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National Farm to School Network


This Week in Farm to School: 5/23/17

NFSN Staff Tuesday, May 23, 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. 


1. Webinar: Economies of Local Food
May 25, 1pm EST
In recent years, a considerable effort has been made at improving data collection for local food systems, engaging and developing resources for practitioners to evaluate local food system activity, and to standardize the metrics used in reporting the impacts of local food grant and loan programs. The presenters will provide an overview of some of these initiatives. Register here.

2. Webinar: Tackling Resilience Through Food Policy Councils
May 25, 1pm EST
The increasing prevalence and severity of environmental, political, and humanitarian emergencies are prompting governments and communities to think more about where their food will come from in such situations, and how their local food systems may contribute to (or lessen the impact of) them. Food policy councils can play an important role in assisting with these efforts. Register here.

3. Webinar: Team Up for Creative Ways to Boost Flavor with Less Sodium!

May 25, 3pm EST
Presenters will share their efforts with procurement, menu planning, student acceptance, and staff professional development related to creating heart-friendly school meals. USDA Food and Nutrition Service staff will also share the latest on the Agency’s sodium reduction initiatives in school meals. Register here

4. Webinar: School Garden Support Organizations Best Practices: Measuring Impact 

June 6, 1pm PST 
In this webinar, hear how and why school garden support organizations across the nation measure the impact of school garden programming. A wide range of assessment tools and strategies from different organizations will be shared. This webinar is hosted by the National School Garden Network. Register here

1. Healthy Food Fuels Hungry Minds: Advancing Children's Health In & Out of School
June 7 // Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
“Healthy Food Fuels Hungry Minds" is presented with the objective of enabling participants to make our kids’ nutrition the best in the nation by creating an environment both in and out of school where great nutrition is fostered and valued and healthy choices, including healthy beverages and clean, drinkable water, are always the easiest ones. Featuring Keynote addresses from Marion Nestle & Betti Wiggins. 6 CE credits offered for school nutrition personnel. Register here

2. Life Lab: Educator Workshops at the Garden Classroom
Santa Cruz, Calif. 
Life Lab offers trainings and workshops for educators in their Garden Classroom on the UCSC CASFS Farm. Upcoming trainings this summer include: The Growing Classroom: Two-Day Intensive in Garden-Based Learning (June 19-20) and Outdoor Classroom and Garden Program Management (July 27). Additional trainings will be offered this fall. Learn more and find additional training opportunities here

3. Summer Institute: Using Gardens to Teach & Build Community
August 15-17 // Poughkeepsie, NY
Poughkeepsie Farm Project's annual summer institute is designed to help educators integrate gardens into their teaching. The institute cover topics in literacy, social studies, science, and nutrition, as well as build knowledge about sustainable agriculture, food systems, social justice, and ecological gardening practices. Register here

4. Food Solutions New England: Network Leadership Institute
Sessions held September 2017 - January 2018 // Location TBA
Food Solutions New England (FSNE) seeks to grow, strengthen, and diversify its network leadership across the region. They seek regional thinkers and doers to participate in the second FSNE Network Leadership Institute, and invite applications from individuals who are active in food system efforts locally and/or regionally, who are committed to FSNE’s values, and who are eager to contribute to the FSNE network in this way. Applications are due June 1. Learn more and apply here

5. 2017 Georgia Farm to School Summit 

October 5-6 // Helms College in Augusta, GA
Early bird registration now open for the 2017 Georgia Farm to School Summit. Hear from Keynote Betti Wiggins and Honorary Co-Chair Donna Martin, tour farm to school programs, and choose from 21 education sessions including focused content for school nutrition, educators, and early care providers. Only a limited number of early bird tickets are available. Visit the Summit website for more information.

Research & Resources
1. Garden Project in Schools Linked to Lower BMI in Kids
Findings of a new study suggest that well-designed interventions can produce salutary changes in children's food knowledge and eating habits in the short period of just one school year. A prominent feature of the study was the opportunity to work in gardens established at participating schools. Learn more here

2. Online Course: "Intro to US Food System: Perspectives from Public Health"

The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future is now offering an updated, on-demand version of its free, online Coursera course, “An Introduction to the US Food System: Perspectives from Public Health”. New sessions begin every six weeks, and the next one opens on May 22nd. You can begin any time by signing up and previewing lectures while you wait for your session's start date. Learn more here

3. American Farmland Trust: Profiles in California Stewardship Project 

Over the course of the past year, American Farmland Trust conducted 60 interviews with specialty crop growers across California who are dedicated to practicing environmental stewardship on their farms and ranches, and now, American Farmland Trust is announcing the launch of a new interactive website where these profiles are hosted. In addition to viewing more than 60 examples of outstanding environmental stewardship, this new website provides visitors with the ability to search and sort profiles of specialty crop growers by the stewardship practice(s) used, crops grown and geography. The profiles contain contact information for the grower, and each has agreed to be contacted as a resource for other California specialty crop growers hoping to implement similar practices. Learn more here

Job Opportunities 
1. Executive Director, Rogue Valley Farm to School 
Rogue Valley Farm to School is seeking a skillful professional to lead the nonprofit organization under the strategic direction of the Board of Directors. This is an incredible opportunity for someone who is passionate about quality nutrition education programs for children and the community, and sustainable agriculture. Learn more about applying here

2. Director of Development/Co-Director, CoFED
Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFED) is seeking a Director of Development / Co-Director of CoFED. CoFED trains young people, ages 18-30, to develop food co-ops that advance racial justice and community-owned wealth in the food system. We have a deep belief in the power of young people to build a multiracial, multiclass, multicultural movement committed to creating alternatives to a racist and extractive food system that does not serve us as people or the planet. Learn more and apply here

3. Produce Project Educator, Capitol Roots Produce Project 

Capitol Roots Produce Projects seeks a Produce Project Educator. Capital Roots is striving to create a more vibrant and equitable food system in New York’s Capital Region by reducing the impact of poor nutrition on public health through community gardens, healthy food access, nutritional and horticultural education. The Produce Project is a job-readiness program where students from Troy High School engage in all aspects of operating a 2-acre urban farm. Learn more and apply here

4. Youth Farm Specialist, Urban Roots
Urban Roots seeks a Youth Farm Specialist to join their Austin, TX based team. Urban Roots is a non-profit organization that uses food and farming to transform the lives of young people and inspire, engage, and nourish the community. The Urban Roots Youth Farm Specialist (YFS) ensures the success of youth and community members engaged in Urban Roots’ unique ecosystem of multiple year-round youth leadership development programs and supports Urban Roots’ agricultural activities, using sustainable farming practices to maintain a productive community farm. Learn more and apply here

5. Multimedia Specialist, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets 

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets seeks a multimedia specialist to join their Communications Team. Under the advisement of the Director of Communications, this position will be responsible for developing video, online, and print content in support of Agency programming. Applications will be accepted thru May 30. Search position #621189 here.

Farm to School in the News
For Kansas students, lessons from bees are ‘bold and loud’
A Wichita middle school recently became home to the area’s first school-based honeybee hive. A hive with about 30,000 honeybees has been installed near an exterior wall in one of the school's classroom, and a clear acrylic tube allows students to watch the bees move from the hive to the school’s fruit and vegetable garden and back again. “There’s so many life lessons inside the hive that are so bold and loud.” (The Wichita Eagle)

USDA’s Farm Service Agency Helps “Berries by Bill” Bring Local Produce to Arkansas Schools
Bill Landreth, owner of Berries by Bill, Inc., has a u-pick strawberry patch and grows a variety of fresh produce sold on his farm and at local farmer’s markets. He can also be found making deliveries of his seasonal fruits to local schools in Arkansas - what he calls a “win-win” for him and the students. Landreth worked with the USDA’s Farm Service Agency to help finance the equipment used to produce his strawberries. (USDA FSA Fence Post)

Special needs students sowing success in Massachusetts

Educational Support Professional Nancy Burke launched the Haverhill High School's Learning Garden program five years ago. She and her students have received local, state and national news coverage and honors after renovating a neglected school courtyard into a handicap-accessible outdoor learning lab filled with wheelchair accessible raised-bed vegetable and berry gardens. (Eagle-Tribune

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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