March 23, 2023

This Week in Farm to School 

Farm to school connects local agriculture, schools, and partners to benefit students, educators, farmers, families, and communities.

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2023 Chatham County Spring Ag Fest

March 25, 2023 // 10 am - 2 pm ET

Chatham County invites everyone to join them for their 4th annual Spring Ag Fest at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center (CCACC). The Spring Ag Fest is a celebration of Chatham County’s agriculture, forestry, and natural resources. The event will offer something for everyone: livestock arena events, demonstrations, food, and more. 

Learn more here.

Small Farms Week

March 27 - 31, 2023

The 27th annual Small Farms Week 2023 runs from March 27 - March 31 in person on the campus of NC A&T State University and honors the small-scale growers who put food on our tables. There will be a kickoff event, educational forums, and a small farmers' appreciation luncheon. 

Register here.

Celebrating African American and Black Culture in the Garden

March 29, 2023 // 7 pm ET

KidsGardening is hosting educators Wanda Stewart and Reeba Daniel as they share their work and methods for celebrating and centering African American and Black culture in youth gardens. 

Register here.

Recorded Webinar: Regional School Garden Support Models

Are you seeking ways to more effectively support a large or large number of school gardens? During this webinar, the School Garden Support Organization Network discussed activities that regional support organizations provide and shared a framework to enhance your work supporting multiple school gardens. 

Learn more here.

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Garden Mentorship Program

KidsGardening shares an example of a garden mentorship program from Downsville, Louisiana. In this program, the teachers created a service-learning project in which tenth graders serve as mentors to the third-grade reading class by using gardening literature and curricula. 

Learn more here.

Poetry in the Garden

This NC Cooperative Extension lesson will familiarize students with fresh herbs while encouraging them to think creatively and apply language skills. 

Learn more here.

The Great Garden Detective Adventure

This U.S. Department of Agriculture eleven-lesson curriculum for 3rd and 4th grade includes bulletin board materials, veggie dice, fruit and vegetable flash cards, and ten issues of Garden Detective News for parents and caregivers. 

Learn more here.

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21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge

Food Solutions New England will host the 9th version of its food system-oriented 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge from April 3, 2023 to April 23, 2023. Each year, thousands of individuals and hundreds of officially participating organizations join in a shared journey of learning and charting a course of action to dismantle racism in our food system and our world. 

Learn more here.

The Fight Against Pesticides in Communities of Color

This article was published by Anti-Racism Daily. When we think of pesticides, our minds may wander off to rural farmlands. However, toxic pesticides and herbicides are being used in major cities today, directly harming low-income Black and Brown communities. The United States uses around one billion pounds of pesticides each year to control weeds, insects, and disease-carrier pests. Their use has been linked to damaging environmental effects and is a cause of concern for human health, especially with repeated exposure.

Learn more here.

Outdoor Classroom Challenge

Deadline: March 26, 2023

Project Green Schools is challenging schools across the country to develop and implement a meaningful outdoor classroom and learning space. The challenge awards one grand prize of $10,000 to further enhance an existing space or build a new space. All U.S. schools, Pre-K through 12 are eligible to apply. Applications should include a formal write-up, a proposed budget, and a design of an outdoor learning space. Project Green Schools will invite the top five designs to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges in Spring 2023 to determine the $10,000 winner. 

Learn more and apply here.

2023 USDA Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UAIP)

Deadline: March 27, 2023

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NCRS), is soliciting applications from eligible entities for the UAIP Competitive Grants pilot project. The primary goal of the UAIP pilot project is to support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production. The USDA is making available up to $7.5 million for grants through its Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. The competitive grants will support the development of relevant projects that fit into two categories: Planning Projects and Implementation Projects.

Learn more here.

School Nutrition Foundation Equipment Grants

Deadline: March 31, 2023

The School Nutrition Foundation is teaming up with industry partners to provide new kitchen equipment to districts. Apply now for the 2023 SNF Equipment Grant Program, featuring applications for five grants! Eligible applicants have the opportunity to win equipment grants, each worth between $20,000 to $100,000 of equipment. Applications and photos must be submitted by a School Nutrition Director. There is a submission cap of 30 applications for each grant. 

Learn more here.

NC Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Going Local Grant

Deadline: April 15, 2023

North Carolina Farm Bureau is happy to provide agricultural outreach grants to North Carolina teachers through their Ag in the Classroom Going Local program. These grants value up to $500. Going Local Grants help educators provide Pre-K through collegiate-level students with valuable, real-world education and experiences directly related to the agricultural industry and the NC Standard Course of Study. Teachers practicing in private and public North Carolina schools, colleges, and universities are encouraged to apply. 

Learn more here.

USDA NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program RFA

Deadline: April 27, 2023

The primary goal of the BFRDP is to help beginning farmers and ranchers in the United States and its territories enter and/or improve their successes in farming, ranching, and management of nonindustrial private forest lands, through support for projects that provide education, mentoring, and technical assistance to give beginning farmers and ranchers the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to make informed decisions for their operations and enhance their sustainability. Applications from partnerships and collaborations that are led by or include nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations (CBOs), and school-based agricultural education organizations (SAEOs) with expertise in agricultural training and outreach for beginning producers will be given priority in funding. Awards may range from $49,000 - $750,000.

Learn more and apply here.

Take Action for School Meals in NC

The School Meals for All NC Campaign is working to ensure that every student in every public school in North Carolina has access to breakfast and lunch at school at no cost to their families. Help the campaign make a difference by contacting your legislators. You can personalize the email by including your own experiences with school meals.

Take action here.

Open Comment Period on School Meals Operation Study: Evaluation of the School-Based Child Nutrition Programs

The Food and Nutrition Service at USDA has made minor changes to their plans to survey a nationally representative sample of approximately 1,750 School Food Authority Directors and a census of 55 State Child Nutrition Directors. This revision includes questions about the impacts of COVID-19 Child Nutrition Waivers on Child Nutrition programs. The Food and Nutrition Service is seeking input on ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond. Written comments must be received on or before April 3, 2023. 

View the announcement here and view the full budget request here.

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