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National Farm to School Network

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This Week in Farm to School: 6/18/19

NFSN Staff Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: Farm to Early Care and Education State Strategic Planning 
Thursday, July 11 // 1-2 PM ET
Developing a farm to early care and education (ECE) state strategic plan can facilitate the coordinated growth, expansion, and institutionalization of farm to ECE across the state. Aligning the plan with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Spectrum of Opportunities for State-Level Obesity Prevention Efforts Targeting the Early Care and Education Setting further supports comprehensive integration of farm to ECE into existing ECE systems and structures, which can increase reach and support long-term successes. In this webinar presented by the National Farm to School Network, we’ll learn about the Spectrum of Opportunities from Nora Geary of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and hear from Erin Croom of Georgia Organics and Caliste Chong of Alabama Smart Start about the development, implementation, and impacts of state farm to ECE strategic plans in their states. This webinar will be recorded and archived for future viewing. Register here.

2. NFSN WEBINAR Trending Topics in Farm to School: State Local Purchasing Incentive Bills 
Thursday, August 1 // 1-2 PM ET
Providing an increased meal reimbursement to schools and early care and education sites purchasing and serving local foods not only increases the amount of fresh, local foods in meal program, but can provide increased revenue streams for local producers. Many states are exploring or pursuing local food incentive bills and a few states have passed and implemented successful legislation, providing important models for future legislation. In this webinar, presented by the National Farm to School Network, we’ll hear from key stakeholders about the passage and enactment of the MI Ten Cents a Meal Program and the New Mexico Grown Local Produce Grant. This webinar will be recorded and archived for future viewing. Register here.

3. EQUITY Webinar: Measuring Racial Equity in the Food System: Established and Suggested Metrics
Tuesday, July 16 // 3-4 PM ET
The Racial Equity in Food Systems Working Group (REFS) is a national workgroup coordinated by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. 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. Register here

4. Webinar: National Farm to Institution Metrics Collaborative Webinar Series: Cultivate Michigan – Reflections and Lessons
Tuesday, June 25 // 3:30-4 PM ET
In this new series, each webinar will feature a different Collaborative member and a tool or program they have used to measure farm to institution efforts. In the next webinar in this series, Colleen Matts, Farm to Institution Specialist with the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and Coordinator of the Michigan Farm to Institution Network (MFIN), will reflect on Cultivate Michigan, a member-based campaign launched with the network in 2014. Designed to help member institutions find, buy, promote, and track more local foods as they work toward the Michigan Good Food Charter goal of 20% Michigan foods by 2020, Cultivate Michigan has also proven to be an important platform for communication, gathering information, and network organizing. Register here

5. 27th Annual Children and Youth Garden Symposium
July 10-13, 2019 // Madison, WI
The 2019 event will take place July 10-13 in Madison, Wisconsin, hosted by Community Groundworks, the University of Wisconsin’s Environmental Design Lab, and the Wisconsin School Garden Network. At the core of the symposium are peer-led educational sessions that focus on relevant, thought-provoking topics, provide attendees with practical knowledge and skills, and appeal to attendees representing a variety of experience levels, educational settings, and youth audiences. Learn more here.

6. Green Schools Conference
August 1, 2019 // Milwaukee, WI
The Green Schools Conference provides inspirational examples of green & healthy schools and eco-literacy in the Milwaukee area. Attendees have an opportunity to connect with schools and supporting organizations through presentations, workshops, an exhibitor hall, school and garden tours, and networking opportunities. The conference is open to all and is an excellent opportunity to get engaged with green & healthy schools! Learn more here.


Resources & Research
1. NFSN RESOURCE State Farm to School Policy Handbook: 2002-2018
National Farm to School Network and the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School are pleased to announce the release of the State Farm to School Policy Handbook: 2002-2018. The Handbook summarizes and analyzes every proposed farm to school bill and resolution introduced between January 1, 2002, and December 31, 2018, from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories. It enables readers to search bills by both jurisdiction and topic, and includes analysis of trends, case studies, advocacy resources and more. Explore the State Farm to School Policy Handbook here.


Policy News
1. Kids Eat Local Act Introduced in Congress
The Kids Eat Local Act (H.R. 3220, S. 1817) was introduced in Congress last week by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Josh Harder (D-CA), and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE). By including the Kids Eat Local Act in the next Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization, schools would be given a new, easier to use local product specification option through which they could specify “locally grown,” “locally raised” or “locally caught” in their procurement language, and then make the award to the lowest bidder who can meet that product specification. The addition of local product specification would substantially improve opportunities for local producers by providing more flexibility for school districts. National Farm to School Network and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition thank the bill sponsors in both the Senate and House for introducing the Kids Eat Local Act and paving the way for increased healthy food in schools and new economic opportunities for local farmers. Learn more here

2. Minesota's Farm to School Bill Signed
Minenesota helps kids, farmers, and communities win with the recent signing of the Farm to School and Early Care Act. This bill dedicates up to $400,000 for Farm to School initiatives that will help bring fresh, healthy foods to Minnesota children and supports the creation of a marketing position that will help farmers and school districts build the needed relationships. Learn more here


Job Opportunities
1. Community Food Systems Program Manager, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Extension (Wisconsin)
The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Extension seeks applicants for the Community Food Systems Program Manager position. The Community Food Systems Program Manager works with faculty, staff, and partners to develop needed community food systems program activities and manages the Community Food Systems Extension Program. This position manages and supports outreach educational programs designed to build the capacity of community residents, leaders, organizations and First Nations to build and enhance place-based food systems to improve community health and well-being. Learn more here


Farm to School in the News
Young Children in Alaska Can Grow A lot in One Square Foot of Dirt
One square foot of dirt sounds like a small amount of space, but children at Ray’s Child Care and Learning Center in the Mat-Su Valley are making the most of it. Children at the center are growing vegetables, herbs and flowers in their own one square-foot garden box. “Farm to ECE activities set up young children for a lifetime of healthy habits,” said Johanna Herron with the Alaska Division of Agriculture. “It helps kids develop an appreciation for local food; knowledge of good food choices; and a connection to their environment, land, and their community.” (Alaska.gov)

Virginia students channel their inner chef at Farm to Table Cooking Camp
Area children can expand their palates and develop their social skills at a Farm to Table Cooking Camp. This experience includes children making their own meals throughout the day from fresh ingredients as they do farm chores and take part in numerous hands-on activities. (The Roanoke Times)

Sarasota County Schools Celebrate Florida Food
Students in central Florida schools spent a day full of exposure to their statewide food system. A long-term goal of this event is to expose young people to the wide variety of foods grown in Florida. The hope is that students will become familiar with and accustomed to reaching for these healthy foods, and take those habits with them as they enter adulthood. (Central Florida Ag 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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