VERMONT FARM TO SCHOOL INSTITUTE
The 2013-2014 Farm to School Institute is a unique year-long professional development opportunity being offered to ten diverse school teams in Vermont. Teams will first gather at Shelburne Farms for three days of learning, networking, planning and developing integrated food, farm and nutrition education curricula across classroom, cafeteria, and community environments. Participants will have time and support to develop a comprehensive Farm to School action plan and will receive in-school mentoring to implement their plan over the 2013-2014 academic year. The Institute is fully-funded and there is no cost to participate.
Benefits of participation include:
• Three-day residential training program at Shelburne Farms, June 26-28, 2013
• Farm to School mentoring during the 2013-2014 academic year
• Developing a statewide network of Farm to School colleagues
Schools have been chosen for this year. We hope to offer the Institute again for the 2014-2015 academic year. Questions? Call or email Danielle Piper at 802-498-8030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
VERMONT NUTRITION EDUCATION INSTITUTE
The Vermont Nutrition Education Institute is an exciting FREE two-year professional development opportunity being offered to ten Vermont K-6 schools beginning in the summer of 2012. To participate, Schools form a diverse 6-person team comprised of: food service personnel, teachers, parents, a school administrator, and a nurse and/or physical education teacher.
This two-year Institute is funded by a USDA Team Nutrition grant awarded to the Vermont Department of Education in collaboration with Vermont FEED (Food Education Every Day) and School Nutrition Association of Vermont. The Institute will provide in-depth training in food and nutrition education and support participating schools in achieving the Healthier US School Challenge Awards (HUSSC).
If you have questions, please contact Abbie Nelson, Director of VT FEED, at 802-434-4122 x12 or Laurie Colgan, Director of Child Nutrition Programs at Vermont Department of Education, at 802-828-5153.
Farm to School Evaluation Toolkit
Evaluation materials coming soon!
VT FEED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSES
We are finishing up a busy academic year having offered credit-bearing graduate level courses to schools and communities around the state including Chelsea and multiple schools in Windham County.
Course spots are filling up fast for 2013-2014, please contact Danielle Pipher at email@example.com if your school would like to host a VT FEED professional development course for this upcoming academic year.
FARM TO INSTITUTION RESEARCH
Through its work with Vermont FEED, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), is coordinating a statewide inventory and research project to provide data to inform food system investments and develop new market opportunities for Vermont’s farmers and food businesses. The goal is to increase the volume and value of the wholesale market for Vermont-grown, perishable foods. This project builds on methods outlined in Vermont’s Farm to Plate Strategic Plan.
This is a collaborative project with researchers, food hubs, and community agricultural development groups. The first step has been to develop two statewide surveys: one of institutional purchasing demand to collect data from Vermont schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, senior meal sites, state and corporate cafeterias, and food shelves; and a second survey of the State’s processing, aggregation, storage and distribution infrastructure. These surveys will inform farms and food businesses how to scale up their services to meet the large-volume wholesale marketplace.
This research is funded by the Agriculture Innovation Center with matching funds from the High Meadows Foundation, the Lattner Foundation, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. For more information on other Farm to Institution projects in New England, visit the FINE website.
JR IRON CHEF VT
Jr Iron Chef VT, hosted by VT FEED and the Burlington School Food Project , is a statewide competition where middle and high school students gain hands-on experience preparing and cooking nutritious, farm-fresh foods. We highlight local agriculture and encourage students to make healthy eating choices and understand more about nutrition, farm-fresh foods, the culinary arts and school food systems.
Jr Iron Chef empowers students to take the lead on solving complex problems of underfunded school meal programs, lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables for many children, and declining rural economy. The students have the unique opportunity to think of creative solutions to these problems in partnership with local chefs and farmers, school food service professionals, and teachers.
The 6th Annual Jr Iron Chef VT was a huge success with over 1,200 people filling the Champlain Valley Expo! Stay tuned for the Save the date for the 7th annual event in 2014. For more information, go to jrironchefvt.org.
FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PROGRAM
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is a federally assisted program providing free fresh fruits and vegetables to students in participating elementary schools during the school day.
The goal of the FFVP is to improve children’s overall diet and create healthier eating habits to impact their present and future health. The FFVP helps schools create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices; expanding the variety of fruits and vegetables children experience; and increasing children’s fruit and vegetable consumption.
Vermont FEED is working in partnership with the Vermont Department of Education and Green Mountain Farm to School to bring this important program to schools throughout Vermont. For information on the program in Vermont, click here and visit schoolmealsvt.com.
NORTHEAST REGIONAL LEAD AGENCY FOR THE NATIONAL FARM TO SCHOOL NETWORK
As the Northeast Co-Regional Lead of the National Farm to School Network (NFSN), VT FEED facilitates the Northeast Regional Steering Committee comprised of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York. In 2012-2013, the Steering Committee shared Farm to School information with numerous workshops and presentations across the region, such as the Harvest New England Conference, the NESAWG Conference (Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group), and the New England Fruit and Vegetable Conference.
The very first National Farm to School Months in October of 2011 and 2012 were a smashing success! Over 400 events were held across the country, gaining the attention of media and local and national policy makers. NFSN designed a website to disseminate Farm to School Month resources and secured the support of 50 partner organizations to spread our message to as many communities as possible. For more information, visit NFSN's website.
FARM TO INSTITUTION NEW ENGLAND
Farm to Institution New England -- FINE -- is a six-state collaboration that connects schools, colleges, hospitals, and others institutions to producers of locally-grown foods. FINE encourages farmers and institutional buyers to develop sustainable and mutually-beneficial relationships that enhance the well-being of institutions' food consumers and our regional agricultural economy.
6th NATIONAL FARM TO CAFETERIA CONFERENCE
Vermont FEED was the local host, helping to plan this exciting event in Burlington from August 2-5, 2012. The next conference will be in Austin, Texas, from April 15-18, 2014. Check out the National Farm to School Network website for more information.
Farm to Cafeteria began with the common goal of building strong communities, healthy individuals and resilient local farms. Across the country great progress has been made connecting farm-fresh foods with K-12 schools, pre-schools, childcare settings, colleges, universities, hospitals, prisons and beyond – now we are Digging In!
The conference bought together food service professionals, farmers, educators, policy makers, representatives from government agencies and nonprofits, entrepreneurs, students and others who are breaking down barriers and expanding the impact of Farm to Cafeteria.
There were skill-building short-courses, field trips to innovative Vermont farms and institutions, a diverse workshop program, and plenty of opportunities to network with inspiring individuals from across the country. Learn more about the conference here.