Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2020

Farm to School Newsletter - October 2020

  Hello Everyone, Time flies when you’re crunching local apples, and we’re already over half way through this year’s Farm to School + Early Care Education (ECE) Month. At the beginning of October, our Farm to School + ECE Leadership team was eager to kick things off knowing that the 2020 registration provided a variety of ways for everyone to participate. Despite the challenging and sometimes discouraging nature of this year, over 65,000 people have registered to crunch so far! That is remarkable and I want to give an enormous thank you to everyone who took the time to register.  Although this celebratory month is going by quickly, it also launches us into a new season of opportunities to engage in Farm to School programming and to continue sharing on-the-ground successes. Just this week, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) opened two grant applications that invite MN schools to grow their Farm to School programming regardless of having prior experience,

USDA 2021 Farm to School Grant Request for Applications is Now Open!

Contributed by: Stephanie Heim, University of Minnesota Extension USDA will award up to $10 million in competitive grants to eligible entities. Each grant helps implement farm to school programs that increase access to local food in eligible schools, connect children with agriculture for better health, and inspire youth to consider careers in agriculture. There are three funding tracks available and new for FY 2021, institutions operating the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) at non-school based sites are included in the definition of eligible schools and may apply for funding. The deadline to apply is January 8th, 2020. Learn mor

Apply for an AGRI Farm to School Grant! Contributed by: Jackie Billhymer, University of Minnesota Extension

 Contributed by: Jackie Billhymer, University of Minnesota Extension This year, two tiers of Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Farm to School grants are available through the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. This grant funding supports public or private school districts that participate in the National School Lunch Program and serve food to K-12 students. School districts serving sovereign nations are encouraged to apply. Both applications are due by 4 p.m. on December 18, 2020. Below is key information about each grant and a link to their official application pages where full details can be found.  AGRI First Bite Mini Grant  provides an intentional learning process to school districts that have little to no experience procuring local food as part of the Farm to School Program. Eligible projects will receive between $2,500 - $5,000 to focus on high-impact Farm to School efforts that highlight local food. No matching funds are required. AGRI Full Tray Grant  s

A New Pilot to Support Farm to School!

 Contributed by: Helen Schnoes, Minnesota Department of Agriculture Introducing PARSNIP -   Pilot to Accelerate Regional Support for Nutrition at Institutions from Producers. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is looking to contract with one organization to execute a regional farm to school coordination pilot and provide recommendations to the MDA and partners about promising models and approaches for future regional Farm to School support in Minnesota.   The MDA will hold a webinar on Thursday, October 29 at 3pm to review the open Request for Proposals. Participants will be able to submit questions that will be answered via email after the webinar. Register for the webinar . To receive a copy of the Request for Proposals, and to submit a question about the RFP, email Helen Schnoes at Questions must be submitted by Friday, October 30 at 4pm to be answered as part of this process. Final proposals will be due Friday, November 13 at 4pm to Emily Jerve, emil

Farm to School Month in the News / Sprout Marketplace

  Farm to School Month in the News Aurora, MN Schools Celebrate Farm to School Month. Learn how their Farm to School Coordinator has adapted their program to meet the needs of a hybrid educational model!     Sprout Marketplace Learn how this food hub , located in the Brainerd Lakes area, is focused on strengthening the local food system in central Minnesota.