Hello Farm to Fork Friends,
September is always a busy month for schools AND farmers, with harvest in full swing and kids back in the classrooms. It’s also fair season, and while we love a good corndog and all the midway attractions, it’s important to remember the agricultural aspect as well. State fairs were started to promote agriculture through competitive exhibitions of livestock and displays of farm products. The Utah State Fair runs September 8th-18th, and many county fairs happen this month as well. Will we see you there?
Finally, here’s a big shout out to Merit Prep Academy for hosting their annual Farm Day on September 23rd, amidst all the busyness. What exciting farm to fork plans do you have for this school year? Let us know on social media @utfarm2fork.
What to Harvest This Month
Get your hands on some sweet corn! Better yet, have your students get their hands on some sweet corn and have a shucking competition. As soon as corn is picked, all those delicious sugars start converting to starch, so it’s the perfect veggie to experience straight from the farm. Make sure you cook it as soon as you can to stop that conversion process and preserve that sweet summer freshness.
Join the Strategic Planning Conversation
On September 7th, from 3:00 pm-4:00 pm, we’ll be having a Zoom meeting to provide updates on our strategic planning process and gather your feedback. The meeting will be recorded for those who cannot make it, but we’d love to see you there. Click here to join the meeting.
Register Now for the Utah Apple Crunch
The 6th annual Utah Apple Crunch will be held on October 19, 2022. This is our annual celebration of National Farm to School Month, and we encourage everyone to join us by crunching down on a delicious Utah-grown apple. Registration and resources are posted at https://www.utfarmtofork.org/utah-apple-crunch. Remember, if you participate in the National School Lunch Program, Utah apples purchased for this celebration count towards your local purchase total for enhanced reimbursement.
Webinars & Trainings
Grow & Preserve Food Using NGSS/STEAM, September 21, 2022, 12:00 pm MT
Learn how to teach STEAM & NGSS concepts while preserving food! Presenters will share ideas to use STEAM in the garden to enhance student learning (square foot gardening & garden design, creating a pollinator, designing and demonstrating methods of seed dispersal). You will also learn easy recipes for preserving produce and how to use garden produce to create fundraising ideas and incorporate economic lessons. Learn more and register here.
Food Justice Film Festival, September 15-18, 2022
The Center for Biological Diversity is hosting the third annual virtual Food Justice Film Festival from Sept. 15-18. Register today for free access to four days of feature-length and short documentaries that explore the links between food justice, sovereignty and security, and environmental sustainability. During the festival we’ll also share panel discussions with filmmakers and activists. Learn more and register here.
Food Insecurity Across Indian Country During COVID-19
Indigenous cultures have a long history of deep connections to food and land, but many American Indian and Alaska Native communities experience high rates of food insecurity (both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic). These disparities are a result of the structural racism originating with colonization and continuing to the present. A key step in addressing food insecurity for Native populations is measuring and monitoring the issue, but there is no current comprehensive measure of food insecurity for Native populations. The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, Native American Agriculture Fund, and Food Research & Action Center teamed up to conduct a study of food insecurity across Indian Country during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report of their findings also highlights case studies, innovative programs, and action steps for the future. Read the report here.
Job Opportunities New Roots Farm Coordinator, International Rescue Committee, Salt Lake City
New Roots in Salt Lake City (New Roots SLC) is an innovative agriculture and food access program that provides opportunities for refugees to garden, start farm-based businesses, and access healthy, local, culturally appropriate produce. The New Roots Farm Coordinator will build the capacity of the New Roots Farm Training Program, through development and delivery of farmer training, acquisition of resources, and management of physical resources, staff, and volunteers. Learn more and apply here.
The CHS Foundation provides $500 grants each year to pre-kindergarten-12th grade teachers who have classroom projects that use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies and more. Eligible projects include classroom and schoolyard gardens, embryology projects, aquaculture projects and agricultural literacy reading programs to name a few. Teachers have until June 1 the following year to complete the project and submit a final report. Only state-certified classroom teachers employed by a school district or private school teachers are eligible to apply. Learn more and apply here. The application deadline is September 15, 2022.
Get Schools Cooking
Get Schools Cooking (GSC) is an intensive 3-year assessment and strategic planning program that provides public k-12 schools with the operational knowledge to transition from a heat & serve to scratch cook operational model. To be eligible, school districts must be firmly committed to working towards a scratch-cooked and fresh whole foods approach to their meal programs, demonstrate support for improvement from district leadership, participate in the National School Lunch Program, and run a self-operated food service program. Learn more and apply here. The application deadline is September 30, 2022.
In partnership with the Bee Cause Project, Whole Kids Foundation Bee Grants allow for schools and non-profit organizations to receive support for educational beehives and bee programming so students can observe bees up close and learn about the vital role these pollinators play in our food system. Learn more and apply here. The first application deadline is October 15, 2022.
Be sure to share your upcoming events, grant opportunities, and jobs with us so that we can share them here!