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National Farm to School Network


A Grateful Farewell to Anupama Joshi, Executive Director

NFSN Staff Tuesday, December 04, 2018
A letter from Miguel Villarreal, Advisory Board Chair, and the National Farm to School Network Advisory Board

After elevens years of leadership, visioning and dedication to growing the farm to school movement, Anupama Joshi is stepping down from her role as Executive Director of the National Farm to School Network. Anupama announced her departure in September, and her last day is Wednesday, Dec. 5.  

We invite you to join us in taking a moment to celebrate Anupama's contributions since she co-founded the National Farm to School Network in 2007, and to reflect on the incredible growth and success of farm to school over the past decade. 

During her tenure, Anupama has played a pivotal role in pioneering and shaping a national movement of communities working to bring local food sourcing, school gardens and food and agriculture education into schools and early care and education settings. Under Anupama’s leadership, the National Farm to School Network has: 

  • Grown a robust, cross-sectoral network that includes over 200 nonprofits, government agencies, and academic institutions, and more than 20,000 individual members across the country. 
  • Advocated for the recognition and institutionalization of farm to school at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has disbursed $25 million in federal farm to school grants over the past 5 year, developed the Farm to School Census, and created national and regional farm to school staffing within USDA. 
  • Developed innovative resources such as Evaluation for Transformation, Benefits of Farm to School, State Farm to School Legislative Survey, State Farm to School Positions Guide, and State Farm to School Networks Toolkit.
  • Hosted National Farm to Cafeteria Conferences, bringing together thousands of stakeholders from across the movement for collaborative learning, networking and movement building. 
  • Prioritized early care and education settings (ECE) and Native communities as touch points for expanding and strengthening farm to school activities.  
  • Solidified farm to school as a ubiquitous part of food systems change work

We are grateful to Anupama for her years of dedication to the National Farm to School Network, and wish her all our best as she begins her new role as Executive Director of the Blue Sky Funders Forum. Please join the Advisory Board in celebrating and thanking Anupama by making a donation in her honor to the National Farm to School Network, and leave your own farewell note for her on the National Farm to School Network’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

Jessica Gudmundson, current Senior Director, Finance and Operations, will serve as Interim Executive Director following Anupama's departure. We are currently accepting applications for Executive Director. There is great opportunity for the next leader to continue to advance the work of the National Farm to School Network. Read the full position description and learn more here. The deadline to apply is Jan. 7, 2019. 

As the National Farm to School Network begins its next chapter, we are well equipped and excited to continue innovating, strategizing and strengthening this important movement. Staff are already preparing for a busy and exciting 2019, including updating the Benefits of Farm to School resource and State Farm to School Legislative Survey, launching a new monthly webinar series, and making plans for the 2020 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference. 

We thank you for your support during this transition, and for your ongoing partnership in growing healthy kids, thriving farms and vibrant communities. 


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