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.
1. OFRF Invites Proposals for Organic Farming and Food System Research
The Organic Farming Research Foundation is dedicated to fostering the widespread adoption and improvement of organic farming systems in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. To that end, OFRF provides funding for research on organic farming and food systems and the dissemination of those research results to organic farmers and the greater agricultural and research communities. One-year grants of up to $15,000 are available for research projects related to agricultural production and/or a social, economic, or policy-related topic of concern to organic farmers and/or ranchers. Learn more here.
Webinars & Events
1. Proposals now being accepted for National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Organizers of the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference are seeking proposals for workshops, posters and lightning talks to feature during the two-day gathering in Madison, Wis., June 2-4, 2016. This event is the premier gathering of individuals and organizations working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. Cafeterias in schools and early care, colleges and universities, hospitals, prisons and other institutional settings serve tens of millions of Americans every day, placing the farm to cafeteria movement at the forefront of the fight to end obesity and strengthen local food systems. The 2016 conference theme Moving Forward Together lifts up new and innovative partnerships to continue building momentum and ensure long-term sustainability in the movement. The application period is open now through Dec. 4, 2015. Learn more at farmtocafeteriaconference.org.
2. Webinar: National Farm to School Network
Funding Partnerships: Farm to School & Farm Credit
Tuesday, Dec. 8, 12pm CST
Join the National Farm to School Network and Farm Credit for a webinar highlighting innovative ways to partner with you local Farm Credit association, and learn how your program can grow with creative funding and partnership opportunities. Register here.
3. Webinar: School Food FOCUS
Maximize Your Procurement Dollars through Regional Purchasing: School Food and Forward Contracting
Thursday, Dec. 10, 1pm ET
Forward contracting establishes a price to be paid for a certain quantity of product to be provided at a future date. Learn how forward contracting can help maximize your procurement budget and support local farmers at the same time. Speakers will highlight the benefits and challenges of forward contracting school food, and demonstrate how to write forward contracts. Register here.
4. 7th National Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference
Save the date for the 7th National Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) Conference, to be held July 29-31, 2016 in Santa Cruz, Calif. This year’s theme — “The Ecology of Food Systems” — highlights the growing demand for inclusive and critical approaches to sustainable agriculture and food education at the postsecondary level. SAEA has a strong tradition of focusing on interdisciplinary and experiential learning from a systems thinking perspective. In 2016, the conference will emphasize issues of social justice and equity. For more information about the SAEA and past conferences please visit SAEA’s website.
Research & Resources
1. New resources: Parents for Healthy Schools, CDC Healthy School
Parents have a powerful role in supporting children’s health and learning. Parents for Healthy Schools is a set of resources, developed by CDC Healthy Schools and partners, that school groups (e.g., PTA/PTO, school wellness committee) can use to motivate and educate parents to create a healthy school environment for their children. View the resources here.
Jobs & Opportunities
1. Education Specialist, Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom
The Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation seeks a part-time Education Specialist to join their team. The purpose of the position is to work with the Executive Director in the continued development and expansion of the program. They’re looking for a professional to assist with designing curriculum and managing resources available toOregon teachers in an effective and appealing manner. Learn more here.
Farm to school in the news
How schools are using gardens to teach math
Los Cerritos Elementary School in Long Beach, Calif. has a 48,000 square-foot school garden where students learn math, social studies, science and more. For a half-hour every week, each of Los Cerritos’s classes visit the garden. (via The Atlantic)
Farm to school changes school lunch for the better in Oregon
Farm to school initiatives are changing the way kids eat in Oregon, making school lunches healthy and delicious. Check out this video clip of Portland Public Schools Nutrition Services Director, Gitta Grether-Sweeney talking about the changes. (via KATU.com)
Students dig farm-to-table learning
As school subjects go, food production — from garden or farm to table or fork — offers something for a wide variety of students. In Idaho, middle school students take on technical topics like integrated pest management and designing aquaponics systems. (via Idaho Press-Tribune)