Wednesday, November 2
Creating and Sharing Farm to School Stories of Impact
You’ve made real strides, engaging your school and community “in a local food and farm culture that nurtures children’s health, cultivates viable farms, and builds vibrant communities.” Now it’s time to convey the impact of your efforts and grow deep support and participation from your community, decision-makers, and funders. You’ve heard great stories from the classrooms, kitchens, and farms that capture the power of the farm to school movement. But how best to gather and select and share these stories for change? Come learn how to make a communications plan for effective farm to school storytelling for impact, see examples of powerful farm to school storytelling across the country, explore several methods for gathering and sharing stories with your target audiences, and launch a project with our support to capture and tell your farm to school stories that matter.
Presented by: Ned Castle, Program Director, Ethnographer, Media Producer, VT Folk Life Center; Barbara Ganley, Director, Community Expressions, LLC; Betsy Rosenbluth, Project Director, Vermont FEED and Northeast Regional Lead for the National Farm to School Network, Shelburne Farms
Integrating Farm to School and Standards: A Curriculum Design Workshop for Educators
This workshop is for you if you teach in a formal or non-formal setting. Join us for a workshop on integrating national standards, big ideas, crosscutting concepts, and farm to school into your curriculum. Together we’ll discover ways to create units of study that bring food systems, farming, and nutrition alive in your K-12 curriculum. We’ll provide support for you to walk away with a unit or lesson outline and a deeper understanding of how to connect standards, the richness of farm to school, and the confidence to address NGSS and Common Core no matter where you teach.
Presented by: Beth Roy, Manager, Valley Food & Farm Program; Jen Cirillo, Director of Professional Development, Shelburne Farms; Ryan Morra, Education for Sustainability (EFS) Partnerships Coordinator, Shelburne Farms
“Detroit School Garden Collaborative,” Increasing Access to Healthy Foods in Supporting Teaching and Learning
During this engaging workshop, Betti will demonstrate how and why the “Detroit School Garden Collaborative” was started and the outcomes and enhancements that contribute to STEM education, teacher staff development, and their Green Corp.
Nutrient Rich Dairy: Farm to School Field Trip
This workshop will include a visit and guided tour of Newmont Farm in Bradford. The interactive tour will be provided by the farm owner and will cover topics ranging from calf care, cow care and comfort, cow nutrition, to environmental sustainability, milk safety and quality. The tour will include opportunities for questions and dialogue throughout. Participants will also be given the opportunity to enjoy some delicious local dairy products along the tour!
Tour is free; space limited to 25 participants.
Child Nutrition Programs Update from SNA VT, USDA Food and Nutrition Services, Vermont Child Nutrition Program, and Hunger Free Vermont
There is a lot happening with Child and Early Care Nutrition Programs in Vermont and in the nation. This forum is for administrators, school nutrition directors, and farm to school advocates to learn what is new and what has stayed the same, and how we all can help build and support school and early care nutrition programs.
Presented by: Anore Horton, MA, MAT, Certified Adult Educator; Danielle Fleury, Farm to School Lead, USDA Food & Nutrition Service Northeast Region; Deborah Beauvais, RDN SNS, National SNA Secretary/Treasurer; Doug Davis, National SNA Legislative Committee Chair and Burlington Vermont Director of Child Nutrition and Burlington Farm to School Project; Mary Jo McLarney, Lead Program Specialist, USDA Food and Nutrition Service Northeast Regional Office; Brooksie Spears, Program Specialist, USDA Food and Nutrition Service Northeast Regional Office
Thursday, November 3
The Vermont Farm to School Network was created in 2009 to spread farm to school to every Vermont community. The Network has identified 5 key levers of change in the farm to school system to help realize this vision and Action Teams are organized around each lever to collaborate on a cohesive, integrated set of high impact projects.
This morning’s session will share what each action team is doing to meet that goal, based on these five levers:
- Economic Value. We need to demonstrate that FTS has strong economic value, and understand both the short-term value (like the benefit to local farms) and long-term value (such as healthcare savings)
- Educational Value. We need to document the educational benefits of FTS. We need to show that kids who participate in FTS are more engaged in learning with fewer absences and behavior disruptions, and greater engagement leads to better educational outcomes. We also need to show that FTS can provide job training skills and lifelong benefits.
- Policy Demand. FTS is a key strategy in tackling top legislative issues, including healthcare cost containment, education priorities, agricultural viability and economic development. We need policies supporting universal school meals and local purchasing, and funding to expand and innovate in Farm to School programming.
- Innovations in Supply. We need to understand the barriers and opportunities for local farms to sell their product to schools, and for schools to buy it, and to develop innovations in production, processing and distribution to make local purchasing more possible.
- Ease of Use. We need to make FTS easy to implement into any school community for teachers, administrators, food service, farmers and others.
Farm to School Promising Practices: Creating and Sustaining Farm to School in your Community
Lever: EASE OF USE
Join individuals involved with farm to school coordination from around the state for a discussion of promising practices to engage and sustain a viable farm to school program in your community. These practices have been gleaned from the survey responses provided by more than 80 Vermont farm to school stakeholders and partners.
Presented by: Catherine Cusack, Program Director, Green Mountain Farm-to-School; Katherine Gillepsie Jandernoa, Program Director, Food Connects; Amy Gifford, School Food Programs Coordinator, NOFA-VT/VT FEED; Ryan Morra, Education for Sustainability (EFS) Partnerships Coordinator, Shelburne Farms
Lever: EDUCATIONAL VALUE
Come explore the deep educational value farm to school can play in your school. We will review the accomplishments and process our working group has gone through over the past year. We will view our farm to school stories that were collected and investigate the process of collecting your own. We will also have time to work as a group to develop future projects that help share the educational value of farm to school in Vermont.
Presented by: Beth Roy, Manager, Valley Food & Farm Program; Additional members from the FTS Network Education Values Team
Lever: ECONOMIC VALUE
In 2015 the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) worked with NOFA-Vermont and UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture to develop a research project that looked at the economic impact of farm to school in Vermont. Using funding from the Vermont Community Foundation, the team hired UVM Center for Rural Studies to conduct the research, which resulted in “Economic Contribution and Potential Impact of Schools Purchase of Local Foods in Vermont.” This workshop will detail the research, findings, and future research opportunities. Attendees will be asked to think critically about the research and communications materials that were developed through the project. Finally, attendees and workshop presenters will share feedback on the next steps in reaching the goal of measuring the economic value of farm to school.
Presented by: Linda Berlin, PhD, Director, UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture; Erin Buckwater, Market Development Director, NOFA-VT; Florence Becot, Research Specialist, UVM Center for Rural Studies; Ali Zipparo, Senior Agriculture Market Development Specialist & NFSN State Lead, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
A Farm to School Campaign: Garnering Support to Invest in Farm to School
Lever: POLICY DEMAND
The Vermont Farm to School Network (VFSN) was created in 2009 to coordinate the efforts of many nonprofit organizations, state agencies, and schools to support farm to school across the state. VFSN has set a goal that includes 75% of all Vermont schools having integrated food system education by 2025 with 50% of food purchased from regional sources. To achieve this goal, the VFSN seeks to increase support among legislators and school decision-makers to increase their investment of time and resources into farm to school. The VFSN is launching a statewide campaign this fall to identify and recruit the support of school leaders and policymakers for state and school investments. This session will be an introduction to that campaign. We will provide a brief overview of what we are trying to accomplish, what the campaign is about, and how workshop participants can help. We will have fun role playing how to talk with your school board members and legislators to garner their support for investing in farm to school.
Presented by: Amy Shollenberger, Consultant, Action Circles; Betsy Rosenbluth, Project Director, Vermont FEED and Northeast Regional Lead for the National Farm to School Network, Shelburne Farms, Anore Horton, MA, MAT, Certified Adult Educator
Developing a Transparent Supply Chain
Leaver: INNOVATIONS IN SUPPLY
We all talk about having a transparent supply chain. What does that mean? How easy is it to reveal the systems involved in the supply chain? One of the Vermont Farm to School Network’s working groups has been wrestling with these issues. In this workshop we will share the school purchasing information we have collected and shared with various stakeholders. We will lead a discussion about how this information can help us make decisions about purchasing and what the end goal is when we talk about supply chain transparency. We will also engage the group in helping define the network’s goal of “50% regional and sustainable purchases by 2025.”
Presented by: Richard Berkfield, Executive Director, Food Connects; Sarah Waring, Executive Director, Center for an Agricultural Economy; Abbie Nelson, NOFA VT Food Systems Education Director and VT FEED Program Director; Erin Roche, Research Specialist, Center for Rural Studies
Local Food Procurement in Real Life
Farm to School… to Compost!
Come learn about Vermont’s Universal Recycling Law and what it means for your school. We will talk about strategies for food waste reduction, including audits, share tables, and school composting, both on-site and off-site. You will get a taste of educational activities that will teach students how to compost and why it is important, and you will learn how to start a food waste reduction and composting program at your school.
Funding for Farm to School Programming – National to Local Options
This session will provide an overview of various funding streams and support that can help build and sustain farm to school programs. USDA Farm to School, Food Connects, and Green Mountain Farm-to-School will share insight on how to tap into the federal grants, corporate giving programs, and existing school budgets that can help build and sustain programming. Participants will gain familiarity with the broad array of potential funding streams available, and will engage in an interactive exchange and brainstorming session on how to apply strategies in their own local context.
Presented by: Danielle Fleury, Farm to School Lead, USDA Food and Nutrition Service Northeast Region; Katherine Jandernoa, Program Director, Food Connects
Engaging Teens Through Innovative Food Systems Programs
This panel discussion with leaders from Vermont programs will explore how establishing partnerships between farmers, chefs, school nutrition professionals, colleges, community organizations, health care facilities, and local businesses have led to the development of innovative programming that engages and empowers teens through culinary and agricultural experiences.
Presented by: Amy Gifford, School Food Programs Coordinator, NOFA-VT/VT FEED; Lauren Traister, 4-H Teen and Leadership Program Coordinator, UVM Extension; Brooke Gannon, Farm to School Coordinator, Milton Town School District; Sarah Heusner, Food Education and Programs Manager, Burlington School Food Project; Paul Feenan, Food and Farm Program Director, Vermont Youth Conservation Corps
Creating a Virtuous Cycle: What Administrators and Farm to School Teams Need to Know About the Child Nutrition Programs
Do you want to purchase more local food, improve meal quality, and grow your farm to school program, but your school meal program finances don’t add up? Do you want to reach all students with fresh, local, nutritious meals at school, but many of them don’t eat school meals? In this customized workshop, you will learn which child nutrition programs your school or organization is eligible for, and which ones your school is using. You will learn which students are participating and which ones are not. You will also learn how you can help ensure that families have enough food at home. Most important, you will leave with specific actions you can take to create the “virtuous cycle” of strengthening your school’s meal program finances, purchasing more local food, and reaching more students with nutritious school, afterschool, and summer meals.
Presented by: Anore Horton, MA, MAT, Certified Adult Educator
Getting Started with Farm to Early Childhood Education
Farm to Child Care and Education offers multiple strategies to improve the health of children by offering them access to fresh, local foods and teaching them the importance of eating healthfully so that they may bring this knowledge into adulthood and raise healthy children of their own (providing children with positive food experiences that make a lifelong impression). This also provides many opportunities for family engagement and education. This workshop will offer easy first steps to develop a lasting initiative in your community. Participants will learn how the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) can help make local food more economical; what the distinctions are between K-12 farm to school programs and programs in the early education settings; and hear from local and national childcare centers who have implemented these programs and have increased access to nutritious foods for thousands of families. Creating a “culture of food” in a childcare program will change the life of children and generations of children to come.
Presented by: Jed Norris, Shelburne Farms Early Education Program Coordinator; Ginger Farineau, Child Nutrition Initiatives Specialist, Hunger Free Vermont; Erinn Simon, Student Nutrition, Burlington Children’s Space
Crafting Meaningful Farm Visits
Light up your inner educator and discover ways to foster curiosity and meaningful experiences for farm visitors at this hands-on workshop. Join Misse Axelrod from The Barn Yard and Maria Reade from Someday Farm to gather strategies for working with visitors of all ages, share tips for group management, and fill your toolbox with activities that can be customized to your farm. Attendees will leave this workshop with ideas for incorporating educational on-farm visits at their place of business.
Presented by: Misse Axelrod, Farmer and FTS Coordinator, NOFA-VT; Maria Reade, Someday Farm; Luke Foley, 2014 Vermont State Teacher of the Year, teaches at the STAR Program at Northfield High School
Three Cs of Farm to School – How to Bring It Full Circle
The objective of this workshop is to provide participants with tools, ideas, and inspiration to develop farm to school programs that encompass the three Cs of farm to school. Participants will gather information of how to start a farm to school program and expand existing programs and will learn how farm to school activities bring together schools and their communities. They will leave this workshop with innovative ideas of how to engage their school community to embrace farm to school and farm to school best practices such as Taste Tests, Harvest of the Month, marketing campaigns, classroom activities, school gardens, and food service engagement.
Presented by: Helen Rortvedt, Farm to School Programs, Food Connects; Steven Marinelli, Food Service Director, Milton Town School District
Innovations in School Meal Programs
School nutrition professionals are some of the most creative and resourceful people on the planet! But, we can’t know everything. This workshop will explore and share innovative school nutrition programming and management. We will include innovations from around Vermont and talk about how to create change and innovation in the midst of all the other work that has to be done.
Presented by: Abbie Nelson, NOFA VT Food Systems Education Director, and Program Director, VT FEED; Harley Sterling, Food Service Director, Westminster Schools; Laura Collaro, Food and Nutrition Educator for Addison Northeast Supervisory Union, VT;Westminster Schools; Irene Canaris, Garden Coordinator, Westminster Schools
School Garden Coordination: Supporting Garden-Classroom Connections
Come to this workshop to learn how strategic school garden coordination can bring about creative garden-classroom connections. We will first explore a variety of garden coordination models, including benefits and challenges. We will then hear from educators about how they used thoughtful coordination to support garden-based learning and classroom connections.
Presented by: Libby Weiland, Statewide Network Coordinator, Vermont Community Garden Network; Caroline Aubry, Farm to School Coordinator, Green Mountain Farm-to-School, Amy Nadeu, fourth grade teacher from Derby Elementary School, Irene Canaris, Garden Coordinator, Westminster Schools
What Should We Measure? Practical Steps for Useful Program Evaluation
Farm to school programs involve a variety of players engaged in a diversity of activities that result in an array of outcomes. When it comes to evaluation, the first question is often “Where do we even start?” This session will take a hands-on approach to answering that question.
Presented by: Andrew Powers, Sr. Research Associate, PEER Associates; Jen Cirillo, Director of Professional Development, Shelburne Farms
Administrator Panel: Why Decision Makers Want to Invest in FTS
Farm to school programs become stronger and more sustainable when school administrators and school boards are part of them. Learn from these administrators about their commitment to their farm to school programs and what they do to make FTS viable.
Facilitated by: Chaunce Benedict, former school administrator
Panelists: Ann Bradshaw, Superintendent Milton School District; Bruce Williams, Former Two Rivers SU Superintendent; Alice Laughlin, Chair, Putney Central School Board; Barrett Williams, Principal Sharon Elementary School
What’s Working in Food Systems – Career Exploration for High School Students
In this session, participants will hear how Vermont high school students are exploring farm and food careers, and how the Farm to Plate Network is helping build partnerships between educators and food systems employees. Panelists will report on what’s come out of a series of conversations in Washington County between workforce support systems, educators, and businesses (WEB partnerships); how some schools are connecting with their communities to help students carry out their Personalized Learning Plans; and the first “career profiles” produced through an oral history curriculum. Participants will also discuss how to build WEB partnerships in their own communities.
Facilitated by: Liz Kenton, UVM Extension
Panelists: Tom Sabo, science teacher and sustainability educator at Montpelier High School and the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable Systems (CSS); Crystal Maderia, Kismet Farm to Table Restaurant; Janice Bosworth, Agriculture Instructor at Patricia Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury, and her students
Farm to School for All Students: How Special Needs Students Can Benefit from Farm to School Programs
This workshop is designed for farm to school practitioners, teachers, parents, and interested community members to present how farm to school activities directly support the therapeutic needs of students with social, emotional, and learning challenges; and to give participants an opportunity to discuss applications with students they work with. Tools for taste testing, classroom involvement, and community events will be shared. Successful numbers on program improvement will be shared as well as gardening program wins.
Presented by: Jamie Spector, LICSW Development / HR Coordinator and Social Worker, Maplehill School and Community Farm; Valerie Prentiss Reppin, Kitchen Manager w/FTS participation/culinary instruction, Vermont School for Girls/VPI South/Becket Org; Kathy Rossman, Science Teacher at Lund’s New Horizon Education Program; Leanne Yinger, M.Ed. HNC Clinician and Nutrition Educator/Consultant
Creating School Environments and Policies to Promote Healthy Behaviors
Research shows that healthy kids are better learners and that schools have an incredible opportunity to influence student health. A school wellness policy is a great first step toward creating this type of healthy, supportive school environment. Farm to school programs around Vermont have played a significant role in improving the quality of school meals and expanding nutrition education, and thus have an important role to play in school wellness policies. Come learn how farm to school programs can impact school nutrition environments and policies, and hear from local school wellness champions and their work with policy development.
Presented by: Linda Berlin, Director, UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture; Jennifer Woolard, School Chronic Disease Prevention Specialist, VT Department of Health
Getting Local Food to Schools: What We Need to Know from Food Hubs and Distributors
Wanting to serve local food in schools is one thing. Finding it and getting it to the loading dock is another thing. This panel will discuss what producers and school food programs need to know to improve the local food supply chain.
Facilitated by: Abbey Willard, Local Foods Administrator, VT Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets
Panelists: Richard Berkfield, Executive Director, Food Connects; Katherine Sims, Executive Director, Green Mountain Farm-to-School; Jeff Jones, Managing Partner, Vermont Hydroponic Produce; Sean Buchanan, President of Black River Produce; Mark Curran, Co-Owner of Black River Produce; Mark Berry, Reinhart Food Service
Farm to School Integration in the Classroom: A How-to
Join Cornwall Elementary School and College of St. Joseph’s Marble Valley Grows as they share lessons gleaned from a variety of farm to school programs and activities. Highlighting farm to school work from the perspective of both an elementary school and a community partner, this workshop will tell the story of how different schools built farm to school into their curriculum and cafeteria, as well as how to engage the larger community connecting organizations and schools, students to farmers, and community to school. Hear from a food service director, classroom teacher, and higher education institutional partner on ways we can work together and in parallel to connect students to the source of our food and strengthen our communities. For the second half of the workshop, participants will work in affinity groups to brainstorm ways to fertilize their farm to school work and create an action plan to implement this program into their school or community.
Presented by: Emily Hoyler, Teacher, Bingham Memorial School in Cornwall, and Curriculum Specialist, Shelburne Farms; Laura MacLachlan, FTS Program Coordinator, Marble Valley Grows; Kimberly Griffin, Director & Farm Manager, Marble Valley Grows