Blog Archive

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February Farm to School News

Hi all,

Here are the latest Farm to School news bites:


The Cooking Up Change: National Healthy Cooking Contest and the Real Food Is…National Video Contest were just announced as part of the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference, which will be held in Detroit in May.

·       The Cooking Up Change: National Healthy Cooking Contest is open to high school and college teams, and healthy school lunch recipes are due by March 26th. Three teams from each division will receive all expenses paid trips to the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference where they will compete, preparing and presenting their meals to a panel of judges. Click here for more information.

·       The Real Food Is… National Video Contest is open to students of all ages, from kindergarten to college. The challenge is to “produce a 30 second to 3 minute video that informs, inspires, and encourages student advocacy to restore connections to community, food, land, and place through Farm to Cafeteria programs.” Two winners will receive $1,000 for their cafeteria food project, and one representative and one chaperone from each winning video entry will receive all expenses paid trips to the National Farm to Cafeteria Conference. The deadline for submissions is March 29th! Click here to find the official rules.


The USDA recently published the annual adjustments for the reimbursement rates for meals and snacks served in the Summer Food Service Program. The adjusted rates can be found in the Federal Register.

School Cafeterias Make Efforts to Buy From Local Farms - Jean Ronnei, the Director of the Nutrition and Commercial Services at St. Paul Public Schools in Minnesota, discusses the school district’s partnerships with Food Options for Children in Urban Schools (FOCUS) and local organizations to provide healthier and more sustainable foods on school menus.

First Lady Michelle Obama in collaboration with the White House officially launched the Let’s Move Campaign earlier this month with the goal to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation. The USDA Economic Research Service also launched Your Food Environment Atlas, a new online food mapping tool.



Michigan Good Food Summit
When: February 25, 2010
Where: The Lansing Center in Lansing, MI
See agenda attached and click here to register today!

Choices 2010: The Conference that Celebrates Food, Health & Collaboration
When: March 10-11, 2010
Where: Michigan State University’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center
Click here to view agenda.
Click here to register today!

Farm to School: Setting the Table for Wellness
When: March 15, 2010
Where: Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, Traverse City, MI
Find more information here.

Vegetable 201: Ready to Take the Next Step?
When: 8 am -5 pm on March 19, 2010
Where: Jackson County MSU Extension Office in Jackson, MI
See brochure and registration form attached. 

2010 Eat Healthy + Play Hard = Smart Students Conference
When: April 28-30, 2010
Where: Hyatt Regency Dearborn (Dearborn, MI)
See attachments for registration and agenda information and sponsor exhibit packet. 

Taking Root: 5th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
When: May 17-19, 2010
Where: Renaissance Center in Detroit, MI
Registration starts Feb. 22, but check out the website for more information. 

MSU Student Organic Farm Tours & Workshops
Tours and workshops are running through September 2010!
See attachment for more details.


USDA Offering Financial Assistance for High Tunnels - The USDA is providing grants through the USDA EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program) to help landowners construct hoophouses or high tunnels in order to increase the availability of locally grown fruits and vegetables. The application deadline has recently been extended to February 19th so submit your application now to a local NRCS field office!

USDA Conservation Assistance for Organic ProducersMore than $1 million is available for conservation financial assistance for Michigan organic producers and producers transitioning to organic production. Applications are due to local NRCS field office by March 12th. You can find the application here.

Fiskars Project Orange Thumb offers grants for garden tools and materials such as plants, seeds, mulch, etc. to eligible gardening groups, including projects geared toward community involvement, neighborhood beautification, horticultural education, and/or sustainable agriculture. The deadline has been extended to March 1st so apply soon!


Colleen Matts

Farm to Institution Specialist

CS Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems

Michigan State University

303 Natural Resources Building

East Lansing, MI 48824-1222




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