This Week in Farm to School: 4/16/19
Webinars & Events
1. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: Farm to School and National Agriculture in the Classroom
Tuesday, May 7 // 1 PM ET
Food and agriculture education is a core element of farm to school and vital to developing a comprehensive and impactful farm to school programs. The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization (NAITCO) and its member state programs provide K-12 teachers with educational resources and programs that use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies and more. Join this National Farm to School Network (NFSN) webinar to hear from NAITCO about resources, information, and partnerships and learn from Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, NFSN Core Partner in Maine, about how Agriculture in the Classroom partnerships have expanded farm to school initiatives in their state. Register here.
2. NFSN WEBINAR Farm to School Resource Roundup: Resources for Implementing State Farm to School Strategies
Wednesday, May 29 // 3 PM ET
Responding to the rapid growth and interest in farm to school, the National Farm to School Network’s 2017-2019 Strategic Plan prioritizes building the capacity of its partners to advance farm to school at the state level through three complementary strategies: (1) state farm to school networks, (2) state farm to school positions at state agencies and university Extension offices, and (3) state farm to school policies. To support these efforts, the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) has developed an accompanying resource for each of the three strategies:
- State Farm to School Networks Toolkit (updated March 2019)
- State Farm to School Positions Guide (updated February 2019)
- State Farm to School Policy Handbook (updated April 2019)
3. National Farm to Institution Metrics Collaborative Webinar Series: Local Food Procurement – Definitions are Pivotal
April 25 // 3:30-4:00 pm EST
In this new series, each 30-minute webinar will feature a different Collaborative member and a tool or program they have used to measure farm to institution efforts. In the third webinar in this series, Dr. Lilian Brislen of the Food Connection at the University Kentucky will demonstrate the importance of identifying the ‘what’ and ‘why’ when establishing local food definitions and metrics. Drawing on six years of the University’s first private dining contract, Brislen will share strategies, metrics, and hard-won lessons in developing effective local procurement initiatives at public institutions. Register here.
4. 2019 Maine School Garden Day
April 27 // Trenton, ME
A fun-filled day of workshops and networking for school garden enthusiasts and educators will be hosted by Maine School Garden Network (MSGN) and Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC). Whether you're dreaming of starting an educational garden or working to develop an existing program... this day is for you! Register online here.
5. Life Lab's 2019 School Garden Workshops
Santa Cruz, CA
In Life Lab's Garden Classroom on the UC Santa Cruz campus, professional trainers bring inspiration and information to educators interested in bringing learning to life in the garden. Workshops are available on a variety of garden / outdoor learning topics and will be hosted throughout 2019. Learn more and register here.
6. NAAEE 48th Annual Conference: Educating for a Just and Sustainable Future
October 16-19 // Lexington, KY
This annual event hosted by the North American Association for Environmental Education brings together global leaders, decision makers, practitioners, and rising stars to leverage the power of environmental education. This year's theme focuses on the three interwoven pillars of sustainability — social equity, shared prosperity, and environmental integrity — as well as how education can advance environmental literacy and civic engagement, STEM learning, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and ensure that everyone, everywhere, has access to nature and high quality environmental education. NAAEE is now accepting applications for conference scholarships. The deadline to apply is June 17, 2019. Learn more here.
Research & Resources
1. Identifying Indicators of Readiness and Capacity for Implementing Farm to School Interventions
Farm to school interventions are recommended strategies to improve dietary behaviors among school-aged children. Tools are needed to assess community readiness and capacity to optimize farm to school implementation. The objective of this study was to identify and prioritize factors to inform tailored farm-to-school implementation by practitioners working in diverse contexts. Read the full study here.
2. Case Study: Lessons from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Farm to Head Start Program
Farm to Head Start is a type of Farm to Early Care initiative that includes a broad range of activities designed to introduce young children to locally grown foods and build their knowledge about where food comes from.The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy's work has been focused on partnerships with Head Start programs across Minnesota. Head Start settings vary greatly in their structure, necessitating each partner to adapt IATP’s “Farm to Head Start” model to suit their unique needs and goals. These three case studies highlight different approaches to implementing and sustaining Farm to Head Start initiatives. Read the case study here.
3. New Resource: Farm to School & Big Ideas
This new resource from Vermont FEED provides examples for educators on linking Big Ideas to their farm to school work. The Big Ideas are concepts that we can find in our daily life and experiences, standards and curriculum, and food systems. Curricular examples listed for each grade level illustrate how classrooms engage in farming, nutrition, and sustainability in their school and communities. This resource shares essential questions that drive the learning and assessments for each of the student investigations. Explore more here.
4. EQUITY New Article: Young Black Farmers Find Liberation and Empowerment in Agriculture
The oppressive and painful histories of slavery, sharecropping, and discriminatory lending practices have contributed to a modern American agricultural landscape where black farmers are underrepresented. Additionally, the American farmer population overall is aging, and two-thirds of U.S. farmland is set to transition ownership in the next 20 years. Despite these worrisome trends, a small population of motivated and passionate young black farmers is emerging. In a new JAFSCD article, Leslie Touzeau presents findings from a qualitative case study that explored the motivations and attitudes of young black farmers like herself. By examining the lived experiences of young black farmers and sharing their stories, Touzeau gives voice to a previously unstudied population and contributes to the ongoing work of food justice scholars attempting to shift the black farmer narrative from one of oppression to one of liberation. Read more here.
1. School & Scout & Public Program Educator, Natick Community Organic Farm (Natick, MA)
Do you have a strong interest in agriculture and the outdoors, love kids, communicate well, and like to learn new things? Natick Community Organic Farm is looking for teachers September through June to teach everything from maple sugaring to forest and farm ecology to the life and care of Farm animals. Learn more here.
2. Children’s Garden Educator & Program Coordinator, Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids (Hockessin, DE)
Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids is seeking an energetic and enthusiastic individual to support HFHK’s expansion by providing children’s garden-based education at Historic Penn Farm’s educational garden, and to assist with HFHK’s Education Cultivation Program. Learn more here.
Farm to School in the News
Smart Farm project sows top Girl Scout award for California student
Natalie McCaffery recently earned a Girl Scout Gold Award (the highest achievement in Girl Scouting) with her project Smart Farm, a program she created at Laguna Blanca School to teach sustainable agriculture, with emphasis on how the agricultural world is changing with the emergence of technology. (Noozhawk)
Going to a farm high school doesn't mean you're going to be a farmer
Students who attend agriculture-focused high schools gain experiences that can take them to college, to a agricultural career or far beyond. Chicago High School for Agriculture Sciences and Only Friends School (Ohio) are featured in this story. (Mother Nature Network)
Georgia Nutrition Interns Help Little Ones Enjoy Healthy Food
Little Ones Early Childhood Program Administrator Wande Okunoren-Meadows and center administrators wanted to have family-style dining but felt it was extra work for the classroom teachers. Master’s nutrition coordinated program student Camira Williams-Liggins took on the challenge. (Georgia State University News)