This Week in Farm to School: 6/13/17
Grants & Funding
1. USDA Rural Development: Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grants program
USDA-RD is now accepting applications for the Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grants program. The primary objective of this grant is to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups through cooperatives and Cooperative Development Centers. Learn more here.
1. Webinar series: Farm to Early Care
June 13-27, 10am CST
The Minnesota Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy has distilled their farm to ECE training into four basic webinars to give background to anyone planning their own Farm to ECE program. Learn more and register here.
2. Getting Prepped to Visit Lawmakers: Tips and Guidance on Meeting with Policy Makers on the Importance of Nutrition Education
June 13, 3pm EST
This year, the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior's (SNEB) annual conference is located in our nation's Capitol. With looming cuts to important social programs, what better opportunity could there be to gather support and educate our elected officials on the importance of nutrition education in our country? Register here.
3. Webinar: Blueprint for a National Food Strategy
June 15, 2pm EST
The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School and Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic teamed up to create an interactive Blueprint for a National Food Strategy. Check it out and join the Blueprint authors for a national webinar. Register here.
4. Webinar: Developing Your BFRDP Project
June 20, 1pm EST
This webinar hosted by New Entry Sustainable Farming Project will focus on developing your project for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) application process. Register here.
1. NESAW Conference: Call for Session Proposals
November 9-11 // Baltimore, MD
The Call for Proposals is open for the 2017 Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) conference, which will be held November 9-11 in Baltimore, MD. Now in its 24th year, NESAWG’s It Takes a Region conference brings together farm and food systems leaders from across the Northeast to learn, network, and collaborate. In 2016, over 400 attendees from 12 states joined us for workshops and networking sessions on race and equity; farm and food business practices; fisheries; youth leadership; and much more. Click here to learn more and submit your proposal! Submissions due by June 28th at 9am.
2. Community Food Systems Conference
December 5-7, 2017 // Boston, Massachusetts
The Community Food Systems Conference will explore the intersection of food security, social justice, and sustainable agriculture as well as address common underlying themes between food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture. Register here.
1. The Healthy Food Policy Project: Case study nominations
The Healthy Food Policy Project is currently seeking nominations for case studies of local initiatives and laws relating to supporting or promoting access to healthy food, and that also contribute to strong local economies, an improved environment, and health equity, with a focus on socially disadvantaged and marginalized groups. If you have any questions regarding this project or the nomination process, please contact Sally Mancini (email@example.com). Apply here by June 15.
2. New Opportunity to Influence Farm Policy at the Local Level
Stakeholders interested in being involved in federal decision making without taking a trip to Washington D.C., should explore the possibility of participating in their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Committee. Whether you choose to run as a candidate, or simply exercise your right to vote, engaging with your local FSA County Committee is a good way to ensure your voice is heard on important farm policy decisions. Learn more here.
3. USDA: 2017 Verification Response Rate Challenge
School food authority (SFA) and State agency staff have until June 15th to share their ideas for increasing response rates in the annual school meals verification process. Simply describe how you have increased response rates in a few sentences, and you’re done. Participate here.
1. Vermont Governor Signs Bill to Strengthen Farm to School
Last week, Governor Phil Scott signed S.33, the Rozo McLaughlin Farm to School bill, which will further enhance Vermont’s Farm to School programming. With the signing of the bill, Vermont’s early childhood education centers are now eligible for state farm to school grant funding. The bill also sets new statewide goals for farm to school: By 2025, 75 percent of schools will engage significantly in farm to school programing, and 50 percent of school food will be purchased from local or regional sources. Read more here.
1.Conference Coordinator, Southern SAWG
Southern SAWG (Sustainable Agriculture Working Group) is seeking an experienced Conference Coordinator to manage and carry out the 2018 Southern SAWG Conference. The Conference will be held January 17-20, 2018 in Chattanooga, TN. Learn more and apply here.
2. Elementary Teacher of Agriculture Projects, Maine Regional School Unit #3
Maine's RSU 3 seeks an Elementary Teacher of Agricultural Projects. This new position will support classroom teachers with the integration of curriculum into an outdoor, experiential learning setting; will manage the gardens and outdoor learning spaces at our elementary schools; lead integrated lessons with grades K-5 students; organize and oversee greenhouse and garden programming; and work with the district nutrition director to increase local sourcing. Learn more here.
3. Policy Advocate, National Family Farm Coalition
NFFC seeks an Interim Policy Advocate (with the potential to become a permanent position) to bring the concerns of NFFC member organizations to Capitol Hill and the Administration and to track family farm-related legislation, including the next Farm Bill. Interested parties should send cover letter, resume, salary requirements and three references to firstname.lastname@example.org at their earliest convenience.
Farm to School in the News
USDA Announces Farm to School Grant Awards; Projects Nationwide Chosen
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the projects selected to receive the USDA’s annual farm to school grants designed to increase the amount of local foods served in schools. Sixty-five projects were chosen nationwide. (USDA)
School in the Virgin Islands Reaps Abundant Sweet Potato Harvest
The harvest was impressive, as was made evident by the barrowload of sweet potatoes collected. Mr. McGregor said some of the potatoes would be shared among agriculture students as well as the school’s cafeteria to be used as part of a meal. (Virgin Islands Consortium)
Virginia First Graders Compete in Friendly 'First Peas to the Table' Contest
First grade students from all six Charlottesville public elementary schools planted English Peas in their gardens this spring. Students measured their peas growth every week, and this year's First Peas to Table competition ended in a tie. (Charlottesville Tomorrow)
Ohio Families Keep Garden Growing in Summer
This spring, Waterville Primary students planted a garden behind the school, as they have for many years. Now, with the kids out for the summer, families are volunteering to care for the plot through the break so the students return to a garden in full bloom. “In order to maintain it, it takes a lot of different stakeholders,” Waterville Primary School Principal Jamie Hollinger said. (Toledo Blade)