Blog Archive

Friday, October 5, 2018

MI Farm to School Newsletter

Happy Farm to School Month! Hopefully this finds you well and enjoying all that the beginning of fall has to offer. At the Center for Regional Food Systems, we are especially excited about October as National Farm to School month as well as Michigan Apple Crunch on October 23. Learn more about both of these events below.




Massachusetts students first job helps feed thousands

The MetroWest Daily News 

Students at a Massachusetts High School in a youth program called Partnership for Skilled Work Force (PSW) work together to start their mornings helping in their school's cafeteria and farm. Students help to grow produce in a garden which produces almost 1,000 meals per day for the Framingham Schools Food Service.


How one program is changing how 1 in 5 children going to bed hungry in Miami - Dade

Miami Herald 

According to Feeding South Florida's 2016 analysis 20% of Dade County, Miami's children are going to bed hungry. Thanks to Live Healthy Miami Gardens, efforts are in place to lower those numbers. Their food forest initiative, which is a larger version of a garden, helps students grow their own fruits and vegetables in 25 schools across the city. The product of the gardens is incorporated into their school lunch menus and the forests are used for class space as well. They even offer the families of students to attend cooking and gardening classes so families can build their own food forest.


110 New York Cafeteria Workers will get Farm to School Training courses 

The Daily Star 

As a result of funds received from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, 110 school cafeteria workers across 37 school districts in Oneida County were scheduled for food preparation training this past August. Through these workshops, two chefs facilitated training in knife skills, cooking methods, and strategies for preparing, serving, and storing fresh produce. 


Educator leads program that benefits dozens of children

Mundo Hisp├ínico (Available in Spanish, English, and Portuguese) 

Through the help of Quality Care for Children and the Georgia Farm to Early Care and Education Coalition, a child care center called My Little Geniuses has helped serve the Marietta, Georgia community for 18 years. Maria Ortega, a native Colombian woman, came up with an idea of making a garden with the help of her husband. Infants through preschoolers have benefitted from her farm to early care and education activities, as well as the way in which she integrates nutrition education across content areas.


Culinary – arts students get an education on locally grown produce

The Daily Sentinel

Colorado students who have culinary arts class were able to visit a farmer's market on a weekday morning to learn more about the food industry. There they were able to interview local growers and purchase produce and ingredients that they will use to make a meal together as part of a class that focuses on food preparation.


Falmouth School plants community gardens with local Native American traditions

Cape Cod Times

North Falmouth Elementary School create its own traditional garden for their students to be able to watch how plants flourish from start to finish. With the help of Gertrude "Kitty" Hendricks, Indian educational coordinator for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, they are able to not only teach their students about gardening but also the Wampanoag culture.


State's Farm to School Program Keeps Kids Healthy


The New Mexico Public Education Department will promote Farm-to-School meals statewide in their local schools. New Mexico will partner with local farmers to bring to school cafeterias fresh local produce, including spending over $400,000 to serve 250,000 students.


Kinsman Farm delivers fresh produce to Badger Schools


A local farm that promoted fresh local produce in their community is now bringing produce to five local schools. Thanks to the Farm to School program, Badger Schools students are able to get access to local fresh produce included in lunches.





National Farm to School Network Webinar; Trending Topics in Farm to School: Results from the 2018 National Farm to Early Care and Education Survey 

October 11th, 2018 // 2:00 - 3:00 pm EST

Join the National Farm to School Network in partnership with Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems to discuss survey findings from over 2,000 ECE providers across the country. Learn how these results can promote Farm to Early Care and Education in our state and across the nation. 


Michigan Apple Crunch Day is October 23

Throughout October, many schools and early childhood programs will celebrate the fall harvest and make morefresh, local produce accessible to the children they serve. One easy way to do so is by celebrating the Michigan Apple Crunch, a one-day event on Tuesday, October 23 to get all Michiganders to crunch into a Michigan-grown apple. Register to participate at and follow along on Facebook @miapplecrunch.


Webinar; Garden to Cafeteria Toolkit Webinar Series: Intro the Toolkit

Join Slow Food USA and Whole Kids Foundation as they introduce the Build Your District's Garden to Cafeteria Program webinar series. Especially helpful for gaining more information about food safety protocols for serving garden produce in school cafeterias, this series will help to support the use of the Garden to Cafeteria (GTC) Toolkit resources that will help guide you in designing food safety protocols.


Webinar: Farm to School and 21st Century Food Service Programs

November 15th, 2018 // 7:00 – 8:00 pm EST

Join this webinar to hear from participants of the new partnership between National Farm to School Network (NFSN) and National Education Association (NEA). This partnership was made to enrich the lives of students from the connection between schools and fresh, healthy, and locally sourced foods.


Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG)'s 25th Annual It Takes a Region Conference

October 24th – 27th // Philadelphia, PA

Farm and food practitioners in the 12-state Northeast region, as well as other interested in learning more about innovative ideas and solutions to critical food systems issues will want to attend the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG)'s 25th Annual It Takes a Region Conference in Philadephia, PA.


Taking Root Video Series

This series of five short videos shows how the innovative combination of Hoophouses for Health and MI Farm to School works from every angle. When paired together, the loans and grants provided through these programs are investments that work twice: to increase good food access for vulnerable children and families and to help farmers succeed.




Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Fund 

Due: October 15th, 2018 midnight 

Wild Ones offers up to $500 cash grant assistance for projects that focus on involvement of students and volunteers during each phase of development, increase a site's educational value, and include a focus on the appreciation for nature through the use of native plants and natural landscapes.




National Farm to School Month

Spread the word! National Farm to School Month is here! Have you started to plan how your school and community are going to celebrate it? Visit the National Farm to School website (clink on link above) for great resources to help you get started on your planning and activities. 


Updated Menu Planner for School Meals 

School Year 2018 - 2019 // USDA 

The United States Department of Agriculture has an updated menu guide for local school nutrition professionals that will help assist with the development of healthy, safe, affordable, and appealing school menus and snacks that students will love. 


Local Foods, Local Places 2018 – 2019 Application

Deadline: October 22nd, 2018 // 11:59 pm ET

The Local Food, Local Places grant helps communities revitalize neighborhoods through development of local food systems. The goal of this grant is to revitalize downtown areas through the local food systems, focusing on livable, walkable main streets, increasing opportunities for local farmers, and improving access to health, local food, particularly for disadvantaged populations. 




Sprout Battle Creek, Michigan Local Food Distribution Assistant Hub Manager

email resumes: 

Interested in being a Food Hub Assistant Manager? See attachment for more details of the job description. 


Executive Director, Urban School Food Alliance - New York, NY

The Urban School Food Alliance is looking for a passionate, business-minded executive leader to accelerate impact and drive organizational development, improving the health and sustainability of school meals in many of the nation's largest school districts. As the first Executive Director for the organization, this is a unique opportunity to build on early collaborative successes of the school district participants, while shaping the organization for years to come. 


Farm to School Coordinator Cornell Cooperative Extension - Bath, New York

18-month position through December 2019 // Part-time 

The Farm to School Coordinator will be responsible for assisting with program delivery, and evaluation along with administrative direction, management, and coordination for supporting the increase of volume and variety of local farm products procured by schools/districts for inclusion in school meals programs in a tri-county region (Steuben, Chemung & Schuyler). 


Strategic Planning Consultant, National Farm to School Network - Remote

Proposals due: October 1st, 2018

National Farm to School Network seeks a skilled and experienced professional to facilitate a strategic planning process for the organization that will set the direction of NFSN beyond 2020. The process aims to review gains made during the 2017-2019 phase, retool strategies as needed, create space for innovation to meet the emerging needs of the movement, and plan for organizational stability and sustainability.


Food and Garden Youth Educator AmeriCorps, Solid Ground - Seattle, WA

Full Time

Community Food Education at Solid Ground supports the health and wellness of communities experiencing poverty and oppressions. We provide hands-on educational opportunities for youth and adults alike, around growing, buying, cooking, and eating nutritious foods. Solid Ground's antiracism lens frames how we approach this service. Our team of AmeriCorps educators lead classes, workshops, and events, to empower communities to navigate their food environments. 


Senior Government Relations Manager, Trust for America's Health - Washington, DC

Trust for America's Health is looking for a Senior Government Relations Manager. The Senior Government Relations Manager will be responsible for developing and managing the legislative and regulatory strategy on a range of priority issues focused on chronic disease prevention, including obesity and nutrition, physical activity, environmental health, healthcare financing (including Medicare and Medicaid), and federal appropriations that impact public health and prevention. 


Federal Policy Associate & Federal Policy Deputy Director, Council for a Strong America - Washington, DC

Council for a Strong America is looking for a Federal Policy Associate and a Federal Policy Deputy Director. Council for a Strong America is a national, bipartisan nonprofit that unites five membership organizations that include Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Mission: Readiness, ReadyNation, Shepherding the Next Generation, and Champions for America's Future. Its members - law enforcement, military, business, faith, and sports leaders - promote evidence-based policies and programs that strengthen our country by enabling kids to be healthy, well-educated and prepared for productive lives. 


Thank you for everything you do for Michigan's children,




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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