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Friday, December 14, 2018

MI Farm to School Newsletter for December

Dear Michigan Farm to School subscribers-

Hoping this finds you well as we make our way through December and toward the new year. As a native of Michigan, my childhood memories of winter are filled with recollections of snow and winter celebrations filled with food—it is always wonderful to hear from others about their favorite memories of this time of year as well. This month's newsletter highlights some innovative resources and thought-provoking articles that are helpful for our work as we move forward into 2019.  With that, please accept my thanks for the work that each of you do every day for Michigan's children.




Michigan Fruits and Vegetables Feed and Educate Kids

Second Wave MI

The 10 cents a Meal program is not only helping local farmers sell their produce at markets, but finding a different outlet for their sales. Thanks to the program, farmers are connecting with schools in 43 of 83 Michigan counties to bring nutritious and locally grown produce to students.


New Farm to School menu at Florida High School 

Fox 35

A Florida school is increasing students' excitement about agriculture at the same time it is providing healthy food and creating future jobs in the form of a commercial farm that would provide food for all of the school cafeterias and potentially hire students upon graduation. In one year, over 600 pounds of cucumbers, 200 pounds of tomatoes, and 200 pounds of lettuce were produced, which was provided to the school with extra given to students to take home to share with their families.


Farm to School: Growing Achievements in Vermont

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Brandon Lipps, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, shares in his blog about his recent trip to Vermont and how farm to school programs can strengthen the community and connect students to local farms. Not only is the Vermont farm to school program educating students about the produce they enjoy eating, but also providing revenues that are keeping farms alive.


Dorothy Grady-Scarbrough Pioneering to End Hunger in the U.S.

Women's Day

With one in five households experiencing hunger in Mississippi, access to healthy food has been problematic in part because of limited availability of locally grown fruits and vegetables. However, a group called Mississippians Engaged in Greener Agriculture (MEGA) is working with communities to encourage gardening and increase access to healthy, local food in communities. This includes funding for 57 school gardens in the past two years with additional funding to start 25 more, as well as educational activities to coincide with gardening activities that are extended to families.

What School Lunches Have to Do With Fixing Wealth Inequality

Yes! Magazine

Anupama Joshi, co-founder of the National Farm to School Network, suggests using innovative ways to think about the food system, starting with how we feed students in our school lunch rooms. One way in which the National Farm to School Network has found success is through their collaboration with a wide range of national organizations to connect schools with local farms, retaining local dollars in communities, starting onsite school gardens, and increasing "farm fresh" meals in schools. By changing the culture of food within communities, a shift in policy change can occur at the local, state, and national level. At the same time, it may create more equity among farmers and offer healthier food choices for students.




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.


Katie's Krops Garden Grower Grant

Deadline: December 31, 2018

Katie's Krops Garden grants enable students to learn about gardening as well as nutrition, budget management, and life skills. Intended for children ages 9-16, grantees must donate the harvest to the community and submit photos and documentation of their hours. Learn more and apply here.




National Farmers Union's Women Conference

January 13th – 17th, 2019 // San Diego, CA

The National Farmers Union's Women Conference is intended to help create a network of women working in the agriculture community. Workshops include financial management, food safety, innovative marketing conservation, and other sessions specifically for women farmers and ranchers.


Green Apple Day of Service

Join schools and communities in celebration of an international movement. Acknowledge the key the role that schools play in facilitating the preparation of future generations as global leaders in sustainability. Register your project by March 15, 2019 to participate.


Canada's National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

March 15-17, 2019 // Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Building on the success of the 2015 Changing the Menu conference, this event scheduled for May 15-17, 2019 is designed to advance activity to bring more healthy, local, and sustainable foods into the minds and onto the plates of students in preschools, schools (K-12) ,and campuses across Canada. For those who would like to share their work, the deadline to submit proposals is December 20, 2018. 




Video: Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Farm to Head Start Video

The implementation of Farm to Head Start is not increasing the amount of children who eat fresh healthy produce but is also helping local farmers and the community in a positive way. View this video highlighting the partnership between the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties as well as the Hmong American Farmers Association, CKC Good Foods, and Bix Produce to see how Farm to ECE has positively influenced children, farmers, and the entire community.


2018 National Farm to Early Care and Education Survey: Full Report and State Level Data Now Available

The National Farm to School Network and Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems surveyed early care and education providers across the nation earlier this year to better understand the current landscape and reach of farm to ECE, including the application of activities, motivations and challenges. Responses were collected from 2,030 providers serving 255,257 young children in 45 states and Washington, D.C. and found that farm to ECE is reaching far and wide across the country. This survey has provided the only current national-level data available on farm to ECE participation and trends. A report with survey analysis, state level survey data, and additional resources highlighting the results, including an infographic and fact sheet, can be downloaded at


New Farm to School / Farm to ECE Resources in Spanish

In an effort to make Farm to School information more accessible to more people, The National Farm to School Network has translated its fact sheets into Spanish to increase accessibility of Farm to School information. Titles such as Farm to School AdvocacyLocal Procurement for Child Care Centers, and Local Purchasing for Family Child Care Providers as well as more than 35 non-English and bilingual farm to school resources and materials are now available in NFSN's Resource Library.


Slow Food USA and Whole Kids Foundation: Garden to Cafeteria Toolkit

Using the safety protocols and building off the successes of five school districts across the U.S., the Garden to Cafeteria Toolkit offers templates and step-by-step guides for school districts to develop their own processes for integrating gardens into their cafeterias. The toolkit is made possible from a partnership between Slow Food USA and Whole Kids Foundation and is available for free.


A Guide to Using The Creative Curriculum® to Support Farm to ECE Models

The Policy Equality Group has developed two guides available on the National Farm to School Network website. These helpful resources were developed to support early care and education providers using the Creative Curriculum to integrate Farm to early care and education for infants, toddlers, and twos.


Local Food for Little Eaters: A Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Guide to Local Food Purchasing

The MSU Center for Regional Food Systems is pleased to announce Local Food for Little Eaters: A Migrant & Seasonal Head Start Guide to Local Food Purchasing, as well as profiles of successful farm to Migrant & Seasonal Head Start (MSHS) programs nationwide. This guide gives step-by-step instructions and interactive tools that MSHS programs can use to begin purchasing and using more local foods. The companion piece, Farm to Migrant and Seasonal Head Start in Action, offers case studies highlighting Migrant & Seasonal Head Start programs nationwide that, through local foods, are reflecting and celebrating the cultures of children and families they engage.




Executive Director, National Farm to School Network (Remote) 

National Farm to School Network seeks 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. Location is flexible (anywhere within the U.S., with preference for proximity to Washington, D.C.). The deadline to apply is Jan. 7, 2019.


Project Coordinator, Maine Farm to School Network (Gardiner, ME)

Maine Farm to School Network is seeking a Coordinator to oversee implementation of the Network's strategic plan priorities while advancing farm to school strategies and partnerships across the state of Maine with the goal of increasing procurement of Maine produced foods by schools, experiential agricultural education, and school gardens. 


Castanea Fellowship

The Castanea Fellowship is looking for dedicated leaders ready to deepen the impact of their vision to build a healthier, more equitable, and sustainable food system. The Fellowship is for established leaders who are already equipped with a deep understanding of how the food system could shift in a meaningful way and have had considerable impact, yet know they could do much more. The leaders we seek are those who have demonstrated commitment to the work, understand racial equity, believe in the power of diversity, and welcome collaboration. 


Multiple Positions, Healthy School Meals Initiative, FoodCorps (New York, NY or Portland, OR)

FoodCorps works in underserved communities to teach students about healthy food using hands-on lesson plans and experiential learning, collaborating with communities to create a life-long culture of health, and partnering with farmers and food service workers to create healthy school meals. Currently, they are seeking a Network Director and a Senior Director at the national level for the Healthy School Meals Initiative. 




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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