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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

News

This Week in Farm to School: 3/20/18

NFSN Staff Tuesday, March 20, 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. 2018 Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations Nutrition Education Grant RFA
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has announced that the Request for Applications (RFA) for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations Nutrition Education (FDPNE) grant has now been posted to Grants.gov. The FDPNE grant funds projects that provide nutrition information and services to Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) participants, helping the organizations that serve this population find new ways to aid their constituents. Indian Tribal Organizations and State agencies that are current FDPIR allowance holders (have a direct agreement with FNS to administer FDPIR) are eligible to apply. You can read about projects funded last year here

2. Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom Grants
The Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom grant is available to high-need schools and districts in Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah to cover the upfront costs often associated with the startup and implementation of breakfast in the classroom and “grab n’ go” programs, such as purchasing equipment, outreach efforts to parents, program promotion, and other related expenses. Learn more here

3. National Education Association Grants

Student Achievement Grants, offered by the National Education Association (NEA) Foundation, are for projects that help students learn how to think critically and solve problems in order to improve student learning. Learning & Leadership Grants, offered by the National Education Association (NEA) Foundation, are for professional development opportunities for individuals or groups. Grants are available to current members of the National Education Association who are educators in public schools or public institutions of higher education. Preference is given to proposals that incorporate STEM and/or global learning into projects, which can include farm to school activities. Two levels of funding are available: $2,000 and $5,000. The next deadline for applications is June 1. 

4. Aetna 2018 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant Program
Aetna Foundation is inviting projects that address issues in the following domains to apply for the 2018 Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant: Built Environment, Community Safety, Environmental Exposures, Healthy Behaviors, and Social/Economic Factors. These grants are expected to award up to $2 million to organizations in the contiguous United States through this program. This will be a highly competitive funding opportunity with a two-stage application process. All Stage 1 applications must be received by April 18, 2018 at 3PM ET. We will not accept any late or incomplete applications. You must submit a Stage 1 application in order to be considered for Stage 2. Learn more here


Webinars

1. Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP) Applicant Webinars
March 27 & 28 // 2pm ET 
On March 7, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced the availability of $27 million in grants to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses through the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program. Read updated information about these grants and register for upcoming webinars to learn more about them. AMS will host two webinars to help farmers, producer groups and other potential applicants to understand the program requirements. The Grants.gov webinar on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, at 2 p.m. (ET), will cover how to register in Dun & Bradstreet, track a submitted application, find funding opportunities and apply for those opportunities. The FMLFPP webinar on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, at 2 p.m. (ET), will provide an overview of the program objectives, eligibility and basic information about the application process.

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics Webinar: Family Engagement Through Farm to Early Care and Education

April 5 // 2pm ET
Parent and family engagement in the early years of life is vital to healthy development and healthy relationships. Farm to early care and education (ECE) offers a unique opportunity to engage families in activities in the ECE setting while offering nutrition, culinary and gardening education that can impact food practices and health behaviors in the home. Join the National Farm to School Network,  the Farm to Family Project, and Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness to hear about innovative programs that are leveraging farm to ECE as a key to family engagement and, in doing so, increasing healthy food access, healthy behaviors, and healthy relationships for children, families and communities. Register here.


Events
1. 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference: Register today!
April 25-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
Registration for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is open until April 9th. Explore the conference website to learn more here. The Conference program offers 36-skill building workshops, educational short courses, experiential field trips, inspiring keynote addresses and more! Learn more at www.farmtocafeteriaconference.org

2. 2018 Annual National SNA Conference
Registration is now open for the School Nutrition Event of the Year - #ANC18 - July 9-12 in Las Vegas. Preparations are in full swing for SNA's 72nd Annual National Conference, a premier learning and networking event for School Nutrition Professionals. SNA staff and volunteers are busy making sure every detail is ready to welcome you to the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas this summer. Learn more and register here


Take Action
1. There’s Still Time to Respond to the 2017 Census of Agriculture
USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) needs a Census of Agriculture response from ALL the nation’s producers. In order to get an accurate representation of American agriculture – of all farmers and ranchers across the country – NASS will continue to accept completed census questionnaires through spring. NASS is committed to giving producers every opportunity to be represented in these widely-used data. Federal law mandates that everyone who received the 2017 Census of Agriculture questionnaire complete it and return it even if not currently farming. NASS will follow-up via mailings, phone calls, and farm visits with producers who have not yet responded. To avoid these additional contacts, farmers and ranchers are encouraged to complete their census either online at www.agcounts.usda.gov or by mail as soon as possible. For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov. For questions about or assistance filling out the census, producers can call toll-free (888) 424-7828.

2. Participate in Slow Food's Plant a Seed Campaign 
Slow Food is excited to launch their Plant a Seed campaign for Spring 2018. This year, they are focusing on the Three Sisters — bean, corn and squash — with varieties on the Ark of Taste. They are able to offer free kits to the first 300 schools in need. Use promo code plantschoolfree if you would like a kit but cannot afford to pay. Once those run out, or if you have the budget to pay, you can use plantschoolhalf for a 50% discount. If you're not using this for a school garden, Slow Food requests that you pay full price. Order your kit here


Job Opportunities
1.School Garden Specialist, Chicago Public Schools
Chicago Public Schools is seeking a school garden specialist to l support district-wide initiatives to increase the number of edible school gardens operating in Chicago Public Schools (CPS), provide ongoing training to schools on garden programming, and oversee educational opportunities through the CPS Farm to School program. Learn more here

2. Grants Specialist, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets seeks a Grants Specialist to assist the Grants and Contracts Team and program managers across the Agricultural Development Division. Learn more here

3. State Director of School Nutrition, Tennessee Department of Education
The TN DOE seeks to hire a State Director of School Nutrition to ensure USDA programs are delivered efficiently, effectively and with integrity and a focus on customer service. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Northern Mariana Islands’ school garden teaches not just farming
“We see that many our students’ minds come alive in the garden in a way they don’t in the classroom. The environment itself is transforming. There’s something about being outside in a natural setting that seems to stimulate the senses,” Atalig added. (Saipan Tribune)

In West Virginia, Sunshine Farm teaches many lessons at Crellin Elementary

“We incorporate reading and writing and use ‘I wonder’ questions that students have about the animals and plants as research projects,” McCauley said. “Using these authentic ‘wonders’ make the projects meaningful to students.”(Garrett County Republican)

In Whitefish Township, Michigan students use old food, recycled supplies to grow veggies for lunch
“It’s better hands-on because you’ll learn how to do it. When you’re working with other people in a class it teaches you how to work as a group together. Also teaches you how to produce food and enough, because some of the seeds don’t always give you something, so you have to learn how to adapt to that,” Student Emma Nelson, said. (8&10 News)

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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