Resource | Webinars/Videos
Finding, Buying and Serving Local Foods - Conducting a Local Procurement Baseline Assessment

In 2014, the USDA Farm to School Program hosted a 12-part webinar series to showcase the variety of ways school districts can purchase local foods. The series starts with an introduction to basic procurement principles, and then walks participants through strategies and tactics for buying local foods.

Resource | Webinars/Videos
Finding, Buying and Serving Local Food - Introduction to Procurement

In this webinar, the first of the series, Christina Conell and Maggie Gosselin from USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, covered basic procurement fundamentals relevant to the Federal Child Nutrition Programs. Topics include informal and formal procurement methods and maintaining competition.

Resource | Webinars/Videos
Finding, Buying and Serving Local Foods - Using USDA Foods as Resource to Purchase Local

In this, the 10th webinar of the series, USDA's Farm to School Team turns its attention to USDA Foods. We discuss the history of the program and four ways USDA Foods can support districts in their local purchasing efforts. The Vermont Agency of Education shares how they have integrated USDA Foods into their local purchasing efforts.

Resource | Webinars/Videos
Finding, Buying and Serving Local Foods - Using the Informal Procurement Method

In this webinar, the fourth in the series, Christina Conell from USDA's Food and Nutrition Service discusses how schools can purchase local products using the informal method. It can be as easy as schools contacting three (or more!) local producers for price quotes. This session showcases stories and tips from Union Public Schools in Oklahoma and Kalispell Public Schools in Montana.

Resource | Webinars/Videos
Finding, Buying and Serving Local Foods - Finding Local Producers

In this webinar, the third in the series, Christina Conell, from USDA's Food and Nutrition Service discusses the variety of ways that schools can connect with local farmers, ranchers, and other food businesses. The webinar covers online connection tools, requests for information, the role of state farm to school coordinators and state departments of agriculture, and USDA resources such as the Farm Service Agency's field offices and Cooperative Extension resources. Guest speakers from the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Michigan State University and a Michigan farm will share their tips for connecting with producers.

Resource | Webinars/Videos
Finding, Buying and Serving Local Foods - Using Specifications to Target Local Products

In this webinar, the fifth in the series, we discuss how schools can purchase local products by using product specifications, vendor requirements and evaluation criteria. For example, schools can require that vendors offer farm visits or origin labeling, or a school might request a variety of product only grown in the nearby region.

Resource | Technical Assistance & Guidance
Procuring Local Foods

From beef and bison in Montana to apples in Michigan and radishes in Rhode Island, local foods are on the menu. The resources on this page will help ensure child nutrition program operators have the resources and knowledge necessary to incorporate local foods into their day-to-day operations. While many of the resources featured here were developed with K-12 schools in mind, much of the information is equally relevant to early childcare facilities and summer feeding sites.

Resource | Webinars/Videos
Finding, Buying and Serving Local Foods - Using Forward Contracts

The USDA Farm to School Program hosted a 12-part webinar series to showcase the variety of ways school districts can purchase local foods. The series starts with an introduction to basic procurement principles, and then walks participants through strategies and tactics for buying local foods. This is the 7th webinar in the series.

Resource | Webinars/Videos
Finding, Buying and Serving Local Foods - Using Geographic Preference

Next up in the procurement webinar series, this ninth webinar offers an in-depth look at how three districts are using geographic preference. We review some geographic preference basics, hear from the farm to school coordinator at Fayetteville Public Schools in Arkansas and discuss two other real-life examples of schools using geographic preference.

Resource | Webinars/Videos
Finding, Buying and Serving Local Food - Working with Distributors

In this webinar, the sixth in this series, USDA's Farm to School Team discusses how schools can purchase local products through distributors. A food service director from Tennessee and a farm to school coordinator from Georgia share how they've been able to work with distributors to buy local foods.