The Seeding Success Webinar Series is hosted by the Patrick Leahy Farm to School program and provides technical assistance to support Farm to School grantees to develop, expand, and maintain robust farm to school projects. Webinar topics have been identified as topics of interest by Farm to School grantees. The presentations feature USDA national office staff, regional Farm to School specialists, Farm to School grantees, and other program partners and stakeholders. Click on the links below to view these recordings and download relevant supporting material.
- Seeding Success 2023
This 2023 webinar series provides engaging content and resources for Farm to School grantees with a focus on supporting Indigenous food practices, climate smart practices, developing relationships with state agency partners, and marketing your farm to school program.
- Webinar 1: How Farm to School Grant Funds Can Support Indigenous Food Practices: Watch this session to hear about food sovereignty, recipes, growing connections with farmers, agriculture education, and future goals for communities. Around the United States, grantees are using Farm to School Grant funds to support healthy and culturally appropriate foods in their communities. During this webinar, you will hear from Clarence Hogue, Director of Communications and Outreach, and Rebecca Grashuis, Farm to School Coordinator, of the Indigenous Farm Hub and Joy Standridge of the Chickasaw Nation, who has served as Deputy Director for the WIC and Child Nutrition section of Chickasaw Nation Nutrition Services. These Farm to School grantees share their stories on how they have successfully applied for grant funding and developed or expanded projects that showcase their cultures.
- Webinar 2: Farm to School in Support of Climate Action: Interested in food waste, composting, connecting with others, and climate-smart farms? Then this webinar is for you. Farm to school programs introduce students to where their food comes from and provides opportunities for students to get their hands in the dirt and learn about growing and sustaining local food systems. In this webinar, participants will hear from Jean Buzby from the USDA Office of Food Loss and Waste as well as two former grantees Wendy Berkeley, the Farm to School Coordinator at Somersworth City School Systems in New Hampshire, and Karen Brown, the Creative Director at the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, CA about climate smart initiatives in farm to school such as garden designs, solar initiatives, and food waste projects.
- Webinar 3: Maximizing Resources and Opportunities for Continued Success: Across the country, farm to school is thriving at the local, state, and national levels. Are you tapping into these efforts in your states and communities? This webinar will share the ways in which the USDA Food and Nutrition Service supports farm to school efforts at the state level and hear from our guest speakers Sarah Smith from the Nebraska Department of Education, Tenise Jarecke from Burwell Public Schools, and Melina Barker from the Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network with some examples of ways in which current and former USDA Farm to School grantees have built beneficial partnerships with state agencies. Many opportunities exist to further support your farm to school work after your grant concludes—take advantage of them!
- Webinar 4: Telling Your Farm to School Story: Your Farm to School program is a success – now, let’s share your story! You will hear from LaTrice Stirrup and Alanna McCoy, the minds behind Common Threads, an Illinois Farm to School grantee who shared their story with their strong social media game and local media. Learn from an Emmy Award winning TV news anchor, Tiffany Salameh, which story pitches catch her interest, how you can visually tell your farm to school story to the camera to the greatest effect, and how pitch your story to local media. The more your community and local leaders know about your farm to school program through various communication channels, the more volunteers, fiscal support, and engagement you can garner for your program moving forward.
- Seeding Success 2022
This 2022 webinar series provides engaging content and resources for Farm to School grantees around grant requirements, school gardens, the value of data tracking, procurement and successful teams.
- Seeding Success- Farm to School Grant Requirements: This pre-recorded webinar features USDA staff, who summarize grantee reporting requirements and review 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 1: Let it Grow! Sowing Knowledge in Edible Gardens: This webinar focuses on growing edible gardens in schools. USDA fiscal year 2021 Farm to School Turnkey Grant awardees from Denver Urban Gardens, Daleville Community Schools, and the Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area share their success stories of their edible garden projects.
- Webinar 2: Track It! How to Make Your Farm to School Efforts Count: This webinar discusses the importance of tracking local food purchases. USDA fiscal year 2020 Farm to School State Agency Grant awardee Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, shared the Vermont approach to assessing tracking strategies and implementing new tools and systems for data collection.
- Webinar 3: Purchasing Outside the Box: Local Procurement Beyond the Apple: This webinar shares creative ways to procure and incorporate local foods into school meals. This webinar features three amazing farm to school stakeholders from Uni Organic, Mineral County Tech Center, and Gulf of Maine Research Institute, whose stories take us from coast to coast, and dive into the ways they are getting local grains and proteins onto the trays of students in their local school districts.
- Webinar 4: Building a Culture of Farm to School: This webinar highlights the importance of local partnership, collaboration, and networking with other farm to school programs to ensure program success. USDA fiscal year 2021 Farm to School Implementation Grant awardee, Healthy Flavors Arkansas, shared their project and how they have successfully created a farm to school culture.
- 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.
- Webinar 1: Seeding Success Webinar Series Kickoff: 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.
- Webinar 2: Building Successful Teams: Part two of the Seeding Success series featuring USDA OCFS southeast regional lead Samantha Benjamin-Kirk, and Amanda Storey of Jones Valley Teaching Farm.
- Webinar 3: Finding, Buying, Serving, and Selling Local Food: Part three of the Seeding Success series featuring USDA OCFS mountain plains regional lead Andrea Alma.
- Webinar 4: Integrating Farm to School into Curriculum and Institution: Part four of the Seeding Success series 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.
- Webinar 5: Let's Get Growing - Working with School Gardens and Farms: 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.
- Webinar 6: Telling Your Story: 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.