Blog Archive

Thursday, June 14, 2018

MI Farm to School--June Newsletter

Happy Summer-

As schools let out for the summer and warm temperatures return, we hope this finds you well and thank you for all you do for children.





School gardens teach math, science, and delights of fresh fruit and vegetables

Osba News 

Oregon school garden programs have doubled since 2012, with dedicated funding through 2019 totaling $4.5 million in both the agriculture and education departments. This funding will enable schools to buy fresh produce and compete for grants for educational activities.  The Farm to School program has been utilized in a variety of ways to help students learn about healthier foods and change eating behaviors while also learning about food production.


BOCES Farm - to - School initiative celebrates New York Foods

Oneida Daily Dispatch News

Students in New York were served a lunch featuring foods and beverages 100% grown and produced locally in their state in recognition of New York Food Day. State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball shared, "It is awesome to see our local schools and partners working so hard to serve our school children healthy, fresh foods," Ball said. "It's good for our students, who are also learning about where their food comes from along the way, and it's good for our farmers."


Let it grow: Stamford Students learn to garden

Stamford Advocate 

Students across 71 Stamford, California classrooms in 18 schools participated in this year's G.I.V.E. (Green Initiative for Vegetables in Education) competition. Students had six weeks to grow a head of buttercrunch lettuce, with classes submitting their "top three" heads to local horticulture experts for judging. In addition to the produce, students submitted posters depicting what they thought their lettuce would grow into and shared their experiences at a culminating ceremony.


Farm Bureau offers 'Farm Field Days' to valley elementary schoolers

Herald Journal News 

Farm Field Days, intended to share with children how farms work on a daily basis, also help them learn more about how food is produced. During this event, almost 600 children participated across two days in hands-on experiences and workshops, including working with animals and taste testing.


Students Learn to Cook, Grow Food Used In Recipes 

CBS Denver

In Denver, students are learning how to cook in an afterschool program as part of Slow Food USA. Located in a geographic area known as a food desert, the school also includes a literacy program with books about food and a garden where children are planting the produce used in the recipes as part of the cooking class.


West Marion Students serve up fresh veggies, honey eggs from school's garden

McDowell News

A garden club in an elementary school allowed children to showcase their efforts as they served a farm-to-table meal. Highlighting their harvest including a menu of vegetarian stew or honey burgers with honey bacon, fresh produce, and strawberry cheesecake for dessert, the children shared lessons learned as part of the garden club, which includes honeybees and chickens as part of their learning experiences about the environment and healthy eating.


Local Schools see learning benefits in gardens

Columbia Daily Tribune

The implementation of "learning gardens" in several Missouri school districts provides multiple opportunities for experiential learning about the origination of food, pollination of food, survival of plants through adaptation, and the role of insects in gardening. Teachers across classrooms integrated the gardens into different subjects, applying the gardens across curricula to meet learning objectives at the same time children were changing attitudes about trying new foods.


Chicago is Leading the Way Toward a Good Food Future

Civil Eats

Serving nearly 2 million meals in its summer programs and 30,000 meals throughout the year, Chicago Public Schools recently adopted the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP). The fourth school district to adopt the program, the GFPP helps institutions assess procurement practices to provide a roadmap of where they are and where they can improve based on five key areas.

A Collaborative Effort: Southeast Regional Jr. Chef Competition

Department of Public Instruction North Carolina 

A junior chef competition resulted in three teams receiving scholarships to Sullivan University in Kentucky. Teams were challenged to develop recipes that not only met National School Lunch Program (NSLP) nutrition standards, but also to include a minimum of two ingredients grown in their home state, a USDA food item, and most importantly, a final product well received by other students. A total of 21 high school students participated from a variety of Southeast states in the competition held last month.



Pollinator Week


Designated as National Pollinator Week eleven years ago by the Senate, June 18th through 24th is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them.


Webinar: Fundraising for Farm to School

June 19, 2018// 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Join this webinar led by Lea Madry, National Farm to School Network Development Director, to learn more about different opportunities in fundraising for farm to school activities for your program.


Webinar: Adding Whole Grains to Your Menu

June 21 2018 English: 2:00 - 2:30 pm ET // Spanish: 3:00 - 3:30 pm ET

During the eighth webinar of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Halftime: Thirty on Thursday webinar series, the USDA's Team Nutrition initiative will present "Adding Whole Grains to Your Menu". Included in this webinar will be ideas on how to offer whole grains at CACFP sites. 

Market Basket Analysis when Procuring Program Goods and Modifying Contracted for Product Lists.

This webinar will provide clarity regarding how market basket evaluations and contract awards can be compliant with the Federal procurement standards.




Chef Ann Foundation Recipe Contest

Deadline: June 30th 

Chef Ann Foundation and The Dannon Company, LLC have come together to create a recipe contest featuring yogurt. Enter your recipe before the deadline of June 30 as a way to integrate yogurt as a meat/meat alternate component in the USDA meal pattern.


Jump Start Healthy Changes Grant

Qualified K-12 schools can apply for up to $4000 per year to improve the healthy eating and physical activity opportunities with a Fuel Up to Play 60: Jump Start Healthy Changes Grant. Applications open August 22 and are due November 7.


Sustainable Agriculture Systems Grant

Applications for the FY 2018 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative looking at approaches promoting transformational changes in the food and agriculture system within the next 25 years are invited to submit a letter of intent by June 27.

Food and Agriculture Education Information System Grant 

Deadline: June 28th, 2018

The National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) requests applications for the Food and Agriculture Education Information System (FAEIS) for fiscal year 2018. The intent is to maintain a national food and agricultural education information system that contains information on enrollment, degrees awarded, faculty, employment placement, and other similar information in the food and agricultural sciences.




Cultivate Michigan Beet, Celery, and Onion Tour, Pre-Conference Event for the 2018 MDE-SNAM June Nutrition Conference 

10:00 am - 4:00 pm // June 18th 

Don't forget to register to this year's 2018 MDE-SNAM MI June Nutrition Conference. You don't want to miss out on a tour showcasing Michigan's three popular products on diversified vegetable farms in the Grand Rapids area. Register here and see event schedule here


Healthy Eating in Practice Conference

The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project is hosting the first Healthy Eating in Practice conference in Asheville, North Carolina.  This conference is for professionals working to better support healthy eating behaviors, particularly in children and families, and prevent chronic diet-related diseases. 


2018 WFAN Annual Conference
Nov. 2-3, 2018 // Des Moines, Iowa
The 2018 Women Food & Ag Network Annual Conference will be held November 2-3  in Des Moines, Iowa. This year's conference theme is Stepping Into Action: Changing Foodscapes through Individual and Community Power.




Journal of Child Nutrition and Management

Vermont FEED/Shelburne Farms staffers Jen Cirillo and Ryan Morra published their research on farm to school and school culture in the Spring 2018 issue of the Journal of Child Nutrition & Management. Through semi-structured interviews with 10 principals, the researchers determined the importance of relationships as a foundation to support farm to school as part of educational practice, the use of farm to school as part of a community-based effort, and prioritizing farm to school results in integration into daily habits. The authors discuss the results in terms of implications and applications as well.


Tracking Shows Increase in Local Purchasing at Michigan Schools


Since 2014, the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems has partnered with the Michigan Department of Education to track local food purchasing by K-12 schools. This short report shares the K-12 local food purchasing results from the 2017 MEGS+ application and compares these to the 2014 results.


Simone Washington Discusses Creating Consensus and Setting Differences Aside
Simone Washington, the social mission strategy and policy manager at Ben & Jerry's Homemade and NFSN Advisory Board member, discusses how stakeholders can reach common ground when they hold different points of view.




Publication of the Final Rule: Revisions and Clarifications in Requirements for the Processing of Donated Foods

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published a final rule in the Federal Register that will be effective July 2. FNS will host a webinar to discuss the rule's provisions for all stakeholders including Processors and Distributors on June 28th. Click here to register. 





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 | |



Wednesday, June 13, 2018

FoodCorps Michigan Director of Philanthropy position is open!

FoodCorps Michigan Director of Philanthropy                     or this Position

Apply for this Position

Who We Are:

FoodCorps believes every school should be a healthy school and every child – regardless of race, place or class – deserves to be well nourished and ready to learn.  In underserved communities across the country, our AmeriCorps leaders teach students about healthy food through hands-on lessons, partner with farmers and food service workers to create nutritious and delicious school meals, and collaborate with communities to insure a long-term culture of health.  Building on this foundation of direct impact, FoodCorps pursues systemic strategies that will benefit all of our nation’s 100,000 schools.

What We’re Looking For:

FoodCorps seeks an exceptionally motivated development professional to lead, strategically guide and build our philanthropic partnerships across Michigan with an emphasis on the Detroit metro area. Reporting to our National Senior Director of Philanthropy, the Michigan Director of Philanthropy will lead, develop and implement fundraising strategies to grow FoodCorps' base of donors with a primary focus on raising funds from foundations, corporations and high net worth individuals in the region that have a local or regional approach to their philanthropy. With previous experience working with fundraising, and supporting programs for underserved communities, this individual will be able to bring a diverse skill set and viewpoint to the discussion table around social and racial justice.  This is a unique opportunity to work within a national fundraising team while serving as senior fundraising lead in Michigan to build a high-caliber, comprehensive fundraising program alongside the Michigan Program Director.

This is a full-time position based in our Detroit office, and requires occasional out of state travel.

Who You Are:

You are passionate about FoodCorps’ mission and are eager to convince both stakeholders and prospective supporters of the urgency and impact of our work. You are an outstanding and adaptive communicator  who demonstrates expertise in relationship-building strategies and techniques, including cold prospecting, cultivation, closing gifts, and delivering exceptional stewardship. You are skilled at researching and identifying funder priorities and reflecting those interests in your conversations with individuals from a variety of backgrounds. You possess strong organizational skills, are self motivated and possess an exceptional attention to detail, and are comfortable juggling multiple projects, tight deadlines and a rapid pace of work. You bring a customer service orientation to funders and your colleagues, anticipating their needs and responding promptly. You are highly independent and can work remotely from your team. You are motivated by the idea of helping people invest in our nation’s children, and leveraging FoodCorps as their investment vehicle. You have a commitment to diversity and inclusion with a desire to work for health equity and social and racial justice. You preferably have experience connecting philanthropists to underserved communities, and bring a significant level of maturity and sensitivity to discussing the needs of underserved communities with funders. You have roots in Michigan, and are well versed in the specific needs of the communities we serve.

Core Responsibilities:

  • Craft and implement a statewide development strategy to support FoodCorps programming on the state and national levels, including the capital campaign
  • Achieve ambitious fundraising goals by growing and stewarding a portfolio of Michigan donors utilizing a moves management approach
  • Partner closely with our Senior Director of Philanthropy, Michigan Program Director, current Michigan-based funders and local partners to build a diverse pipeline of donors consisting of individuals and institutions, concentrating on prospects capable of giving $10,000 - $1,000,000+
  • Solicit and close five, six and seven-figure gifts from major donors, foundations and corporations
  • Organize site visits, cultivation events, and donor engagement opportunities that foster not just philanthropic investment, but programmatic partnership with donors
  • Collaborate with members of the national Growth & Development team to meet and exceed state and national fundraising goals
  • Participate in team strategy meetings, and follow organization-wide practices for tracking relationships, measuring performance and stewarding donors
  • Work closely with the Senior Director of Philanthropy to develop and implement development strategies that offer philanthropic partnership opportunities to donors and prospects across all constituent categories
  • Develop and sustain professional relationships with key stakeholders across Michigan including major donors and locally focused foundations and corporations
  • In support of national programmatic and fundraising goals, develop a localized case for support in Michigan
  • Provide senior-level leadership as FoodCorps launches and grows its Michigan field office.

Skills of the Ideal Candidate:

  • A skilled networker and relationship builder who is comfortable working with executive-level institutional funder staff members and/or high net-worth individuals
  • The ability to attract new supporters to invest in our mission and consistently motivate current donors to maintain and increase their support
  • Experience in, knowledge of, or willingness to learn how to create portfolios and build pipelines from scratch
  • Sensitivity and diplomacy in working with and fundraising alongside local nonprofit partners
  • Thorough understanding of development philosophies, concepts and techniques, including prospect research, cultivation, solicitation, negotiation and closing gifts
  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion with a desire to work toward health equity and social and racial justice
  • Knowledge of or interest in food systems, national service, education and related issues
  • Ability to articulate a stellar case for support for both state and national program priorities
  • Strength in multi-tasking, goal-setting, prioritization and project management
  • Clear communication skills to enable collaboration with local and remote staff
  • High degree of comfort in a remote and computer-based environment
  • Ability to work independently, setting your own schedule and creating and executing engagement opportunities
  • Must excel in a deadline-driven, high-accountability role and be self-motivated to succeed
  • Familiar with a current CRM software e.g. Salesforce or Raiser’s Edge
  • College degree, or equivalent work experience
  • Knowledge of Michigan’s nonprofit and philanthropic communities required.
  • Program management or grantmaking experience is preferred.
  • Proven record of soliciting and closing five and six figure gifts from major donors, foundations and corporations in the context of a capital campaign preferred.

How to Apply:

Applications will be accepted until our ideal candidate is identified. To be considered, submit your résumé, cover letter and salary requirements through our career site at

FoodCorps pays salaries that are competitive with nonprofits of our budget size and geographic location, and offers generous vacation and medical benefits, 401(k) match, professional development funds and a sabbatical policy. This position is a Director level role with salary range starting at $80,000.00/yr., DOE. Candidates invited to interview for the position should expect to complete sample projects.

People of color, people with disabilities, veterans and LGBTQ candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.  FoodCorps is committed to a diverse workplace, and to supporting our staff with ongoing career development opportunities. FoodCorps is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its employment decisions. FoodCorps provides reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees as required by law. 

Applicants with disabilities may request reasonable accommodation at any point in the employment process. Location: Detroit, MI

Location: Detroit, MI 




Monday, June 11, 2018

June 2018 School Garden Newsletter


June 2018

Hope your garden and your students are thriving in our beautiful belated Michigan spring.


Gardening education increases vegetable consumption among youth

By Kaitlin Wojciak


School garden advocates have multiple anecdotes that they can share to point to the value of including experiential garden education in curriculum and educational programs. They talk about how their students are more engaged, more willing to interact with the subject matter, more likely to eat the food they grow, and sometimes even more likely to eat other produce items. Beyond anecdotes, there have been relatively few research studies that address the benefits and effects of engaging with school gardens. But researchers are working to change that.


Over the last decade or so, there have been an increasing number of research studies looking at the impacts of school garden education. When the results of these studies are compiled, trends and recommendations are more meaningful. And the experts agree. The Center for Disease Control has a panel of appointed experts that address public health issues. The Community Preventative Services Task Force (CPSTF) provides evidence-based findings and recommendations about community preventative services to improve public health. The task force decided to focus on school gardens last year, ratifying a report that reviewed several recent research studies in December of 2017 entitled Nutrition: Gardening Interventions to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among Children.


The task force conducted a systematic review of 14 recent studies that investigated gardening interventions for youth. The studies were conducted in a variety of settings with youth ages 2-18. Study sites included early care and education, schools, afterschool programs and communities. Studies were conducted in 4 different countries – the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.


Results showed that gardening activities increased youth consumption of vegetables and fruits in 13 of 14 studies. When the results were analyzed in relation to increasing vegetable intake alone, 12 of 14 studies showed an increase. Interestingly, fruit intake alone did not change significantly for any of the studies. The amount of vegetable and fruit intake was increased when gardening interventions were combined with nutrition education interventions, rather than just gardening alone.


The results of this review show that there is increasing evidence that garden interventions for youth can and do have an impact on increasing healthy eating habits. The review specifically recommends pairing gardening and nutrition interventions for increased success in fruit and vegetable consumption. Other recommendations included involving parents and caretakers in interventions and to share healthy eating messaging in the home, extending the garden education opportunities in harsher climates through season extension techniques, and hiring a garden coordinator when possible that is dedicated to the upkeep and coordination of the garden.


While this review is something that school garden advocates can point to as evidence that school gardens do have an impact – there is still a need for further research that investigates potential benefits of school gardens.


This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit To contact an expert in your area, visit, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).


School Pollinator Gardens

By Kristine Hahn


Pollinator gardens can and should be an important component of the school garden.  Pollination is often the very beginning of the food system, and, therefore, foundational content for all those that eat, including students.  Cross-pollination helps at least 30 percent of the world's crops and a significant majority of our wild plants to thrive.  Without pollinators, many plants—including some food crops—would die off.     


Pollinator gardens are populated by native flowering plants that provide food, cover, nesting and resting places to our native pollinators and beneficial insects.  Native plants are plants that were in this region before European settlement.  Our native wildlife – including pollinators – have co-evolved with these plants over time and are ecologically linked to, and often dependent on them. 


For example, each species of butterfly can only lay its eggs and their caterpillars can only feed on a specific plant or group of plants.  A well-known example of this dependence is between the Monarch butterfly and milkweed plants.  The Monarch will only lay its eggs and its caterpillars can only feed on the milkweed group of plants in the Asclepias genus.  Without the milkweed, the Monarchs cannot lay their eggs and complete their life cycle.  The same relationship holds for the Karner Blue butterfly and lupine plants.  These life cycles are easily observed in real time for a hands-on lesson in a pollinator garden with native milkweeds and/or lupines.   


For more information on specific butterflies and their larval host plants, see Michigan's Butterflies and Skippers: A Field Guide and Reference by Mogens C. Nielsen or visit Wildtype Nursery's Butterfly Plant List at


 Our most familiar pollinator is the honey bee, which was introduced by Europeans in the 1600s.  However, Michigan has many native bee species that play important pollinator roles in both agricultural crops and wild plants.


Many of our native bees are generalists, meaning they feed on whatever flowering resources are available.  However, some of our native bees are specialists, and they only collect pollen from a few closely related plant species or a particular group of plants. Installing the native plants utilized by these specialist native bees in your pollinator garden can increase your chances of observing the unique behavior of these Michigan bees.  For more information on Michigan native bees, see MSU Extension Bulletin E3282 Bees of the Great Lakes region and wildflowers to support them available at the MSU Extension Bookstore at


Many of these native plants have attractive flowers that can help beautify your school garden while providing functional habitat and ecology lessons.  So help support wildlife, outdoor education and your vegetable garden by installing a pollinator garden.


Finally, June is national pollinator month and there is a pollinator activity and lesson plan kit available at


This article was published by Michigan State University Extension and the staff in the Community Food Systems Workgroup who support Farm to School activities including school gardens.  For more information, visit To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, see To contact an expert in your area, visit, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).




School Garden Grant Information



  • American Honda Foundation - Due dates three times per year
    • Schools, nonprofits classified as 501(c) (3) s and private or public schools (elementary and secondary) are eligible.
    • Award range: $20,000 - $75,000 for one year
  • Captain Planet Foundation
    • Schools, nonprofits and other organizations classified as 501(c) (3) are eligible
    • Projects must: be project-based; performed by youth; have real environmental outcomes; be based in the United States.
    • Award range is between $500 - $2500. At least 50% matching or in-kind funding for projects is preferred.
  • Greenworks Grants – Deadline to apply is September 30th
    • School and youth organizations are eligible to apply
    • Projects must incorporate service learning, exemplify student voice, involve at least one community partner, secure at least 50% matched funds (in-kind is acceptable), and be completed in one year
    • Awards are $1,000
    • Follow this link to learn more and apply
  • The Home Depot FoundationCommunity Impact Grants currently open
    • Schools and 501(c) (3) organizations are eligible.
    • Awards are up to $5,000
    • The Home Depot also has opportunities to match donations from local stores with nonprofits. Follow this link for more information on how to request a match. 
  • Jump Start Healthy Changes GrantSpring 2018 deadline to apply is June 13th
    • K-12 Schools enrolled in Fuel Up To Play 60 and participate in the National School Lunch Program are eligible
    • Awards are up to $4,000
    • Funds are awarded for schools to implement at least one Healthy Eating Play
      and one Physical Activity Play from the Fuel Up to Play 60 Playbook.
    • Visit this link to learn more and apply
  • Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation
    • Public schools are eligible
    • Awards from $5,000 - $25,000
    • Visit this link to answer preliminary questions and learn more.
  • Salad Bars to School Grant
    • Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program is eligible to apply. To qualify for a Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools grant, applicants must offer the salad bar as part of the reimbursable meal served in your district.
    • Schools use the award (approximately $3,147 value) to implement salad bars as part of their daily meal program
    • For more information and to apply, follow this link.
  • Youth Micro-grants through Karma for Cara FoundationRolling deadline
    • Youth under age 18 who are working on a community service project (including school and community gardens).
    • Awards are between $250 - $1,000.




School Garden Educational Opportunities


  • Teaching Science Outdoors:  Professional Development for the Curious Teacher


July 24, 25, 26

9:00 am — 3:00 pm



MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center

28115 Meadowbrook Rd. Novi, MI 48377



$100 — Light breakfast, lunch, snack, and journal included — Financial aid available


K — 8 teachers and informal educators


This three-day professional development workshop will guide teachers through the scientific process in an outdoor setting and provide them with the skills to meet expectations set forth by the Next Generation Science Standards.



Ellen Koehler — MSU Tollgate Education Coordinator — 248-347-3860 ext. 227

Financial Aid:

For more information and to apply for aid visit our website.



    American Horticultural Society

    July 11-14, 2018

    Ithaca, NY


    For registration rates and online registration, go to:


·       SAVE THE DATE:  JULY 27-29, 2018

2018 Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) Conference + Hoʻōla ʻĀina O Māʻilikūkahi Youth Food Sovereignty Congress

The University of Hawai'i – West Oahu Sustainable Community Food Systems Program, the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association, the University of Hawai'i System Office of Sustainability and key community partners will host the 2018 Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference and the Hoʻōla ʻĀina O Māʻilikūkahi Youth Food Sovereignty Congress on the island of Oʻahu from July 27-29, 2018.


Themes: Indigenous knowledge, decolonization and socio-ecological resiliency in agroecology and sustainable food systems education.

  1. MOFFA (Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance) Educational Opportunities
  • North American Association of Environmental Educators Professional Development






Kristine Hahn

Michigan State University Extension Educator

Community Food Systems

Oakland County Office

1200 Telegraph Rd. #26E

Pontiac, MI 48341


*Please note my new office location

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.  Michigan State University programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status.

"Always be humble and kind." - Tim McGraw


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Garden Coordinator Position



Gleaners Community Food Bank of SE MI currently has an open position for a Garden Coordinator to lead youth groups in nutrition activities in our Detroit Food Zoo. Interested applicants may submit a cover letter and resume on line at or email the same to Krista Cierpial, Human Resources at


Thanks in advance for passing this along through your networks to anyone who might be interested.


Rachelle Bonelli




Tuesday, June 5, 2018

My email has been hacked

 If you received an email from my account, Choyce G. Harris, saying to cut and paste or click on a link to share files with me, it did not come from me.  Please delete the email right away.

Thank you,

Choyce G. Harris
Jude Family Learning Childcare Center
9105 Van Dyke St.
Detroit, MI 48213

Friday, May 18, 2018

Traverse City, MI: Groundwork Center Seeks 10 Cents a Meal Fellow, May 21 deadline

Reminder: Groundwork Center Seeks 10 Cents a Meal Fellow 

Groundwork Center seeks a dynamic, self-starter to assist with connecting local food to statewide school policy and occasionally with healthcare and wellness initiatives in our region. The key element of the work is in communications, outreach, and evaluation support for a nationally recognized, statewide policy initiative focused on school children's health and local economy entitled 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms.  Learn more at
As a Fellow you will work with nonprofit staff on important projects, build policy expertise and gain valuable professional development skills. This fellowship is an excellent opportunity to experience food and farming policy advocacy while working for a well-established, community-based nonprofit organization. 

To learn more details about the 10 Cents Fellowship and to find a link to apply, please click here.

The application deadline is Monday, May 21.

Please spread widely!


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 

Monday, May 7, 2018

May Michigan Farm to School Newsletter

Hoping the latest Michigan Farm to School news and resources finds you all well as spring weather finally finds its way to Michigan!





Michigan Resource recognized at National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

At last month's National Farm to Cafeteria conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, educators, nutrition professionals, farmers, and food systems advocates gathered to learn, share, and engage in field trips and targeted discussions about the food system in the nation's institutions. A Michigan resource was highlighted as part of those discussions, noting how it helps farmers get their products into cafeterias by informing the procedures they use for bidding, pricing, and negotiation of contracts.


Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture


Read more on how the Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture program has saved the life of one veteran. In turn he is now supporting farm to school and the program that saved him to provide support to fellow veterans. 


Women's History Month and Farm to School

If today's students are taught about local food "sheroes" past and present, a more complete, equitable history of our nation's food system can be shared.  In the garden, classroom, and cafeteria, it is important to educate students and adults about the women whose work has built and continues our food system toward a more healthy, equitable future.


South Carolina Shakes Up School Lunch


Four school districts in South Carolina are shaking up the lunchroom and transforming school meals by using innovative techniques. Using strategies such as developing a unique distribution process, running the cafeteria like a restaurant, creating "worm food", and harvesting rooftop garden produce, has enabled South Carolina to put farm to school on the map. Check out their story and read how one Farm School Grantee, Spartanburg District 6, implements Farm to School in ways that work.


Chickasaw Nation SNAP-Ed

Chickasaw Nation Nutrition Services SNAP-Ed and other partner organizations have created Eagle Adventure to provide culturally relevant in-class education, family-based, and take-home health homework. One unique aspect of Eagle Adventure is the inclusion of school news announcements and a news and radio program to enable consistent social marketing messages and a multi-generational approach.


Farm – to – Institution Programs Help Farms of All Sizes

Farm Flavor

Michigan farms of all sizes are benefiting from the farm to institution programs by delivering Michigan grown foods to local schools and other organizations. By helping food service buyers source and promote Michigan grown foods, locally grown food gets to Michigan residents.


Montana is Planting Seeds of a Movement

Flathead Beacon

Innovative programs are taking hold in Montana's schools to equip children with the knowledge and desire to shape our food systems in the coming generations and re-crafting our notions of the food systems through a broad network of people and institutions. One example of the program is Harvest of the Month, which began three years ago as a pilot project and is now a fully formed statewide program with 143 participating K-12 schools. 


Iowa School's Greenhouse is Cultivating an Interest in Gardening

Clayton County Register

Thanks to a growing interest in gardening and the availability of a greenhouse, Central students have been able to stock their school salad bar with leaf lettuce and cherry tomatoes during the winter months.


Washington Students Enjoy Food Performance

PT Leader

Quilcene High School students were treated to a food performance from Chef Arran Stark. He shared with them the importance of eating seasonally, offered cooking tips and tricks, and shared the story of his journey to becoming a chef.


Nutrition: Gardening Interventions to Increase Vegetable Consumption Among Children

The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommends school-based gardening interventions in combination with nutrition education to increase vegetable consumption among children. The interventions will provide children with hands-on experience with planting and harvesting healthy produce and through these experiences could increase their willingness to consume both fruits and vegetables, leading to a healthier life.


Gardening with Minnesota Class

University of MN Extension- Youtube

Master Gardeners help Minnesota students at Crossroads grow and donate 13,000 pounds of vegetables to food shelves in a single season. This not only helps the community but helps educate the students on growing healthy produce.


California Students Run their own Food Business out of a Classroom


The Growing Leaders class at Willard Middle School prepares about 300 meals every two weeks, often with produce they've grown themselves, even packaging online orders for customers who've pre-ordered meals. This students are learning many lessons from this class from how to be on time and working together to the process of growing and preparing food.


10 Cents a Meal: New Michigan Department of Education Legislative Report

Learn about Michigan's 10 Cents a Meal program in the new Michigan Department of Education's 2017-2018 Legislative Report. The 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms pilot program provides grant- winning school districts with up to 10 Cents a Meal in matching funds to purchase locally grown fruits, vegetables and dry beans. 



2018 MDE-SNAM Michigan June Nutrition Conference

"Nourishing the Whole Person the Whole Year"

Deadline: June 8th // Hotel Registration Deadline: May 17th

Michigan Department of Education's (MDE) Office of Health and Nutrition Services (OHNS) and the School Nutrition Association of Michigan (SNAM) will host the June Nutrition Conference professionals of food distribution programs, child and adult feeding programs, school nutrition, other professionals, and people interested in the fields of nutrition, food programming, school management, government, and public health. The conference will be held at the Amway Grand Place, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 18 to 20. 




National Garden Month

May is National Garden Month! Gardening is a perfect activity to engage children and students of all ages. From discovering how food grows, to understanding nutrition and agriculture-related concepts, check out the links below to help connect children and students to gardening:


School's Out… And We're Already Thinking About Next Year's School Lunch

Here are five great tools for School Nutrition Professionals!

1.      Visit the Professional Standards Training Database to find trainings on a number of school meal topics.

2.      Check out the new CN Label Manufacturers Report and CN Label Verification Report.

3.      Try fun new USDA Standardized Recipes that the kids would love.

4.      Find USDA-approved software for nutrient analysis in the school meals programs.

5.      Use the Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs to help plan amounts of food needed for school meals


Western Region States Launch Farm to Summer Week

Summer is fast approaching and that means the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is getting ready. This summer, several states in the Western region are taking Farm to Summer one step further with Farm to Summer Week. Summer is the perfect time to source local food for your summer meals program. Click here for resources to grow your SFSP.


Building Healthy Communities Step Up for School Wellness Grant

Due: September 30th, 2018

Want to create a marketing program designed to increase meal participation, fruit and vegetable selections for your students? Applications are open for schools to be selected to receive $1000 for grant activities. For further information visit the Request for Applications.


Webinar: Food Service Directors

Learn and hear about successful stories about district-wide farm to school education initiatives from three 10 Cents a Meal grantees from Michigan. Learn tips on how to engage parent volunteers, teachers, and administrators in activities as well as taste test and information about school garden participation. 


Webinar: Educators and Administrators

Learn practical strategies for implementing hands-on-farm to school learning activities designed by curriculum specialists here in Michigan. Hear about the how farm to school positively impacts student success, health, and behavior. 


Food Buying Guide Mobile App

The Food Buying Guide (FBG) is the essential resource for food yield information for all Child Nutrition Programs (CNP). This app can help with searching and locating information for foods typically served in CNP. Compare information to determine the foods that best meet your program needs and create a favorites list of food item, email and print search results, and food comparisons.


CACFP Training Tools

These colorful and engaging materials can be used to empower Child and Adult Care Food Program providers and operators with the knowledge, skills, and expertise to implement the updated CACFP meal pattern requirements in their program.


Million for Farm to School included in Funding Bill 

Great news and big victory for Farm to School Movement! The final bill, which was signed by the President, includes $5 million in discretionary funding for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program, which doubles the current available funding for this highly impact program for one year.



Enjoy the week,




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 | |