Blog Archive

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Michigan Farm to School Newsletter-November

Dear Michigan Farm to School subscribers-

Hoping this finds you well as fall is under way in Michigan. As November is at its midpoint, a colleague and longtime friend in the field of education reminded me at a conference to take a quick moment of gratitude for the work in which we are able to engage. With that, please accept my thanks for the work that each of you do every day for Michigan's children.




Meet the teacher behind a farm-to-cafeteria program powered by Detroit students with disabilities


Teacher Michael Craig and farm director Matt Hargis work with students at Drew Transition Center, a school where students with disabilities prepare for adulthood and work together to provide healthy produce to hundreds of Detroit students. Each year Drew Farm provides approximately 20 tons of fresh produce to 15 schools in Detroit while also facilitating the development of valuable skills to the students at Drew Transition Center.


Fresh Food is a luxury, but these Michigan programs are making it more accessible to all

Model D Media

Several Michigan programs are ensuring Michigan residents, including its youngest citizens, have access to healthy, local, and affordable food. Growing Hope in Ypsilanti supports school and community gardens and develops educational programs. In Lansing, the Food Systems Program, part of the NorthWest Initiative (NWI), maintains gardens and teaches in-class lessons in up to 50 classrooms across four schools for elementary-aged school children.  In Detroit, Keep Growing Detroit, assisted over 1,500 gardens last year, which included 130 school gardens.


Building the Farm to School Momentum on Beaver Island

Groundwork Center

Local Food Policy Specialist, Jen Schaap, recently went to visit Beaver Island Community School (BICS) and shares how BICS is integrating nutrition education and farm to school to impact the lives of the students. 


School Lunch Day recognizes Iowa farm sources

Ottumwa Courier

A local school district is promoting eating healthy, local foods with the help of Iowa farmers. The district works with Food Corp to promote healthy school foods and educate students on food choices. Additionally, it tries to include as many local vendors for "Local Food Day" and use local products when it can to bring the concepts full circle. They are also partnering up with Summer Food Services Programs to create a starting point for more Iowa farmers to work with schools and start Farm to School activities for the students.


Betti Wiggins recognized in 50 Most Influential People in Health Care

Time Magazine

Congratulations to National Farm to School Network (NFSN) Advisory Board member and former Detroit Public Schools food service director Betti Wiggins for being recognized one of Time Magazine's 50 most influential people in Health Care. In Detroit, Betti engaged in ground breaking work to ensure every student in the district offered free breakfast and sourced 40% of food locally. Now an officer of nutrition in Houston, she is working with the Texas Department of Agriculture to bring healthy foods to more than 215,000 students.


How Schools are fighting back against obesity in Mississippi

Daily Journal

A local school district in Mississippi is offering pre-K and elementary students access to healthy food sources and education about eating habits and gardening lessons. Mississippi is one of many states addressing high obesity rates not only in adults, but now in children as well. In Northeast Mississippi, 30 school districts are sourcing from local farmers as one way to increase fresh fruits and vegetables in students' diets and expose students to healthier food choices.


Garden to Table: Belfast Students growing their own healthy lunches

News Center Maine

A Maine middle school program is able to grow produce for school lunches for the entire school year from the school garden. The full produce budget for the year is covered by the garden, including over a thousand pounds of produce for the cafeteria. A heated greenhouse enables greens production through the winter months as well as sales for their co-op, and students are also able to compost from the cafeteria.




Farm to School and 21st Century Food Service Programs

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

National Farm to School Network (NFSN) teamed up with National Education Association (NEA) who is their partner of the year to integrate farm to school and think about ways it can be advanced in educational settings. This includes a challenge to schools to create 21st Century Food Service Programs. To support this new partnership and help schools with this important work, this webinar will help explain the connection between healthier students in schools and fresh, local, and healthy produce.


Massachusetts Farm to School Farm & Sea to School Conference 

December 6, 2018 // Leominster, MA

The Massachusetts Farm & Sea to School "Setting the Table: Communities Creating Change" Conference will be hosting its fifth statewide conference. This one-day event will promote racial equity and social justice through the promotion of strategies and resources to grow the farm and sea to school movement in the Massachusetts food system.


National Farm to School Conference in Canada

May 15-17th, 2019 // Victoria, British Columbia

School/campus communities, policy makers, health professionals, non-governmental organizations, or anyone that is interested in the health and food sustainability should consider attending Canada's National Farm to School Conference. This conference will touch base on opportunities to learn and share movements that are bringing healthy, local foods in communities. Presenter proposals are due December 14th, 2018.



Youth Garden Grant 2019

Deadline: December 17th, 2018

For years the Youth Garden Grant has been supporting schools and youth educational garden projects that could impact the lives of not only the students but the community around them as well. The top five program proposals selected based on demonstrated programs with impact and sustainability will be awarded $1000 in cash with additional gardening tools and supplies.


Annie's Grant for Edible School Gardens

Interested in bringing a garden to your school? Details for the 2019 application, including a guide to creating a school garden, can be found at the Annie's website. Note that the current FAQ has information for the 2018 grant year, but the eligibility information and questions about funds can be helpful as you think about applying for 2019.


FY 2019 Farm to School Grant Program RFA Now Available

Deadline: December 4th, 2018 at 11:59 pm ET

Thanks to additional funding by FY 2018 Omnibus Bill, the Office of Community Food Systems seeks to award approximately $7.5M in FY 2019 funding that will support the efforts to improve access to healthy local food in schools. Interested? Click here for some resources that can help with your application.




Maine Harvest of the Month Program Coordinator

The Harvest of the Month Coordinator will develop and oversee the Maine Harvest of the Month Project and will actively recruit schools to participate. The position will develop marketing materials for school nutrition programs and conduct trainings and technical assistance to schools to ensure they have the tools for success. For interest and more information please contact Stephanie Stambach at


Member and Strategic Partnerships Manager, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (Location Flexible)

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF) amplifies the impact of philanthropic and investment communities in support of just and sustainable food and agriculture systems. SAFSF seeks a full-time Member and Strategic Partnerships Manager to support, mobilize, and expand SAFSF's membership and secure new revenue in support of its strategic direction. Learn more and apply here.


Policy Specialist, National Farm to School Network (Washington, DC)

Deadline: Nov. 16, 2018

The National Farm to School Network seeks a Policy Specialist to lead implementation of the organization's policy priorities, including influencing federal administrative, rulemaking, and legislative actions, and supporting the development of its biennial report of state level policies supportive of farm to school. The Policy Specialist will cultivate relationships with policymakers and their staff, partner organizations and advocacy coalitions, manage and facilitate NFSN's Policy Group, and educate and mobilize NFSN stakeholder around key issues. This position is based in Washington, DC.


Executive Director, Nation Farm to School Network

Deadline: Jan. 7th 2019

NFSN is seeking a dynamic, values-driven and collaborative leader as Executive Director. The Executive Director leads innovation and strategic growth toward accomplishing the mission of the organization. In partnership with the NFSN Advisory Board, Core and Supporting Partners and national staff, the Executive Director is responsible for implementation of the NFSN strategic plan through organizational programming and operations, ensuring long term financial sustainability and advancement of the farm to school movement. Responsible for shaping the vision and future direction of the organization, the Executive Director will seek opportunities for expanding partnerships and funders and for scaling up impact so that farm to school and ECE are a norm in all communities across the U.S. The ideal candidate will possess a commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, access and belonging, as demonstrated through career, educational and life experience. The position reports directly to the NFSN Advisory Board. Location is flexible (anywhere within the U.S., with preference for proximity to Washington, D.C.). Estimated start date is April 2019.







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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