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National Farm to School Network


This Week in Farm to School: 3/27/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, March 27, 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. $5 Million for Farm to School included in Funding Bill 
Last week, Senate and House leaders worked on an appropriations bill to fund the federal government through Sept. 30, and through this process, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Cochran (R-MS) championed a huge win for farm to school! The final bill, which was signed by the President on Friday, includes $5 million in discretionary funding for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, which doubles the current available funding for this highly impactful and important program for one year. This is great news and a big victory for the farm to school movement! Read more on the National Farm to School Network blog here

2. Aetna 2018 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant Program
Aetna Foundation is inviting projects that address issues in the following domains to apply for the 2018 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant: Built Environment, Community Safety, Environmental Exposures, Healthy Behaviors, and Social/Economic Factors. These grants are expected to award up to $2 million to organizations in the contiguous United States through this program. This will be a highly competitive funding opportunity with a two-stage application process. All Stage 1 applications must be received by April 18, 2018 at 3PM ET. Learn more here

3. Crafting Winning Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program Proposals
April 12th // 2pm ET
In 2018, $30 million in funding is available through the USDA AMS Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) to support an array of direct-to-consumer and local food market projects. These competitive grant opportunities are important sources of support for building local and regional food systems. But if you don’t have much experience with grant writing, applying for a federal grant can seem like a big lift. In this webinar, the Wallace Center, the Farmers Market Coalition, Colorado State University, and USDA AMS are teaming up to bring you information for Crafting Winning LFPP/FMPP Proposals. Register here. Applications for both LFPP and FMPP need to be submitted on by 11:59pm EST on May 7th, 2018. You can learn more about applying for the LFPP Grant and access the RFA here

1. Rethinking Procurement: The Complexity of Advancing Local and Regional ECE and K-12 Procurement Systems
April 3 // 11am-12:30pm ET
Join KHA Inc. for the Rethinking Procurement: The Complexity of Advancing Local and Regional ECE and K-12 Procurement Systems webinar, featuring leaders and experts in ECE settings and K-12 schools, who will provide context and grounding in food procurement policies, implementation, model successes and critical solutions to barriers. The Rethinking Procurement webinar will explore the complexity of ECE and K-12 procurement systems and nuances in the process of obtaining healthy, local, and sustainably grown food. Register here

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Family Engagement Through Farm to Early Care and Education
April 5 // 2pm ET
Parent and family engagement in the early years of life is vital to healthy development and healthy relationships. Farm to early care and education (ECE) offers a unique opportunity to engage families in activities in the ECE setting while offering nutrition, culinary and gardening education that can impact food practices and health behaviors in the home. Join the National Farm to School Network,  the Farm to Family Project, and Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness to hear about innovative programs that are leveraging farm to ECE as a key to family engagement and, in doing so, increasing healthy food access, healthy behaviors, and healthy relationships for children, families and communities. Register here.

3. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: State-Supported Farm to School Positions
May 10 // 2pm ET
State-supported farm to school positions within state agencies and Extension offices offer vital leadership and support to further institutionalize the farm to school movement. Join this webinar to learn about a valuable new resource from the National Farm to School Network which highlights the growth and prevalence of state-supported farm to school positions and offers tools, resources and best practices for advocating for and maintaining state positions. Hear from NFSN Core Partners in South Carolina, Missouri and Oregon as they share successes, challenges and lessons learned and take away practical steps to advancing state-supported positions. Register here.

1. Deadline Approaching: Register for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference by 4/9! 
April 25-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
The 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Cincinnati, Ohio, April 25-27, 2018. This event is the only national gathering of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement, making it a crucial leadership development opportunity to advance community health, build economic opportunities for farmers and producers, and ensure long-term sustainability for local food efforts nationwide. Registration ends April 9. Learn more and register today at

2. 11th Annual Future of Food and Nutrition 
April 7 // Boston, MA
The 11th Annual Future of Food and Nutrition Graduate Student Research Conference is a unique venue for graduate students across disciplines and from around the country to present original research relating to the food system and nutrition science. Learn more and register here

3. 2018 Urban Food Systems Symposium
August 8-11 // Minneapolis, MN
The goal of the Urban Food Systems Symposium is to bring together a national and international audience of academic and research-oriented professionals to share and gain knowledge on urban food systems and the role they play in global food security. This symposium includes knowledge on: urban agricultural production, local food systems distribution, urban farmer education, urban ag policy, planning and development, food access and justice, and food sovereignty. Learn more and register here

Research & Resources
1. 10 Cents a Meal: New Michigan Department of Education Legislative Report
Hot off the press! Learn about Michigan's 10 Cents a Meal program in the new Michigan Department of Education's 2017-2018 Legislative Report . The 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms pilot program provides grant- winning school districts with up to 10 Cents a Meal in matching funds to purchase locally grown fruits, vegetables and dry beans. 

2. Research: Farmers’ perspectives on adoption and impacts of nutrition incentive and farm to school programs 
Farmers market nutrition incentive (FMNI) and farm to school (F2S) programs are two community-based initiatives that support farmers while simultaneously lessening the burden of local food access for lower income populations. In this study, published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development, researchers explore farmer perceptions, barriers to adoption, and impacts of FMNI and F2S programs. Participating farmers perceived FMNI and F2S as providing advantageous social impact and various economic opportunities. However, participants and non-participants had differing perspectives on program complexity, compatibility with their business model, and the degree to which others have succeeded when participating. The most significant barriers relate to issues with product pricing, customer engagement, and logistics. Read more here

3. Women’s History Month and Farm to School
To quote Dolores Huerta, a historical food activist who is still leading change in our food system today: “That's the history of the world. His story is told, hers isn't.” Dolores co-founded the National Farm Workers Association alongside César Chávez in the 1960s. For decades, she has championed farmworkers rights, and yet many people recognize Chávez’s name and not Huerta’s. If today’s students are taught about local food sheroes past and present, then we can start to tell a more complete, equitable history of our nation’s food system.  In the garden, classroom, and cafeteria, let’s educate our students about women who lead. Read more about local food sheroes on the National Farm to School blog here

Job Opportunities
1. Executive Director, The Green Heart Projects
The Green Heart Project, a non-profit organization that builds school gardens and farm-to-school programs in the Charleston, South Carolina area, is seeking an Executive Director to lead the organization. Learn more here

2. Chief Operating Officer, Center for Science in the Public Interest
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a non-profit health-advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., is seeking to hire a Chief Operating Officer. Learn more here

3. Manager of Corporate Partnerships, American Farmland Trust
American Farmland Trust seeks a Manager of Corporate Partnerships to generate significant corporate revenue through corporate partnerships and cause-marketing opportunities. Learn more here

Farm to School in the News
Montana is planting seeds of a movement
Innovative programs are taking hold in Montana’s schools to equip children with the knowledge and desire to shape our food systems in the coming generations. As the stewards of our future, they will grow what we eat and influence the mechanisms by which it’s prioritized, processed, stored and distributed. One such program is Harvest of the Month, which began three years ago as a pilot project and is now a fully formed statewide program with 143 participating K-12 schools, overseen by Montana State University’s farm to school coordinator (and NFSN Montana Core Partner!), Aubree Roth. (Flathead Beacon)

Iowa school’s greenhouse is cultivating an interest in gardening
Thanks to a growing interest in gardening and the availability of a greenhouse, Central students have been able to stock their school salad bar with leaf lettuce and cherry tomatoes during the winter months. (Clayton County Register)

Washington students enjoy food performance
Chef Arran Stark recently prepared purple sprouting broccoli while giving an engaging performance and a history of broccoli, sharing with high school students the importance of eating seasonally. He also offered cooking tips and tricks, and shared the story of his journey to becoming a chef. (PT Leader)

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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