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Community Food Systems

Seeding Success - Farm to School Grantee Webinar Series

This webinar series hosted by the USDA FNS Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) provides technical assistance that supports Farm to School grantees to develop, expand, and maintain robust farm to school programs, projects, or initiatives. The webinar topics were identified as topics of interest by farm to school grantees. The presentations feature OCFS national office staff, regional leads, farm to school grantees and other program partners. Click on the links below to view these recordings and download relevant supporting material.

Seeding Success 2021

Building off of the 2020 webinar series, these four webinars recorded in 2021 provide both an overview and additional resources for grant reporting and modifications, gardening ideas and best practices when operating under pandemic restrictions, innovative virtual farm to school education, and planning for long-term success in the farm to school realm.

  • Webinar 1: "Plotting and Planning": Kicking off the 2021 Seeding Success Series, this webinar features the Office of Community Food Systems staff summarizing grantee reporting requirements and reviewing the processes for submitting no cost extensions, as well as project and budget amendments. The Executive Director of the Charlie Cart Project, a FY 2019 Farm to School Implementation grantee, shares their experience with the grant modification process.
  • Webinar 2: "Weeding and Seeding": Farm to School grantees have faced various challenges while gardening through a pandemic. The Office of Community Food Systems will shares examples and best practices to overcome some of the challenges, like getting creative when opportunities for in-person interactions are limited. This webinar features guidance and tips from guest speaker Lauren McClean with the USDA Office of Food Safety and Brianna Dumas, with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on garden safety.

  • Webinar 3: "Harvesting and Sharing": This webinar highlights different types of challenges that Farm to School grantees have faced when switching to virtual learning environments, platforms and meetings. Listen to how grantees have overcome these challenges and learn about successes with virtual garden clubs, curriculum platforms, and successful virtual engagement strategies. Guest speaker Renae Gavitt with the "Kid's Food Basket" shares how they pivoted their Farm to School Grant and focused resources on a virtual platform.
  • Webinar 4: "Compost & Till": We know that nearly everything has been re-envisioned in the time of COVID-19. Hear strategies and stories to help plan for long-term success when unexpected challenges come our way. This webinar features guest speakers from EarthDance, The Food Trust and First Nations Development Institute.

Seeding Success 2020

This set of six webinars, recorded in 2020, cover Farm to School reporting requirements along with tips and resources for building your team, local procurement, integrating farm to school in the curriculum, basics on working with school gardens and farms, and how to effectively tell your farm to school story.

In this introductory webinar, Office of Community Food Systems staff summarize grantee reporting requirements and review the processes for submitting No Cost Extensions and budget amendments. This webinar also features a message from Julie Brewer, Director of the Office of Community Food Systems.

Part Two of the Seeding Success Series: "Building Farm to School Teams," featuring USDA OCFS Southeast Regional Lead Samantha Benjamin-Kirk, and Amanda Storey of Jones Valley Teaching Farm.

Part Three of the Seeding Success Webinar Series: "Finding, Buying, Selling, and Serving Local Food," featuring USDA OCFS Mountain Plains Regional Lead Andrea Alma.

Part Four of the Seeding Success Series: "Integrating Farm to School into Curriculum and Institution," featuring USDA OCFS South West Regional Lead Rachel Spencer and special guests Paige Mollen of the Mollen Foundation and Dana Martin, a Food Corps team member. The panel discusses ways to merge farm to school concepts into the institutional fabric of a school.

Part Five of the Seeding Success Series features USDA OCFS Western Regional Lead, Julianna Arnett, and covers some promising ideas of incorporating school gardens and local food producers (farmers, ranchers, and fishers) in your farm to school framework.

In this final webinar in the Seeding Success Series, USDA OCFS Mountain Plains Regional Lead, Andrea Alma, discusses various ways in which farm to school programs can successfully share the good work they are doing with key audiences in the community.