NSAC's Blog

New Year, New USDA Farm to School Webinars

January 20, 2015

Farm to school activities connect school children with healthy foods from local farmers. These efforts include bringing locally produced food into school cafeterias, integrating lessons in agriculture, food, and nutrition into the school day, and establishing school gardens. Farm to school also provides new economic opportunities for local farmers, ranchers, and fishers.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) supports these activities through grants, research, and training offered by its Farm to School Grant Program.  Developed and championed by NSAC and several partner organizations, including the National Farm to School Network (NFSN), the Farm to School Grant Program provides schools, nonprofits, producers, local and tribal governments, and other entities with funding to start or improve upon farm to school activities.

Since 2012, the USDA has provided a Farm to School webinar series to help interested organizations apply for Farm to School grant funding and understand a variety of Farm to School topics to help launch or expand farm to school programs. While last year’s webinar series focused primarily on local procurement, this year’s webinar series focuses on a range of topics, from menu planning to food safety, school gardens to curriculum integration.

There will be 2 to 3 webinars per month starting in January, all taking place at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Following is the schedule of webinars:

  • Farm to School Planning and Building a Team – January 15
  • Setting Goals and Establishing an Evaluation Baseline – January 28
  • Finding and Buying Local Foods – February 5
  • Farm to School Menu Planning – February 19
  • Food Safety – March 5
  • Promoting Your Farm to School Program – March 19
  • School Gardening – April 2
  • Curriculum Integration – April 16
  • Program Sustainability – April 30
  • Evaluating Your Program – May 13
  • Tying it All Together and Digging In – May 28

To register for these webinars please sign up at this link.

Farm to School and the Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization

The upcoming Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization (CNR) provides an opportunity to strengthen and increase funding for the Farm to School Grant program, which currently has $5 million per year available for grants. NSAC, NFSN, and other partner organizations helped secure this annual mandatory funding during the lead-up to the 2010 Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization (CNR), also known as the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

For CNR 2015, NSAC is again partnering with NFSN to campaign for the Farm to School Grant Program – this time to provide increased funding levels and to improve and expand the program through the Farm to School Act of 2015. Details of the NSAC-NFSN partnership to strengthen the Farm to School Grant Program in the next CNR are available at this page.

To receive alerts about our CNR Campaign for 2015, please sign up on the Stay Connected section of our home page.

Categories: Local & Regional Food Systems, Nutrition & Food Access

One response to “New Year, New USDA Farm to School Webinars”

  1. […] New Year, New Farm to School Webinars (National Sustainable Agricultural Coalition Blog, 1/20/15) […]