Blog Archive

Friday, July 17, 2015

MI Farm to School Updates

Happy Friday MI Farm to School Network!

This week has been especially exciting for Michigan Farm to School, as for the past two days folks from all across the state met for the joint Michigan Farm to Institution and Food Hub Network convening in Flint.  As schools move towards increased volume of local purchasing, more attention is being turned towards developing the supply chain needed to aggregate and distribute local food, and Food Hubs could have an interesting role to play.  This convening provided an opportunity for farmers, food hub operators, and institutional purchasers and staff to get together to discuss challenges and strategies for increasing the amount of Michigan grown produce in Michigan schools – all working towards the Good Food Charter goal of reaching 20% by 2020!

Here are some other updates on the Farm to School front:


MSU researchers study 'Beef to School' benefits with new grant

A team of researchers at MSU is working on a way to get more local beef into Montana schools. The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave MSU a three-year, $220,000 grant to help Montana beef producers and meat processors increase the use of local meat in K-12 schools. NBC Montana

Oregon legislature votes to expand state farm-to-school program, providing 3.3 million dollars to the Farm to School Program, 80% of which will be provided to any school district for procurement, while the other 20% will be grants for food, farm, and garden based education

The WK Kellogg Foundation announced a grant to FoodLab Detroit to support local food businesses and entrepreneurs in Detroit and southeast Michigan.  The press release is attached.


Case study of the Group GAP Pilot Project based in the UP.
  • National GAPS website has also added a farm food safety "decision trees" to help farmers identify risks and implement food-safe practices

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) featured a blogpost on Dexter Community Schools – highlighting the great Farm to School work happening in Michigan.

In support of serving traditional foods and locally grown and raised foods in Tribal communities, the USDA released  this memorandum to clarify that traditional foods may be served in CNPs and to provide examples of how several traditional foods may contribute towards a reimbursable meal.

Selling your crop to Michigan institutions this summer

Connect the dots between the three pillars of Farm to School by encouraging local producers to sell their produce to summer food service programs.  Click on the title/link to read the entire article.


School Food FOCUS is seeking a Research, Data & Evaluation Manager.  

REAP is recruiting AmeriCorps members for Farm to School Educator positions for the 2015-2016 school year.

Applications are due July 10, and are attached to this e-mail.

Local Foods, Local Places 2015-2016 Technical Assistance OpportunityThe Center for Disease Control's Local Foods, Local Places opened their application period as part of the White House Rural Council's "Rural Impact" project.  This aims to help community members develop action plans that use local foods to support healthy families and communities.

Grants available for promoting nutrition in Native American Populations: The Seeds of Native Health Grant program aims to fund capacity building, education, and research projects targeting healthy nutrition programs in Native American communities.  Deadline is July 20, 2015 at 5 pm!

Voices for Healthy Kids Grant: The American Heart Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has grant funding available up to $100,000 for projects that advance public policy that positively impacts healthy weight and living among children.  One of the target areas is "Smart School Foods", so a great opportunity!


I'm going to continue plugging this because it sounds like a great event:

H.E.A.L Our Food System Gathering

Sep 25-27, 2015, Chicago, IL 

The Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative (GFJI) 2015 Gathering will be held in Chicago, IL in partnership with Growing Power, Inc. The Growing Food and Justice for All (GFJI) is a comprehensive network that views dismantling racism as a core principle which brings together social change agents from diverse sectors who are working to bring about new, healthy, and impoverished communities throughout the world. Learn more and register here.

Hope everyone has plans to stay cool this weekend!  It's supposed to be a scorcher.

Abby Harper
Farm to School Specialist
Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University
480 Wilson Rd | Rm 309 Natural Resources Building East Lansing, MI 48824
(p) 517.432.4525 (c) 857.600.6921

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