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This week in farm to school: 7/21/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, July 21, 2015

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. 



Funding & Grants
1. Captain Planet Foundation Grant
The Captain Planet Foundation provides grants between $500 and $2,500 to school and community groups to support hands-on environmental projects. The objective of the foundation is to encourage innovative programs that empower children and youth around the world to work individually and collectively to solve environmental problems in their neighborhoods and communities. The next deadline is September 30, 2015. Learn more here

2. CHS Classroom Grant
CHS and National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO) are offering five $1,500 classroom grants to teachers in kindergarten through 12th grade. The funds can be used for schoolyard or classroom gardens, animal science and other projects that educate K-12 students in general education classrooms about the source of their food, fiber and fuel. The deadline for applications is Sept. 15, 2015. Learn more and apply here

Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, July 23, 1pm EST
Whole Measures for Community Food Projects
This webinar will introduce Whole Measure for Community Food Systems (WM CFS), a values-based, community-oriented tool for planning and evaluation of Community Food Projects. It will discuss how CFP grantees can utilize the Whole Measures CFS frame for their annual Indicators of Success reporting, a collective impact report for all CFPs, as well as a tool for community organizing. The presenter will be Jeanette Abi-Nader of the City Schoolyard Garden and formerly of the Community Food Security Coalition. Register here

2. Food Day Green Meal initiative
Green Meal is a national initiative created by Food Day, The Humane Society of the United States, Health Care Without Harm, and Meatless Monday to raise awareness about the critical importance of eating less meat and enjoying more whole plant-based foods as a way to become healthier and to help animals and the environment. During Food Day on October 24, millions of meals will be served to celebrate a green and healthy plant-strong diet. You’re invited to join the Food Day Green Meal initiative! Learn more and sign up to participate here.

Research & Resources
1. New USDA newsletter
To better serve its stakeholders in the growing area of local and regional food systems, USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative has launched a new newsletter. If you do not currently receive the newsletter, you are welcome to sign up to receive it by emailing intergovernmental@osec.usda.gov and replying “YES.” You can view the inaugural edition here

2. Advancing Farm to School: Lessons from the Field
This "Farm to School 2.0" resource is meant for those that are hoping to expand or fine-tune farm to school programming in their community. The contents reflect the experience of fourteen Wisconsin communities, as they worked to establish and strengthen farm to school efforts in their respective regions. Chapter topics range from designing a successful Harvest of the Month program to strategies for fostering farm to school program sustainability. Actionable tips and insight are provided through case studies, distilled 'lessons learned', and field-tested resource recommendations. View the resource here

3. AGree: Food and Agriculture Education in the United States
Food and agriculture education in the U.S. has changed dramatically over our nation’s history. Topics to study and careers to pursue go beyond production agriculture and include food and nutrition, natural resources, and information technology. The education system must be strengthened to address the challenges and opportunities facing our global food system and support the young people who will define it. A new AGree paper examines the evolution of U.S. food and ag education, its current structure, and how it must adapt to meet emerging challenges. Read the full paper here

4. Small Farmers Can Make Food Safety Work: The GroupGAP Pilot in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
This case study provides an overview of the processes, challenges, benefits, and lessons learned from the Group Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) pilot project in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The project goal was to test how a group-based farm-based food safety certification process could benefit small farmers. This pilot study confirms that good agricultural practices (GAP) certification can meet group needs at an affordable cost working with small and very small farms. Read the case study here

5. Journal of School Health: School Gardens Enhance Academic Performance and Dietary Outcomes in Children
Schools face increasing demands to provide education on healthy living and improve core academic performance. Although these appear to be competing concerns, they may interact beneficially. This article focuses on school garden programs and their effects on students' academic and dietary outcomes. This small set of studies offers evidence that garden-based learning does not negatively impact academic performance or FV consumption and may favorably impact both. Additional studies with more robust experimental designs and outcome measures are necessary to understand the effects of experiential garden-based learning on children's academic and dietary outcomes. Read the article here

Policy & Action
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

2. Give us your feedback on "Lunch Bites" webinars 
NFSN’s monthly 20-minute “Lunch Bites” webinars have been on a short hiatus, and we’re gearing up to bring them back later this summer. Please take 5 minutes to answer 8 short questions, provide your feedback and help us continue to make this webinar series informative and engaging. Take the survey and you’ll be automatically entered to win one of three NFSN aprons or t-shirts! The survey closes this Friday, July 24, 2015. Your feedback is greatly appreciated! 

Farm to school in the news
Heart group uses 'Parks and Rec' star in satirical video on school lunch regs
The American Heart Association (AHA) is using satire to fight back against special interest groups and lawmakers over regulations that force schools to serve healthier lunches. Watch the video here. Read an article about the video on The Hill

Washington County Public Schools workers prep and process produce
A school district in Maryland is working this summer to develop new systems for prepping and processing produce so that local food can be served year-round. (via Herald Mail Media)

Twist on 'Foodapalooza' takes educators on a field trip
"Everyone involved in the local food chain" came together last Tuesday in Louisiana to show educators how to get local, fresh produce into their schools and communities. (via The Town Talk)

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: 7/14/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, July 14, 2015

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. 



Funding & Grants
1. Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools
The Chef Ann Foundation has teamed up with Skoop, a superfoods company committed to bringing the health benefits of superfoods to every American. Together they have launched Project Produce: Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schools. These $2,500 grants assist in expanding students’ palates, and encouraging increased consumption of and exposure to fresh produce through engagement in lunchroom education activities that encourage students to taste new vegetables and fruits offered either in a dish, cooked, or raw. Learn more about the grant and find details to apply on The Lunch Box

2. Local Foods, Local Places 2015-2016 Application
Communities are invited to apply for a new round of technical assistance from Local Foods, Local Places. Local Foods, Local Places helps communities create walkable, healthy, economically vibrant neighborhoods through the development of local food systems. A team of experts will help community members develop action plans that use local foods to support healthy families and communities and to drive downtown and neighborhood revitalization. The assistance process features a community workshop that brings people together to develop shared goals and steps to achieve them. This is not a grant program. Applications dues September 15, 2015. Learn more here

Research & Resources
1. New USDA farm to preschool resource
USDA Farm to School team has published a new two-page fact sheet focused on preschool settings. Farm to Preschool: Local Food and Learning in Early Child Care and Education Settings presents basic information about farm to preschool efforts, including tips and resources. The fact sheet is available here

2. Farm to Early Childhood Programs: A Step-By-Step Guide
Michigan Farm to School has recently released Farm to Early Childhood Programs: A Step-By-Step Guide. Freely downloadable, this new guide provides tools and resources to help early childhood program providers of all types and sizes purchase and use local foods in their meals and snacks. Find a pdf copy of the guide here

3. Urban-Rural Differences in Childhood and Adolescent Obesity in the United States: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
This is a systematic literature review and subsequent meta-analysis performed to investigate differences in childhood obesity between urban and rural areas in the United States. All but one study suggested that residence in rural areas was associated with higher prevalence or increased odds of childhood obesity, compared to children living in urban areas. A meta-analysis of 74,168 pooled participants ages 2–19 found that rural children have 26% greater odds of obesity, compared to urban children. Read the full study here

4. Obesity: Americans Much Heavier Than in 1960
The Centers for Disease Control recently reported that over the past 45 years both men and women in the United States have gained weight and that "the average American woman now weighs 166.2 pounds – nearly identical to what American men weighed in the 1960s  … up from about 140 pounds in 1960." In addition, more than one in five U.S. children between the ages of 12 and 19 are considered obese, with 17.7 percent of kids ages 6–11 also weighing in at obesity levels. Read more about the study here

Webinars & Events
1. Canada’s first national school food conference, Nov 12-14, Montreal
Changing the Menu, Canada’s first-ever national school food conference, aims to advance activities to get more healthy, local and sustainable food into the minds and onto the plates of students. The three-day event will feature field trips to inspirational projects in Quebec, keynote speakers, presentations, workshops and networking opportunities. The conference will bring together a diverse group of participants from various sectors including health, education, agriculture, food service, recreation, policy and research. Early bird registration now open through September 15. Learn more about the conference on the Changing the Menu website

Policy & Action 
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Program Officer for Food Communities & Public Health Program, The John Hopkins Center for  Livable Future
The primary role of this position is to manage the Center’s Food Policy Networks (FPN) project, in close collaboration with senior staff at the Center for a Livable Future. As a core and senior member of the Food Communities and Public Health program team, the Program Officer will also contribute to other CLF projects within the FCPH program portfolio, such as the Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast (EFSNE) project, Meatless Monday and actively fulfill Center-wide activities as needed. Learn more about the position here.

2. Research, Data & Evaluation Manager, FOCUS
School Food FOCUS (FOCUS) is a national collaborative that leverages the knowledge and procurement power of 43 large school districts across the country that collectively represent more than 4.9 million children. FOCUS seeks a Manager to coordinate research, evaluation and procurement data activities across the organization. View the full job description here

Farm to school in the news
Farm to school on The Many Shades of Green featuring NFSN Director of Development, Jaime Lockwood!
Jaime Lockwood was last week’s guest on The Many Shades of Green radio show. She discusses how farm to school works to bring fresh, local foods into school across the U.S., and how the Farm to School Act of 2015 can help strengthen the farm to school movement. Listen here

Op-ed: Don’t reverse progress toward healthier school lunches
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urged Congress not to roll back the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act healthier school meal standards in an opinion piece this week. (via The Salt Lake Tribune)

Oregon to drastically change the way children get their school lunches
Oregon is taking its farm-to-schools statewide. As part of a spending bill, lawmakers agreed to pour $3.3 million of general fund money toward expanding the program, from the 19 school districts that currently enjoy farm-to-school benefits to every K-12 in the state. (via Portland Business Journal)

Ige Signs Law Creating Farm-to-School Program in Hawaii
Last week, Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed a bill that is intended to increase the amount of local food students eat in Hawaii’s public school system. The bill creates a state-wide farm to school program, and funds a full-time farm to school coordinator position. (via Civil Beat)

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: 7/7/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, July 07, 2015

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 & Events
1. Food Justice Webinar with Closing the Hunger Gap & Oregon Food Bank
Food Justice & Emergency Food Providers
Wednesday, July 15, 10:30-11:45 a.m. PST; 1:30-2:45 pm EST
What is food justice and how can emergency food providers support food justice efforts? During the webinar, Jess Powers from WhyHunger will outline what food justice means and two organizations will discuss how they use food justice to inform their work. Mireille Massac from Child Development Support Corporation in Brooklyn will discuss the injustices she sees in her neighborhood and the solutions the pantry has put in to place. Shannon Cogan from Portland’s Sisters Of The Road will talk about how her organization offers a space to empower community members, dine with dignity, and organize for justice and human rights for all. Register here and learn more about the speakers here.

Policy & Action 
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

Jobs & Opportunities 
1. Director, D.C. Hunger Solutions
The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), seeks a highly motivated and skilled leader for the organization’s work to create a hunger-free community and improve the nutrition, health, economic security and well-being of low-income residents in Washington, D.C. The ideal candidate must be a highly skilled public policy advocate, manager and leader; evidence a strong commitment to social justice; be an effective supervisor of a talented staff; be creative and a self-starter; have a proven ability to excel at working in partnerships; and have experience balancing the needs of diverse stakeholders. This full-time, director-level position is located in Washington, D.C. and reports to FRAC’s president. For more information,click here

2. Garden Coordinator, CitySprouts 
CitySprouts is a nonprofit school garden organization that partners with public schools in Boston and Cambridge to integrate academic and environmental education in the schools and neighborhood. The Garden Coordinator is a 10-month staff position, March 1 to December 30. The Garden Coordinator maintains the physical space, supports teachers’ use of the garden for teaching during the school year, and is a lead teacher in the 8-week summer youth internship program. Applications due Friday, July 10, 2015. For more information and to apply, please visit the CitySprouts website

Farm to school in the news
MSU researchers study 'Beef to School' benefits with new grant
A team of researchers at MSU is working on a way to get more local beef into Montana schools. The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave MSU a three-year, $220,000 grant to help Montana beef producers and meat processors increase the use of local meat in K-12 schools. (via NBC Montana)

Fellowship of the farm: Teens tend school garden through summer
High school students in Oregon are participating in a program in which local students work at Corvallis High School’s garden and sell its produce at a weekly farmers market. The fellowship pays students a stipend for working at the garden for a few hours three days a week. (via Corvallis Gazette-Times)

Farm to School Win-Win in Illinois
School cafeterias around Illinois are using more locally-sourced fruits and vegetables, while teaching children about the benefits of healthy eating. Wes King, executive director of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, says these opportunities help to put children in the "driver's seat" of a healthier diet. (via Public News Service)

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: 6/30/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 30, 2015

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 & Events
1. Webinars: New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
Sustaining your Program after Community Food Projects Funding
Tuesday, July 14, 1:30pm EST
This webinar will discuss challenges and strategies for sustaining a program after your initial funding has finished. The presenters, Chris Brown of Agriculture and Land Based Training and Jennifer Hashley of New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, will each speak about experiences from their own organizations. They will address challenges they have faced with sustaining a program, and lessons they have learned from the process. Register here.

Whole Measures for Community Food Projects
Thursday, July 23, 1:00pm EST
This webinar will introduce Whole Measure for Community Food Systems (WM CFS), a values-based, community-oriented tool for planning and evaluation of Community Food Projects. We will talk about how CFP grantees can utilize the Whole Measures CFS frame for their annual Indicators of Success reporting, a collective impact report for all CFPs, as well as a tool for community organizing. This will be an introductory webinar geared towards existing CFP grantees, and prospective grantees. Register here

2. Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative Conference
H.E.A.L Our Food System Gathering, Sep 25-27, 2015, Chicago, IL 
The Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative (GFJI) 2015 Gathering will be held in Chicago, IL in partnership with Growing Power, Inc. This year’s theme is "H.E.A.L. Our Food System,” which will be explored with a variety of local community organizations and growers. The Gathering will build upon learning and sharing from our previous gatherings to move us toward a vision of “Community/ Unity/ Opportunity/ Equity/ Harmony.” The Growing Food and Justice for All (GFJI) is a comprehensive network that views dismantling racism as a core principle which brings together social change agents from diverse sectors who are working to bring about new, healthy, and impoverished communities throughout the world. Learn more and register here

Policy & Action 
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

2. Farming is Public Service, National Young Farmers Coalition 
The National Young Farmers Coalition's (NYFC) new report, Farming Is Public Service: A Case for Adding Farmers to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, says that student loan debt is one of the key barriers preventing more would-be farmers and ranchers from entering agriculture. The report contains data from a new survey of more than 700 young farmers as well as data compiled from the USDA Census of Agriculture. According to the report, 30% of survey respondents said their student loans are delaying or preventing them from farming while 48% say their loans are preventing them from growing their business or obtaining credit to invest in their farm. NYFC and a coalition of more than 100 other farming organizations are calling for Congress to add farmers to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Jobs & Opportunities 
1. USDA Beginning Farmer Advisory Committee USDA is seeking up to 20 new members to serve on the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Advisory Committee. Organizations or individuals can nominate someone.  Nominations are due July 17.  More info can be found in the Federal Register Notice.  Please share with your networks. 

2. Chopped is casting The Food Network television show “Chopped” is seeking chefs located in New York, NY, Houston, TX, Asheville, NC, and San Francisco for casting. In addition to professional chefs, amateur cooks and teens are encourage to apply for special episodes. Applications accepted through August 2015. Apply at www.choppedcasting.com

Farm to school in the news
High hopes for Farm to School Act 2015 -  featuring Director of Programs, Helen Dombalis!  
After a successful first round of USDA grants under CNR 2010, advocates are hoping to leverage strong bipartisan support to triple funding to $15M. But as the Farm to School movement matures, the conversation is not just about new grants. It’s about institutionalizing the presence of local food in schools, and how else this year’s CNR can help that happen. (via Inside School Food

'Edible classroom' sprouts into success at school in Waconia, Minn. 
The garden, plus a half-acre orchard, produces nearly one-thousand pounds of fresh organically-grown food every year. The majority is distributed to the district's four schools. “It's really important for kids to be able to connect to their environment, connect to their town or their city, and I think this is is just a great way for them to do it.” (via Fox 9 - Twin Cities

'Eat your veggies' is a message best delivered to the young 
Under the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable plan, 151 New Jersey schools will provide produce for a minimum of two days each month from September to November and from April to June. The program also teach students about the food grown in the Garden State, and supports local farmers. (via NJ.com)

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: 6/24/2015

NFSN Staff Wednesday, June 24, 2015

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. 



Funding & Grants 
1. USDA Seeks Applications for Loans and Grants to Create Jobs and Support Rural Economic Development
The USDA is accepting applications for loans and grants to support business expansion, create jobs and increase economic opportunities in rural communities. Funding is being provided through USDA's Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). RMAP provides loans and grants to Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs) to help microentrepreneurs – very small businesses with 10 or fewer employees – access capital to start or grow businesses. MDOs use the funds to provide training and technical assistance to small businesses or to establish revolving loan funds that provide micro-loans, typically $5,000 to $50,000, to rural microentrepreneurs. The 2014 Farm Bill reauthorized the program through 2018. For Fiscal Year 2015, more than $16 million is available in loans and grants. Details about how to apply for this are on page 35299 of the June 19 Federal Register. Application forms may be obtained from any USDA Rural Development State Office. More information can be found in this USDA press release

Webinars & Events 
1. Kansas City Schoolyard Garden Summit, July 14
Sign up today for an exclusive Kansas City Schoolyard Garden Summit event on July 14, 2015, featuring a keynote address from Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. This regional summit is intended to share best practices among schools and school districts, as well as provide provide fun, educational methods to use school gardens for healthy food options, curriculum and to involve community members. It will also give an overview of the schoolyard garden movement in Kansas City, and provide tips for starting and maintaining a school garden. The Summit will be held at Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts. More information & registration details can be found here.   
2. NESAWG 2015 Conference, November 13-14, Saratoga Springs, NY
Putting MOVE in the Movement
Civil rights, labor, women’s rights—the movements that transformed our world can give us insight on ways to accelerate food systems change.  What can we learn from leaders past and present?  How can we better organize our work, our networks, our message, our media? At this year’s Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group conference (Nov 13-14), learn and strategize with hundreds of attendees—from farmers to researchers to policymakers—as we work to build a movement and realize the change we want to see. Shirley Sherrod, a longtime civil rights activist and advocate for family farms and food justice, will deliver the keynote speech, addressing the conference theme: Putting Move in the Movement. Visit the conference website for more information. 

Resources 
1. New Edible Schoolyard Training Videos
The Edible Schoolyard recently debuted a new series of professional development videos with great tips for creating effective and inspiring learning environments – indoors and out. Watch the first three videos and stay tuned for more to come this summer!

Policy & Action 
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Procurement Specialist, Community Alliance with Family Farmers
The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advocate for California family farms and sustainable agriculture. CAFF is a farmer member organization that works statewide to increase the economic viability of California family farmers and to connect communities with their local producers. The Procurement Specialist will work on a variety of projects that provide technical assistance to farmers in selling their products to different markets, primarily institutions such as schools and hospitals. The ideal candidate will have a strong competency in sustainable procurement work, farm to institution, and regional food systems in California. This position will be located in either the Davis or Oakland office. Applications due by July 8. More information can be found on the CAFF website

Farm to school in the news
Fresh From Farms to Schools -- It Just Makes Sense
Nancy Brown - CEO, American Heart Association, recently spent a day at a Dallas school to learn more about how a USDA Farm to School Grant helped Dallas Independent School District bring locally-grown produce into cafeterias. She shares the steps the district is taking to ensure the next generation is a healthier one. (via Huffington Post)

Vermont institute helps schools grow farm-to-school programs
Presented by Vermont FEED, the Northeast Farm to School Institute will host 13 school from around the region when it kicks off on Wednesday at Shelburne Farms. The institute will focus on professional development in order to design a more integrated curriculum that includes food, farm and nutrition in all aspects of student learning. (via Washington Times)

Farm to School program gives students hands-on experience
With several classes each year for teachers, school nutrition staff members, the community and people from across the state, the Cherokee Farm to School program is a way to train gardeners who can go back to their communities and make an impact. (via Cherokee Tribune)

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: 6/16/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 16, 2015

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. 



Funding & Grants 
1. Find your community of supporters with Barnraiser
The National Farm to School Network is partnering with Barnraiser, a crowdfunding platform dedicated to good food and farming projects, to elevate farm to school activities across the country. From school gardens in North Carolina to community cooking education in California, these projects are being funded by people who believe in the power of farm to school activities to support vibrant communities and to empower children and families to make healthy food choices. NFSN will be a featured partner on the site with a page that aggregates farm to school crowdfunding campaigns from across the country. If you would like help initiating a crowdfunding campaign for your farm to school initiative, check out the Barnraiser Campaign Guide and/or contact Marie Sayles, Projects & Partnerships Director, at marie@barnraiser.us. Don't forget to let us know when your project is live! 

Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, July 14, 1:30pm EST 
Sustaining your Program after Community Food Projects Funding
This webinar with New Entry Sustainable Farming Project will discuss challenges and strategies for sustaining a program after your initial funding has finished. The presenters, Chris Brown of Agriculture and Land Based Training and Jennifer Hashley of New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, will each speak about experiences from their own organizations. They will address challenges they have faced with sustaining a program, and lessons they have learned from the process.

Policy & Action 
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

2. Child Nutrition Reauthorization National Call-in Day, Tuesday, June 23
Nearly 16 million children in America face hunger. As parents, educators, doctors and nutritionists, religious and business leaders, and anti-hunger advocates we believe that every child should have access to the nutrition they need to grow up healthy and thrive.  The federal child nutrition programs are critical supports for low-income children in need. Tell Congress to invest in our children and take action on a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Make your voice heard on June 23!
  1. Call the toll-free hotline at 888-398-8702
  2. Listen to the pre-recorded message and enter your zip code when prompted.
  3. State that you are a constituent and give your name and your hometown.
  4. Let them know you are calling about the child nutrition programs and deliver this important message:
    • “On September 30, the child nutrition bill will expire, and it’s time Congress got to work. As your constituent, I ask you to pass a strong child nutrition bill that invests in and improves child nutrition programs so that our nation’s kids have the fuel they need to grow up healthy and succeed.”
  5. Dial back in to make sure you speak with both of your Senators and your Representative
You can also visit www.feedingamerica.org/CNRAction to call Congress directly.

Jobs & Opportunities
1. NFSN is hiring a Farm to Preschool Associate
Join our team! National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications for a full time Farm to Preschool Associate. The Farm to Preschool Associate will be responsible for managing the implementation of a comprehensive farm to preschool growth plan for NFSN, with a focus on seamless integration of farm to preschool within all priority areas of NFSN including information/resource services, networking/partnership building and policy/advocacy. This position will report directly to the Director of Programs of NFSN. Projected start date: early July 2015. For a full position description and application instructions, click here. Please share this listing with anyone you think is interested and qualified. The deadline to apply is June 18, 2015.

Farm to school in the news 
Lafayette school lunch contest encourages kids to eat what they grow
The contest featured teams of three to four students with a teacher, community leader and a local chef using vegetables the kids grew at their schools. The Advocate

Farm to School Institute expands
Vermont FEED is expanding its pioneering Farm to School Institute to school teams from across New England and New York. Thirteen teams have recently been selected to participate, thanks to funding from a USDA Farm to School grant. Morning Ag Clips

Lettuce alone in Swampscott
Swampscott High School held its second annual Salad Day, offering students fresh veggies, a cooking demonstration and a lesson in local food. “A lot of people think eating fresh is more expensive,” Brandy Wilbur told the students. “But you can keep it simple, local and a lot more fresh … and cheaper.” The Daily Item

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: 6/9/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 09, 2015

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. 



Funding & Grants
1. Grow your farm to school program with a Seed Change mini grant! (KY, LA, PA ONLY)
The National Farm to School Network is accepting applications from eligible schools and school districts in Kentucky, Louisiana and Pennsylvania for  $5,000 mini grants to help jump start new farm to school activities or ramp up existing programs. Grants can be used for local food for tastings, new processing equipment, hosting events, building school gardens and more. All nonprofit schools and school districts in Kentucky, Louisiana and Pennsylvania are eligible to apply. Deadline for applications is Monday, June 15 at midnight ET. For more information and to apply, visit farmtoschool.org/seedchange
2. Find your community of supporters with Barnraiser
The National Farm to School Network is partnering with Barnraiser, a crowdfunding platform dedicated to good food and farming projects, to elevate farm to school activities across the country. From school gardens in North Carolina to community cooking education in California, these projects are being funded by people who believe in the power of farm to school activities to support vibrant communities and to empower children and families to make healthy food choices. NFSN will be a featured partner on the site with a page that aggregates farm to school crowdfunding campaigns from across the country. If you would like help initiating a crowdfunding campaign for your farm to school initiative, check out the Barnraiser Campaign Guide and/or contact Marie Sayles, Projects & Partnerships Director, at marie@barnraiser.us. Don't forget to let us know when your project is live! 

Webinars & Events
1. Register for the Food Day Apple Crunch on Oct. 22, 2015
On and around Food Day 2015 (Oct. 24, 2015), millions of people around the country will crunch into an apple in a unifying action to raise awareness about eating better diets for our health and the environment, access and affordability of fruits and vegetables, and supporting local farmers. Hundreds of thousands of school students will crunch into an apple at lunch time, joined by Americans at public Food Day events, in corporate cafeterias and at home. Because Food Day falls on a Saturday this year, most schools will be participating in the Apple Crunch on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Start planning now to join the Food Day Apple Crunch and register your event at the link below.
2. Slow Food USA & American Heart Assoc. Garden Twitter Chat, June 10, 1pm EST
In honor of National Garden Week, Slow Food USA is teaming up with the American Heart Association for a garden-themed Twitter Chat. Do you have a home, community or school garden? Use #lifeiswhy and #SlowFoodUSA to add your voice. This chat will last from 1-2 PM EST and the topic will be gardening and healthy living. Follow @SlowFoodUSA for more information. 

Policy & Actions
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

Jobs & Opportunities
1. NFSN is hiring a Farm to Preschool Associate
Join our team! National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications for a full time Farm to Preschool Associate. The Farm to Preschool Associate will be responsible for managing the implementation of a comprehensive farm to preschool growth plan for NFSN, with a focus on seamless integration of farm to preschool within all priority areas of NFSN including information/resource services, networking/partnership building and policy/advocacy. This position will report directly to the Director of Programs of NFSN. Projected Start Date: June 30, 2015. For a full position description and application instructions, click here. Please share this listing with anyone you think is interested and qualified. The deadline to apply is June 18, 2015.
2. REAP Food Group
REAP Food Group is a nonprofit organization in Madison Wisconsin that nourishes links between land and table to grow a healthful, just and sustainable local food system. REAP Food Group is currently hiring for several positions: 
Farm to School Program Coordinator: This person will provide management and training support to four half-time AmeriCorps Farm to School educators. Additionally, the Farm to School Program Coordinator will work directly with school staff, area chefs and community organizations to carry out chef in the classroom programming, manage farm to school volunteers, plan educational farm to school events and provide general program support. More info here

Communications Director: This person will develop and implement the overall communications strategy for the organization, including promotion of REAP’s mission and events, public relations, member and donor communications, website management, design of printed materials, and social media outreach. The Communications Director will be involved in event planning and represent REAP at media events and before audiences at other outreach events. More info here

AmeriCorps Farm to School Educators: REAP Food Group is seeking candidates to fill four half time AmeriCorps positions with the REAP Farm to School program. This is a one-year appointment with a 900 hour commitment (average 20 hours/wk). Members will work with elementary, middle and high school students; as well as teachers, farmers, food service personnel, parents and a wide range of community partners on Farm to School program implementation within the Madison Metropolitan School District. More info here

Farm to school in the news
Roosevelt serves up home grown food for lunch program
Kindergarten students help maintain a school garden, and serve up spinach, lettuce and radishes to their classmates for lunch. (via Gazette Extra)
Students receive fresh, local produce through N.C. Farm to School program
Schools receive North Carolina peaches, Asian pears, watermelon, sweet potatoes, collards, apples, cabbage, carrots and more. “We try to really introduce different things to everyone.” (via Salisbury Post)
Fifth Graders Learn Lessons on Gardening, Healthy Lifestyles
Fifth graders in Minnesota are teaching each other the best way to plant potatoes."A garden is a living laboratory. When kids can be out learning how to do it, doing the research and applying it with their hands, the knowledge that they have, it really sticks and stays with them for a lifetime." (via  Fox 21)

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: 6/2/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 02, 2015

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. 



Funding & Grants
1. Grow your farm to school program with a Seed Change mini grant! (KY, LA, PA ONLY)
The National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications from eligible schools or school districts in Kentucky, Louisiana and Pennsylvania for $5,000 mini grants to help jump start new farm to school activities or ramp up existing programs. Grants can be used for local food for tastings, new processing equipment, hosting events, building school gardens and more. All nonprofit schools and school districts in Kentucky, Louisiana and Pennsylvania are eligible to apply. Deadline for applications is Monday, June 15 at midnight ET. For more information and to apply now visit: www.farmtoschool.org/seedchange
2. Voice for Healthy Kids Grant
Voices for Healthy Kids, a joint initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and American Heart Association (AHA), advances policy strategies to help all young people eat healthier foods and be more active. This initiative is working to advance coordinated issue advocacy campaigns by providing funding to coalitions focused on ending childhood obesity. Campaigns with a goal of implementing strong physical activity and healthy eating standards in out-of-school time programs may be eligible for this funding. Applicants must be a nonprofit organization with the ability to lobby, and applications should focus on individual campaigns seeking public policy change at the state, local or tribal level. Learn more and apply for funding here
3. USDA announces funding to assist with organic certification costs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced that approximately $11.9 million in organic certification assistance is available through state departments of agriculture to make organic certification more affordable for organic producers and handlers across the country. The funding is provided on a cost share basis and certification assistance is distributed by two programs. Through the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program, $11 million is available to organic farms and businesses nationwide. Through the Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost Share Program (AMA), an additional $900,000 is available to organic producers (crop and livestock operators only) in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. More information can be found here
4. USDA seeks applications for grants to help socially-disadvantaged producers
USDA is now accepting applications to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Funding will be made available through USDA's Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grant Program, which assists organizations that provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Examples of technical assistance are conducting feasibility studies, developing business and strategic plans, and providing leadership training. USDA plans to make up to $3 million in grants available. The maximum award under this notice is $175,000. More information on how to apply can be found on page 28937 of the May 20 Federal Register. Applications submitted by mail must be postmarked by July 20, 2015. Electronic applications must be submitted at www.grants.gov no later than midnight Eastern Time July 14, 2015. More information can be found here

Webinars & Events
1. Canada's first national school food conference, Montreal, Nov. 12 -14
Changing the Menu, the first-ever Canadian national school food conference aims to advance activities to get more healthy, local and sustainable food into the minds and onto the plates of students. The event will bring together a diverse group of participants from various sectors including health, education, food service, recreation, agriculture, policy and research. Some 400 people from coast to coast including members of indigenous communities are expected to attend the Montreal event. Find more information and the call for proposals here
2. Field to Tray: Strengthening farm to school purchasing in the Mid-Atlantic, Rockville, MD, Nov. 5
Field to Tray will bring together farm to school leaders including school nutrition professionals, farmers, suppliers, government representatives and nonprofit organizations for a day of learning and networking at the first farm to school conference in the Mid-Atlantic.  Field to Tray will highlight best practices and strategies for connecting local and regional farm products to more schools. From using school garden produce in the cafeteria, to farm to school funding opportunities for farmers, to adding local foods to school menus, this gathering will empower the Mid-Atlantic to ramp up farm to school purchasing practices for long-term success. Find more information here
3. Farm to School Coalition of NC Conference, July 25, Raleigh
Save the date for the first annual state-wide NC F2S Conference at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh, NC. To be notified of updates from the NC F2S Coalition including how to register, email caroline.stover@foodcorps.org and ask to be added to the Coalition listserv. 

Policy & Action
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit farmtoschool.org/cnr2015

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Summer Leadership Summit for Native Youth in Food & Agriculture, July 19-28
There are still slots open for the second annual Summer Leadership Summit for Native Youth in Food & Agriculture at the University of Arkansas School of Law, July 19-28. All slots will be fully paid, travel included, for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian youth between the ages of 13 and 18 who are passionate about food and agricultural production and have the courage to lead their Tribes and communities into the future. The deadline to apply has been extended for First Time Students and Summit Fellows to June 15th, or until all spaces are full. For more information and application details can be found here
2. Call for Proposals: The 2015 Young Farmers Conference
Every December, hundreds of beginning farmers from across the United States gather at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture to learn from agricultural luminaries, peers, and advocacy organizations at the Young Farmers Conference. On December 2-4, 2015, Stone Barns Center will host the 8th annual Young Farmers Conference, providing participants with access to inspiring keynotes and unique workshops that address soil science, technical skills, agricultural policy, farm business management, conservation and more. To submit a workshop proposal, visit this website. The deadline for proposals is June 15, 2015.
3. Southern SARE seeking NGO nominations for administrative council
The Administrative Council of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) program is seeking nominations of non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives with expertise in sustainable agriculture to replace outgoing Administrative Council members. NGO members are directly involved in deciding the future of research and education of the Southern SARE program. 
If you are interested in applying or nominating someone for a position on the SSARE AC, please send email your/their name, email address, postal address, phone number and the AC position applied for.  Southern SHARE will send you/them an invitation to apply for a position and the link to the Southern Region SARE On-Line AC Application System. To be considered, Southern Share must receive your e-mail nomination by June 19, 2015.  The deadline for a person to complete the SSARE On-Line Application is July 10, 2015. E-mail nominations to: John Mayne, Ph.D., SSARE Assistant Director, jmayne@uga.edu.

Farm to school in the news
Pueblo schools extend farm-to-school programs into summer
School is almost out, but that does not mean the end of free lunch for Pueblo students. Local agencies and farmers are helping the districts provide healthy options all year long. (via KOAA)
Madison district growing its own produce
For the first time, produce grown by the Madison School District will be used for its meal program. The garden is located at the Madison School District’s central production kitchen and distribution center, and herbs grown in the garden will be used in soups and sauces. (via Wisconsin State Journal)
Taco Tuesday: Students to enjoy grass-fed beef at lunchtime
Over 8,000 students in California ate lunch made with local, organic, grass-fed beef as part of the third annual “Taco Tuesday.” This Farm to School event provided an opportunity to celebrate local producers and change the face of school food across the region. (via Times-Standard)

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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