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.
Webinars & Events
1. Scholarships available for National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
Scholarships are now available for the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, a biennial event hosted by the National Farm to School Network that will convene more than 1,500 diverse stakeholders working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. Scholarship awards will cover short course and/or registration fees for the conference, pending available funds. Costs associated with travel, lodging and field trips are not covered by the scholarship award. In order to ensure the conference reflects the full diversity of farm to cafeteria constituents, scholarships are prioritized for farmers, farmer support organizations, youth (through age 22), persons of color, food service professionals, among others. Additional preference will be given to first-time conference attendees and presenters. Representation from all regions of the country will also be taken into consideration when evaluating scholarship applicants. The application is available online at farmtocafeteriaconference.org. Applications must be received or postmarked by 5pm (EST) on February 29, 2016.
The University of Vermont Food Systems Summit is an annual event drawing scholars, practitioners, and food systems leaders to engage in dialogue on the pressing food systems issues facing our world. The 2016 Summit will feature several rounds of concurrent sessions organized by Summit participants. We invite you to propose ideas for concurrent sessions in response to the 2016 Summit theme: "What Makes Food Good?" The Summit will be held June 14-15, 2016 in Burlington, VT. Submit and view proposals here.
3. Webinar: Healthy Schools Campaign
The ABCs of School Gardens Webinar
Wed., March 9, 9-10am CST
Interested in starting a school garden or need help gathering excitement for an existing one? Join this webinar to learn: how garden-based learning positively impacts student learning and to explore ways school gardens offer hands-on, experiential learning opportunities in a wide array of disciplines and promote student health. This seminar is part of Healthy Schools Campaign’s highly-regarded Fit to Learn professional development for principals and educators. Register here.
Policy & Action
1. Senate Agriculture Committee passes its draft of Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization
Last week, the Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously approved their version of the Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization (CNR). The bipartisan bill, Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016, is a big victory for the farm to school movement, with all priority policy pieces recommended in the Farm to School Act of 2015 included. A full summary of the bill markup is available here. Learn about the next steps in the reauthorization process and how you advocate for farm to school priorities in CNR here.
Research & Resources
1. Sea to Campus Case Studies
Farm to Institution New England has released a series of case studies that explore how and why institutions are serving up locally caught seafood. The case studies focus on what lessons these sea to institution pioneer have to share with others that have yet to develop local seafood programs. The case studies highlight models from three higher education institutions, two public K-12 schools, and one hospital. View the case studies here.
Farm to school in the news
RGJ Citizen of the Year: Jeff Bryant of Urban Roots - Congratulations, Jeff, NFSN Nevada State Co-Lead!
Jeff Bryant is working to make Northern Nevada a better place, not just for today, but for generations to come. Bryant is the executive director of Urban Roots, a nonprofit that teaches youngsters where their food comes from. For his work in 2015, Bryant has been selected as the Reno Gazette-Journal’s Citizen of the Year. (via Reno Gazette-Journal)
Quincy schools eye increase in locally sourced food in cafeterias - shout out to Simca Horwitz, NFSN Massachusetts State Co-Lead!
The 5,000 daily meals dished out to Quincy, Mass. students already feature some local fare, but a USDA Farm to School Grant will now help expand initiatives like one started last school year to add local fish to the menu. Simca Horwitz, NFSN Massachusetts State Co-Lead, discusses the benefits the grants have had on area schools. (via Boston Globe)
Senate bill offers hope for nutrition act - shout out to Erin McGuire, NFSN's Policy Director!
In a critical first step forward, the Senate Agriculture Committee passes its draft of the long-delayed Child Nutrition Act reauthorization. “Farm to school programs are a great way to help introduce kids to healthier eating habits and teach them about where their food comes from,” said Erin McGuire, Policy Director at the National Farm to School Network. “We applaud the Senate Agriculture Committee’s decision to expand the reach of the Farm to School Grant program by providing this additional funding.” (via Morning Ag Clips)