Blog Archive

Friday, December 2, 2016

MI Farm to School News

Greetings Farm to School team!


It's December, but the farm to school activity keeps on rolling! There are lots of learning opportunities coming up to keep your farm-to-school brain growing, including some webinars so you don't even have to leave the warmth of your bed (Michigan's cold, y'all).


We initiated our Farm to ECE Webinar Series this week, and several exciting farm to school webinars are set up for the coming months. Also don't forget, the deadline for the USDA Farm to School Grant is December 8! And this newsletter proves how much is still going on


Stay tuned for information coming out in the next two weeks on the Michigan Cherry Slurp, a one-day effort (similar to the crunch) on February 14 to celebrate cherries by sluuuuuurping into a smoothie. Details to come!


Also, a big shout out to farm to school champion and food service director of Detroit Public Schools Betti Wiggins! If you haven't seen their work in Detroit, you're missing out! She was just awarded the Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Director of the Year Award. Congrats, Betti!




·         Farm to school efforts positively impact tribal communitiesUSDA Food and Nutrition Service

o    Many tribal communities are reconnecting children with their rich history by establishing farm to school programs. This story highlights the Inter-Tribal Buffalo Council in South Dakota and their work to increase local bison in school meals.

·         Pumpkin pie isn't just for pies and lattes – here's 2 new ways to enjoy itMlive

o    Spoiler: the other two ways are featured in Dan Gorman's awesome Cultivate Michigan taste tests at Montague and Whitehall Public Schools!

·         Homegrown and served without a moanGreat Lakes Echo

o    Spotlight on farm to school efforts at Gwinn and Waterford public schools, with highlights on the Making Michigan Recipes Work series, the Michigan Apple Crunch, and Cultivate Michigan. These are a few of my favorite things…

·         Supporting sustainability with farm to school food programsUS News

o    Great article on the farm to school network and the future of farm to school.

·         DPSCD receives support from Life Time Foundation for food assistance – Michigan Chronicle

o    Detroit Public Schools received a grant that will help fund 40 pieces of new farm and kitchen equipment to help harvest and mass produce grown in the Detroit School Garden Collaborative.



·         Webinar: Advancing Farm to School Efforts with Cultivate MichiganTuesday, December 13, 2016 2:00 pm

o    What's in it for schools and webinars? If you're new to Cultivate Michigan or have been hesitant to sign up because you didn't know what the benefits were, this webinar is for you!

·         Webinar: Introduction to Local Procurement in ECEWednesday December 14, 2016 1:00 pm

o    The third in our MI Farm to ECE Webinar Series, we will cover a brief overview of procurement rules and regulations as they apply to ECE, available sources for local foods, and first steps to starting local procurement in your early childhood program.

·         !!!Deadline! USDA Farm to School Grant December 8, 2016

o    If you're planning to apply for a grant this year, the deadline is approaching!

·         Grant opportunity: USDA Child Nutrition Technology Innovation Grant USDA FNS

o    This grant is designed to encourage state agencies to innovate technology solutions which can foster collaboration and save money.



·         MI Farm to ECE Webinar SeriesMSU Center for Regional Food Systems

o    The first two webinars, which occurred this past week, are now up and available to view on our website! They're both about 10 minutes in length, so easy to digest while you're digesting lunch.

o    New Web-Based School Meals Application PrototypeUnited States Department of Agriculture

o    A new web-based prototype aims to make the application for the National School Lunch Program easier for schools and families alike.

o    **Reach for the Stars with Farm to PreschoolNorth Carolina Farm to Preschool Network

o    This resource aligns farm to preschool initiatives with North Carolina's early childhood quality standard rating system.

o    Increasing Prevalence of US Elementary School Gardens, but Disparities Reduce Opportunities for Disadvantaged StudentsBridging the Gap

o    This study showed that the increase in garden programs over time haven't yet reached lower-income students to the same extent it's reached wealthier schools.

o    Local School Wellness Policy ToolkitUSDA FNS

o    This kit includes tools to communicate information about local school wellness policies to parents and staff. It's free!



·         Farm to Institution Program CoordinatorMMFEC LCC Montana

o    The Program Coordinator with the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center of Lake County Community Development Corporation would provide support to food and agriculture program, including Farm to Institution efforts.

·         Policy DirectorFoodCorps

o    The Policy Director will lead government relations and federal and state policy initiatives.


Happy harvesting to those that are still growing with season extension, and happy storage to the rest of you!




Abby Harper

Farm to School Specialist

MSU Center for Regional Food Systems

480 Wilson Rd Rm 309 | East Lansing, MI 48824

(p) 517-432-4525 (f) 517-353-3834 |

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