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Planning a Successful Farm to School Program (2016 OCFS Webinar Series)

Planning for Farm to School Success in 2016

Through this 11-part series, we’ll guide you through the USDA Farm to School Planning Toolkit. Served up in bite-sized 30 minute webinars, we’ll offer questions to consider and helpful resources to reference when starting or growing a farm to school program. Guest speakers will join the webinars to share their hands on farm to school experiences.

  1. Intro to Farm to School: Planning and Building a Team: Jan. 14, 2016
    How does a farm to school team function? Learn tips and best practices for building a farm to school team, facing struggles and surprises, and building a foundation for a successful project. Steve Marinelli, Food Service Director from Milton Town, Vermont, joins us to share his first-hand experiences. Recording and Presentation slides (pdf)
  2. Setting goals and Establishing an Evaluation Baseline: Jan. 28, 2016
    How do you know if your activities are helping local farmers and improving student health? Learn how to integrate program planning/evaluation tools and techniques that will document outcomes and show the impacts of farm to school programs. Lyn Kathlene, Director at Spark Policy Institute, shares valuable evaluation insights and recommendations for measuring farm to school success. Recording and Presentation slides (pdf)
  3. Finding and Buying Local Foods: Feb. 4, 2016
    USDA Farm to School local food procurement guru, Christina Conell, breaks down the how-tos of finding and buying local food. We’ll cover a few procurement basics and then focus on where the opportunities are to target local products in the purchasing process. Join to gain insights on how to start making change in your process, big or small. Hungry for more? Check out our webpage dedicated to procuring local foods! Recording and Presentation slides (pdf)
  4. Farm to School Menu Planning: Feb. 18, 2016
    Bring local products to life on your school menus! Chef Kent Getzin, Director of Food Services in Wenatchee, WA will share a variety of ways to incorporate local products into your school recipes, salad bars, and cycle menus so they become permanent items in your kitchen inventory. Prepare for the presentation by drooling over the local food featured in The Lunch Room: Wenatchee's Farm to School Movement. Recording and Presentation slides (pdf)
  5. Food Safety: March 3, 2016
    How can we ensure the safety of farm fresh food? We’ll share local food safety best practices, including identifying safety measures for school gardens and school salad bars. Joining us is Londa Nwadike, PhD, who serves as Extension Food Safety Specialist for both Kansas State University and the University of Missouri. She works with small-scale produce farmers, farmers market vendors, as well as schools and consumers on food safety-related issues. Recording and Presentation slides (pdf)
  6. Promoting Your Farm to School Program: March 17, 2016
    You’ve put in so much hard work! Now, how do you promote your farm to school program to ensure student, school, and community engagement? Hear about programs that have successfully promoted farm to school programs while managing a tight budget. Chef Ann Cooper, Food Service Director for Boulder Valley School District in Colorado, joins us with tips and tricks for successful promotion. Recording and Presentation slides (pdf)
  7. School Gardening: March 31, 2016
    Hear about the different ways to incorporate school gardens into your farm to school program as well as hear how schools are successfully procuring school garden produce for their meal programs. Recording and Presentation slides (pdf)
  8. Curriculum Integration: April 7, 2016
    Experiential education is an important component of successful farm to school programs. This webinar will help you plan for your farm to school educational efforts and brainstorm food, agriculture, and nutrition-related educational activities with which you can engage students. Recording and Presentation slides (pdf)
  9. Program Sustainability: April 28, 2016
    Your farm to school project is blooming! But what will happen if funding levels decrease or community interest lags? With this webinar, plan ahead for these potential scenarios and learn about program sustainability best practices. Recording and Presentation slides (pdf)
  10. Evaluating Your Program: May 12, 2016
    We all know that farm to school programs create positive economic impacts for local and regional farmers and improve the health and well-being of our nation’s children. But how can we measure these changes to document these positive impacts? Hear from seasoned farm to school evaluators to learn best practices for evaluating your farm to school efforts. Recording and Presentation slides (pdf)
  11. Tying it All Together and Digging In: May 26, 2016
    Join us for a healthy dose of motivation! Deborah Kane, Director of USDA’s Office of Community Food Systems, will hit the highlights by showing how local procurement fits into the larger farm to school picture and share several resources to help you meet your local purchasing goals.
    Recording and Presentation slides (pdf)
Page updated: September 18, 2023