Blog Archive

Thursday, June 14, 2018

MI Farm to School--June Newsletter

Happy Summer-

As schools let out for the summer and warm temperatures return, we hope this finds you well and thank you for all you do for children.





School gardens teach math, science, and delights of fresh fruit and vegetables

Osba News 

Oregon school garden programs have doubled since 2012, with dedicated funding through 2019 totaling $4.5 million in both the agriculture and education departments. This funding will enable schools to buy fresh produce and compete for grants for educational activities.  The Farm to School program has been utilized in a variety of ways to help students learn about healthier foods and change eating behaviors while also learning about food production.


BOCES Farm - to - School initiative celebrates New York Foods

Oneida Daily Dispatch News

Students in New York were served a lunch featuring foods and beverages 100% grown and produced locally in their state in recognition of New York Food Day. State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball shared, "It is awesome to see our local schools and partners working so hard to serve our school children healthy, fresh foods," Ball said. "It's good for our students, who are also learning about where their food comes from along the way, and it's good for our farmers."


Let it grow: Stamford Students learn to garden

Stamford Advocate 

Students across 71 Stamford, California classrooms in 18 schools participated in this year's G.I.V.E. (Green Initiative for Vegetables in Education) competition. Students had six weeks to grow a head of buttercrunch lettuce, with classes submitting their "top three" heads to local horticulture experts for judging. In addition to the produce, students submitted posters depicting what they thought their lettuce would grow into and shared their experiences at a culminating ceremony.


Farm Bureau offers 'Farm Field Days' to valley elementary schoolers

Herald Journal News 

Farm Field Days, intended to share with children how farms work on a daily basis, also help them learn more about how food is produced. During this event, almost 600 children participated across two days in hands-on experiences and workshops, including working with animals and taste testing.


Students Learn to Cook, Grow Food Used In Recipes 

CBS Denver

In Denver, students are learning how to cook in an afterschool program as part of Slow Food USA. Located in a geographic area known as a food desert, the school also includes a literacy program with books about food and a garden where children are planting the produce used in the recipes as part of the cooking class.


West Marion Students serve up fresh veggies, honey eggs from school's garden

McDowell News

A garden club in an elementary school allowed children to showcase their efforts as they served a farm-to-table meal. Highlighting their harvest including a menu of vegetarian stew or honey burgers with honey bacon, fresh produce, and strawberry cheesecake for dessert, the children shared lessons learned as part of the garden club, which includes honeybees and chickens as part of their learning experiences about the environment and healthy eating.


Local Schools see learning benefits in gardens

Columbia Daily Tribune

The implementation of "learning gardens" in several Missouri school districts provides multiple opportunities for experiential learning about the origination of food, pollination of food, survival of plants through adaptation, and the role of insects in gardening. Teachers across classrooms integrated the gardens into different subjects, applying the gardens across curricula to meet learning objectives at the same time children were changing attitudes about trying new foods.


Chicago is Leading the Way Toward a Good Food Future

Civil Eats

Serving nearly 2 million meals in its summer programs and 30,000 meals throughout the year, Chicago Public Schools recently adopted the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP). The fourth school district to adopt the program, the GFPP helps institutions assess procurement practices to provide a roadmap of where they are and where they can improve based on five key areas.

A Collaborative Effort: Southeast Regional Jr. Chef Competition

Department of Public Instruction North Carolina 

A junior chef competition resulted in three teams receiving scholarships to Sullivan University in Kentucky. Teams were challenged to develop recipes that not only met National School Lunch Program (NSLP) nutrition standards, but also to include a minimum of two ingredients grown in their home state, a USDA food item, and most importantly, a final product well received by other students. A total of 21 high school students participated from a variety of Southeast states in the competition held last month.



Pollinator Week


Designated as National Pollinator Week eleven years ago by the Senate, June 18th through 24th is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them.


Webinar: Fundraising for Farm to School

June 19, 2018// 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Join this webinar led by Lea Madry, National Farm to School Network Development Director, to learn more about different opportunities in fundraising for farm to school activities for your program.


Webinar: Adding Whole Grains to Your Menu

June 21 2018 English: 2:00 - 2:30 pm ET // Spanish: 3:00 - 3:30 pm ET

During the eighth webinar of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Halftime: Thirty on Thursday webinar series, the USDA's Team Nutrition initiative will present "Adding Whole Grains to Your Menu". Included in this webinar will be ideas on how to offer whole grains at CACFP sites. 

Market Basket Analysis when Procuring Program Goods and Modifying Contracted for Product Lists.

This webinar will provide clarity regarding how market basket evaluations and contract awards can be compliant with the Federal procurement standards.




Chef Ann Foundation Recipe Contest

Deadline: June 30th 

Chef Ann Foundation and The Dannon Company, LLC have come together to create a recipe contest featuring yogurt. Enter your recipe before the deadline of June 30 as a way to integrate yogurt as a meat/meat alternate component in the USDA meal pattern.


Jump Start Healthy Changes Grant

Qualified K-12 schools can apply for up to $4000 per year to improve the healthy eating and physical activity opportunities with a Fuel Up to Play 60: Jump Start Healthy Changes Grant. Applications open August 22 and are due November 7.


Sustainable Agriculture Systems Grant

Applications for the FY 2018 Agriculture and Food Research Initiative looking at approaches promoting transformational changes in the food and agriculture system within the next 25 years are invited to submit a letter of intent by June 27.

Food and Agriculture Education Information System Grant 

Deadline: June 28th, 2018

The National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) requests applications for the Food and Agriculture Education Information System (FAEIS) for fiscal year 2018. The intent is to maintain a national food and agricultural education information system that contains information on enrollment, degrees awarded, faculty, employment placement, and other similar information in the food and agricultural sciences.




Cultivate Michigan Beet, Celery, and Onion Tour, Pre-Conference Event for the 2018 MDE-SNAM June Nutrition Conference 

10:00 am - 4:00 pm // June 18th 

Don't forget to register to this year's 2018 MDE-SNAM MI June Nutrition Conference. You don't want to miss out on a tour showcasing Michigan's three popular products on diversified vegetable farms in the Grand Rapids area. Register here and see event schedule here


Healthy Eating in Practice Conference

The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project is hosting the first Healthy Eating in Practice conference in Asheville, North Carolina.  This conference is for professionals working to better support healthy eating behaviors, particularly in children and families, and prevent chronic diet-related diseases. 


2018 WFAN Annual Conference
Nov. 2-3, 2018 // Des Moines, Iowa
The 2018 Women Food & Ag Network Annual Conference will be held November 2-3  in Des Moines, Iowa. This year's conference theme is Stepping Into Action: Changing Foodscapes through Individual and Community Power.




Journal of Child Nutrition and Management

Vermont FEED/Shelburne Farms staffers Jen Cirillo and Ryan Morra published their research on farm to school and school culture in the Spring 2018 issue of the Journal of Child Nutrition & Management. Through semi-structured interviews with 10 principals, the researchers determined the importance of relationships as a foundation to support farm to school as part of educational practice, the use of farm to school as part of a community-based effort, and prioritizing farm to school results in integration into daily habits. The authors discuss the results in terms of implications and applications as well.


Tracking Shows Increase in Local Purchasing at Michigan Schools


Since 2014, the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems has partnered with the Michigan Department of Education to track local food purchasing by K-12 schools. This short report shares the K-12 local food purchasing results from the 2017 MEGS+ application and compares these to the 2014 results.


Simone Washington Discusses Creating Consensus and Setting Differences Aside
Simone Washington, the social mission strategy and policy manager at Ben & Jerry's Homemade and NFSN Advisory Board member, discusses how stakeholders can reach common ground when they hold different points of view.




Publication of the Final Rule: Revisions and Clarifications in Requirements for the Processing of Donated Foods

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published a final rule in the Federal Register that will be effective July 2. FNS will host a webinar to discuss the rule's provisions for all stakeholders including Processors and Distributors on June 28th. Click here to register. 





Meagan K. Shedd, PhD
Assistant Professor, Farm to Early Care and K-12 Education
Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University
Department of Community Sustainability | College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
480 Wilson Rd, Room 309 | Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824-1039
517.432.4525 | |



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