Register for 'Planning Farm to School Success' webinars

 The USDA Farm to School team has created 11  30-minute webinars to help you launch a successful farm to school program in 2016.  Register for them individually here or below.

The topics and times are listed below:

  1.      Intro to Farm to School: Planning and Building a Team: January 14, 1:00 PM EST
    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 Merinelli, Food Service Director from Milton Town, Vermont, joins us to share his first-hand experiences.
  2.      Setting goals and Establishing an Evaluation Baseline: January 28, 2:00 PM EST
    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. 
  3.      Finding and Buying Local Foods: February 4, 2:00 PM EST
    USDA Farm to School local food procurement guru, Christina Conell, breaks down the how to’s 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.
  4.      Farm to School Menu Planning: February 18, 2:00 PM EST
    Let’s bring local products to life on your school lunch and breakfast menus! This presentation will take you through the menu planning cycle and show you the 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.
  5.      Food Safety: March 3, 2:00 PM EST
    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.
  6.      Promoting Your Farm to School Program: March 17, 2:00 PM EDT
    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.
  7.      School Gardening: March 31, 2:00 PM EDT
    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.
  8.      Curriculum Integration: April 7, 2:00 PM EDT
    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.
  9.      Program Sustainability: April 28, 2:00 PM EDT
    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.  
  10.      Evaluating Your Program: May 12, 2:00 PM EDT
    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.
  11.      Tying it All Together and Digging In: May 26, 2:00 PM EDT
    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.
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