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Farm to school is taking place in all 50 states, D.C. and U.S. Territories! Select a location from the list below to learn more or contact a Core Partner. 

National Farm to School Network


This week in farm to school: 6/2/2015

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 02, 2015

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. 

Funding & Grants
1. Grow your farm to school program with a Seed Change mini grant! (KY, LA, PA ONLY)
The National Farm to School Network is now accepting applications from eligible schools or school districts in Kentucky, Louisiana and Pennsylvania for $5,000 mini grants to help jump start new farm to school activities or ramp up existing programs. Grants can be used for local food for tastings, new processing equipment, hosting events, building school gardens and more. All nonprofit schools and school districts in Kentucky, Louisiana and Pennsylvania are eligible to apply. Deadline for applications is Monday, June 15 at midnight ET. For more information and to apply now visit:
2. Voice for Healthy Kids Grant
Voices for Healthy Kids, a joint initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and American Heart Association (AHA), advances policy strategies to help all young people eat healthier foods and be more active. This initiative is working to advance coordinated issue advocacy campaigns by providing funding to coalitions focused on ending childhood obesity. Campaigns with a goal of implementing strong physical activity and healthy eating standards in out-of-school time programs may be eligible for this funding. Applicants must be a nonprofit organization with the ability to lobby, and applications should focus on individual campaigns seeking public policy change at the state, local or tribal level. Learn more and apply for funding here
3. USDA announces funding to assist with organic certification costs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced that approximately $11.9 million in organic certification assistance is available through state departments of agriculture to make organic certification more affordable for organic producers and handlers across the country. The funding is provided on a cost share basis and certification assistance is distributed by two programs. Through the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program, $11 million is available to organic farms and businesses nationwide. Through the Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost Share Program (AMA), an additional $900,000 is available to organic producers (crop and livestock operators only) in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. More information can be found here
4. USDA seeks applications for grants to help socially-disadvantaged producers
USDA is now accepting applications to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Funding will be made available through USDA's Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grant Program, which assists organizations that provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. Examples of technical assistance are conducting feasibility studies, developing business and strategic plans, and providing leadership training. USDA plans to make up to $3 million in grants available. The maximum award under this notice is $175,000. More information on how to apply can be found on page 28937 of the May 20 Federal Register. Applications submitted by mail must be postmarked by July 20, 2015. Electronic applications must be submitted at no later than midnight Eastern Time July 14, 2015. More information can be found here

Webinars & Events
1. Canada's first national school food conference, Montreal, Nov. 12 -14
Changing the Menu, the first-ever Canadian national school food conference aims to advance activities to get more healthy, local and sustainable food into the minds and onto the plates of students. The event will bring together a diverse group of participants from various sectors including health, education, food service, recreation, agriculture, policy and research. Some 400 people from coast to coast including members of indigenous communities are expected to attend the Montreal event. Find more information and the call for proposals here
2. Field to Tray: Strengthening farm to school purchasing in the Mid-Atlantic, Rockville, MD, Nov. 5
Field to Tray will bring together farm to school leaders including school nutrition professionals, farmers, suppliers, government representatives and nonprofit organizations for a day of learning and networking at the first farm to school conference in the Mid-Atlantic.  Field to Tray will highlight best practices and strategies for connecting local and regional farm products to more schools. From using school garden produce in the cafeteria, to farm to school funding opportunities for farmers, to adding local foods to school menus, this gathering will empower the Mid-Atlantic to ramp up farm to school purchasing practices for long-term success. Find more information here
3. Farm to School Coalition of NC Conference, July 25, Raleigh
Save the date for the first annual state-wide NC F2S Conference at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh, NC. To be notified of updates from the NC F2S Coalition including how to register, email and ask to be added to the Coalition listserv. 

Policy & Action
1. Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 
Tell Congress you support the Farm to School Act of 2015 by signing a letter of support as an individual or on behalf of your organization. The Farm to School Act of 2015 builds on the success of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by proposing an increase in funding from $5 million to $15 million for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program. The bill would also ensure that the grant program fully includes preschools, summer food service sites, after school programs, and tribal schools and producers while improving program participation from beginning, veteran and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. To learn more, download this fact sheet or visit

Jobs & Opportunities
1. Summer Leadership Summit for Native Youth in Food & Agriculture, July 19-28
There are still slots open for the second annual Summer Leadership Summit for Native Youth in Food & Agriculture at the University of Arkansas School of Law, July 19-28. All slots will be fully paid, travel included, for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian youth between the ages of 13 and 18 who are passionate about food and agricultural production and have the courage to lead their Tribes and communities into the future. The deadline to apply has been extended for First Time Students and Summit Fellows to June 15th, or until all spaces are full. For more information and application details can be found here
2. Call for Proposals: The 2015 Young Farmers Conference
Every December, hundreds of beginning farmers from across the United States gather at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture to learn from agricultural luminaries, peers, and advocacy organizations at the Young Farmers Conference. On December 2-4, 2015, Stone Barns Center will host the 8th annual Young Farmers Conference, providing participants with access to inspiring keynotes and unique workshops that address soil science, technical skills, agricultural policy, farm business management, conservation and more. To submit a workshop proposal, visit this website. The deadline for proposals is June 15, 2015.
3. Southern SARE seeking NGO nominations for administrative council
The Administrative Council of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) program is seeking nominations of non-governmental organization (NGO) representatives with expertise in sustainable agriculture to replace outgoing Administrative Council members. NGO members are directly involved in deciding the future of research and education of the Southern SARE program. 
If you are interested in applying or nominating someone for a position on the SSARE AC, please send email your/their name, email address, postal address, phone number and the AC position applied for.  Southern SHARE will send you/them an invitation to apply for a position and the link to the Southern Region SARE On-Line AC Application System. To be considered, Southern Share must receive your e-mail nomination by June 19, 2015.  The deadline for a person to complete the SSARE On-Line Application is July 10, 2015. E-mail nominations to: John Mayne, Ph.D., SSARE Assistant Director,

Farm to school in the news
Pueblo schools extend farm-to-school programs into summer
School is almost out, but that does not mean the end of free lunch for Pueblo students. Local agencies and farmers are helping the districts provide healthy options all year long. (via KOAA)
Madison district growing its own produce
For the first time, produce grown by the Madison School District will be used for its meal program. The garden is located at the Madison School District’s central production kitchen and distribution center, and herbs grown in the garden will be used in soups and sauces. (via Wisconsin State Journal)
Taco Tuesday: Students to enjoy grass-fed beef at lunchtime
Over 8,000 students in California ate lunch made with local, organic, grass-fed beef as part of the third annual “Taco Tuesday.” This Farm to School event provided an opportunity to celebrate local producers and change the face of school food across the region. (via Times-Standard)

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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