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Showing posts from September, 2017


Minnesota’s Farm to School Leadership Team is excited to launch a quarterly newsletter to strengthen our statewide network. The newsletter is intended for all farm to school stakeholders — whether you are a foodservice professional, a farmer, a teacher or a food-loving family, we hope you find a helpful morsel or two in every newsletter. Our success depends on you. We encourage you to tap into the network for resources and support, and tell us what would be helpful to see each quarter. We look forward to connecting, celebrating, and highlighting the many farm to school initiatives happening across our state! Contact us anytime at to share your ideas, feedback, and questions.

Farm To School Month

October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections that are happening all over the country between schools and local food. To learn more, visit Farm to School Month website . October 5 — Serve local on Minnesota Thursday! Join schools across the state and the region on Oct. 5 by featuring a lunch tray that provides students a first-hand look at some local and regional foods. Learn more and register . October 12 — Get your crunch on! Sign up to participate in the Fourth Annual Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch. This is a simple way to feature your Farm to School work in a loud way. At noon on Oct. 12, students, staff and other stakeholders from across the Great Lakes region will bite into a healthy, delicious, local apple.

AGRI Farm to School Grants

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will again make Agricultural Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI)  Farm to School  and  Farm to Early Care and Education Grants  available for schools and early care and education organizations. The MDA will award up to $400,000 to eligible institutions to increase the use of Minnesota grown and raised foods through planning grants, or equipment purchases and physical improvements. Barb Schank from Waconia Public Schools prepares stuffing for homemade ravioli using their new pasta machine funded by the AGRI Farm to School Grant program.

New Toolkit for Direct Purchasing of Local Food

Minnesota has a NEW Toolkit for Direct Purchasing of Local Food, created from the early experiences and success of Rippleside Elementary in Aitkin County. This toolkit is intended for use by school districts, as well as other types of food service, for procurement of local food directly from farmers.

Minnesota School Nutrition Association Conference Recap

Over 850 school food service professionals attended the Minnesota School Nutrition Association Conference in Duluth last month, where everyone had the opportunity to learn about how to get involved in Farm to School. Vicki Spetlz and Lori LaBrec from Lewiston Altura crunch into an apple during the 2017 MSNA conference.

Upcoming Events

Webinar: Celebrate Farm to School Month and the MDA Farm to School Grant Each week, the Minnesota Department of Education hosts a Tuesdays @ 2 p.m webinar. On Sept. 26, the topic will focus on Farm to School. Join the conversation. 2017 Agricultural Education Listening Session Join the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council as they develop a blueprint for Agriculture, Food & Natural Resource Education across Minnesota. RSVP at by Oct. 1. 9th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference This is the only national gathering of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement, making it the premiere opportunity to learn, network and collaborate with like minded leaders from across the country. Learn more and sign up for updates at .