National Farm to School Network News
1. NCAT and NFSN Awarded USDA Cooperative Agreement
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and National Farm to School Network (NFSN) are pleased to share their partnership with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) to develop farm to school trainings for agricultural producers. This three-year cooperative agreement was announced by OCFS on May 21. The goal of the project is to help agricultural producers build their capacity to launch or expand efforts to market to schools. NCAT and NSFN will conduct a needs assessment among agricultural producers in collaboration with state agencies, develop curricula, and execute trainings that use a tiered, train-the-trainer approach. Read the full announcement here.
2. Lacy Stephens selected as 2019 Bloomberg Fellow
The Bloomberg American Health Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has announced its 2019 cohort of Bloomberg Fellows, each drawn from an organization working on health challenges facing the nation. Congratulations to Lacy Stephens, Program Manager at the National Farm to School Network, for being selected as a 2019 Fellow! Fellows receive a full scholarship to earn an MPH or DrPH, then use their new skills with the organizations for which they already work to continue tackling some of the toughest challenges facing US communities. Read more here.
Webinars & Events
1. Webinar: Kick off the Summer with Farm to Head Start and Early Care and Education
Tuesday, June 18 // 2PM ET
How can a Farm to Head Start/ECE partnership help your program serve fresh, local food? Learn how it works through presentations from national experts and Head Start program examples. This interactive webinar is brought to you by: USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Head Start, and National Farm to School Network. Primary Audience: Head Start staff, child care and CACFP providers, and State agency CACFP and Head Start staff. Please spread the news about this webinar! Register here.
2. EQUITY Webinar: Measuring Racial Equity in the Food System
July 16 // 3-4 PM ET
The webinar will provide an introduction to the newly published guide, Measuring Racial Equity in the Food System: Established and Suggested Metrics, including examples of metrics in four different themes and ways the guide can be used. Following this introduction, two food system leaders will share how they are using data and metrics to drive system change. There will be time in the webinar for questions, comments, and suggestions for related resources. This webinar is sponsored by the Racial Equity in Food Systems Working Group (REFS), a national workgroup coordinated by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. Register here.
3. American Horticultural Society's National Children Youth and Garden Symposium
July 10-13, 2019 // Madison, Wisconsin
The American Horticultural Society is hosting the National Children and Youth Garden Symposium, a three-day long symposium for educators, non-profit professionals and others working with children and youth in garden-based settings across the country. At this event, held on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, the focus will be on providing the next generation the knowledge and tools to create a sustainable environmental future and finding ways to maintain and grow gardens with programs that nurture the youth. NCYGS will explore innovative sustainable gardening curriculum and practices, exploring "green" career resources, and highlighting model partnerships for attracting the human, financial, and intellectual capital needed to sustain youth gardening endeavors. Learn more here.
4. 2019 Maine Farm to School Conference
October 4, 2019 // Hinckley/Clinton, Maine
With the 2019 conference theme of "Innovations in Farm to School", stakeholders from across the state of Maine and beyond will convene for a full day of learning, best practice sharing, and networking. This event will be hosted at the Kennebec Valley Community College's Alfond Campus from 8:30 AM - 5 PM. Learn more here.
5. Louisiana Farm to School Conference
October 22-23, 2019 // Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The Louisiana Farm to School Program will host the annual Louisiana Farm to School Conference on October 23, 2019 at the Pennington Biomedical Conference Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. During their time in the Bayou State, stakeholders will attend a special "Meet the Buyer, Greet the Grower" event to kick off the conference and explore networking opportunities between farmers and school nutrition staff. Some of the hot topics for this event will include school gardening challenges, barriers of farm to school, and sourcing local foods in school. Save the date and make a trip to attend! Learn more here.
6. NFSN EVENT Save the Date: 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 20-24, 2020 // Albuquerque, New Mexico
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 20-24, 2020! Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event will convene a diverse group of food service professionals, farmers, educators, students, representatives from nonprofits and government agencies, public health professionals and more to learn, network, and strengthen this important movement. Are you passionate about supporting local agriculture and fostering a culture of food literacy in your community? This event is for you. Visit farmtoschool.org/conference to learn more and start making plans to join us in Albuquerque!
1. NFSN JOB Senior Director, Programs & Policy, National Farm to School Network (Remote)
The Senior Director of Programs and Policy will lead the strategic direction of programming and policy advocacy aimed at institutionalizing farm to school in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. Territories. Responsibilities include successful implementation of programs and policy activities with an eye towards innovation, oversight of Core and Supporting Partner engagement and capacity building, and cultivation of strategic partnerships with national organizations and federal agencies to advance National Farm to School Network's mission. Learn more here.
Farm to School in the News
New York school greenhouse advances agricultural learning, access to fresh food
School district officials unveiled Greenport’s first-ever outdoor greenhouse Friday to grow and harvest “hundreds of pounds” of fresh produce, officials said. The 20-by-50-foot structure west of the school building was created with help from a New York State Farm to School grant. “Ask a kid if he or she likes kale? No way. But if he or she grows the kale, ‘That’s my kale, and I grew this!’ There’s that wonderful relationship between farmer and food.” (The Suffolk Times)
Colorado school district turns old buses into mobile cafes to feed students during summer
In the past, the school provided lunches at school cafeterias during the summer, but getting to the school was a challenge for many students. Therefore, school officials decided to transform buses going out of service into bright, mobile cafés. “It is a small gesture, but it has a huge impact,” Bennett says. (ABC Actions News)
Pizza, hamburgers and ... local broccoli? School lunch in Arizona
Tucson Unified School District's farm to school program has brought locally-grown lettuce, asian pears and broccoli to students at different grade levels. “I’ve noticed this misconception that the farm to school program is just about giving students an opportunity to know what a local carrot looks like. And although that’s part of it, it’s also about educating adults about our food system, about where food comes from, the challenges of growing food." (Arizona Public Media)