Happy New Year! Here's the latest Farm to School-related news, resources, opportunities and events!
Discusses the importance of infant health as part of Michigan's goal to improve the overall health of the state.
This study from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service highlights the importance of effective nutrition education programs for children, parents and caregivers to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and improve overall health.
The USDA "is making permanent the current flexibility that allows schools to server larger portions of lean protein and grains at mealtime."
This report from the Kids' Safe and Healthful Foods Project (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts) demonstrates that upgraded equipment and infrastructure is essential to serve appealing school meals more efficiently, outlines districts' infrastructure and equipment challenges, and provides recommendations to meet schools' needs.
From the Nemours Foundation, this report showcases different strategies being implemented to improve the nutritional quality of meals and snacks in varying populations served through CACFP.
The updated NSAC Value Added-Producer Grant Guide provides helpful hints to improve a producer's chances of obtaining funding from the highly competitive program and provides a step-by-step description of the application and ranking processes. The Guide is available for free on the NSAC website: http://sustainableagriculture.net/publications/. You can find information about this USDA grant opportunity here.
The foundation is accepting applications from nonprofit organizations and schools for programs or projects that support the teaching of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Deadline: February 1, 2014 (grants are given out quarterly throughout the year)
Nominate a school, class or teacher for Project Localize (for all networks)
The Lexicon of Sustainability is looking for exemplary teachers and schools to participate in Project Localize. Selected schools will receive a Lexicon of Sustainability curriculum, taxonomy, video tutorials for creating information artworks, a regional food mapping system blueprint, a public event planner and the chance to win the Lexicon of Sustainability Excellence in Education prize in 2014.
The Earth Day Network competition is designed to highlight school food in the words of students who eat it. For more information and to enter, visit www.earthday.org/journalismaward and submit your publication online. The contest is open until February 28, 2014 and the winners will be announced on Earth Day – April 22, 2014!
A scholarship that covers the cost of the conference will be available to apply for and must be submitted by January 31, 2014. Award notifications will be announces February 28, 2014.
This fall, USDA hosted three webinars to feature various ways Cooperative Extension professionals from different states and programs are supporting Farm to School. These recordings are now available online.
This recently launched program from the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) institutionalizes local food and F2S experiences and training into undergraduate and graduate curricula for education and nutrition and dietetics students and Dietetic Interns (DIs).
From January 2014 through July 2014, the USDA Farm to School Program will host two webinars each month to showcase the variety of ways school districts can purchase local foods. The webinars will be held at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. Topics will include everything from procurement basics to using geographic preference, finding local producers, and buying local through DoD Fresh. Check out the lineup and register at the link above.
Produce for Better Health Foundation Free Webcast: Food Safety Efforts in Produce Production Webcast
Friday, January 10, 2014 2:00-3:00 pm ET
This webcast reviews the produce industry and their efforts to reduce microbial contamination of fruits and vegetables. REGISTER HERE.
New USDA Recipes for Healthy Kids and CACFP Crediting Guide: Supporting Healthy Eating in Child Care Webinar
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 2:00-3:00pm EST
Find out what the best ways to promote nutritious food are while still complying with CACFP requirements! You can REGISTER HERE.
Saturday, January 18th at Lakeview High School in Battle Creek, Michigan.
The focus of this year's conference is exploring new trends in growing food while still applying traditional methods. A full list of sessions and speakers, as well as a detailed agenda can be found HERE.
January 23rd, 2014, 2:00pm - 3:30pm EST (Register here)
The webinar will be hosted by The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and will address this important question: when and how can you terminate your cover crops and not risk losing crop insurance coverage of cash crops that follow?
Hub Camp: The Nuts & Bolts of Local Food Distribution
January 29-31, 2014 in Grand Rapids, MI
This training program offers practical approaches and advice for those who wish to start their own local food system. Click the link above for more information and/ or to apply!
February 18-19 Okemos Conference Center in Okemos, MI
Hosted by MSU extension, this educational event will focus on topics ranging from soil health to hops to pest management. The BROCHURE outlines more information and the detailed agenda can be found HERE.
March 2-4, 2014 Omni Shoreham Hotel Washington, D.C.
Co-sponsored by Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) and Feeding America, this conference allows participants to share information about and expand their knowledge on ways to strengthen nutrition programs from all different backgrounds. You can REGISTER HERE.
March 13-15, 2014 at University of Illinois Chicago Forum in Chicago, IL
From artisan food tasting to getting your food business funded, the 3-day event offers something for all individuals who appreciate good food. The BROCHURE highlights the keynote speakers and events and you can purchase tickets in advance HERE.
March 27-28, 2014, The Dearborn Inn, Dearborn, MI
This conference will focus on the various aspects of delivering health and wellness information to Michigan residents of all ages and includes a broad array of topics ranging from farm markets to data analysis. Check out the link for keynote speakers and more information.
Farm to Institution Specialist | Michigan Lead for National Farm to School Network
Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University
480 Wilson Rd | Rm 303 Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824