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National Farm to School Network


This week in farm to school: 2/10/15

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 10, 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 Announces the Availability of $16 Million to Support Food Production
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of more than $16 million in funding to support research, education and Extension efforts to improve food production and increase food security, defined as regular access to affordable, nutritious food. NIFA is funding the grants through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Food Security program. For more information, read the full press release here

Webinars & Events

1. NFSN Webinar, March 10, 1 p.m. EST
Making change: How you can support farm to school policy this spring
Although the Child Nutrition Act (known as CNR) isn't set to expire until September 30, the action in D.C. is happening now, and we need your help. Join us to learn how farm to school legislation is progressing as part of CNR and what you can do to help make sure farm to school gets the support it needs from Congress! This webinar will cover actions that anyone can take to join the effort and become an effective advocate for farm to school. The 20-minute presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.

2. Food Policy & Regional Food Systems: Opportunities for Networking across Jurisdictions, February 11
Where does your local food policy council fit within the regional food system? Would you like to play a stronger role in both your locality and at a regional level but not sure how? Functioning with limited resources and volunteer members, it can often be easiest for a food policy council to concentrate locally. By understanding the role of local food policy councils within the context of a regional food system, groups can network across geographies to maximize impact and effectiveness of policy changes.During this webinar, expert panelists will address a number of big picture questions local food policy councils have about regional food systems. Learn more and register here

3.  2015 Summer Meals Webinar Series, USDA Food and Nutrition Services 
Take advantage of the USDA Food and Nutrition Services webinar sessions where you will find the latest resources, funding information, policy updates, technical guidance, best practices, highlights and success stories from around the country, best practices, and many other great tools to make your Summer Meals Program ROCK! More information can be found on the USDA Food and Nutrition Services website. Upcoming webinar include:
Summer Meals: Best Practices for Tackling the Transportation Challenge
Tuesday, February 10th 2015  
3:00pm to 4:00pm EST

Summer Meals: Incorporating Local Foods
Thursday, February 12th 2015 
2:00pm to 3:00pm EST

Summer Meals: SFSP 101 and How to Be A Summer Meals Champion 
Wednesday, February 24th 2015  
1:30pm to 2:30pm EST

4. FRAC February Summer Meals Matter Conference Call, February 12
It might be the height of winter, but February is a prime time to plan for summer, establish your outreach strategy and develop ways to increase the visibility of your summer nutrition programs. Work with schools, advocates, summer program providers and other partners to develop a marketing plan that can increase the visibility of the program and build participation. We will discuss what sponsors and advocates can be doing in February to ensure smooth program operations. You will also hear about effective methods and resources that advocates and program providers use to promote the program and reach the children who will benefit most from summer meal. Register here

5. State and Local Partnerships - Bridging Health Care and Early Education System Transformations to Achieve Kindergarten Readiness in Oregon (Part 2), March 4
The BUILD Initiative invites you to participate in a webinar on March 4 from 2 to 3:30 pm ET to learn more about how Oregon has leveraged opportunities to support a fundamental shift in how the health care and early education systems function and align with each other. For those who participated in the first webinar on January 12, the focus of this one will be on how health and early learning activities are integrated and aligned in communities through the state's system efforts. To participate in the webinar, click here


1. Finance & Operations Director, National Farm to School Network  
The National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications for a full time finance and operations director. The position description may be found on our website or downloaded as a PDF here.  The finance and operations director will direct all organizational activities related to finance, budgeting, human resources and general operations. The finance and operations director will be part of the organizational leadership team, serving as a strategic thought partner and reporting directly to the executive director (ED).  Projected start date: April 1, 2015. Please share this listing with anyone you think is interested and qualified. The deadline to apply is February 25, 2015.

2. Education and Training Specialist, National Food Service Management Institute 
NFSMI is looking for qualified applicants who are interest in joining the cutting edge of child nutrition education. NFSMI provides training and resources to child nutrition professionals across the United States. This is a professional position in which the incumbent develops, implements, and evaluates academic courses and training program materials for face-to-face and Web-based delivery. The incumbent manages multiple projects according to grants and cooperative agreement statements of work, utilizing knowledge of nutrition education practices, federal nutrition programs, adult education and instructional design. For more information, please visit the job posting.

3. Program Associate, Renewing the Countryside
Renewing the Countryside is hiring! If you know someone with a passion for early childhood nutrition, education, and/or sustainable food systems, please help spread the word. The Program Associate will assist with the coordination of Renewing the Countryside’s Farm to Child Care and Farm to School programming, primarily through research and outreach support and in-person educational meetings with providers and interested community members in the metro area. Additional information can be found here

Farm to school in the news

Shout out to NFSN's Helen Dombalis for this interview with Food Drive!
3 key factors in the agriculture sector
An interview with Helen Dombalis at the Food Tank Summit on how big business can and should engage in the farm to school movement. (via Food Drive)

Going back to basics
Cheney Public Schools helps battle obesity through education and home cooking. "We believe…that in order to be successful in getting kids excited about eating healthier foods you must: one, make it fun — an adventure. Two, create an environment where the kids learn that it's fun to try new foods and it's also OK if they don't like everything they try…” (via Inlander)

New plans sprouting for RCS greenhouse program

With a possible source of ready to eat vegetables just feet from the school cafeteria, the Robertson County School agriculture instruction program has already been added to the Kentucky Proud Certified programs. The program is working toward a Farm to School version of the Farm to Table program, which could supply fresh lettuce and tomatoes to the cafeteria. (via The Ledger Independent)


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