native traditions extends into these schools’ food service and education thanks, in part, to the support from Mala’ai Kula, a recipient of a National Farm to School Network Seed Change in Native Communities* mini-grant. 

Since Hawaii was colonized, the western diet has brought non-traditional foods such as nitrite-filled meats and ultra-processed snacks to the island. Today, Hawaiians have high rates of diet-related diseases such as chronic high blood pressure and diabetes.  This is one of the many reasons that Mala’ai Kula’s farm to school pilot work is so important. Megan described farm to school as a tool for “giving local farmers an outlet for native foods.”  She added that farm to school helps in the effort toward “creating a traditional food way and bringing back a more native diet.”

With funding support from Seed Change, several of the schools’ food service staff attended an Edible Schoolyard training in Berkley, California this summer. This training served as an invaluable tool that inspired one school chef to reconnect with the importance of Hawaii’s native foods, also known as canoe foods. Kalo (taro), ‘Ulu (breadfruit), and ‘Uala (sweet potatoes) are all canoe foods that are now growing in school gardens, being served up on school lunch and breakfast trays, and serving as teaching resources to connect students to their ancestry. 

From a large school district in the Midwest to small, native charter schools in Kauai, a focus on culturally relevant foods can look vastly different depending on the school community.  Many farm to school slogans highlight the power of farm to school’s ability to ‘serve up change.’ The Des Moines Public Schools and Mala’ai Kula remind us that using farm to school to ‘serve up tradition’ can be just as powerful. 


*Seed Change in Native Communities with Farm to School is made possible with generous support from the Aetna Foundation, a national foundation based in Hartford, Conn. that supports projects to promote wellness, health and access to high-quality health care for everyone.

This Week in Farm to School: 8/29/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 29, 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. 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 thru October 31, 2017. Read more and apply

2. Health Impact Project Funding
The Health Impact Project offers up to $100,000 funding to communities and organizations seeking to promote the consideration of health in policy and decision-making. Eligibility varies based on the specific call for proposals.  Deadline: Sept. 15. 

Webinars
1. Growing a Healthy Foundation for Learning: What's New in Local School Wellness Policies (Wellness Policy Series, Part 1)
August 31 // 2-3pm ET
In July 2016, the USDA updated requirements for local school wellness policies (LWPs). As a result most school districts will need to realign and strengthen existing LWPs. This session will outline the guidelines, review the latest research, and highlight current policy work at the state and local level. Register here. This is the first in a two-part webinar series on LWPs. 

2. Promoting equity in local food systems through Cooperative Extension

September 6 // 3-4pm ET
How can we apply equity and anti-racism principles to our food system work? In answer to this question, this webinar provides three examples from the Cooperative Extension System of efforts to promote equity and undo racism in local food systems. Register here

3. Native Farmers and Food Businesses: Postharvest Handling Food Safety 
September 7 // 3-5pm ET
The IFAI has developed this series of food safety webinars to help Native American farmers, ranchers and food producers to understand the importance of food safety and what is necessary to reach compliance under the FSMA. Attendees will learn about produce safety, food-borne pathogens, worker health, wildlife, land use, post-harvest handling, and legal issues associated with food safety in Indian Country. Register here

4. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics: Farm to School for Children with Special Needs
Thursday, September 7, 2-3pm ET
Learn about opportunities and best practices for utilizing farm to school initiatives to support learning and development for every child. Hear success stories from leaders of programs across the country who are serving students with special needs. Register here.

5. NFSN WEBINAR Advocacy in Action: 2017 Farm to School Policy Opportunities

Thursday, September 21, 2-3pm ET
Join the National Farm to School Network to learn about current federal legislative activities and state policy efforts that are advancing opportunities for the expansion of farm to school in K-12 and early care education settings nationwide. Presenters will share stories and key learnings from recent policy efforts, and discuss advocacy opportunities for getting involved in current initiatives. Register here

Events
1. Save the Date: 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 26-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
Save the date for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, coming to Cincinnati, Ohio, April 26-27, 2018! Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event will convene more than 1,200 movement leaders working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of healthy food and agricultural literacy across America. Cafeterias in schools, early care and education settings, universities, prisons and hospitals serve more than 40 million Americans every day, placing the farm to cafeteria movement at the forefront of the fight to end obesity and strengthen local food systems and economies. The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is the only national gathering of stakeholders from across this movement, making it the premiere opportunity to learn, network and collaborate with like minded leaders from across the country. Learn more and sign-up for updates at farmtoschool.org/conference

2. Ample Harvest: 2nd Annual Food Waste Weekend
September 8-10 
Food Waste Weekend is a first of its kind opportunity for the clergy of all faiths to speak to their congregations about the waste of food in America on the weekend of September 8-10, each from their own faith perspective. Learn more and access all of the resources

3. Louisiana Farm to School Conference 2017
October 24 //  Baton Rouge, LA
The LSU AgCenter is hosting a statewide farm-to-school conference to bring together school administrators, teachers, parents, food service managers, farmers, and food distributors in the interest of Louisiana agriculture, school gardens, and healthy school meals. The conference will center on education, gardening, and procurement, with technical assistance in areas such as curricula incorporation and culinary education, food and garden safety, and local food procurement. Register here

Action Item
1. Tell us who you would like to be the keynote at the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference!
The National Farm to School Network announced a 'Save the Date' for their 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 26-27, 2018. Participate in this short survey to let NFSN know who you would like to see as the keynote speaker at the conference. 

Resources
1. Growing Head Start Success with Farm to Early Care and Education
To make it easier for Head Start stakeholders to implement farm to early care and education, the National Farm to School Network has created Growing Head Start Success with Farm to Early Care and Education. This new, comprehensive resource aims to promote understanding amongst Head Start stakeholders of how farm to ECE supports achievement of Head Start Program Performance Standards and contributes to learning and development benchmarks as outlined in the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework. Dig into this new resource here.

2. National Farm to School Network in Action: January-May 2017

As a collective, the National Farm to School Network brings people together, develops programs, drives policy change and educates on the benefits of farm to school and farm to early care and education at the local, state and national levels. A new report showcases connections made, policies advanced and successes from across the country between January-May 2017. This report summarizes input received from 42 Core Partners and 78 Supporting Partners in states, Washington, D.C. and U.S. Territories, most of whom began their work with NFSN in March, as well as 11 national staff. View the report here

Job Opportunities
1. School Food Program Manager / Lead Cook & F2S Coordinators, Mala`ai Kula in Kaua`i, Hawai`i 
Malama Kaua`i is seeking to fill three positions for their native Hawaiian farm-to-school pilot program. The positions will play leadership roles in the island of Kaua`i's first large-scale farm-to-school effort, focusing on traditional and local food system building through procurement and education. Apply here

2. State Food Systems Specialist, University of Florida Extension

University of Florida Extension's Family Nutrition Program (FNP) is seeking to hire a State Food Systems Specialist. The Food Systems Specialist  will promote and expand Farm to School activities at the state and county levels. Apply here

3. Communications Coordinator, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

The Communications Coordinator is a full-time position with the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA).  The Coordinator develops and implements CFSA’s Communications and Marketing strategies to increase visibility, advance their mission, and grow the membership base and support. Apply here

4. Operations and Financial Coordinator, Phat Beets Produce

Phat Beets is looking for an Operations and Financial Coordinator to join their Oakland based collective. The Operations and Financial Coordinator will serve as a member of the core staff for Phat Beets, and overseeing operations and managing financial processes for the organization. Apply here

Policy Updates
1. Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee votes to restore Farm to School funding
Agriculture groups and schools are celebrating lawmakers' decision to continue funding for the state's farm to school program. Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal would have cut $66,400 allocated in previous budgets for the program's state coordinator. Last week, the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee voted to restore that funding in the next state budget. Read more here

2. Unanimous Support Secures the Future of "Farm to School" in Oregon

Unanimous support from the Oregon House, Senate and governor has passed a bill that supports local food in schools. House Bill 2038 allocates $4.5 million for schools to continue to buy Oregon-grown and processed foods and to support agriculture- and garden-based education. Read more here.

Farm to School in the News
School yard garden for Ohio students blossoms 
Curriculum Director Scott Bloom designed a curriculum around the school yard garden, which the Master Gardeners of Miami County will be instructing to the fifth graders. The students will be utilizing the garden in the fall and the spring, planting a variety of types of flowers and vegetables with the latter eventually making it into the schools’ cafeterias.(Piqua Daily Call)

Healthy Kids in Henderson County, North Carolina

In Henderson County, WIC has a new program to connect families with fresh produce. They’re kicking off a Tour de Daycare project this fall. Named after the famous bicycle race Tour de France, Tour de Daycare brings nutrition education to multiple daycare centers in the county and helps them start school gardens. (ASAP

Austin Elevates School Lunch
In AISD cafeterias, students eat meals made from scratch, often featuring vegetables procured from the six participating schools’ Garden to Cafe programs or local farm Johnson’s Backyard Garden. Through this they’re introduced to new flavors and ingredients in dishes such as cilantro lime drumsticks and vegan lentil chili Frito pie. (Austin Monthly

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.

Farm to ECE and Head Start: A Natural Alignment

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 29, 2017
By Tiffany Turner, Senior Fellow, Jamie Kirk Hahn Foundation 

Farm to early care and education (ECE) offers benefits that strongly parallel the goals and priorities of the early care and education community, with a particularly strong alignment with Head Start priority areas, including an emphasis on experiential learning opportunities, parent and community engagement, and life-long health and wellness for children, families and caregivers. Additionally, farm to ECE expands healthy food access for children and families, provides additional market opportunities for farmers and supports thriving communities. 

To make it even easier for Head Start stakeholders to implement farm to ECE, the National Farm to School Network has created Growing Head Start Success with Farm to Early Care and Education. This new, comprehensive resource aims to promote understanding amongst Head Start stakeholders of how farm to ECE supports achievement of Head Start Program Performance Standards and contributes to learning and development benchmarks as outlined in the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework. Growing Head Start Success is designed with clear, easy to read tables that directly align Program Performance Standards and the Early Learning Outcomes Framework with specific farm to ECE activities from each of the three core elements of local procurement, gardening, and food, agriculture and nutrition education. 

The resource can be used in a variety of ways. For example, if a Head Start program is working on their community wide strategic planning and needs assessment (Part 1302, Subpart A, 1302.11), they can look to Growing Head Start Success and identify at least three farm to ECE focused ways to meet this standard: (1) identify resources for local food access in the community, (2) opportunities to use food-based education to increase family and child nutrition knowledge, or (3) identify community organizations to support onsite and community gardens. Integrating food access and local food resources as a component of community assessment creates a foundation for utilizing local food opportunities to support other standards around family engagement, family support services, and community partnership and coordination. 

In another instance, a Head Start teacher is seeking ways to support vocabulary development (a sub-domain of Language and Communication) for her preschool age students. The teacher can find the “Vocabulary” sub-domain in Growing Head Start Success and see specific farm to ECE activities, books and resources that directly support goals in the “Vocabulary” sub-domain. The teacher chooses a rhyming storybook describing how vegetables grow to help children act out directional and positional words. In choosing a farm to ECE related book, the teacher is not only supporting appropriate development within the domains, but also promoting food knowledge, exposure and acceptance.    
 
The resource also offers three profiles of Head Start programs leading the way in addressing performance and learning standards with farm to ECE. STEP, Inc., of Pennsylvania, Inspire Development Centers of Washington State, and Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota offer these recommendations for integrating farm to ECE in Head Start:

Tips for Farm to ECE in Head Start Success: 

  • Develop a team of staff who can be stewards of the initiative and engage with local partners, such as farmers market managers who can connect ECE programs with local farmers.
  • Start small and experiment with different types of farm to ECE activities to find what works for your community. Grow from those small successes.
  • Focus on building community buy-in and support from many different stakeholders, from the teachers, staff, and parents in the Head Start Program, to local schools or business who can provide promotion and support.
  • Connect with and visit other Head Start programs integrating farm to ECE to better understand opportunities and best practices in implementation. 

To help you share out this exciting new resource, we’ve created a Communications Toolkit with sample social media and blog posts. By promoting this resource widely, we hope that even more Head Start programs choose farm to ECE to meet program and learning standards while providing children, families and communities with the myriad benefits that farm to ECE has to offer. 

The National Farm to School Network is available to provide additional training, customized support and tools for your organization on a consultation basis. To learn more, contact Lacy Stephens, Farm to Early Care and Education Associate, at lacy@farmtoschool.org.

This Week in Farm to School: 8/22/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 22, 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. Voice for Healthy Kids 
The American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are working to create a culture of health through Voices for Healthy Kids. The goal of the grant opportunities within this initiative is to make effective strategic investments in ongoing state, local, and tribal public policy issue campaigns in order to increase public policy impact on healthy weight and living among children. Learn more. Applications are due September 6. 


Webinars
1. Introduction to USDA's Community Food Project 
August 23 // 1-2pm ET
If your organization is considering applying for a CFP grant, or would like to learn more about CFP, we encourage you to attend this introductory webinar. We'll present the background of the grant program and discuss eligibility and types of projects, program goals, technical logistics and general timeline of the application process, the importance of community engagement, and the Indicators of Success for project evaluation. Register here

2. School Nutrition Association: Host a Legislator Site Visit
September 6 // 2-3pm ET
Bringing your legislator in for a behind-the-scenes look at the daily operation of your school cafeteria could make the difference in preventing block grants, preserving funding and expanding commodity support. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs. Learn more and register
 
3. Promoting Equity in Local Food Systems through Cooperative Extension
September 6 // 3-4pm ET
How can we apply equity and anti-racism principles to our food system work? In answer to this question, this webinar provides three examples from the Cooperative Extension System of efforts to promote equity and undo racism in local food systems. Register here

4. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: Farm to School for Children with Special Needs
Thursday, September 7, 2-3 PM ET
On this webinar, participants will learn about opportunities and best practices for utilizing farm to school initiatives to support learning and development for children with special needs and hear success stories from leaders of programs across the country serving students with special needs. This webinar is open to the public, register here.

5. Professional Development Models for Training Garden Educators 
September 12 // 4-5pm ET
School Garden Support Organizations work to prepare teachers, organization staff, and community volunteers to lead students in garden-based learning activities. Learn different approaches School Garden Support Organizations use to lead high quality professional development for garden educators. Hosted by Vanessa Ford, Director of Training & Curriculum Development, REAL School Gardens. Register here


Resources & Research
1. Young Food Justice Leaders Speak Out
Youth have the energy, idealism, creativity, and conviction needed to move the food movement forward. Nowhere is this fact more apparent than at a gathering of Rooted in Community (RIC), a national network of youth-centered food justice organizations. In late July, RIC convened more than 100 youth activists and 40 adult allies from around the United States for a five-day leadership-training summit in Greensboro, North Carolina. The gathering aimed to prepare its participants to advocate for resilient, equitable, and thriving communities—all through the lens of food. Read more

2. WASTED: Second Edition of NRDC’s Landmark Food Waste Report

The Natural Resources Defense Council released the second edition of their Wasted report.  It provides an extensive picture of the current state of wasted food in the U.S. including on-going drivers, new statistics, key areas of progress since we released the original Wasted report in 2012 and recommendations for further progress. In tandem, we announced Phase Two of the Save The Food campaign.

3. Students Practice Mindful Eating
Research now shows, learning to eat mindfully can empower people to make conscious choices about what — and how much — to eat. That can lead to weight loss and better health. Mindful eating can even be used to combat eating disorders. Read more

4. Obesity in Indian Country Is Mostly the Same; Why That’s Incremental Progress

There is an epidemic of diabetes in Native American communities. Yet it’s also true that adult diabetes rates for American Indian and Alaska Natives have not increased in recent years, and there has been a significant drop in both vision-related diseases and kidney failures. Incremental progress. Now a new study, one that is built on a massive amount of data, reports that obesity among Native American youth is mostly the same. Learn more


Job Opportunities
1. Urban Agriculture Manager, Gary Comer Youth Center
Gary Comer Youth Center in Chicago seeks to hire an Urban Agriculture Manager. This position will play a leadership role to increase the impact of existing and new social enterprise ventures focused on teens, young adults and urban agriculture. Learn more and apply

2. Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 

The RWJF is seeking to fill the role of Program Office/ Senior Program Officer in the Research - Evaluation - Learning Unit (REL). The program officers/senior program officers (PO/SPO) in the Research-Evaluation-Learning (REL) unit are professional staff responsible for creating, developing, implementing, and managing the research and evaluation aspects of the Foundation’s initiatives. Learn more and apply

3. Director of Garden Programs, Pennsylvania Horticulture Society 
The PHS based in Philadelphia seeks to hire a Director of Garden Programs to lead PHS’s thinking and action in supporting a thriving and growing network of community and school gardens and gardeners. Read more and apply


Farm to School in the News
Michigan Expands 10 Cents a Meal Pilot to Broader Regions of the State
Michigan legislators expanded the popular 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms program from $250,000 in general funds last year to $375,000 for the upcoming school year; and added a third, six-county region in Washtenaw in southeast Michigan in which schools are eligible to apply for funds via competitive grants, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced in a press release Thursday. (Groundwork Center

Iowa Elementary School Learning Healthier Habits

On Thursday, August 10, Franklin Elementary School gave their summer school students a special treat. They got to taste salsa, pesto, and lemonade made with ingredients they grew all summer, along with using honey from their bee hive. (Voices of Muscatine

A Fresh Start: Kentucky Schools food service partners with local farmers
Anderson said he encourages his employees to find ways to work alongside teachers in classrooms and partner for unique learning projects. Past partnerships have come in the form of marketing projects for new cafeteria items and life skills lessons in budgeting, cooking and meal planning. (Richmond Register)


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.

This Week in Farm to School: 8/15/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, August 15, 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. 

Webinars

1. CommunityFood: Exploring Innovations in Community Food Systems 
August 17 // 3:30pm ET
The National Good Food Network and the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative of the University of Arkansas are excited to present this webinar highlighting themes in innovation emerging among community-based organizations across Indian Country, rural communities, and cities across America. Register here

2. School Nutrition Association: Host a Legislator Site Visit

September 6 // 2-3pm ET
Bringing your legislator in for a behind-the-scenes look at the daily operation of your school cafeteria could make the difference in preventing block grants, preserving funding and expanding commodity support. Successful completion of the webinar and quiz is awarded 1 SNA CEU, or 1 CPEU for RDs/DTRs. Learn more and register
 
3. Promoting equity in local food systems through Cooperative Extension
September 6 // 3-4pm ET
How can we apply equity and anti-racism principles to our food system work? In answer to this question, this webinar provides three examples from the Cooperative Extension System of efforts to promote equity and undo racism in local food systems. Register here

4. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: Farm to School for Children with Special Needs
Thursday, September 7, 2-3 PM ET

While farm to school offers abundant benefits for all children, we have learned from our partners that the core elements of farm to school – including hands on education, spending time in gardens, and cooking and tasting local food – offers additional benefits to students with special needs, supporting their learning and growth in many different environments. On this webinar, participants will learn about opportunities and best practices for utilizing farm to school initiatives to support learning and development for children with special needs and hear success stories from leaders of programs across the country serving students with special needs. This webinar is open to the public, Register here.

5. Farmers Markets as Engines of Economic Activity: Power in Numbers
September 11 // 2-3pm ET
As we approach the end of peak season in Michigan, this webinar from Michigan State University will celebrate the many ways farmers markets contribute to community economic development across the state. Findings from recent research projects will quantify effects from consumer, producer and community perspectives. Register here

6. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to ECE Quarterly Webinar: Farm to Early Care and Education in Head Start – A Natural Alignment
Tuesday, October 10, 3-4 PM ET
Head Start offers vital, high quality early care and education (ECE) opportunities to low-income families across the country. Farm to ECE offers benefits that support the goals and priorities of the ECE community, with a particularly strong alignment with Head Start priority areas, including an emphasis on experiential learning opportunities, parent and community engagement, and life-long health and wellness for children, families and caregivers. Join this webinar to learn about the exciting new resource from NFSN, “Growing Head Start Success with Farm to Early Care and Education,” which aligns Head Start Program Performance Standards and the Early Learning Outcomes Framework with farm to ECE opportunities and to hear from Head Start practitioners about best practices and successes in implementing farm to ECE in the Head Start setting. This webinar is open to the public, so please share widely. Register here.  


Events
1. 2017 NIFTI National Field School 
November 8-10 // Pacific Grove, CA
Now in its sixth year, the NIFTI National Field School's goal is to bring together leaders in the field of beginning farmer training to build skills, discuss perspectives and experience on how to best support the next generation of farmers in the US, and to reinforce and advance one another’s work. Read more and register. Early bird registration price ends September 5. 

2. Food First's Food Sovereignty Tour

November 10-19 // Cuba
Food First's Food Sovereignty Tours guide travelers and activists interested in alternative food movements to international destinations to explore other food systems and their fight for food sovereignty. Join them this November on their tour to Cuba to learn firsthand from farmers, professors, government officials, and educators about the agroecology movement across the country. Learn more

3. Community Food Systems Conference

December 5-7 // Boston
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project's Community Food Systems Conference will address common underlying themes between food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture including obstacles in urban and rural environments and fostering community empowerment to create and sustain resilient local food systems. Learn more


Resources
1. Preserving Indigenous Farming Knowledge and Practices
Over the centuries, indigenous peoples have provided a series of ecological and cultural services to humankind. The preservation of traditional forms of farming knowledge and practices help maintain biodiversity, enhance food security, and protect the world’s natural resources. There are approximately 370 million indigenous peoples in the world occupying or using up to 22 percent of the global land area, which is home to 80 percent of the world’s biological diversity. Read more about five indigenous farming practices that have helped shape sustainable farming systems and practices all over the world.
2. Racial Justice in the Farm Economy Needs Community Capital
How can we secure food justice in the United States when 98% of all farmland is owned by White people? When Black farmers own less than 3 million acres of rural land today, compared to over 15 million acres just a century ago? When 180 million acres were stolen from Native communities in the 19th and 20th centuries? Developing a just food system requires (1) confronting the reality of racial disparity in farmland ownership and its negative impacts on wealth distribution, health outcomes, and cultural vitality, and (2) replacing the current reality with an equitable distribution of farmland that prioritizes communal stewardship, local control, and diversified ownership. Read More

3. Engage Native and Rural Communities, Families and Schools in Education

Rural schools serving tribal communities face unique challenges. Schools thrive when everybody is working together and involved in the education process. Rural schools, particularly those on and near reservations, face unique challenges in building bridges to schools that serve tribal and border communities. In some of those schools, staff members are not aware or interested in understanding Native culture or the boarding school history that impacts the students they are teaching. Read more to learn 10 of the best suggestions from the Montana OPI to make rural schools a more welcome place for Native children.

4. Farm to School Podcast Recommendations

Last month, the National Farm to School Network asked: what are your favorite farm to school and food systems podcasts? And we heard from lots of you - our Core Partners and Supporting Partners, members, social media followers and staff. Here is an abbreviated list of the most shared recommendations. The next time you are working in the school garden or on the farm, dicing vegetables for school lunch, or commuting to work, try one of these podcast for some food for thought! Read more and start listening

Job Opportunities
1. Marketing and Promotion Specialist, Montana No Kid Hungary
Montana's Department of Public Health and Human Services is seeking to hire a Marketing and Promotion Specialist for the Montana No Kid Hungry. The Marketing and Promotion Specialist has responsibilities such as organizing and promoting contests, developing “messaging” for the website and social media presence, writing articles and expanding “messaging” for the online quarterly newsletters. Learn more and apply

Farm to School in the News
Making Fresh Foods the New Norm in Michigan
In 2015, Vandyke Elementary implemented the Greenway Grows programming and school garden. The garden serves as an outdoor learning laboratory during the school year and summer programming. With the addition of the salad bar, the Vandyke Green Team students will be able to begin collecting compostable waste to help fuel their garden. (Grand Rapids Herald Review)

Manzo Elementary's School Garden (Arizona)
This video shows how young students in west Tucson work together at Manzo Elementary's school garden to plant and harvest vegetables sustainably for their community. (ASU School of Sustainability)

Garden Club in Missouri Continues to Blossom

Clark-Vitt Elementary teacher Linda Schwoeppe didn’t know much about gardening when her students asked her to start a garden club two years ago. She said that in many ways, she’s learned as the students have, day-by-day. (eMissourian)

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.



Previous   1 .. 2 3 4 5 6 .. 41   Next