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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


This Week in Farm to School 2/13/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 13, 2018
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. Frontera Farmer Foundation 2018 Grant 
The Frontera Farmer Foundation is committed to promoting small, sustainable Midwestern farms serving the Chicago area by providing them with capital development grants. These grants are for capital improvements of up to $12,000. Who Should Apply: small and mid-size farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin that sell their food products to customers in the Chicago area at farmers markets and otherwise. Deadline to apply is March 11, 2018. Learn more and apply here.

2. Get Out and Grow School Garden Grant & Sweepstakes

The Get Out and Grow School Garden Sweepstakes is open to School Administrators and Foodservice Directors of K-12 schools. Schools can win up to $15,000 cash towards a school garden and a visit from a Team USA Athlete. Who Should Apply: State accredited K-12 school located in the 50 United States and D.C. Deadline is March 11, 2018. Learn more and apply here.

1. NFSN WEBINAR Advancing Equity Through Farm to School
February 13 // 3-4pm ET
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) recognizes racial and social equity as a central tenet of farm to school and has just released an organizational equity statement to publicly convey NFSN's commitment to advancing equity through farm to school and to share our equity journey. Join NFSN partners and staff on February 13 at 3pm ET to review the organization's equity statement and to hear from farm to school practitioners about their successes and challenges with advancing equity through farm to school. Register here

2. Farm to School 101 & Funding Opportunities

February 28 // 5pm ET
USDA’s Office of Community Food Systems and the National Young Farmers Coalition invite you to attend “Farm to School 101 & Funding Opportunities.” This webinar will cover what USDA means by “farm to school”, the different ways to incorporate farm to school programs into your business plan, and how working with schools can impact and bring value to your operation.  Funding, including grant opportunities, will be covered. Register here.

3. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Engaging Farmers in Farm to School

March 1 // 2pm ET
One of the primary objectives of farm to school is to strengthening the connection that communities have with local food producers. Farmers and producers can also garner economic and social benefit through these strengthened relationships. Join this webinar to hear from farm to school practitioners and farmers about innovative yet practical approaches to engaging farmers in a wide variety of farm to school activities and learn how this engagement contributes to kids, communities, and farmers winning through farm to school. Register here.  

4. The Business of Farm to School

March 15 // 5pm ET
This webinar will cover the procurement (purchasing) rules that schools follow, describe questions and talking points to discuss when selling to and building relationships with schools, identify which products schools are looking for, and highlight the different Child Nutrition Programs (CNP’s) that provide these opportunities- hint- it’s not just school lunch! This webinar is coordinated by USDA Office of Community Food Systems and the National Young Farmers Coalition, and is geared towards farmers and producers selling to schools as a new market. Register here

1. Registration Open for 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 25-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
Early Bird registration is now open for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will take place in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This biennial event, hosted by the National Farm to School Network, is the top national training and networking event for farm to cafeteria professionals working to improve community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. Get the best rates on all ticket options by registering before March 9. Regular registration closes April 9. Learn more at

2. Save the Date and Call for Proposals: Iowa Farm to School Conference 2018

June 28-29 // Ankeny, Iowa
The Iowa Farm to School Coalition is pleased to invite individuals and groups to submit presentation proposals for the 2018 Iowa Farm to School Conference. The goal of the conference is to support and inspire those interested in or already implementing farm to school and farm to early care and education all around the state by covering a variety of topics. Please take this opportunity to share your expertise and creative ideas to help grow the farm to school movement in Iowa. Submission deadline is March 31st. Read more and see the proposal template here. Please submit your proposal via this Google Form:

Research & Resources 
1. To Root Gardens in Schools, Create Curricular Connections
A recent study in the journal Health Behavior and Policy Review, by Dr. Katherine Gardner Burt and Tisch Food Center team members, concludes that supporting teachers to connect gardens with core academic subjects is critical to help school gardens grow deep roots in schools. Read more here

2. New Study: Making Nutrition Education Work in Schools

Findings from Dr. Kathleen Porter and Tisch Food Center team members give insight into the why-to and how-to of successfully adopting and sustaining nutrition education programs. To make it work, it is important to: 
  • Build motivation for nutrition education, for instance by emphasizing timely, tangible results, and framing it as fitting into a whole child approach to education 
  • Choose the right nutrition education program(s) based on a school’s needs and culture, involving a range of decision makers in the process 
  • Expand the school’s capacity for nutrition education, by identifying champions, creating routines and processes, and coordinating with existing school wellness efforts 
  • Sustain nutrition education by engaging a wide range of school community members and weaving nutrition education throughout the school’s curriculum. Read more here
3. Food Systems Leadership Network -  Community Food Systems Mentorship Program
The Wallace Center at Winrock International’s new Food Systems Leadership Network initiative includes a Community Food Systems Mentorship Program. This program seeks to provide emerging leaders with the opportunity to closely engage with more seasoned leaders as thought partners and coaches. The goal of this program is to create a space for experienced leaders to lend an ear to emerging leaders, and share their wisdom, knowledge, and expertise from years of practice in the good food movement. This Program will be offered twice annually, and will include 8 hours of one on one mentorship over a 3 month period for each mentee. The Spring application closes Feb. 15. Learn more here.  

Job Opportunities
1. Wisconsin Farm to School/Institution Director, The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is hiring a full time Wisconsin Farm to School/Institution Director. This position has a statewide responsibility to stimulate the State’s economy by increasing the market share of Wisconsin food and agricultural products, and to foster new investment in agriculture and agricultural infrastructure in Wisconsin. The deadline to apply is Feb. 25. Learn more here.

2. Network Manager, Chicago Food Policy Action Council

Chicago Food Policy Action Council (CFPAC) seeks a Network Manager. The CFPAC Network Manager will support CFPAC’s priorities by working in coordination with CFPAC Board and staff members, organizations, vendors, suppliers, processors and producers as well as staff at City of Chicago Departments and Agencies, and national partners. Learn more here.

3. Communications Director, Practical Farmers of Iowa

Practical Farmers of Iowa is seeking a communications director to be based with the organization in Ames, IA. This is a new position, added to bring Practical Farmers’ communications to a higher capacity as the organization grows. Learn more here

4. Multiple Positions, Pie Ranch
Pie Ranch cultivates a healthy and just food system from seed to table through food education, farmer training, and regional partnerships. They are seeking to hire a Director of Finance and Administration, Chef Educator, and Programs and Events Manager

5. FoodCorps Service Members
FoodCorps service member applications are open for the 2018-2019 school year. The deadline to apply is March 15, 2018 at 6pm PST. Learn more here.  

Farm to School in the News
Oneida Nation harvests fish and produce from self-sustaining greenhouse
Oneida Nation High School students have partnered with Oneida veterans and community members to build an aquaponics operation that’s expected to grow 500 pounds of fish and hundreds of heads of lettuce for school meals every year. The program got off the ground in 2016 thanks to a Farm to School grant from the USDA. (FOX 11)
Community partnerships build school gardens in North Carolina
School gardens in Cabarrus County will soon be overflowing with delicious and nutritious vegetables and herbs thanks to community collaboration between Cabarrus Health Alliance, the Dole Food Company, Earth Fare, and the NC State Plants for Human Health Institute. (Independent Tribune

Elementary school program puts Missouri students in the kitchen
Most students at school cafeterias are usually not on the same side of the counter as cooks, but that's different after school at Callaway Hills Elementary School — because the students are the cooks. "I think it's pretty good because I can cook for my family and grandparents," North Elementary School fourth-grader Gavin Wilson said. (News Tribune)

New York, High school agriculture class working to build community garden
Before the end of 2018, there may be a community garden at the Fenner Fields complex on Fenner Street — a garden offering fruits and vegetables and maybe even a fiber crop from alpacas. The garden is a project created by students in the Cazenovia High School Agriculture Program, one they not only created but are funding through grants. (Eagle News Online)

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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