Blog Archive

Thursday, July 19, 2018

10 Cents a Meal Expands; Application Process Expected in Late July


Michigan's innovative 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms program is continuing—and it is expanded!         

10 Cents provides incentive match funds to grant-winning schools to purchase Michigan grown fruits, vegetables, and dry beans.

Schools that are located in Michigan Prosperity Regions 2,4,6,8, and 9 now are eligible to apply—up from three regions last year. Gov. Rick Snyder signed the education budget with the $575,000 line item for 10 Cents on June 28. The new regions in which schools are eligible to apply include Flint, Battle Creek, and Kalamazoo. 

If your schools are in those five regions, alert them to keep their eyes out soon for emails from the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), which administers the program. MDE expects the application to be available in late July. 

The application process has a rapid turn-around time so that schools can access their funds starting in early September. Eligible schools must participate in the National School Lunch Program.

More information and tools for being successful applicants are available at Look under the Tools for Schools tab. And be sure to sign up for the 10 Cents email newsletter here and follow the 10 Cents Facebook page for the most timely updates on new tools. If you post about 10 Cents or Michigan farm to school, don't forget to tag @TenCentsMichigan.

Grant-winning food service directors during the last school year said the 10 Cents program helped them try 60 new items with their kids. MDE's 2017-2018 Report to the Legislature also showed that schools purchased a total of 80 different fruits, vegetables, and dry beans grown by 112 farms in 34 counties. The program also impacted 19 additional businesses such as processors, distributors, and food hubs.

If you would like to know more about the expansion, including reaction from legislators in the two new regions added, check out my post at Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities here.

All best,

Diane Conners

P.S. Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities manages the 10 Cents web site. We are always looking for ways to make it more useful. Please private message me with any suggestions to make it better, or to tell us what has been useful.

 *Please note my email address has changed to


Diane Conners  |  Senior Policy Specialist
Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities

P   231-499-3937

T   @grndwk

A  148 E Front St, Suite 301  |  Traverse City, MI 49684 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

July Newsletter

Happy Summer!

Hopefully this finds you enjoying some cooler temperatures for mid-July and especially enjoying the amazing products Michigan has to offer this time of year. It is hard to believe it is already mid-July, and yet the products at the farmers markets each week have been a great reminder of how amazing our state is for diverse and delicious crops.


A few of the News bits for this month share about farm to school and student involvement across the summer month and the USDA Team Nutrition resource might help you think about back-to-school recipes if you are in that frame of mind.



University students grow with Detroit institutions to promote healthy eating

Students at Michigan State University have a unique internship opportunity to spend 10 weeks in the city of Detroit working with various community organizations and institutions, including in Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) schools. As part of their internships, students have a chance to see how social justice interacts with food systems work through hands on experiences they can take with them once they graduate.


Connecticut garden made accessible to all students

Hartford Courant 

Norfeldt Elementary School in Hartford, Connecticut received a grant enabling the purchase of two VegTrug raised gardens, helping to make gardening accessible for all students.  The entire student body utilizes the garden for learning and planting a variety of produce they later use in taste tests. The raised beds have allowed all of the children, including those with physical disabilities, access to the space. Equally as important, families volunteer to tend the garden during the summer months. 


Many schools keep gardening efforts going all summer

Associated Press

School gardens have been used as an educational tool in the U.S. for centuries and thankfully that is still continuing now more than ever. Summer volunteers and parent-child community activists work together to prepare gardens for the return of students in the fall, while season extenders such as greenhouses and a wide variety of plants can help fit in with traditional school schedules and integrate into subjects such as math, science, and English Language Arts.  


Minnesota campers meet animals, taste herbs, envision ag careers

The Free Press

As part of a week-long camp in food and animal science hosted by the Minnesota State Engineering Center of Excellence, middle- and high-school students participated in hands-on learning experiences in food and animal science, including learning about agricultural career opportunities.


Colorado students get hands-on experience in farm work

The Journal

Through a 6-week program, Southwest Open School joined with the Montezuma Land Conservancy to provide students hands-on learning experience in agriculture. Students work for four weeks, Monday through Thursday, in the school garden and at a local farm to learn about local agriculture and gain job skills. Participation in the program earns students school credit as well as a $100 per week stipend.


Georgia teen manages community garden

Albany Herald 

Like many community gardens, Sylvester's Village Community Garden receives support through multiple volunteers and sponsors. Unique to this garden is 14-year-old Janya Green, farm manager for Village Community Garden, who shares, "My main purpose here at the garden is to not only educate myself on healthy living but to also educate my community on how and what they should eat.".


Wisconsin's growing food independence

Green Bay Press Gazette

In the Green Bay, Wisconsin area, farm to school lessons in the classroom have expanded across the six districts to encompass elementary, middle, and high schools, and include planting gardens, greenhouses, chicken coops and one day maybe even beekeeping. Teachers, school food service staff, and students are growing what is served in lunch lines, as well as incorporating farm to school in classroom learning opportunities.


USDA supports local foods in schools through farm to school grants

USDA Press Release 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service recently "announced $5.2 million in grant awards to bring nutritious, local foods into schools and create new economic opportunities for farmers. The grants, part of the USDA Farm to School Program, will impact over 6,000 schools and 2.8 million students nationwide." 


Kansas students grow, sell produce

Lawrence Journal-World

When most student are on vacation during the summer months, a group of students at Liberty Memorial Central School spend a few hours each week to maintain their school garden to make sure it is ready for the upcoming school year. This includes planting, harvesting, and even taking produce to the market where they earn between $500 and $1000 each week, which helps to sustain the garden efforts.


The Seed takes Root: Program gets kids involved with agriculture

The Times and Democrat 

Clemson Extension has helped to expand school gardens across the state through its horticulture-based training program for educators. Since it began in 2012, 463 educators have participated, with 147 school gardens started across the state in 16 counties with a goal of improving both health and academic outcomes for children in South Carolina.


Gardens grow sense of community for Illinois neighborhood

Daily Herald 

The Dryden Place Project is a community initiative through the Arlington Heights Elementary School District 25 to link students from low-income families with their community. With multiple community organizations including the library, hospital, and fire and police departments joining, the effort has created centralized resources and the provision of a summer lunch program. The addition of low-cost community gardens that provide seeds and equipment are intended to provide nutrition support as well as improve student outcomes.


Massachusetts school nutritionist looks to bring orchard to Medford High

Medford Wicked Local

High school students at a Massachusetts school, through the Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility, shared an idea for a project that would address food security in their community. Connecting with the Medford Public Schools nutritionist who also ran the Garden Club was a natural fit. As a result, they began a project that could involve other students and proposed an outdoor learning space including a fruit orchard that could be harvested for use in the cafeteria, as well as serve as a space to teach students about the origin of food, the life cycle of plants, and the importance of healthy foods. 



Farm to Early Care and Education 101 Webinar

August 2, 2018// 6:00 pm ET

This interactive webinar will provide an introduction of how farm to early care and education—including using local foods in meals, snacks, gardening, and food-based education—can be integrated as part of play-based learning opportunities using evidence-based, culturally responsive, family supported approaches to meet educational and nutrition standards.


Farm to ECE Webinar: Indigenous Foods in Early Care and Education Settings 

August 2, 2018 // 2:00pm ET

Increasing children's knowledge on tribal history and food ways to strengthen their cultural, spiritual, and social connections in the community is a great opportunity for them. Join this webinar to ensure indigenous foods are procured, prepared, and served in ways that align with state licensing and Child and Adult Care Food Program. 

The Food Project Summer Institute 

August 1-3 // Boston, Lynn, and Lincoln, MA

Learn, grow and connect at the Food Project Summer Institute. Hear shared experiences, positives, and accomplishments from others and hear what others are doing to impact live and preserve the land. 


Healthy Eating in Practice Conference: Special Offer for National Farm to School Network

August 26-29 // Asheville, NC

Healthy Eating in Practice is a hands-on conference for healthcare professionals and advocates to better support healthy eating. This conference will equip attendees with practical skills and approaches that work in the day-to-day reality of healthcare.


Louisiana Farm to School Conference 2018

October 9-10, 2018 // Baton Rouge, LA

This Farm to School conference are looking to energize the movement in Louisiana, as well as provide educational and networking opportunities for school food service personnel, farmers, teachers, and stakeholders. 


Save the Date: Farm to Cafeteria Canada Conference

May 16-17, 2019 // Victoria, British Columbia

Farm to Cafeteria Canada is a pan-Canadian organization that works with many partners to educate, build capacity, to bring local, healthy, 

and sustainable foods into all public institutions. 



USDA standardized recipes available on Team Nutrition website

Although we are right in the middle of summer, back-to-school time is just around the corner. If you are thinking about menus for fall, check out the Team Nutrition website for ideas for standardized recipes that meet meal pattern requirements.





Meagan K. Shedd, PhD
Assistant Professor, Farm to Early Care and K-12 Education
Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University
Department of Community Sustainability | College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
480 Wilson Rd, Room 309 | Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824-1039
517.432.4525 | |




Farm to ECE Network opportunity: Farm to Early Care and Education webinar

Happy Summer-

To meet the diverse schedules and geographic complexity of the state of Michigan, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems and Michigan Public Health Institute Center for Health Equity Practice are partnering to present an interactive webinar for the Michigan Farm to Early Care and Education Network.


Join Meagan Shedd and Kristin Nelson-Garcia on Thursday, August 2 from 6 to 7 pm for "Farm to Early Care and Education 101". Visit by August 1 to register for the interactive webinar that will provide an introduction of how farm to early care and education—including using local foods in meals, snacks, gardening, and food-based education—can be integrated as part of play-based learning opportunities using evidence-based, culturally responsive, family supported approaches to meet educational and nutrition standards.


Please note the webinar is limited to 50 participants. Questions can be directed to Meagan Shedd ( or Kristin Nelson-Garcia (




Meagan K. Shedd, PhD
Assistant Professor, Farm to Early Care and K-12 Education
Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University
Department of Community Sustainability | College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
480 Wilson Rd, Room 309 | Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824-1039
517.432.4525 | |




Monday, July 16, 2018

Register now for Edible Flint's 10th Annual Food Garden Tour!


Join edible flint as we celebrate Flint’s food gardens, hoop houses and farms at the 10th Anniversary edible flint Food Garden Tour!  This special event will feature local gardeners, explore different gardening techniques and highlight all of the healthy produce grown in the City of Flint.  This event will also celebrate all the gardeners, gardens and community partners that have made the edible flint Food Garden Tour and local food movement so special over the past 10 years.


This edible flint event will be held Wednesday July 25, 2018 at The Flint Farmers’ Market from 3 pm- 8 pm.  The edible flint 10th Annual Food Garden Tour kicks-off with a Pre-Tour Community Partners in Health Fair, featuring local farmers and organizations dedicated to healthy lifestyles and gardening in Genesee County.  This 10th Annual Food Garden tour offers 3 different routes for participants, you can choose from 1 of 2 bus routes or can select to tour by bike.  After the tour, participants return to the Flint Farmers’ Market for good food, good music and great fun!  Registration is open, and the fee is $10, which covers the costs of buses and food.  Interested persons can visit or call (810) 244-8527 for more information or to register.  Seats are limited so reserve yours now!!!


Applications due today! Seeking full-time Michigan Food Systems Collaboration Specialist


The Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems is seeking a full-time academic specialist – details in the posting below. Please share with your networks. Thank you!



Michigan Food Systems Collaboration Academic Specialist – Position #512757


The Michigan State University (MSU) Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) is seeking a full-time Academic Specialist to lead efforts to build upon and further develop the collaboration underlying the Michigan (MI) Good Food Charter.


This will include ensuring a long-term Good Food movement supported by diverse partner organizations and institutions. This specialist will also work with local food policy councils and Good Food Charter partners to create a statewide food policy voice that is united and responsive to local council and community needs and will inform efforts to shape state food policy.


The Academic Specialist, working with other Center staff, will also identify and build the capacity of local partners in three of Michigan's cities to work more effectively in the areas of farm to Early Childhood Education (ECE), farm to institution procurement, local food-health policy, and measurement of good food progress, with an emphasis in local food-health policy.


This is an exciting opportunity for a self-motivated, resourceful, experienced, and committed candidate to bring creative vision to an existing foundation of relationships and learnings to ensure that the progress made through the framework of the MI Good Food Charter will continue beyond 2020.


Position expectations

Specific to project work

  • Work with a variety of MI Good Food Charter partners to further institutionalize the policy framework and goals of the Charter across organizations, programs, and policies
  • Work with local food councils, Good Food Charter partners and steering committee members to develop a comprehensive, robust statewide food policy voice that is responsive to local community needs and informs statewide efforts to shape Michigan good food policy;
  • Convene and collaborate with MI Good Food Charter partners and steering committee members to plan and conduct the 2020 Good Food Charter Summit and publish the 2020 Good Food Report Cards;
  • Working with other Center staff, identify and build the capacity of local partners in three of Michigan's cities in farm to Early Childhood Education (ECE), farm to institution procurement, local food-health policy, and measurement of good food progress; emphasis will be in local food-health policy.
  • Develop and submit grant proposals, including collaborative projects with CRFS colleagues and/or external partners, and manage projects, personnel and/or budgets to fulfill project objectives;
  • Plan and co-coordinate recurring team meetings with CRFS project staff; and
  • Provide information to project principle investigators on grant deliverables as funding requires


Expected of all CRFS academic specialists

  • Engage with relevant networks led by CRFS and/or partners and appropriate professional organizations;
  • Document and share project work and accomplishments; maintain regular internal and external communication about project activities; write grant reports; develop and report on an annual plan of work;
  • Actively participate in CRFS staff and strategic meetings and stay current on CRFS projects, activities, resources and publications as relevant to this work;
  • Represent projects and CRFS in a professional manner in all forms of engagement and communication; and
  • Help to foster, facilitate, and maintain the CRFS culture of anti-racism, trust, support and accountability.



This is a full-time, annual year, temporary position. Initial appointment will be for one year with reappointment contingent upon funding and performance.



September 1, 2018 or until a suitable candidate is identified.


Application Deadline

July 16, 2018 or until a suitable candidate is identified. 


Starting Salary

Commensurate with education and experience: range is $52,000 to $68,000 annually.



Individual reports to Director, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems.



  1. Master's degree required in community food systems, food policy, community development, or a related field.
  2. At least five years of post-graduate experience working with regional food systems, and state and/or local food policy. Knowledge and understanding of the MI Good Food Charter or another state-level food charter is preferred but not required. 
  3. Demonstrated project leadership and management experience.
  4. Demonstrated resourcefulness, self-motivation and ability to problem-solve and think critically.
  5. Ability to self-direct and balance multiple projects simultaneously and to easily shift between working independently and as part of a team.
  6. Demonstrated strong written and verbal communications skills and experience using a broad range of communication tactics.
  7. Ability to effectively and diplomatically engage and collaborate with diverse stakeholder groups (in Michigan and nationally) such as academic faculty and staff, organizational partners, and funders. 
  8. Experience working with multicultural and diverse populations.
  9. High degree of knowledge of and comfort with using technology in completing job requirements including Microsoft Office suite; online search, file-sharing, and collaboration platforms; electronic survey software; and phone/web conferencing systems. 
  10. Available to regularly travel throughout the state and occasionally within the US, including overnight, and possession of a valid, current state driver's license.
  11. Understanding of and committed to a culture of anti-racism and inclusivity. 


Application Procedure

You must apply online to MSU Human Resources.


Visit  look for job posting #512757 under faculty/academic staff.


A cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for the position, and an updated curriculum Vita or resume needs to be submitted as a part of the application process.


If you have questions about the position or search process, you may contact Rich Pirog,


Please do not send application materials directly to Rich Pirog.


Michigan State University

MSU enjoys a park-like campus with outlying research facilities and natural areas. The campus is located in the city of East Lansing, adjacent to the capital city of Lansing. The Lansing metropolitan area has a diverse population of approximately 450,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The University is proactive about its obligations under the ADA, and provides individual accessibility plans to students and employees with disabilities. Michigan State University is also proactive in exploring opportunities for employment for dual career families, both inside and outside the University, and respects all family forms. Information about MSU Information about WorkLife at MSU can be found


MSU Center for Regional Food Systems Mission

CRFS works to engage the people of Michigan, the United States and the world in applied research, education and outreach to develop regionally integrated, sustainable food systems.


MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer and is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities. Michigan State University employment opportunities are open to eligible/qualified persons without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, or family status.




Andrea Weiss

Communications Director

Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University

480 Wilson Road, Room 309 | Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824

(517) 432-0283