NSAC's Blog

USDA Farm to School Webinar Series

January 24, 2014

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm to School office supports the efforts of organizations and school districts across the nation that are working to bring educational activities and foods from local or regional sources into schools.  Activities encompass incorporating locally or regionally produced foods into school meals and snacks, creating hands-on learning activities, such as school gardening and farm visits for students, and integrating food-related education into classroom curriculum.  A Farm to School grant program, developed and championed by NSAC and other national advocacy partners, makes grants to schools and other organizations to create and support farm to school initiatives at the local level.

USDA aims to enhance such efforts through research, training, and technical assistance to organizations working on Farm to School initiatives.  As part of that effort, the USDA Farm to School office is offering a webinar series with two webinars each month to discuss variety ways in which school districts can purchase local foods for their school lunch and snack programs. 

The webinars will all take place at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. These sessions will delve into local procurement – from finding producers and working with distributors to using geographic preference, forward contracts, and more.  Begun in January, the schedule of webinars is as follows:

  • Finding Local Producers – February 13
  • Using the Informal Procurement Method – February 27
  • Using Specifications to Target Local Products – March 13
  • Working with Distributors – March 27
  • Using a Forward Contract – April 10
  • Introduction to Geographic Preference – April 24
  • Using Geographic Preference – May 8
  • Using USDA Foods as a Resource to Purchase Local – May 22
  • Using DoD Fresh to Purchase Local – June 12
  • Tying It All Together and Digging In – June 26

The two most recent webinars from January include:

  • Finding, Buying, and Serving Local Foods: Introduction to Procurement – January 9, 2014
  • Conducting a Local Procurement Baseline Assessment – January 23, 2014

To register for future webinars, or to access the January sessions, please to to: http://www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool/webinars

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

Comments are closed.