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Thursday, September 7, 2017

REGISTER NOW! Joint Network Action Meeting on November 2, 2017

 

 

Registration is open for the Michigan Farm to Institution Network (MFIN) and the Michigan Food Hub Network's Joint Network Action Meeting on Thursday, November 2, 2017 in Lansing, MI.

 

The agenda for this day-long action meeting will be set by you, the attendees! Through open space sessions and innovation stations, you can contribute your expertise to help identify and initiate steps to address the policy and practice challenges of getting more local foods to and through food hubs to serve institutional markets. Please see flyers attached, and help spread the word.

 

Click here to register by September 15th. This event is free to attend but space is limited. The meeting will be held at the Lansing Brewing Company from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, with a cash bar happy hour to follow.

 

We hope to see you then!

 

Colleen Matts

Farm to Institution Specialist | Core Partner, National Farm to School Network

Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University

480 Wilson Rd | Rm 302B Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824

(p) 517.432.0310

www.foodsystems.msu.edu | www.mifarmtoschool.msu.edu

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August 2017 Michigan School Garden Newsletter

MICHIGAN SCHOOL GARDEN NEWSLETTER

August 2017

 

Here is our "Back to School" issue – hope you're ready!! 

 

Articles

Good classroom management in the garden makes a big difference

Set your class up for success in the garden by following these tips.

 

by Kaitlin Wojciak

 

For students, teachers and parents alike, it's hard to believe that the beginning of the school year is upon us! The good news is that the first month (and sometimes longer) of the school year is prime school garden time. If your school garden benefitted from summer care and tending, there are likely many fall season crops ready for harvest, just in time for students returning to school to experience and enjoy. If you didn't have a care plan in place for the summer, or it didn't go according to plan, most locations in Michigan have enough time to seed and harvest some quick maturing fall crops such as radishes, spinach, lettuces and peas.

 

An important aspect of incorporating the garden into your school day and curriculum is classroom management. As a teacher, parent, or volunteer, having a plan for how to manage time spent with students in the garden can be the difference between a fruitful educational experience and a hectic ride, attempting to find some semblance of order.

 

Whether your students are just experiencing their first garden activities or are seasoned garden participants, it is important to revisit acceptable behavior in the garden as you plan and discuss your first outside lessons. These tips from Life Lab's Gardens for Learning curriculum can help set up good guidelines and rules for time spent in the garden classroom.

 

  • Establish garden rules prior to spending time in the garden. It can help to also have the rules posted in the garden, and phrase them positively. Some examples are:
    • Stay on the pathways
    • Ask before you pick
    • Give your neighbor some room
  • Have a tool training before going into the garden. Share the tools that you'll be using, their purpose, and a short demonstration of how to safely use them. Emphasize keeping tools below your waist, and not running with tools in hand. Some teachers have found it helpful to demonstrate using the tools in front of their students and asking for feedback (showing some unsafe behaviors as well).
  • Find some help. At least one other adult volunteer is a must. Student parents and/or Master Gardener volunteers from your local Michigan State University Extension office can often provide assistance. This would allow one of you to leave if there is an emergency and have the rest of the class remain supervised. More hands are better, especially if you plan to have smaller group hands-on activities, which is what makes the garden such an effective teaching tool.
  • Try out smaller group activities to maximize hands-on activities and learning. Providing clipboards for students can make garden activities such as data collection more manageable as well.
  • Create a designated seated space. Especially when the class will be outside for a longer period of time, it is helpful to have a comfortable area where everyone can gather, listen and learn without being crowded and not being able to see or hear clearly.

 

Experienced garden teachers and leaders will have tips and tricks of their own – be sure to ask others who have been leading activities in the garden to share their wisdom. Sometimes a small tip can turn into a big difference in improving the learning environment in the garden.

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

Social and Emotional Health Are Important Benefits of School Gardens

School gardens can provide social and emotional health benefits to both students and teachers.

 

by Kristine Hahn

 

A teacher surprised me several years ago by telling me that she had noticed "real improvements in the social and emotional health of her students after they had a class in the school garden."   At the time, I remember thinking this was very positive, but I regarded it as anecdotal. Since then I have read several studies that confirm the real and significant social and emotional health benefits for both the students and the teachers from school gardens. 

 

While the academic benefits of school gardens for students have become more widely accepted in recent years, the social and emotional benefits are often overlooked.  This oversight is significant, as social and emotional health are often prerequisites for academic achievement. 

 

The following studies show improvements in social metrics we know to be vital to students' feelings of well-being and therefore, ability to learn.  For example, a study by Habib and Doherty in 2007 show that large number of students report "that they feel 'calm,' 'safe', and 'relaxed' in the school garden".  Additionally, children who work in gardens are more likely to accept people different from themselves, according to Dyment & Bell, 2006.   Moreover, a study of third, fourth and fifth graders by Robinson & Zajicek in 2005 showed that students participating in a garden program had increased self-understanding, interpersonal skills and cooperative skills when compared to non-gardening students.  All of those studies show improvements in pro-social behavior that is important to children being happy with themselves and with others. 

 

Equally as important, students involved with school gardens generally take pleasure in learning and show positive attitudes toward education (Canaris, 1995; Dirks & Orvis, 2005).   This study indicates that children that participate in school gardens enjoy their learning experiences and develop healthy attitudes towards learning. 

 

Additional studies also show that school gardens can be a factor in teachers' well-being.  According to Skelly & Bradley (2000), teachers who worked in schools with garden programs had higher workplace morale and increased "general satisfaction with being a teacher at that school.  Collectively, these studies indicate that schools with gardens contribute to a more emotionally healthy place.  And isn't that what we all want for our children and schools?  

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

 

 

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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 FoundationDue September 30th for spring and summer projects
    • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Project Produce Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schoolsdistributed on a rolling basis
    • Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program is eligible.
    • Must be submitted by district food service director.
    • These grants are $2,500 and can assist with offering educational activities in the lunchroom, encouraging students to try new veggies and fruits.
  • 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 $2,955 value) to implement salad bars as part of their daily meal program
    • For more information and to apply, follow this link.
  • Target Field Trip GrantsOpen from August 1, 2017 – October 1, 2017 (CST)
    • K-12 public, private or charter schools in the US that maintain a 501 (c)(3) or 509(a)(1) tax-exempt status
    • Must be submitted by a teacher, educator, principal, paraprofessional or classified staff of the above institutions
    • Awards are $700 to contribute to an educational field trip experience
  • Whole Kids Foundation School Garden GrantOpen from September 1st through October 31st, 2017 (CST)
    • K-12 Schools, 501(c)(3) non profits working in partnership with K-12 schools, or a 501(c)(3) non profit organization.
    • Awards are $2,000
    • Informational webinars are available at the above 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

 

Save the Date: 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
April 26-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
Save the date for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
<http://www.farmtoschool.org/our-work/farm-to-school-cafeteria-conference>,
coming to Cincinnati, Ohio, April 26-27, 2018! Hosted by the National Farm
to School Network, The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is the only national gathering of
stakeholders from across this movement, making it the premiere opportunity
to learn, network and collaborate with likeminded leaders from across the
country. Learn more and sign-up for updates at farmtoschool.org/conference.

 

GLSI 2017 Great Lakes Place-based Education Conference

The Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative invites you to join us for the 6th annual Place-Based Education Conference. Come experience a three day conference designed to inspire and support a community of educators around the power of place-based learning.

Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 8:00 AM EST
-to-
Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 1:00 PM EST

Eastern Michigan University Student Center
900 Oakwood St.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

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

            https://sites.google.com/site/nationalschoolgardennetwork/networking

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 



Kristine Hahn

Michigan State University Extension Educator

Community Food Systems

Oakland County Office

1200 Telegraph Rd. #26E

Pontiac, MI 48341

248-802-4590


*Please note the 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

 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Save the Date for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference!

Hi all,

The National Farm to School Network has revealed the location of the next National Farm to Cafeteria Conference. See below for more info, and save the date!

 

Best,

 

Colleen Matts

Farm to Institution Specialist | Core Partner, National Farm to School Network

Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University

480 Wilson Rd | Rm 302B Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824

(p) 517.432.0310

www.foodsystems.msu.edu | www.mifarmtoschool.msu.edu

 

 

Save the Date: 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

April 26-27, 2018 in Cincinnati, OH

Save the date for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, coming to Cincinnati, Ohio, April 26-27, 2018! Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event will convene more than 1,200 movement leaders working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of healthy food and agricultural literacy across America. Cafeterias in schools, early care and education settings, universities, prisons and hospitals serve more than 40 million Americans every day, placing the farm to cafeteria movement at the forefront of the fight to end obesity and strengthen local food systems and economies. The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is the only national gathering of stakeholders from across this movement, making it the premiere opportunity to learn, network and collaborate with likeminded leaders from across the country. Learn more and sign-up for updates at farmtoschool.org/conference

 

 

 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

FW: Michigan Department of Education Press Release - MI Legislature Expands Program Serving Locally-Grown Food in Schools

Greetings,

Please see the Michigan Department of Education press release below and attached about the expansion of the 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids and Farms Pilot Program!

 

Best,

 

Colleen Matts

Farm to Institution Specialist | Core Partner, National Farm to School Network

Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University

480 Wilson Rd | Rm 302B Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824

(p) 517.432.0310

www.foodsystems.msu.edu | www.mifarmtoschool.msu.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

DE Logo     News Release

 

 

Contact:    Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs, 517-241-4395

                  Bill DiSessa, Spokesperson, 517-335-6649

 

 

Michigan Legislature Expands Program Serving Locally-Grown Food in Schools

 

 

August 17, 2017

 

LANSING—Schools in three regions of Michigan have the opportunity to learn the difference a dime can make in their efforts to serve students Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and dry beans. That's due to the expansion of a popular pilot program in the state's School Aid Budget that Governor Rick Snyder signed into law earlier this summer.

 

Legislators expanded the pilot program, called 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids and Farms, from $250,000 in state funds to $375,000 for the upcoming school year.  A third, six-county region is being added where schools are eligible to apply for funds via competitive grants, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced today.

 

Schools in 29 counties in Michigan Prosperity Regions 2, 4, and 9 now can apply for the match incentive funding of up to 10 cents a meal to purchase Michigan-grown produce. The program is designed to provide fresh, locally-grown produce to students while investing in state agriculture.

 

In addition to 23 counties in west and northwest lower Michigan, six new counties have been added to the pilot in the Washtenaw region.

 

State Sen. Darwin Booher, of Evart, the original legislative champion of the program, said the results of the first year of the state pilot were compelling. Last school year, food service directors who served 48,000 students in the 16 grant-winning school districts provided nearly 50 different Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and dry beans to their students.

 

"We hopefully will see an increase in the number of schools requesting the 10 Cents a Meal program," Sen. Booher said. "I look forward to seeing this as a big part of our future in our state and in our schools. I'd like to feed 1.4 million kids fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the great state of Michigan. We want this to go statewide."

 

State Superintendent Brian Whiston agreed that the timing was right for the expansion of the pilot program.

 

"Schools are serving a greater variety of fruits and vegetables and that is exactly what Michigan farmers grow," Whiston said. "Additionally, surveys show that school food service directors want to purchase more local produce, and Michigan farmers are interested in selling it to schools."

 

In its first year, the program stimulated sales for at least 86 different farms in 28 counties and 16 additional businesses such as processors and distributors, according to a report to the Legislature by MDE, which administers the program.

 

Food service directors named 30 new foods that they tried in meals.

 

"The kids are now asking, 'Any new fruits or veggies to try?' They keep me on my toes," one food service director said in an MSU Center for Regional Food Systems survey for the project.

 

The MDE report is filled with stories and quotes from food service directors, educators, farmers, and other local food businesses such as distributors impacted by 10 Cents a Meal.  The full report, quotes, stories, and resources that can help schools be successful in applying for and utilizing 10 Cents funds are available atTenCentsMichigan.org.

 

MDE receives support for this program from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, and Prosperity Region offices, which for the upcoming year are Networks Northwest, Grand Valley Metro Council, and the Region 2 Planning Commission.

 

###

 

Program Contacts: 

Diane Golzynski, Michigan Department of Education, GolzynskiD@michigan.gov;

Diane Conners, Groundwork Ctr for Resilient Communities, diane@groundworkcenter.org;

Colleen Matts, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, matts@msu.edu;

Matt McCauley, Networks Northwest, mccauley@networksnorthwest.org.

 

 

 

Editor's Note: A map of Michigan's Prosperity Regions can be found here:http://www.michiganworks.org/files/resources/Prosperity_Map1_430346_7.pdf

 

These are the counties where schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program, are eligible to apply:

  • Prosperity Region 2 - Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford
  • Prosperity Region 4 - Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, and Ottawa
  • Prosperity Region 9 – Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, and Washtenaw

 

The following 16 school districts were part of the first year of the state pilot project: Boyne Falls Public, Frankfort-Elberta Area, Glen Lake Community, Leland Public, Manistee Area Public, Northport Public, and Traverse City Area Public schools in northwest lower Michigan (Prosperity Region 2); and Coopersville Area Public, Forest Hills Public, Grand Haven Area Public, Montague Area Public, Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System, Muskegon Public, Oakridge Public, Ravenna Public, and Whitehall District schools in west Michigan (Prosperity Region 4).

 

The MDE 10 Cents a Meal report and additional information on the program is available athttp://www.tencentsmichigan.org/.

 

 


This email was sent to mhill@tbaisd.org using GovDelivery Communications Cloud on behalf of: Michigan Department of Education · 608 W. Allegan Street, P.O. Box 30008 · Lansing, MI 48909

Thursday, August 10, 2017

CORRECTION: Seed Grants Up to $6k Awarded to Six Michigan Local Food Councils

The earlier version of this news release included incorrect links for Ottawa Food and the Oakland County Food Policy Council. Please reference the corrections below.

 

----------------

 

 

Contact: Liz Gensler, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems: (517) 353-1914 | gensler@msu.edu

Andrea Weiss, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems: (517) 432-0283 | sextona1@msu.edu

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 8, 2017

 

 

Seed Grants Up to $6k Awarded to Six Michigan Local Food Councils

 

Funds will help local food councils to advance local and statewide food systems goals

 

 

East Lansing, MI –The Michigan Local Food Council Network has awarded seed grants to six local food councils across Michigan. This is the second round of seed grants funded by the Network in 2017. The grants will help the following new and existing food councils and food policy councils build their capacity and accomplish their goals:

 

 

For the Michigan Local Food Council Network, a local food council is defined as a group of people who regularly convene to assess and recommend practices and policies that affect one or more aspects of the food system in a defined geographic area.

 

The seed grants will provide up to $6,000 to each council. Councils will use the funds for activities like: hiring a coordinator, conducting a needs assessment survey, strengthening data collection and communication and forming a new food council. Councils funded by seed grants will use an equity lens, working to ensure that their membership reflects the ethnic and racial diversity of the community or communities they serve.

"Muskegon County is actively engaged in many efforts to get our population healthy, and 'Good Food' is certainly a part of the solution," said Dorothy Griswold of the Muskegon County Local Food Council. "We are hoping the seed grant funding will help catalyze more efficient collaboration between the existing organizations as well as expand the vision of local food as tool for both economic and community development."

 

The Michigan network is co-coordinated by Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and ENP & Associates. These organizations developed the seed grant program with input from network members, who expressed that seed grant funding would substantially help their food councils to advance local and statewide goals. The first round of seed grants was awarded in January 2016.

 

"Our goal is to develop a strong network of local food councils covering all parts of Michigan.  We were pleased to offer this second round of seed grants to help more councils get started and to assist existing councils in expanding or accelerating their good food work," said Liz Gensler, Michigan Local Food Council Network co-coordinator and outreach specialist at the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. "These seed grants have local impacts and have ripple effects across the state as ideas and innovations are shared among councils through the Network."

 

More information about the Michigan Local Food Council Network is available on its webpage: http://foodsystems.msu.edu/our-work/local_food_council_network/

 

 

###

 

The Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) engages the people of Michigan, the United States and the world in developing regionally integrated sustainable food systems. CRFS extends MSU's pioneering legacy of applied research, education and outreach by catalyzing collaboration and fostering innovation among the diverse range of people, processes and places involved in regional food systems. Our vision is a thriving economy, equity and sustainability for Michigan, the country and the planet through food systems rooted in local regions and centered on Good Food: food that is healthy, green, fair and affordable. Learn more at http://foodsystems.msu.edu and connect on Twitter and Facebook: @MSUCRFS.

 

 

-- 

Andrea Weiss

Director of Communications

Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University

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

(517) 432-0283

 

twitter.com/MSUCRFS  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Seed Grants Up to $6k Awarded to Six Michigan Local Food Councils

 

 

Contact: Liz Gensler, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems: (517) 353-1914 | gensler@msu.edu

Andrea Weiss, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems: (517) 432-0283 | sextona1@msu.edu

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 8, 2017

 

 

Seed Grants Up to $6k Awarded to Six Michigan Local Food Councils

 

Funds will help local food councils to advance local and statewide food systems goals

 

 

East Lansing, MI –The Michigan Local Food Council Network has awarded seed grants to six local food councils across Michigan. This is the second round of seed grants funded by the Network in 2017. The grants will help the following new and existing food councils and food policy councils build their capacity and accomplish their goals:

 

 

For the Michigan Local Food Council Network, a local food council is defined as a group of people who regularly convene to assess and recommend practices and policies that affect one or more aspects of the food system in a defined geographic area.

 

The seed grants will provide up to $6,000 to each council. Councils will use the funds for activities like: hiring a coordinator, conducting a needs assessment survey, strengthening data collection and communication and forming a new food council. Councils funded by seed grants will use an equity lens, working to ensure that their membership reflects the ethnic and racial diversity of the community or communities they serve.

"Muskegon County is actively engaged in many efforts to get our population healthy, and 'Good Food' is certainly a part of the solution," said Dorothy Griswold of the Muskegon County Local Food Council. "We are hoping the seed grant funding will help catalyze more efficient collaboration between the existing organizations as well as expand the vision of local food as tool for both economic and community development."

 

The Michigan network is co-coordinated by Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and ENP & Associates. These organizations developed the seed grant program with input from network members, who expressed that seed grant funding would substantially help their food councils to advance local and statewide goals. The first round of seed grants was awarded in January 2016.

 

"Our goal is to develop a strong network of local food councils covering all parts of Michigan.  We were pleased to offer this second round of seed grants to help more councils get started and to assist existing councils in expanding or accelerating their good food work," said Liz Gensler, Michigan Local Food Council Network co-coordinator and outreach specialist at the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. "These seed grants have local impacts and have ripple effects across the state as ideas and innovations are shared among councils through the Network."

 

More information about the Michigan Local Food Council Network is available on its webpage: http://foodsystems.msu.edu/our-work/local_food_council_network/

 

 

###

 

The Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) engages the people of Michigan, the United States and the world in developing regionally integrated sustainable food systems. CRFS extends MSU's pioneering legacy of applied research, education and outreach by catalyzing collaboration and fostering innovation among the diverse range of people, processes and places involved in regional food systems. Our vision is a thriving economy, equity and sustainability for Michigan, the country and the planet through food systems rooted in local regions and centered on Good Food: food that is healthy, green, fair and affordable. Learn more at http://foodsystems.msu.edu and connect on Twitter and Facebook: @MSUCRFS.

 

 

 

-- 

Andrea Weiss

Director of Communications

Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University

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

(517) 432-0283

 

twitter.com/MSUCRFS  

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July 2017 School Garden newsletter

MICHIGAN SCHOOL GARDEN NEWSLETTER

July 2017

 

Happy Summer School Gardeners!

 

Hope you are getting enough sunshine & fresh fruits & veggies.  Enjoy!

 

Articles

 

MSU Extension selected as a National Farm to School Network Michigan partner

Community Food Systems team members will continue to support capacity building and expansion of farm to school and farm to early care in a new role as Supporting Partner.

 

by Kaitlin Wojciak

Michigan State University Extension is excited to announce our selection as a 2017-2019 National Farm to School Network Michigan Supporting Partner. This new role recognizes MSU Extension's leadership in the farm to school and farm to early care and education (ECE) movement, and will provide new opportunities for us to continue building capacity and support for farm to school and ECE activities in Michigan.

From school gardens and farm field trips to local food on lunch trays, farm to school and ECE practices help children learn about where food comes from and make healthier choices, while also creating new markets for local and regional farmers and food producers.

In Michigan, the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) has provided leadership in farm to school and farm to ECE for more than 10 years and will now serve as Michigan's Core Partner. MSU CRFS has founded and organized several farm to school initiatives, including the Michigan farm to school mini-grant program, statewide trainings, technical assistance and networking opportunities. More recently, MSU CRFS provided leadership on two statewide initiatives: the Michigan Farm to Institution Network and the 10 Cents a Meal program. The Michigan Farm to Institution Network promotes local foods for schools and other institutions through the local purchasing campaign, Cultivate Michigan. The 10 Cents a Meal program is providing matching reimbursement for local food purchased for school meal programs in two prosperity regions, and may be expanding to another region in the next state budget year.

MSU Extension Community Food Systems team has partnered with MSU CRFS to support the growing farm to school movement by providing regional, on-the-ground support for statewide initiatives and statewide leadership to the Michigan Farm to Institution Network and the 10 Cents a Meal program. MSU Extension Community Food Systems and MSU CRGS have also established local and statewide trainings to boost farm to school knowledge and practices and organized meet the buyer events and networking spaces to benefit farm to school stakeholders. In alignment with the Michigan Good Food Charter, the Community Food Systems team is working towards the goal of all Michigan institutions sourcing 20 percent of their food locally by the year 2020, with Michigan farmers profitably supplying their products.

The National Farm to School Network has selected core partner and supporting partner organizations in all 50 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Territories to collaborate on efforts to strengthen the farm to school and ECE movement nationwide and ensure its benefits are available to all children and communities. Together, we'll support the development of new information and resources, grow awareness of the movement and its benefits and provide vision for the growth and evolution of the farm to school and ECE movement.

The other supporting partners for Michigan are: Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, Michigan Department of Education and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. To learn more about our partnership with the National Farm to School Network, visit farmtoschool.org/ournetwork.

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

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School Garden Fund Raising Ideas

Tours, plant sales and produce sales can raise school garden operating funds while providing educational experiences for your students.

 

by Kristine Hahn

Its mid-summer and we are in the thick of prime garden tour time!  Garden tours can be wonderfully educational, inspirational and a fun way to raise funds.  Typically, fund raising is my least favorite activity associated with school gardens.  However, I enjoy working to organize school garden tours, plant sales and produce sales to raise funds and provide meaningful educational experiences for students. 

 

Summer is a popular tour time as gardens are often at their zenith in terms of flowering and fruiting.  Fall Garden Tours have their own high points, such as fall crops, crisp air and autumn colors.  Summertime can be a less than optimal time for a school garden tour, as school is out for summer vacation, and it can be difficult to get either teachers, students or parents to participate.  Additionally, some schools do not have active gardens in the summer due to the absence of students and teachers. 

 

Notable exceptions include schools with summer programming, and those schools that have mastered summer garden maintenance.  A summer school garden tour can be a great way to get school staff and students back together to touch base during the summer hiatus. 

 

Regardless of when you choose to hold a school garden tour, it is an excellent way to showcase all the cool things going on in the garden to people who may not normally have a chance to experience it.    Tours are also a great opportunity for students to lead tours, talk about something they are knowledgeable (and hopefully passionate) about and practice public speaking skills.  This is also a great time to emphasize any academic work or projects that are linked to the garden. All of these activities can stimulate participants to show their appreciation and support.  Funds can be raised by charging a tour admission fee, or by providing a staffed container for donations.  A Fall School Garden Tour can also coincide with sales of pumpkins, apples and spring blooming bulbs to increase your fund raising efforts.  For a good example of a Michigan School Garden Tour, visit this link for an article with great pictures about the Dexter School Garden Tour.

 

A plant sale is also a great vehicle for fund raising and education. Students can gain experience in seed germination, propagation and long range planning when determining the start date to make sure the seedlings will be big enough by the date of the sale.  Houseplants propagated by stem cuttings are a great educational project if you have access to a greenhouse.  Plant sales can also be a great opportunity for students to learn about salesmanship and profit, and again, to showcase the students' efforts to the community while raising funds.

 

A youth farm stand can achieve many goals in addition to fund raising.  Youth farm stands at the school increases community access to fresh produce and encourages consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables by youth and adults.  They also teach business skills to students, and provide a valuable commodity to their community. 

 

I would always encourage you to tap into your school's PTO to assist in any of the above efforts.  A school 4-H garden club can also be an asset when it comes to generating enthusiasm and funds for your school garden.      

 

Michigan State University Extension has great resources to help you carry out any of the above educational and fund raising activities, and you can contact Kristine Hahn at 248-802-4590 for more information.  

 

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 http://www.msue.msu.edu. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu/newsletters. To contact an expert in your area, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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School Garden Grant Information

  • American Honda Foundation - Due dates three times per year, next one is August 1
    • 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 FoundationDue September 30th for spring and summer projects
    • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Project Produce Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schoolsdistributed on a rolling basis
    • Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program is eligible.
    • Must be submitted by district food service director.
    • These grants are $2,500 and can assist with offering educational activities in the lunchroom, encouraging students to try new veggies and fruits.
  • 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 $2,955 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

 

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

            https://sites.google.com/site/nationalschoolgardennetwork/networking

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 



Kristine Hahn

Michigan State University Extension Educator

Community Food Systems

Eastern Market Office

1445 Adelaide

Detroit, MI 48207

313-567-9701

248-802-4590 (CELL)

313-567-8726 (FAX)


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