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National Farm to School Network

News

This Week in Farm to School: 10/9/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, October 09, 2018
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. 

Grants & Funding
1. USDA FY 2019 Farm to School Grant RFA
The FY 2019 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is now open to applicants. Due to additional funding made available to the Farm to School Grant Program through the FY 2018 Omnibus Bill, the Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) seeks to award approximately $7.5M in FY 2019 funding.  Applications are due Dec. 4, 2018. Learn more and apply here. For more information, join OCFS for a special two-part webinar on Oct. 16 and Oct. 17 at 1pm ET.  These webinars will review the important details of the FY 2019 Farm to School Grants and walk candidates through the application process.

2. USDA FY2019-2021 Farm to School Training and Curricula
This USDA FNS Request for Proposals (RFP) announces the availability of funds to establish one or more new cooperative agreements for FYs 2019-2021 for the purposes of developing a training curriculum, conducting trainings of trainers, and evaluating the results of farm to school trainings for producers to build their capacity to launch or expand farm to school efforts. Up to $2,000,000 is available for the Cooperative Agreement(s). Application closes Nov. 26. Learn more here

3. Budding Botanist Grant
Budding Botanist grants are open to any Title I public or charter school in the United States. Applicants must be planning a new or expanding an existing school garden program designed to teach students about environmental sustainability and the importance of biodiversity. Grant winners will receive a $500 curriculum and garden tool package, as well as a check for $2500 to install or expand a school garden. Application is due Nov. 19. Learn more and apply here.


Webinars & Events
1. October is National Farm to School Month!
National Farm to School month is here! The National Farm to School Network has free resources, planning materials, activity ideas and a new calendar of events for ways you can get involved in October. Share how your celebrating National Farm to School Month by signing the Take Action Pledge and you'll be entered to win farm to school prizes for a school or early care and education site of your choice! Visit farmtoschool.org/month to get involved. 

2. NFSN WEBINAR Results from the 2018 National Farm to Early Care and Education Survey
October 11, 2-3pm  ET
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN), in partnership with Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, launched for the 2018 National Survey of Early Care and Education Providers in the spring of 2018. Over 2,000 ECE providers from across the country responded and shared information about current farm to ECE initiatives, motivations for participation, challenges to starting or expanding farm to ECE, and more. Join the National Farm to School Network and Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems to hear about the survey finding and learn how you can use the results to promote farm to ECE in your state and community. This webinar will be recorded and archived for future viewing. Register here.

3. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics: NFSN Seed Change in Native Communities Cohort
November 1, 2-3pm ET
In recognition of Native American Heritage Month, our November Trending Topics webinar will feature partners from the National Farm to School Network's Seed Change in Native Communities project. Since 2017, the Seed Change project has helped to create dozens of school gardens in Native communities, put local and indigenous foods on the plates of hundreds of children, and supported the inspiring work of five school communities dedicated to expanding and sustaining farm to school programming for the next generation of Native youth. Register here.

4. Farm to School and 21st Century Food Service Programs
November 15, 7-8pm ET
In 2018, National Farm to School Network teamed up with National Education Association as its National Partner of the Year. Growing from this partnership is a movement to challenge schools to build 21st Century food programs. We want to enrich the connection between schools and fresh, healthy, and locally sourced food. Additionally, we will build a new school nutrition workforce that will anchor this lofty project in our school communities. Join this webinar to hear from participants in this new partnership that are already reaping the benefits. Register here

5. Michigan Good Food Summit: Amplifying Voices for Equity
October 22 // East Lansing, MI
This October, the Michigan Good Food Summit will amplify underrepresented voices across the food system as we continue advancing the Good Food Charter's vision of equity, sustainability and a thriving economy for all of Michigan and its people. Whether you're a food consumer, grower or buyer; line cook, server or chef; advocate, educator or policymaker, connect with others advancing good food and equity in Michigan. Register here.

6. Green Apply Day of Service
Green Apple Day of Service is an opportunity to join schools across the world in celebrating the central role that schools play in preparing the next generation of leaders in sustainability. A school’s event improves the learning environment while strengthening student civic leadership, environmental literacy, and project management skills. Since it began in 2012, Green Apple Day of Service has inspired over 900,000 volunteers in 80 countries to act in support of sustainability at their schools. With one in eight people around the globe attending a school every day, there is more work to be done! Schools and the community leaders who support them can choose their own date for their project, and they have access to mini-grants and personalized guidance to help them make their projects a reality. Sign up and register your project by March 15, 2019 to participate at greenapple.org.


Research & Resources
1. Wisconsin Farm to ECE Survey Results: Now Available
The results of the first Wisconsin Farm to Early Care and Education (Farm to ECE) Provider and Support Organization surveys are now available in three summary documents. The surveys aimed to establish baseline data for farm to ECE participation in the state, learn about existing farm to ECE activities taking place at sites across Wisconsin, determine what trainings and resources can help sites grow farm to ECE, as well as assess support organization staff knowledge and understanding of farm to ECE. Read the summary documents here.

2. USDA Study: Both At Home and Away, Americans Are Choosing More Lower Fat Foods Than They Did 35 Years Ago
Whether consumed in restaurants or as take-out or delivery meals, food prepared away from home is now a ubiquitous part of the American diet. Consumers may make different choices at the grocery store than they would when eating out—choices that can affect both consumers’ diets and the decisions made by agricultural producers, food manufacturers, and restaurant operators. A recent ERS analysis found that between 1977-78 and 2011-14, the fat content of at-home foods consumed by Americans declined more than the fat content of away-from-home foods. Read more here.

3. New Preschool Development Grant Application Guide
The Policy Equity Group and the BUILD Initiative have developed an application guide for states to use as they apply for the new federal Preschool Development Grants. This federal grant competition is focused on the coordination of the early childhood system and is anticipated to be awarded to up to 40 states. As states are preparing their applications, there is opportunity to integrate farm to ECE into your state's grant proposal by emphasizing farm to ECE as an approach to collaboration and coordination between food, health, and ECE programs. For more information, contact Lacy Stephens, NFSN Program Manager, at lacy@farmtoschool.org.  

4. Seeking Examples: Local (School District and City) Policies for Farm to School
National Farm to School Network is developing a new resource about how local policies (eg, school district wellness policies, city procurement policies) can support and foster farm to school activities. Do you have any examples of where this has already happened? If so, please contact policyfellow@farmtoschool.org.

5. Seeking Examples: Affordable Care Act Community Benefit Dollars for Farm to School
National Farm to School Network is developing a new resource about how ACA Community Benefit dollars can fund farm to school activities. This is a largely untapped potential funding source for farm to school! Do you have any examples of where this has already happened? If so, please contact policyfellow@farmtoschool.org.


Job Opportunities
1. Research & Education Associate, Tilth Alliance (Seattle, WA)
The Research and Education Associate is a dynamic position that will primarily focus on a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded research project (80%). The NSF research includes co-designing equitable garden and field-based science education in K-3 classrooms with families, teachers, and community-based organizations. In addition to research, the Associate will support education programming at the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands, which includes classes, camps, farm tours, service learning and family days (20%). Learn more and apply here.

2. Community Education Program Coordinator, Tilth Alliance (Seattle, WA)
The Program Coordinator position is part of the Community Education Team at Tilth Alliance, which engages youth, adults and families in hands-on classes, volunteer and other learning opportunities in Seattle and King County, around growing food, environmental stewardship, and cooking and sharing food. This position will include a mix of program coordination and direct education on a variety of topics including organic vegetable gardening, wetlands restoration, food waste prevention and food preservation. Learn more and apply here.

3. Assistant Director, Leadership Education and Farming (LEAF) (Landisburg, PA)
Leadership Education and Farming (LEAF) is seeking a collaborative and effective leader to join our team and push LEAF’s vision and strategy as LEAF moves into its next stage of growth. The Assistant Director will work alongside the Executive Director to envision and implement thoughtful organizational growth and serve as a lead project manager in the areas of grants, fundraising, public outreach, and organizational administration. Learn more and apply here.

4. Program Coordinator, Leadership Education and Farming (LEAF) (Landisburg, PA)
The Program Coordinator works closely with the youth crew, instrumental in creating a rare and intentional culture in which youth engage in meaningful work that spurs personal growth and awareness. The Program Coordinator should be dedicated to LEAF’s mission, passionate about youth development, and invested in fostering a vibrant and just community. Learn more and apply here.

5. Arkansas Farm to School Program Coordinator 
The Arkansas Farm to School Program Coordinator, a full-time AmeriCorps VISTA position, will spend their year of service coordinating and growing Arkansas Farm to School. They will build capacity and increase Arkansas Farm to School’s ability to serve its stakeholders in improving the health and wellness of kids, families and communities through a more equitable food system. Learn more and apply here


Farm to School in the News
New Jersey farm receives first ever farm to school award.
Terhune Orchards and the Mount family of Mercer County, N.J., have been recognized as the state’s first recipients of the Jersey Fresh Farm to School Farmer Recognition Award. The program is an opportunity for farmers to highlight their farm to school efforts and to help feature their produce in local school meals. (American Agriculturist)

Virginia Students learn about food production during farm to school week
On Tuesday, October 2, during Virginia’s Farm to School Week, Charlottesville High School welcomed people from Casa Alma to discuss urban farming with its garden-to-market class. Casa Alma says Farm to School Week helps students develop an appreciation for where food comes from, and nurture a desire for healthy foods. (NBC-29)

Maine students grow their own healthy lunches
Every parent worries about their kids getting healthy lunches in school cafeterias. In Belfast, Maine, middle school parents don't have to worry because their students are growing their own healthy lunches, garden to table.The program is 100% self-sustainable with the students doing everything from composting, growing the vegetables, packing them up, and selling them to their school's cafeteria and the Belfast co-op. (News Center Maine)


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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