Blog Archive

Friday, October 27, 2017

All About Food Conference - Save the Date and Conference Proposals

Apologies for cross-postings.  Please follow links in attachments.


All About Food: From Farm to Fork 2018 Call for Session Proposals


The Macomb Food Collaborative is now accepting session proposals for the 2018 All About Food: From Farm to Fork Conference being held on March 20th at the Macomb County Family Resource Center. The Family Resource Center is located at 196 North Rose, Mount Clemens, MI 48043.

Who/what is the Macomb Food Collaborative? The Macomb Food Collaborative was founded in 2011 by Macomb MSU Extension. The group’s five previous conferences have showcased the talents of more than 110 industry experts and community members while drawing an average of 200 guests per event.

Our goals as a local, non-profit are: To boost access to local food; promote sustainability and a vibrant local food economy by educating consumers, growers, small-business and non-profits and connecting people to the resources they need to plant, grow, buy, sell, prepare, preserve, share and eat food.

We continue to expand membership to include growers, educators, food service, healthcare, government agencies, small businesses, non-profits and consumers.


Speaker search: We seek conference speakers who can help us achieve our goals. A few examples of past sessions: Vegetable Gardening 101; Food Preservation; Growing Your Food Business; Food Justice; Understanding Community Food Systems; and School Gardening. Unless previously agreed upon, speakers are not reimbursed for their services and are responsible for their own mileage. Creativity is encouraged!

Time slots are available in the morning and afternoon for 60 minutes. We will try to accommodate preferences, but cannot make advance guarantees. The Macomb Food Collaborative/Macomb Community Action will provide each speaker with one entry fee, a room moderator, laptop, Wi-Ficonnection and projection screen. Additional entry fees may be extended to those who require assistance in setting up or delivering their presentation. Speakers are required to provide other necessary equipment, unless prior arrangements have been made.


Complete the online submission form at no laterthan COB November 24th, 201. You will be notified regarding selection in early January.

For more information, email the All About Food Conference co-Chairs, Nicole Urban at or Carolyn Thomas at Be sure to also connect with us at or on social media, at and on Twitter at @macombfood.



Julia Darnton

Extension Educator

Michigan State University Extension

Greening Michigan Institute

Community Food Systems

Leadership & Community Engagement

Office Phone (989) 758-2507


Mailing Address:

1 Tuscola St., Suite 100A

Saginaw, MI 48607


MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Fwd: Michigan Department of Education Press Release-10 Cents a Meal

Please seen the news just released from the Michigan Department of Education regarding this year's grantees in Michigan's pilot 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms program! Best, Diane


Diane Conners  |  Senior Policy Specialist
Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities

P   231-499-3937

T   @grndwk

A  148 E Front St, Suite 301  |  Traverse City, MI 49684 

Subject: Michigan Department of Education Press Release
Reply-To: <>

Michigan Department of Education Press Release



MDE Logo     News Release



Contact:    Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs, 517-241-4395

                  Bill DiSessa, Spokesperson, 517-335-6649


Thirty-two Michigan Districts Receive Grants

to Bring More Local Produce to School Cafeterias


October 19, 2017


LANSING – Thirty-two school districts statewide will receive additional 10 cents per meal in 2017 to purchase locally-grown produce, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced today.


The grant awards in the effective program – 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms – are spread throughout three regions and 29 counties of Michigan Prosperity Regions 2, 4 and 9 in northwest, west and southeast Michigan.


"I'm very pleased that the state Legislature expanded program funding and reach," State Superintendent Brian Whiston said. "This program is a true win-win because it provides fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables to schoolchildren, while investing in state agriculture."


Legislators expanded the pilot program, now in its second year, from $250,000 in state seed funding to $375,000 for the upcoming school year and added a third region to last year's two regions.


"Based on the successful outcomes of this local partnership initiative in last year's budget, I decided to expand this program offering to Prosperity Region 9 as well," said state Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, who chairs the Appropriations Committee's K-12, School Aid, Education Subcommittee. "The 10 Cents a Meal program is helping expose children to locally-grown produce options in the school setting and is creating partnerships between school districts and their local agricultural producers.


"It is my expectation that we will eclipse the successful results of the past year and strengthen student knowledge, preference, selection, and consumption of healthy, locally-grown food," Hansen added.


In its first year, the farm-to-school program generated sales of about 50 products from 86 farms in 28 counties and 16 additional businesses such as processors and distributors, according to MDE.


This year's 32 grant-receiving districts have served 95,000 students, compared to 48,000 students served last year by the 16 grant recipients. Food service directors named 30 new foods that they tried in meals last year.


Matt McCauley, chief operating officer of Networks Northwest, the Prosperity Region 2 office, was involved in assisting MDE in the program's first year. His 10-county region also is where 10 Cents a Meal started three years earlier as a local pilot project inspired by the Michigan Good Food Charter and coordinated by the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities.


"This program has the potential to touch a lot of people's lives in many ways," McCauley said. "It addresses a variety of different issues, including education, agriculture, nutrition, and logistics – pieces that are important to every community, urban and rural, in Michigan. There aren't many policy areas out there with that kind of potential."


Steven Duke, executive director of the Region 2 Planning Commission in Jackson, which is the office for the newly participating six-county Prosperity Region 9, said the program

"ties together two critical economic assets in Region 9: our existing agricultural assets and workforce, and the workforce of tomorrow -- our school children."


He added, "We've watched as this program was successfully implemented in other Michigan regions, and we are excited about the opportunity to bring fresh, nutritious, Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables to our school kids. Exposing kids to the variety of fruits and vegetables grown here will help build a foundation for a healthier lifestyle."


State Rep. Adam Zemke, D-Ann Arbor, who represents communities with school districts in Region 9, also praised the expansion.


"The economic impact of local agriculture production is critical to a prosperous Michigan, and the best way to sustainably ensure this is to reach our future where they are learning," Zemke said. "This is the essence behind the 10 Cents a Meal program: it helps schools and local farms to partner together to not only put locally-produced items in the mouths of young Michiganders, but in their minds too."


Here are this year's 10 Cents a Meal grants by Prosperity Region:


Prosperity Region 2:

  • 14 grant-winning districts in seven counties in a 10-county region
  • 22,567 students
  • Districts are: Alanson Public Schools, Bear Lake Schools, Benzie County Central Schools, Boyne Falls Public School District, East Jordan Public Schools, Frankfort-Elberta Area Schools, Glen Lake Community Schools, Harbor Springs School District, Kaleva Norman Dickson School District, Manton Consolidated Schools, Onekama Consolidated Schools, Pellston Public Schools, Public Schools of Petoskey, Traverse City Area Public Schools
  • Counties are: Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Manistee, Wexford


Prosperity Region 4:

  • 11 grant-winning school districts in seven counties in a 13-county region
  • 28,956 students
  • Districts are: Belding Area School District, Coopersville Area Public School District, Grand Haven Area Public Schools, Hart Public School District, Holland City School District, Lowell Area Schools, Montague Area Public Schools, Saugatuck Public Schools, Shelby Public Schools, Thornapple Kellogg School District, Whitehall District Schools
  • Counties are: Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Muskegon, Oceana, Ottawa


Prosperity Region 9:

  • Seven grant-winning school districts in four counties of a six-county region
  • 43,370 students
  • Districts are: Ann Arbor Public Schools, Bedford Public Schools, Dexter Community School District, Hillsdale Community Schools, Jackson Public Schools, Monroe Public Schools, Ypsilanti Community Schools
  • Counties are: Hillsdale, Jackson, Monroe, Washtenaw


A total of 78 school districts applied, with funding enough for 32.


The MDE's 10 Cents a Meal report, which includes quotes, stories, and resources that can help schools successfully apply for and use grant funding, is available at  


A map of Michigan's Prosperity Regions can be found here:




# # #




This email was sent to using GovDelivery Communications Cloud on behalf of: Michigan Department of Education · 608 W. Allegan Street, P.O. Box 30008 · Lansing, MI 48909

Re: October 2017 Michigan School Garden newsletter

There is a school in Traverse City called The Greenspire School which is based upon Place-Based Environmental Learning and Project-Based Learning.  They do projects in the 500 acre natural area they are sited in for the grand traverse bay watershed and they also have a greenhouse, school garden and commercial kitchen for students to cook in.

It is also Montessori inspired.

Sent from my iPhone

Michele Worden

On Oct 19, 2017, at 2:11 PM, Hahn, Kristine <hahnk@ANR.MSU.EDU> wrote:


October 2017


Hope everyone's pumpkins filled out in time for Halloween!  My esteemed colleague Kaitlin Wojciak is out on maternity leave, so we'll have a few other article authors until she returns!    




School Gardens are the Perfect Medium for Place Based Education


by Kristine Hahn


School gardens have many of the necessary and positive attributes of an ongoing project for Place Based Education.


I am planning to attend the Michigan Place Based Education conference next month hosted by the Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition at Eastern Michigan University.  In preparation for the conference I did some background research on place based education and was pleasantly surprised!  School gardens and place based education(PBE) are just about a match made in heaven.


For those of you not familiar with Place Based Education (aka Place Based Learning), it is an educational structure that places an emphasis on connecting students to their community through long-term projects. Students are able to form a relationship with a specific ecological feature – like the garden – by repeated exposure that enables them to see how it changes over time.  Hopefully, students will develop an emotional bond to the garden or "their place" and inspire them to live more sustainably as adults.


According to David Sobel in the book Place-Based Education: Connecting Classrooms and Communities, by anchoring learning in the local community and environment, place-based education engages students, promotes academic achievement, and fosters citizenship and community vitality. 


An excellent example of a place-based education project was at Bingham Arts Academy in Alpena, Michigan where students worked with school educators and community partners such as the Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative (NE MI GLSI) in creating a schoolyard rain garden with the goal of helping reduce water pollution in the local Thunder Bay River watershed.  Through this garden, students were able to explore and learn about many important concepts, such as the relationship between native plants and wildlife, pollinators, what makes a plant native, storm water pollution and much more.


School food gardens are also a well matched tool for the emphasis PBE has on "local".  After all, school gardens embody the local climate, crops and ecology while reflecting the local community.  


Regular visits to the garden for activities that highlight curriculum content allow students to form a relationship with a specific environmental feature in or around the garden.  The creation of positive relationships amongst all members of the school community is a foundation for student success.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit To contact an expert in your area, visit, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464.


School gardens: The new "in" thing for schools

Research is proving the value of school gardens in and out of the classroom.

Posted on October 19, 2015 by Dixie Sandborn, Michigan State University Extension

The Michigan 4-H Children's Garden is located on the campus of Michigan State University.

While school gardens were once thought of as an "extra" busy activity and only for schools in warm climates, today they are in the mainstream. Research is demonstrating that, among other things, schools are using gardens in creative ways to improve academic test scores in science, math, social studies and art. Other benefits school gardens provide to students include:

According to "Benefits of School-Based Community Gardens," a resource of Denver Urban Gardens, school garden programs have a positive effect not only on students, but also on school staff, families and communities. Michigan 4-H and the Michigan 4-H Children's Garden are eager to embrace this innovative trend and work with Michigan State University Extension county staff, schools and partners to share the research behind this growing movement, inform others about tried and true best practices and introduce new, exciting programs.

One of these new programs is Texas A&M University's Learn, Grow, Eat and Go program. Learn, Grow, Eat and Go is the new research- and evidence-based curriculum project of the International Junior Master Gardener Program. It is an interdisciplinary program that combines academic achievement, gardening, nutrient-dense food experiences, physical activity and school and family engagement.

Additional information about the benefits of school gardens is available from:

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit To contact an expert in your area, visit, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464.



School Garden Grant Information

  • American Honda Foundation - Due dates three times per year
    • Schools, nonprofits classified as 501(c) (3) s and private or public schools (elementary and secondary) are eligible.
    • Award range: $20,000 - $75,000 for one year
  • Captain Planet Foundation
    • Schools, nonprofits and other organizations classified as 501(c) (3) are eligible
    • Projects must: be project-based; performed by youth; have real environmental outcomes; be based in the United States.
    • Award range is between $500 - $2500. At least 50% matching or in-kind funding for projects is preferred.
  • Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Alaska Fertilizer Companydue October 8th
    • Schools are eligible
    • Funds projects that will create or revitalize a garden that support local wildlife, healthy living, environmental education and STEM learning.
    • Award range is between $500-$2,000
  • The Home Depot FoundationCommunity Impact Grants currently open
    • Schools and 501(c) (3) organizations are eligible.
    • Awards are up to $5,000
    • The Home Depot also has opportunities to match donations from local stores with nonprofits. Follow this link for more information on how to request a match. 
  • Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation
    • Public schools are eligible
    • Awards from $5,000 - $25,000
    • Visit this link to answer preliminary questions and learn more.
  • Project Produce Fruit and Veggie Grants for Schoolsdistributed on a rolling basis
    • Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program is eligible.
    • Must be submitted by district food service director.
    • These grants are $2,500 and can assist with offering educational activities in the lunchroom, encouraging students to try new veggies and fruits.
  1. Salad Bars to School Grant
    • Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program is eligible to apply. To qualify for a Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools grant, applicants must offer the salad bar as part of the reimbursable meal served in your district.
    • Schools use the award (approximately $2,955 value) to implement salad bars as part of their daily meal program
    • For more information and to apply, follow this link.
  • Target Field Trip Grants – Open from August 1, 2017 – October 1, 2017 (CST)
    • K-12 public, private or charter schools in the US that maintain a 501 (c)(3) or 509(a)(1) tax-exempt status
    • Must be submitted by a teacher, educator, principal, paraprofessional or classified staff of the above institutions
    • Awards are $700 to contribute to an educational field trip experience
  • Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant  Open from September 1stthrough October 31st, 2017 (CST)
    • K-12 Schools, 501(c)(3) non profits working in partnership with K-12 schools, or a 501(c)(3) non profit organization.
    • Awards are $2,000
    • Informational webinars are available at the above link
  1. Youth Micro-grants through Karma for Cara FoundationRolling deadline
    • Youth under age 18 who are working on a community service project (including school and community gardens).
    • Awards are between $250 - $1,000.


School Garden Educational Opportunities

·     SAVE THE DATE! JULY 27-29, 2018

2018 Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) Conference + Hoʻōla ʻĀina O Māʻilikūkahi Youth Food Sovereignty Congress

The University of Hawai'i – West Oahu Sustainable Community Food Systems Program, the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association, the University of Hawai'i System Office of Sustainability and key community partners will host the 2018 Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference and the Hoʻōla ʻĀina O Māʻilikūkahi Youth Food Sovereignty Congress on the island of Oʻahu from July 27-29, 2018.


Themes: Indigenous knowledge, decolonization and socio-ecological resiliency in agroecology and sustainable food systems education.

  • Save the Date: 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
    April 26-27, 2018 // Cincinnati, OH
    Save the date for the 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
    coming to Cincinnati, Ohio, April 26-27, 2018! Hosted by the National Farm
    to School Network, The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is the only national gathering of
    stakeholders from across this movement, making it the premiere opportunity
    to learn, network and collaborate with likeminded leaders from across the
    country. Learn more and sign-up for updates at


  • GLSI 2017 Great Lakes Place-based Education Conference

The Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative invites you to join us for the 6th annual Place-Based Education Conference. Come experience a three day conference designed to inspire and support a community of educators around the power of place-based learning.

Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 8:00 AM EST
Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 1:00 PM EST

Eastern Michigan University Student Center
900 Oakwood St.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

  1. MOFFA (Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance) Educational Opportunities
  • North American Association of Environmental Educators Professional Development






Kristine Hahn

Michigan State University Extension Educator

Community Food Systems

Oakland County Office

1200 Telegraph Rd. #26E

Pontiac, MI 48341


*Please note my new office location

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.  Michigan State University programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status.

"Always be humble and kind." - Tim McGraw


MIFARMTOSCHOOL is a listserv that links farm-to-school stakeholders and practitioners in Michigan, from school food service directors and school administrators to growers and distributors. Content posted to MIFARMTOSCHOOL does not necessarily reflect the views of Michigan State University or the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.