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Monthly Harvest - December 2023
December 2023 Hello Farm to Fork Friends! As the winter chill sets in, we find ourselves reflecting on the successes we've shared throughout 2023, but are even more excited for the connections planned for 2024. Enjoy a recap of our latest event for 2023, as well as how YOU can be involved in the year to come! Harvest Gratitude Day - At a Glance On November 16, we hosted Harvest Gratitude Day, an interactive, online learning experience for middle and high school students to learn about the importance of agriculture and where their food comes from. Thank you to our 2023 presenters! Commissioner Craig Buttars, Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Mike Mower, Senior Advisory on Community Outreach, Utah Governor’s Office Brittney Cummins, Senior Advisor for Education, Utah Governor’s Office Kent Pyne, Pyne Farms (Santaquin, UT) Matt Hess, Hess Dairy Farm (Garland, UT) Ron and Anita Murphy, R&A Hydroponics (West Jordan, UT)
Local Beef Feature: Snowden Meats
Follow along as Farm to Fork features local producers supplying meat for the Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement in Utah. Meet Sarajane Snowden, Owner and Manager of Snowden Meats! OUR MISSION: Inspiring healthy communities and family wellness, because we believe there’s nothing more valuable in this world than relationships. https://snowdenmeats.com/ Provide a brief history of your farm or ranch. My husband and I both grew up in the cattle industry. However, there was no room for us to expand directly with our families so we jumped into the cattle business for ourselves! We manage our cattle on private leased lands. It was during Covid when I (Sarajane) started Snowden Meats. There was a huge disconnect from the producer to consumer and I wanted to bridge that gap, so I started our meat company that provided our local community with high quality beef and from there it has grown! Tell us about your farming practices. Cattle are a really effective way to manage the mountain landscapes in our area. Similarly to mowing the lawn, when managed correctly cattle will stimulate healthy grass regrowth while grazing, along with promote soil health. Not only does grazing cattle promote good soil health and healthy grasses for themselves but for the natural wildlife also! If you watch wildlife, especially in the fall, they come out of the high country and will start nibbling on the fresh tender grasses! That regrowth, is from the areas that our livestock have previously grazed and healthy regrowth happens naturally! “The farm to fork movement has been huge in creating sustainability in our agricultural operation.” - Sarajane Snowden What sets your beef or bison apart? It starts with selecting good cow and bull genetics that will thrive in the environments that we raise them in. Because our herd is raised at high elevation with a short grass growing season we need to have efficient cattle that can maintain good body scores on a grass/hay diet for 5-6 months of the year. Then, they need to have a strong maternal instinct to raise their calf for 6 months on top of that! For our bulls we work to have genetics with calving ease to avoid any unnecessary stress at calving and extreme growth after birth. We want that calf to utilizes its mothers milk well, and gain healthy weight throughout its entire life even after weaning time. I believe what sets us apart is we take tons and tons of records to track our cows and which genetics thrive for us and which ones we need to weed out. We also have high integrity in the beef that we sell direct to consumers. We want the consumer to notice not only its quality flavor, but texture! We do not put any additives in our beef, so you are getting 100% beef, no added soy or dyes! Why do you love ranching? I love raising cattle, because of the purpose it has given me. This way of life is full of meaningful work. From a young age my father had roles for me from making calf tags, opening and closing the gates, to driving the feed wagon. We love our cows and want the best life for them, but we also understand what they are being raised for high quality nutrient rich meat! Cattle really are amazing, they can take grass and grain and convert it to a protein dense product! For several years I was not involved in agriculture, and I missed it! There is a joy that this industry gives you that I really can’t explain. My husband and I are thrilled to get to be involved in agriculture for ourselves, so our children can have similar experiences that we each had growing up. Enjoy this video created by Sam Decosta Photography , specifically for schools to show their students the behind the scenes of the ranch supply beef for the cafeteria! Learn more! Is your school participating in the LFS grant? Click here to download marketing materials to display in your cafeteria! Click here to learn more about the Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program (LFS) from the USDA. Click here to read the press release for the Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program (LFS) in Utah.
Monthly Harvest - November 2023
Hello Farm to Fork Friends! November is here and we have so much to celebrate and be thankful for! We are excited to share with you our achievements celebrating National Farm to School Month in October, as well as our upcoming Harvest Gratitude Day. Apple Crunch Day - At a Glance In addition to the 150 Kindergarten students we welcomed at the Utah State Capitol to celebrate Apple Crunch Day, many other schools and organizations throughout the state participated by hosting farmers markets and visiting their local apple orchards! In addition to our newsletter, stay tuned to the Farm to Fork Blog and social media as we continue to recognize how other organizations celebrated. It’s never too early to start gathering ideas for next year! Harvest Gratitude Day November 16, 2023 9:00 - 10:30 AM This year, we are excited to offer an online learning experience for middle and high school students to learn about the importance of agriculture and where their food comes from with virtual farm tours. If you are unable to attend, the event will be recorded and shared with all registered attendees. What to Harvest This Month The ground may be starting to freeze in some Utah regions, but it’s not too late to harvest cool season vegetables, like root vegetables and leafy greens. Don’t forget to plant your garlic! If you are fortunate to still have fresh, local apples in the fridge, try out this delicious Apple Slaw recipe! Get Involved! Peer Learning Groups - Applications now open! Interested in contributing to the success and long-term goals of Utah Farm to Fork? We are currently accepting applications for our first round of monthly Peer Learning Groups from the following three categories: Institutional Food Buyers Indoor Growing Local Health Departments
Applications are due November 30, 2023. Learn more here and apply today! Stay up to date with The Farm to School Podcast! Join hosts Michelle Markesteyn with Oregon State University, and Rick Sherman of Oregon Department of Education as they explore what it means to bring local food into the school cafeteria, and teach kids about where their food comes from. Listen to the podcast here! Resources & Trainings Making Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) Changes Sustainable : Farm to ECE and CDC's Spectrum of Opportunity - November 14: 2- PM EST Register here !
2023 Movement Meeting Recording - If you weren't able to join live for National Farm to School Network’s annual Movement Meeting, check out the recording to tune in! Food Justice Check out this study! Operationalizing Equity: How State Entities are Targeting Socially Disadvantaged Producers in USDA's LFS and LFPA Cooperative Agreement Programs
This study explores how state governments are using Local Food Purchase Assistance (LFPA) and Local Food for Schools (LFS) funding to develop or advance local food purchasing programs that target socially disadvantaged producers. Based on findings from a survey and interviews with state agencies, this study shares examples of how these programs are operationalizing equity in program design, measurement, outreach, and implementation. Job Opportunities Traditional Foods Program Director, Utah Diné Bikéyah Deadline: open until filled Location: Bluff, UT Utah Diné Bikéyah (UDB) is a 501(c)3 organization with a mission to preserve and protect Native American cultural and natural resources on traditional lands in San Juan County, Utah. A primary objective of UDB & the Diné Bikéyah conservation project is the establishment of the Bears Ears National Monument & the creation of a management plan that integrates traditional knowledge. UDB also advocates for policies that will protect Hopi, Zuni, and other Native American interests on this landscape. Learn more and apply here. Executive Director, National Farm to School Network Deadline Extended: November 6, 2023. $100k-$120k, FT, Remote. NFSN seeks an Executive Director who leads innovation and strategic growth toward accomplishing the mission of the organization. In partnership with the NFSN advisory board, partner organizations, and national staff, the Executive Director is responsible for implementation of the NFSN strategic plan through organizational communication, programming and operations, ensuring long term financial sustainability, and advancing the farm to school movement. Responsible for shaping the vision and future direction of the organization, the Executive Director will seek opportunities for expanding partnerships and funders in order to scale impact so that farm to school and ECE are sustainably implemented across communities. Learn more and apply here . Do you have a farm to fork job opportunity you'd like us to share? Let us know! Jobs must be located in Utah or fully remote. Funding Opportunities Partnerships for Local Agriculture & Nutrition Transformation in Schools (PLANTS) Chef Ann Foundation is seeking proposals for projects led by groups of local partners with systemic and equity-driven approaches to transforming school food supply chains. Projects should seek to build and strengthen relationships among community-based food system stakeholders and School Food Authorities (SFAs) as well as expand scratch cooking in schools in order to build more nourishing school meal programs . Applications open November 27. Sign up to receive updates .
Green Our Planet is now accepting applications for their GardenConnect and HydroConnect programming, training teachers to use school gardens and hydroponics laboratories to teach students STEM, conservation, nutrition and entrepreneurship in a hands-on engaging way. This grant opportunity is open to public, private, and charter schools. Applications are due November 7, 2023. Be sure to share your upcoming events, grant opportunities, and jobs with us so that we can share them here! P.S. Did you know you can download cafeteria signs like these from our website? Visit www.utfarmtofork.org/marketing to check them out.
Apple Crunch Day Farmer's Market at Majestic Elementary School
Written by Cara Page, intern for Jordan School District's Nutrition Services For this year’s Apple Crunch Day celebration, Jordan School District Nutrition Services held a mini Farmer’s Market at Majestic Elementary School. The goal of the event was for the students to EAT, LEARN, and PLAY. Punch cards were handed out to each student as they exited the cafeteria for their lunch recess. If they visited all three booths and got all the apples on their cards punched, they got to pick an apple-related prize (pencils, erasers, stickers, etc.)!
Each table was set up to give the students exposure to local produce and information about farm-to-school. At one table the kids played with the Farm Pop Ups found in the Apple Crunch Resources on the Farm to Fork website. After playing with the pop ups in small groups, they got to pick a few pop up templates to make at home.
At another table, the students participated in a taste panel to test which of three varieties of apples they liked the best. Each student was given bite-sized pieces of Fuji, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious apples. Based on the stickers that were placed on the corresponding posters, Granny Smith was by far the favorite!
The third booth was a “Purchase a Local Apple” where students could take an apple from Pyne Farms, a farm located in Santaquin, UT. Jordan School District partnered with Pyne Farms to purchase apples for not only the farmers market at Majestic Elementary, but for every student in the district. Some of the apples were nearly as big as the kids’ faces!
The event was a success! The students loved doing something different during recess. They loved that they had to get their card punched before moving onto the next table. And they loved how big and delicious the apples from Pyne Farms were! Some of the comments made by students throughout the event were:
“I LOVE apples!”
“This Apple Crunch Day is way better than last year!”
“Thanks for planning this fun activity!” Congratulations Jordan School District on a successful Apple Crunch Day celebration! Are you ready to celebrate Apple Crunch Day with your group? Register today !
Corn Husking to Connect Students with Local Farms and Meal Prep
Learn more about Box Elder School District's latest initiative to support local farmers and engage students in cafeteria meal prep. Corn is more than just a favorite food during summer barbeques; it's a crop that holds a deep-rooted connection to our agricultural history. In an effort to celebrate this ancient crop and provide students with a hands-on learning experience, Box Elder School District partnered with a local farmer from the Garland area, Shaffer Farms , to purchase local corn for eight schools in their district, including Golden Spike Elementary, Three Mile Creek Elementary, Willard Elementary, Fielding Elementary, Garland Elementary, Lake View Elementary, North Park Elementary, and Bear River Middle School. Shaffer Farms delivered the corn to the district's central warehouse, where it was then delivered to each school. Students were given the responsibility of husking the corn before it was then taken to their school kitchens to be cooked and served to enjoy! The result? Students experienced the benefits of biting into local and the transformation of an ear of corn into a delicious, edible treat. Thank you Valeree Durbin, Child Nutrition Personnel Coordinator at Box Elder School District, for providing the experience and photos!
Youth Gardening is Growing in Millard County
Millard County Extension has done a tremendous job of supporting kids garden programs. Learn more about their efforts in this guest post from Eva Timothy, USU Professional Practice Extension Assistant Professor. In 2020 the Millard County Extension office obtained a Specialty Crop Block grant through the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. The purpose of this grant was to teach youth ages 8 to 11 how to plan, plant, grow, glean, cook with, and preserve garden fresh foods and herbs. Through collaboration with the Fillmore Elementary School and the Millard County School District, USU Extension of Millard County was able to take a dilapidated garden area and convert it into an outdoor learning space. This area is not only used by youth in the garden program but also by staff and their classes. Additionally, in the summer of 2023, another educational community gardening effort was put into place in the western region of Millard County. Here the Create Better Health Ambassador partnered with the Delta North Elementary staff, students, and families to care for the school garden. The Ambassador also worked with the local Future Farmers of America teacher, local USU Extension Agriculture and Family Consumer Science faculty, and local farmers to provide educational lessons and experiences to youth and their caregivers. The 4-H Fillmore Elementary (FE) Garden Club and the Ambassador gardening programs served to provide an additional source of food to residents in an area that is classified as a food desert. As of September 2023, Millard County Extension has offered 50 classes to youth, adults, or a combination of both. From April to August, youth gathered weekly to learn about agriculture, food preparation, and food preservation practices. The participants were taught using lessons from Utah Agriculture in the Classroom , KidsGardening , Discover 4-H , and Create Better Health’s Create Healthy Gardens. Surveys conducted among youth for the 4-H FE Garden Club showed: 85% Want to grow a garden as a result of participation 100% Want to save food from a garden for later use as a result of participation 85% Understand that they can save foods from a garden for later use 66% Know that eating foods saved from their garden is healthy for their body 85% can identify 3 locations in their community where they could get fruits, vegetables, and herbs From 2021-2023, these educational community gardens distributed 918.9 pounds of food to youth and families participating in school community gardening and individuals utilizing the local food banks of Millard County. These local garden efforts are fortunate to have been supported by local businesses as well. Sungro of Fillmore, UT has been a great supporter by donating 4 pallets of soil for grow boxes. Mountain View Mushroom of Fillmore, UT also donated compost to amend the soil of the Fillmore Elementary garden. The local Health Department has awarded stipends to aid in the implementation of gardening. We have had a wealth of local community support that has ensured the offering of quality educational programming that has afforded our community additional food sources. Images left to right: the garden beds at Fillmore Elementary School, Delta students pose with their produce, the garden beds at Delta North Elementary School. Want to learn more about getting started with school gardens in Utah? Visit https://www.utfarmtofork.org/schoolgardenresources for guides on planning, fundraising, growing, and food safety.
Monthly Harvest - October 2023
Hello Farm to Fork Friends! October is National Farm to School Month! Join us and thousands of schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities and organizations across the country as we celebrate food education, school gardens and lunch trays filled with healthy, local ingredients. Please share your celebrations with us by tagging @utfarm2fork and use the hashtags #farmtoschool #farmtoschoolmonth and #UTapplecrunch. Are you hosting an event for Apple Crunch Day? Don’t forget to register your organization to count towards our goal of 200,000 participants! What to Harvest This Month Your zucchini plants should be calling it quits for the fall, and you may begin harvesting your winter squash. If your squash isn’t ready to harvest yet, be prepared with blankets or frost cloth to protect them from the cold. When you do harvest, try out these kid friendly ways to serve up Butternut Squash ! Looking to stay up to date on other speciality crops in Utah? Check out Utah Public Radio's Cropping Up podcasts, featuring short episodes highlighting specialty crops and the role they play in bringing access to fresh food across Utah. Get Involved! Harvest Gratitude Day November 16, 2023 (Time TBD) Utah Farm to Fork is excited to celebrate Harvest Gratitude Day in honor of the hard-working farmers and ranchers who provide food for our tables. Join the Utah Department of Agriculture (UDAF) and the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) for an interactive, online learning experience for middle and high school students to learn about the importance of agriculture and where their food comes from. More details to come. Register your group today! New resources now available on the Utah Farm to Fork website! Local Beef and Bison Cafeteria Posters- Let your school and visitors know that you are participating in the Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement! Custom posters are available to showcase the exact ranch providing for your district. Click here to download ! Dairy West Posters - We are excited to announce our latest partnership with Dairy West to create cafeteria posters that showcase to students where dairy, vegetables, protein, grains and fruit are produced in Utah. Visit the Dairy West website to download today ! Just passed! The USDA has implemented proposed changes to the The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) allowing millions of more students to access free school meals. Previously, schools qualified for CEP if at least 40% of students identify as low-income. Now, the threshold has been lowered t0 25%, opening doors for 9 million more students to access nutritious school meals. Learn more about the program. Resources & Trainings National Farm to School Network - 2023 Movement Meeting October 26, 2023, 1:00 - 3:00 PM MT National Farm to School Network's 2023 Movement Meeting is officially scheduled for October 26! This is a FREE event taking place virtually on Zoom. Movement Meetings are a space for farm to school and farm to early care and education advocates to gather to celebrate, connect, inspire, and grow together. Register here now. Farm to School Coordinators Community of Practice The Farm to School CoP is a two-year collaborative space for eight farm to school coordinators where members will engage in peer-learning and co-develop strategies to navigate farm to school implementation and bring learnings back to their work. Learn more about the requirements and apply today! Food Justice The New Roots program is an essential effort by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), provide support for refugees to celebrate their heritage and nourish themselves and their neighbors by planting strong roots—literally—in their new communities. Support their efforts by visiting their last few farmers markets for the season or shopping with their wholesale partners . Job Opportunities Utah State University has multiple openings for Create Better Health Ambassadors to provide nutrition education to low income families. Visit the USU Job Board and search “Create Better Health” to find an opportunity near you! Do you have a farm to fork job opportunity you'd like us to share? Let us know! Jobs must be located in Utah or fully remote.
Do you have a farm to fork job opportunity you'd like us to share? Let us know! Jobs must be located in Utah or fully remote. Funding Opportunities Utah Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) is awarding ten $500 awards to Utah pre-kindergarten through 12th grade core education teachers (currently teaching) whose innovative classroom projects use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, healthy lifestyles, science, or social studies. The deadline for award applications is October 6, 2023 at midnight. Apply today! Green Our Planet is now accepting applications for their GardenConnect and HydroConnect programming, training teachers to use school gardens and hydroponics laboratories to teach students STEM, conservation, nutrition and entrepreneurship in a hands-on engaging way. This grant opportunity is open to public, private, and charter schools. Applications are due November 7, 2023. Be sure to share your upcoming events, grant opportunities, and jobs with us so that we can share them here! P.S. Did you know you can download cafeteria signs like these from our website? Visit www.utfarmtofork.org/marketing to check them out.
Monthly Harvest - September 2023
Hello Farm to Fork Friends!
Seasons change and so do we! We are excited to announce the growth of our team by hiring a Farm to School Marketing Specialist under the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food to help expand our network of farmers, assist with social media and more! Stay tuned to our blog for an upcoming press release. What to Harvest This Month Grab your favorite reusable bag as peaches will continue to fill booths at your local farmers market through September. Savor summer by canning your favorite peach variety or creating this simple Harvest of the Season recipe for Peaches and Cream Overnight Oats .
Let us know what you think-- tag us on social media @utfarm2fork on Instagram and @utahfarmtofork on Facebook.
If you live in the Salt Lake area, follow @blackbearpeaches on Instagram to find peaches near you! Get Involved! Peer Learning Groups - Coming soon!
Interested in sharing your unique skillsets and interests to contribute to the success and long-term goals of Utah Farm to Fork? We will soon be accepting applications for our first round of monthly Peer Learning Sessions from the following three categories:
1) Local Health Departments
2) Indoor Growing (e.g. hydroponics, aquaponics) 3) Institutional Food Buyers.
Stay tuned! More details to come.
Register for the Greatest Crunch on Earth!
Apple Crunch Day will be here before you know it-- it's always the last Wednesday in October, which this year falls on October 25th . This is a great intro to farm to school if you're just getting started. And if you're an old pro, it's a great way to show off all that you can do. Learn more about the event and register here . Schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program are able to count local apples purchased for the event towards their enhanced local reimbursement. Resources & Trainings Save the Date! National Farm to School Network's 2023 Movement Meeting is officially scheduled for October 26, 3:00 PM Eastern (1:00 PM Mountain). This is a FREE event taking place virtually on Zoom. Movement Meetings are a space for farm to school and farm to early care and education advocates to gather to celebrate, connect, inspire, and grow together. Stay tuned for registration .
Food Hub Feasibility Study Webinar Series
This series will be of interest to all who are in any way connected to our food supply – farmers, farmers markets, supermarkets, food banks, etc. The Food Hub Feasibility Study webinar series explores the findings of a study conducted by Saratoga CCE, which was funded by the USDA’s 2021 Local Food Promotion Program grant. Through research, analysis, and on-the-ground work, this study details available and potential markets for local foods. They offer recommendations to best service the local food system that considers distribution, infrastructure, farm-to-institution, food access, the emergency food system, and climate change.
Proof of Concept Food Hub and Farm To School - September 6, 12pm EST
Food Access - September 13, 12pm EST
Distribution, Markets, and Emissions - September 20, 12pm EST
Infrastructure Expansion - September 27, 12pm EST
Sign up and attend as many or as few as you like. Each webinar is designed to stand alone, but the full interdisciplinary picture of the food system is best seen through the full series. Links will be emailed to registered participants. Learn more and register here. Food Justice Food Justice Coalition is seeking volunteers! Contribute time, enrich lives, create impact and fosters togetherness in our community. Opportunities include assisting with food preparation for Salt Lake’s unsheltered community and assisting with farming projects. Sign up today! Job Opportunities Edith Bowen School Food Service Worker - Utah State University, Logan, UT
Assist Edith Bowen Laboratory School Child Nutrition Director with preparation, serving and cleaning up of school lunch for K-6 elementary students every school day for the school year. Dependability and reliability are a must. Click here to apply.
Childcare Cook - La Petite Academy, Lehi, UT
The Child Care Cook, Food Specialist, is responsible for overall food preparation for the school’s enrolled children. This role should be able to adapt to menu changes and meet meal and snack schedules. Click here to apply.
Do you have a farm to fork job opportunity you'd like us to share? Let us know! Jobs must be located in Utah or fully remote. Funding Opportunities USDA Farm to School Technical Assistance Cooperative Agreement
This opportunity is for 501c3 nonprofits or Indian Tribal Organizations. Awardees under this cooperative agreement will undertake projects supporting USDA’s priorities of Food System Transformation, Improving Child Health through Nutritious School Meals, and Indigenous Food Sovereignty. To learn more and apply, view the opportunity on grants.gov . Application closes October 10, 2023
No Kid Hungry Grants - Rolling Applications
Running a successful meals program requires more than food. School cafeterias and community centers need equipment like refrigerators and coolers. If you are looking to purchase equipment for your cafeteria, submit a Grant Inquiry today. Be sure to share your upcoming events, grant opportunities, and jobs with us so that we can share them here! P.S. Did you know you can download cafeteria signs like these from our website? Visit www.utfarmtofork.org/marketing to check them out.
Eight Utah Food Service Programs Qualify for Extra Funding
Did you know that Utah is one of only 12 states that offer child nutrition program operators financial incentives to buy and serve locally grown food? The idea behind these programs is that they allow farmers to receive a fair price for their products while relieving the cost burden on schools. In Utah, the program started with the 2021-2022 school year and is funded by state liquor tax. This year, eight Utah food service programs received additional year-end payments ranging from $6,700 to $70,000 to compensate them for the extra effort and cost incurred when serving Utah-grown food to their students. The funding recipients are: Emery School District Guadalupe School Millard School District Murray School District Salt Lake City School District Sevier School District Tooele School District Wasatch Waldorf Charter School We applaud these local food leaders! Popular local items purchased under this program were apples, peaches, dried cherries, onions, mushrooms, green beans, zucchini, yogurt, and cheese. We owe our partners at Dairy West a big thank you for helping us determine which Utah dairy processors use milk from Utah cows! Locally raised and processed meats are also eligible for this program, and we hope to see more schools making those purchases in the future. Click here to learn more about Utah's Enhanced Local Reimbursement Program . The National Farm to School Network is also holding a series of flash talks from states with local purchase incentive programs. Utah will be presenting on August 14th at 12:30 pm. Learn more about these events and register here .
Monthly Harvest- August 2023
Hello Farm to Fork Friends! Summer is in full swing! We hope that you are enjoying the sun and hopefully harvesting from your gardens or visiting farmers market for local produce! Speaking of farmers markets, did you know that National Farmers Market Week is August 6-12 ? Check out our Get Involved section to learn how you can participate. What to Harvest this Month Tomatoes are here! As are all our other delicious summer superstars like eggplant, zucchini, and basil. Check out our Harvest of the Season recipe for Cheesy Ratatouille Pasta . This recipe was developed especially for Utah schools by Chef Cyndie and her talented team at Culinary Solutions. Let us know what you think-- tag us on social media @utfarm2fork on Instagram and @utahfarmtofork on Facebook. Get Involved! Celebrate National Farmers Market Week Utah legislators and local agriculture partners will be having a kickoff press conference on Wednesday, August 2nd at 3:30 pm at the IRC New Roots Redwood Farm . Come visit an inspiring local agriculture program and hear from a variety of speakers. Do you work for or with a farmers market? Farmers Market Coalition will hook you up with a free promotional toolkit to help you boost market attendance and visibility. Register for the toolkit here . Register for the Greatest Crunch on Earth! Apple Crunch Day will be here before you know it-- it's always the last Wednesday in October, which this year falls on October 25th . This is a great intro to farm to school if you're just getting started. And if you're an old pro, it's a great way to show off all that you can do. Learn more about the event and register here . Schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program are able to count local apples purchased for the event towards their enhanced local reimbursement. Resources and Trainings How to Host a Site Visit Are you planning a special event this fall (like Apple Crunch Day)? Showcasing your program in person is one of the most impactful ways to advocate for farm to school. Some officials may have never heard of farm to school or related efforts before, and site visits are a great opportunity for them to learn more. This recorded webinar from the National Farm to School Network covers how and why to host a site visit for government officials at any level. If you'd like help planning a visit of your own, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nibbles and Sprouts Officially Launches! Our friend Dr. Bonnie just launched her pediatric culinary coaching practice, Nibbles and Sprouts . Dr. Bonnie (a board certified pediatrician and professionally trained chef!) aims to provide evidence-based insights to help parents of children ten years old and younger learn to prepare wholesome foods their children will eat, and to help children savor foods that are healthiest for them. This is an especially great resource for our childcare centers and family daycare home providers. Check out the great information available on her website . Food Justice Equitable Language: Why It Matters August 31, 2023, 11:00 am MT Words have power and the way in which we do our work relies greatly on how we communicate and engage with the audience we are trying to reach. Our language - from the words we use in our communication tools and events, to terminology, framing and representation – can have an immense impact on the communities we serve. Using equitable language is a skill that can be learned and applied-- this 1.5 hour webinar will help participants identify strategies for using equitable language in community engagement work. Although geared toward prevention professionals, the techniques are broadly applicable in farm to fork work as well! Learn more and register here . Job Opportunities Do you have a farm to fork job opportunity you'd like us to share? Let us know! Jobs must be located in Utah or fully remote. Funding Opportunities Bee Grants Are you interested in hosting bees at your school? The Bee Grant program through Whole Kids Foundation allows for K-12 schools or non-profit organizations that serve any grades K-12 to start a new or enhance an existing bee program hosting live bees on their campus. The application opens September 1st , so now is a perfect time to start planning. Learn more here . USDA Farm to School Technical Assistance Cooperative Agreement This opportunity is for 501c3 nonprofits or Indian Tribal Organizations. Awardees under this cooperative agreement will undertake projects supporting USDA’s priorities of Food System Transformation, Improving Child Health through Nutritious School Meals, and Indigenous Food Sovereignty. To learn more and apply, view the opportunity on grants.gov . The application closes October 10, 2023 . Be sure to share your upcoming events, grant opportunities, and jobs with us so that we can share them here!
Teachers Experience Agriculture Firsthand at Summer Institute
This is a guest post from Kaitlyn Lunt, Communications Assistant for Utah Agriculture in the Classroom. We'll be partnering with Utah AITC on their Summer Institutes for the next three years! On June 5-7, 2023, teachers from all over the state of Utah attended Utah Agriculture in the Classroom’s annual Summer Agriculture Institute in Cache Valley. These teachers came from various backgrounds including agricultural education, family and consumer sciences education, and elementary education. During the institute, teachers learned more about the farm to fork process by experiencing production firsthand during farm tours and hearing from professionals in the industry. Participants had the opportunity to go on many farm tours during the conference. They started at Cache County Extension learning about cooking in the classroom from Jenna Dyckman, Home and Community Department. Teachers learned new recipes to take back to their classrooms and even got to make some of the recipes themselves! They continued their tour with Cache County Extension at a local community garden where JayDee Gunnell, horticulture specialist, showed highlights of the garden and offered advice on how to start a garden at school. The garden utilizes various growing practices to produce local foods. Matt Bangerter from IFA gave a tour of his beehives in North Logan where teachers had the opportunity to suit up and see an up-close demonstration with the bees. Zollinger’s Fruit & Tree Farm also provided a tour of their family’s operation and shared facts about apples and cider production. Did you know that to get the best tasting apple juice you need to use the juice from many different varieties of apples? Farm tours continued the next day at Central Milling. Central Milling is a flour mill that has been operating in Utah since 1867. They pride themselves on being the farmer, the miller, and the baker. They shared their full farm to fork process from working with local Utah organic wheat farmers, carefully crafting the wheat into a flour that meets each of their baker’s specific purposes, and then delivering that flour to bakers all over the country. Teachers experienced USU’s very own cow-to-cone process starting at the USU Caine Dairy where teachers learned about different breeds of dairy cows and how USU implements advanced technology to meet each cow’s individual needs. Teachers even got to see the robotic milkers in action! The cow-to-cone process continued with a tour of the USU Aggie Creamery. This is where the milk from the USU Caine Dairy is taken to create famous Aggie ice cream and cheese. Next, teachers traveled to the Aggie Chocolate Factory where they witnessed the process of how single-origin chocolate is made from bean-to-bar. They even taste-tested different kinds of chocolate and learned about the unique flavors. Tours ended at the USU Teaching Greenhouse where teachers learned about plant production and received tips on greenhouse maintenance. Participants also heard from farm to fork experts during the conference. Kate Wheeler, Utah State Board of Education child nutrition specialist, spoke to teachers about the Utah Farm to fork Program. Then Dr. Carrie Durward, nutrition specialist at Utah State University, provided information about the importance of nutrition in childhood education. During the institute, teachers participated in various teaching workshops. These workshops included lesson demonstrations from the Utah Agriculture in the Classroom Agricultural Literacy Curriculum Matrix . Teachers went home with resource bags of lesson kits and a greater knowledge of the farm to fork process that can be applied to their classroom instruction. Are you interesting in participating in one of these great workshops next summer? Visit https://utah.agclassroom.org/teacher/newsletters/ to sign up for the Utah Agriculture in the Classroom newsletter, and be the first to know when registration opens.
Family Day Care Providers Step Up to Squash Summer Hunger!
As part of the Squash Summer Hunger 2023 festivities, one of our amazing Family Day Care Home providers, Sylvia Abalos, hosted a summer squash week at her in-home child care. The children in her care participated in activities such as learning songs about squash, learning different names of squash in English, Spanish, AND American Sign Language, and various other squash activities and crafts throughout the week. On Thursday, June 29th, Sylvia hosted two specialists from the Community Programs team at USBE who helped read The Ugly Pumpkin to the children, helped facilitate a squash painting activity, a squash scavenger hunt, AND were able to try Sylvia’s delicious zucchini recipe that she made for snack for the children to try. Sylvia even had over a dozen various squash plants growing in her front and back yards! The children really seemed to enjoy all the different activities provided and even sported handmade Summer Squash Week nametags and all the children were sent home with squash seed packets to grow at home! Sylvia is a super star, we are so grateful for her going above and beyond with everything she does. Sylvia is also a Harvest of the Season Micro-Grant recipient for both gardens and local food taste tests. You can clearly see her passion with working with children and promoting farm to fork efforts in her care! Congrats Sylvia! You can learn more about the Squash Summer Hunger Promotion at www.utfarmtofork.org/squash-summer-hunger. We hope you join us next year!