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National Farm to School Network


This Week in farm to school: 2/28/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, February 28, 2017

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. Smart from the Start Awards
The Smart from the Start Awards are designed to encourage preschool teachers to create practical, long-term improvements in nutrition and physical activity at their preschool. The grant prize is $20,000 grant and prize pack of books. 10 runners-up will receive $2,500 grants. Apply by March 2. Learn more here

2. Call for Proposals: Policies for Action: Policy and Law Research to Build a Culture of Health
Policies for Action: Policy and Law Research to Build a Culture of Health (P4A) was created to help build the evidence base for policies that can help build a Culture of Health. Approximately $2 million will be awarded through this call for proposals. Approximately $500,000 of the $2 million will be awarded for research on the implementation and/or impact of policies relevant for early childhood or school environments that aim to support children’s healthy weight and/or reduce childhood obesity. Brief proposals are due March 10. Learn more here

Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Promising Partnerships: Extension and Farm to Early Care and Education
March 14, 2pm ET
With the goal of bringing practical information to improve the lives of agricultural producers, consumers, families, and children, extension is a natural fit for partnership in farm to school and farm to early care and education (ECE) initiatives. The National Institute for Food and Agriculture, in partnership with the National Farm to School Network, will be offering a webinar to share extension and farm to ECE partnerships and projects. Register here.

2. Webinar: Farm to School in the Every Student Succeeds Act
March 21, 3-4pm ET
Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this webinar will discuss new opportunities for  farm to school under the newest authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, called the Every Student Succeeds Act. In this legislation, there are various funding opportunities and policy levers that advocates and educators on the ground can utilize to move farm to school forward in their communities. This webinar is open to the public. Register here

3. Webinar: Plate to Politics: Letters to the Editor 101
March 7, 12-1pm CT
Join the Women Food & Ag Network for an educational webinar on writing effective letters to the editor. Presenters include Angie Carter, Environmental Sociologist at Augustana College; Patti Edwardson, Farmer in Greene County, Iowa; and Ahna Kruzic, Publications & Communications Coordinator at Food First. Together they will discuss writing effective letters, including finding your voice, framing your argument, how to submit a letter, writing as a coalition and handling reactions. Register here

4. 5th Annual Ideas & Innovations Virtual Conference
March 14-16
Join Share My Lesson’s virtual conference March 14-16 for a line-up of educational thought leaders, including staff from the National Farm to School Network. Get new ideas for creating healthy school and community climate, addressing standards and assessments and topics that matter most. Find subject-specific tracks in 30+ free professional learning sessions that span the curriculum and levels early childhood through 12th grade. Plus, earn PD credits. Learn more here

5. The Edible Schoolyard Intensive: Farm to School
July 9-11 // Berkeley, Calif.
Develop your team’s holistic approach to program success and strengthen relationships between food service staff members, school and district leadership, and classroom, garden and kitchen educators. Applications due March 5. Learn more here

6. RFP Open: Community Food Systems Conference
December 5-7 // Boston, Mass. 
New Entry Sustainable Farming Projects is seeking proposals for workshop sessions at its Community Food Systems Conference from leaders in food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture. They anticipate 500-600 attendees. Proposals are due April 3. Learn more here

Action Opportunities
1. National Young Farmer Survey
Take the National Young Farmer Survey and let Congress know that #FarmersCount! The survey is conducted every five years by the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) in order to understand and elevate the issues that matter most to young farmers and aspiring farmers. Take the survey today and share it broadly. It is crucial that the survey results represent all young farmers and aspiring farmers, no matter where they live or what they grow. Survey answers are completely confidential. Take the survey at

2. High School Garden Programs Survey
Noehealani Antolin, a graduate student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, is conducting an online survey to ascertain information on high school garden programs across the United States. The purpose of the study is to describe educators’ perspectives about high school gardening programs across the nation, including benefits associated with having a school garden and barriers encountered with implementation and sustainability of a school garden. Please share this survey widely with your networks. All who are directly involved in high school garden programs are encouraged to participate. Learn more here

Job Opportunities
1. Project Director, HOPE Collaborative
HOPE Collaborative is a hiring a Project Director to lead the collaborative through a time of exciting growth. The Project Director will manage a staff team, oversee program design and delivery and strategy development, and enhance, strengthen, and ensure long-term sustainability of HOPE’s flagship initiatives, such as the Healthy Corner Store Project, HOPE in the Neighborhood, and HOPE’s community and youth leadership development programs. Applications due March 10. Learn more here.  

2. FoodCorps Service Member Application Open
FoodCorps is recruiting talented leaders for a year of paid public service building healthy school food environments in limited-resource communities. FoodCorps AmeriCorps members teach student hands on lessons in growing cooking and tasting healthy food; promote healthy eating onions in the cafeteria; and, make schools healthier place to eat, learn and grow. The FoodCorps application is open now through March 15th. Learn more here

Farm to School in the News
How Schools Can Get Children to Eat Their Vegetables
Schools, nutritionists and behavioral scientists are putting science to work to figure out how to get children to reach for a carrot instead of a candy bar. On the list of proven strategies: nutrition education, with actives like field trips to farms and Harvest of the Month dishes. (via Wall Street Journal)

Kids learn about healthy eating with farmers - and microgreens
Preschoolers in North Carolina are learning about the life cycles of plants and why healthy eating is important. Farmers Wes and Anna recently visited the preschool with tiny kale and sunflower plants, and gave the young eaters a chance to try microgreens. (via WLOS)

'I didn’t know chickens had bones'
When the Cocalico School District (Pennsylvania) served chicken drumsticks in its lunchrooms recently, one student wasn’t sure what he was eating. “I didn’t know chickens had bones,” he said. Connecting what goes on at a farm to what is served in a school cafeteria can help educate students about food and farming. (via Lancaster 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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