Blog Archive

Monday, October 5, 2015

Re: Farm to School News

Hi Abby,

Just wanted to say thank you, again so much for these emails and for the wonderful training last week at Catherine Ferguson. I work for the Detroit School Garden Collaborative and it is always so rewarding to learn more from CRFS and community members doing great work with their schools and organizations. The piece on procurement regulations was particularly fascinating.

I am very interested in learning more about the Michigan Farmer's Market Association subcommittees. Do you know if I should just do some exploring on the Michigan Farm to Institution website or is there someone in particular I should reach out to? Thank you so much for any and all help!

Wishing you well and happy Fall.


From: Harper, Abigail <harperab@ANR.MSU.EDU>
Sent: Friday, September 25, 2015 3:42 PM
Subject: Farm to School News
With this past week came a confrontation with reality that I could just not put off any longer – summer has officially ended, and with it I am diving headfirst into all of fall's glory – eating a pound of apples a day, making stews and baking squash, and breaking out all of my glorious flannel (glorious!). I spied some leaf changes on our drives around the state this week. Hopefully next week, when we head up to Chatham for our Farm to School Training in the UP, we'll time it perfectly to see some beautiful colors! I've continue to be a little elitist about New England fall, so I'm looking forward to being proven wrong this year and getting a taste of the Great Lakes version of my favorite season. If you know of any prime peeping spots, do share your secrets!

We've had a busy week over at CRFS, driving all across the state to lead our annual round of Farm to School Trainings. This year we're changing things up – getting into more of the nitty gritty technical aspects of procurement regulations, highlighting efforts in farm to early childhood and diving deeper into strategies for building successful, long term programs. We've also had an opportunity to hear from Champion Farm to School Food Service Directors at each location – featuring their strategies for integrating local products into their menus and developing multi-stakeholder partnerships that have boosted the success of their program. All in all it seems to be going really well, and I've loved getting to meet in person all the folks I've heard wonderful stories about, and meeting new folk who are just getting into farm to school! It's left me feeling even more energized to call Michigan my home. If you haven't had a chance to attend a training, and the UP is within your reach, there's still one opportunity left!  Join us in Chatham on Thursday, October 1 for our final training. Register at:

And with that plug, it's on to some updates!

News & Media Mentions

  • October is National Farm to School Month!  There's no better time to start engaging in farm to school then joining schools across the country who are celebrating farm to school efforts!  Make October the month that you bring students to farms, start talking about local agriculture, and maybe even get a Michigan Apple on your menu!  There are lots of ways to start your farm to school efforts, and you can start as simply as participating in the Michigan Apple Crunch.  Have everyone in your school or early childhood program bite into a Michigan apple at noon on Thursday, October 22 and hear the CRUNCH of crunchers throughout the state (and Great Lakes region!) doing the same.  Sign up for the capital crunch here: and follow other stories on the Michigan Apple Crunch and Great Lakes Facebook pages.  Use the hashtags #miapplecrunch and #greatapplecrunch on social media.  Make sure to check out Cultivate Michigan for our apple resource guides and promotional materials to make your Apple Crunch a success?
    • Looking for other ways to celebrate Farm to School month?  Be sure to follow the NFSN blog to read about efforts going on throughout the country
  • Funding Opportunity: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services – October 30 deadline
    • The Cardiovascular Health, Nutrition and Physical Activity section released a funding opportunity for early childhood obesity prefention using the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care.  School districts, educational service agencies, local health departments, and community-based organizations are eligible.  Complete the application online here.
  • Webinar: Farm to School 101 – October 13 1-1:30pm ET
    • New to farm to school?  This webinar, howsted by the National Farm to School Network, will discuss the basics of farm to school.  Register here.
  • Webinar: Barnraiser, Crowdfunding 101 – Thursdays 1 pm ET
    • Barn raiser highlights successful campaigns, as well as tips, tricks, and insider knowledge to get your farm to school project successfully crowdfunded
  • Save the Date: 2016 National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
    • It seems ridiculous to be planning for 2016, but you don't want to miss this!  The conference will be held June 1-4, 2016 in Madison, Wisconsin.  Put the date on your calendar now – we'll follow up with more information soon!
  • Job: Farm to School coordinator, Georgia Organics
    • Georgia Organics is seeking a full-time Farm to School Coordinator to work in Atlanta.  More information

Hope you all have a fantastic first weekend of fall! 


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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