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Monthly Harvest - May 2024

Monthly Harvest - May 2024

May 2024 Hello Farm to Fork Friends! We're excited to share that our team has wrapped up our Movement Building Workshops for the year, culminating in a weekend at Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch . There, we explored regenerative farming practices, deepening our commitment to sustainability. Learn more about our partnership and its impact here ! We've also concluded our first annual Raising the Steaks promotion! Take a look at our successes below, and stay tuned for highlights from those who joined in the celebration across the state. What to Harvest This Month Once the final frost threat has passed, it's time to plant your warm-season vegetables and annual flowers. Check the average dates for the first and last frosts in your area  to ensure optimal timing. Strawberries are among the earliest perennials to bear fruit. Consider serving up a delicious batch of our unique Strawberry Bread Harvest  of the Season recipe in your cafeteria this month. Get Involved! Squash Summer Hunger  |  Registration opens June 1st! As June approaches, we're gearing up for our second Annual Promotion of the year: Squash Summer Hunger! This engaging event aims to raise awareness about summer meals programs and make the most of the abundance of squash during the summer months. Each year during the last week of June, we invite Utah kids and families to visit a summer meal site and join us in celebrating the versatility of summer squash. Squash Summer Hunger is not only a fantastic way to embrace delicious local produce but also an opportunity to educate kids about the origins of their food and show support for local farmers.  It’s not too late to start planning! Download the Toolkit  today! USDA Announces Final Updates to the School Nutrition Standards Last week, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service announced the updated nutrition standards for schools, early care and education sites, and out of school programs. The new rules contain major wins for farm to school, including a measure to simplify local purchasing. ‎ Under the new rules, child nutrition programs will now be able to use “locally grown,” “locally raised,” or “locally caught” as a specific requirement for unprocessed or minimally processed food items. Basically, this removes a lot of the complexity that child nutrition programs had to navigate in order to purchase local food. School cafeterias and child care programs can now purchase local foods more easily! ‎ Visit the USDA website  to learn more about the Final Rule and other updates to the child nutrition standards. Resources and Trainings Child Nutrition Programs Final Rule: Updates to the CACFP & SFSP Meal Patterns  |  Thursday, May 16 | 12:00 PM MT  |  Register here! Join us for a webinar with USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) as they provide an overview of the Child Nutrition Programs Final Rule: Updates to the CACFP & SFSP Meal Patterns. Can't make it to the live session? Register anyway to receive the recording and watch on demand! Supporting Trans & Gender Non-Conforming Youth in the Garden  | Wednesday, May 22  |  12:00 PM MT  | Register here! Gender expansive youth represent a growing demographic of students who utilize school gardens and outdoor classrooms. In spite of this, many programs continue to be built around traditional gender roles, from introducing classes as "Ladies and Gentlemen" to the ways that educators discuss the plants and animals in the garden. This webinar will provide research, resources, and information on ways to support Transgender and Gender Nonconforming (TGNC) youth in outdoor spaces. Starting from basic adjustments to everyday language, we will expand to challenge ourselves to create more accepting, welcoming spaces and lessons for our students. Conference Opportunities: ASPHN's 2024 Farm to Early Care and Education Convening   |  June 11-13, 2024 in Minneapolis, MN 2024 Native Youth in Food and Agriculture Leadership Summi t  |  July 15-23, 2024 at University of Arkansas Resources: Rural Health Network's Farm to ECE Outreach Materials - The first resource is state/national  as well as local  guides for Gardening with ECE Students. The second resource is title "What's Next? Starting your Farm to ECE Program", and there are state/national  as well as local  guides for this resource as well.
Eating Learning Growing: A Delicious Guide to Culturally Relevant Farm to School Education  - This resource embodies Center for Ecoliteracy's core principle — Nature Is Our Teacher — by sharing how diversity, including diversity in human communities, is a foundation for healthy patterns of living and a healthier planet. It provides a framework, activities, and reflections that help educators enhance farm to school lessons to make them more culturally relevant and celebrate fruits and vegetables. Food Justice Wasatch Community Gardens' Spring Plant Sale  |  8:00 AM - 1:00 PM  | Saturday, May 11  |  Learn more here! We know there are plenty of local plant sales this time of year. Why shop at WCG's sale? Their sale features more than 45,000 food-growing plants raised from seed by participants of our farm-based Job Training Program  serving women facing homelessness. These seedlings are grown with the utmost care at our certified organic Green Phoenix Farm . Job Opportunities Pilot Light Fellowship |  Apply here   |  Due May 27th Pilot Light seeks highly motivated Pre-K through 12th grade teachers across the country with an interest in connecting to their students and communities through implementing Pilot Light Food Education lessons consistently in their classrooms to apply to the Food Education Fellowship! This is a paid opportunity, detailed here . Utah Farmers Market Network Director |  Apply here   | Remote  This is a part-time position (up to 20 hours per week) through Utah State University (USU) at a rate of $29 an hour, funded through the United States Department of Agriculture Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (USDA FMPP), ending December 2025. The position start date is May 13, 2024, with flexibility for a June start date depending on the final candidate’s schedule. The search committee includes representatives from USU Extension and Utah farmers’ market managers. Substitute Cooks | Davis School District | Apply here   | Open until filled Davis School District Nutrition Services is looking for positive, hard-working people to help us feed kids! The job consists of preparing meals, serving kids, and cleaning up afterwards.   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 Local Food Microgrant Program  |  Apply by May 8th  |  Apply here! Urban Food Connections of Utah is pleased to offer a limited number of microgrant opportunities for existing commercial farming establishments dedicated primarily to the production of fruits and vegetables using ecologically sustainable agricultural methods. The intent of the Local Food Microgrant Program is to increase the amount and diversity of sustainably grown produce available to Utahns receiving SNAP benefits by assisting local small farmers to access technology, education, tools and equipment to support more sustainable growing practices. Over 11 grant cycles, more than $200,000 has been distributed to Utah farmers. The minimum request is $500, and the maximum grant request is $5,000. Newman’s Own - Food Justice for Kids Prize  |  Apply by June 11  |  Learn more! Is your organization working towards food justice for kids in the United States? If so, this is your chance to receive up to $100,000 in grant funding over the next 2 years and deepen your impact! Apply by June 11, 2024, at one of the links below.  They’re seeking applications from organizations working in two priority program areas:  (1) Indigenous Food Justice ( Apply here ) and (2) Nutrition Education and School Food ( Apply here ) We welcome applications from all eligible organizations, and in particular seek to be inclusive of organizations led by and/or representing historically marginalized and under-represented groups, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). Keep reading for more info and FAQS. Clif Family Foundation Operational Grants  |  Apply by August 1  |  Apply here! Grants are awarded annually for general operational support as well as for specific projects. Priority is given to applicants that address two or more of our funding priorities at the same time: Strengthen our food system Enhance equitable community health outcomes Safeguard our environment and natural resources Demonstrate strong community ties. Operate within viable and clearly defined plans for positive change. You'll hear from us again next month. In the meantime, we'd love to hear from you!

Monthly Harvest - April 2024

Monthly Harvest - April 2024

April 2024 Hello Farm to Fork Friends!   As spring unfolds, we're excited to see youth begin connecting with fresh, local produce and immersive garden experiences. This April, we're especially excited to launch our inaugural event, "Raising the Steaks," a month-long celebration honoring Utah's dedicated meat producers, both in the classroom and cafeteria.   Register your classroom or group today to receive our Toolkit, full of engaging activities and nutritious recipes developed for the cafeteria. Raising the Steaks Raising the Steaks isn't just for steak. . . or hamburger, or chicken. It's a celebration of all the amazing meat products we raise and eat here in Utah.   Begins April 1st! Movement Building Nights   Join the movement and register for your region today!   March Workshops: Northern Utah Region - March 19 Uinta Basin Region - March 26   Have suggestions for your region? We want to hear from you! What to Harvest This Month As the weather warms up, the anticipation for gardening season builds! Unsure of what to plant this year? Explore the USU Extension's fact sheets  featuring over 55 varieties of vegetables and herbs! Get Involved! Scratch Cooked Meals for Students Act (H.R. 7748) -  Introduced on March 20, this Act will establish a USDA grant program to expand the practice of scratch cooking in schools. Specifically, it would allocate $100 million over 5 years for grants to schools interested in transitioning to scratch cooking. Grants would total $200k to selected recipients over 2 years. These funds can be used to support scratch cooking through: Professional development Purchasing cafeteria equipment Providing employee compensation Providing necessary technical assistance, pupil engagement and education   Follow along as it makes its way to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Resources and Trainings Nourishing Minds: Exploring Child Nutrition Policy in School Food Systems | April 4th | 12 PM MT | Webinar Hosted by the Chef Ann Foundation, delve into the landscape of child nutrition policy in school food systems. We’ll examine the impact of current policies, related challenges, and strategies to enhance child nutrition in schools. Register today! Join the Kid’s Garden Community! This online network provides an excellent platform to remain informed about funding opportunities, resources, and upcoming events in the realm of youth gardening. Join today! Food Justice Nourishing Minds: Exploring Child Nutrition Policy in School Food Systems | April 4th | 12 PM MT | Webinar Hosted by the Chef Ann Foundation, delve into the landscape of child nutrition policy in school food systems. We’ll examine the impact of current policies, related challenges, and strategies to enhance child nutrition in schools. Register today! Join the Kid’s Garden Community! This online network provides an excellent platform to remain informed about funding opportunities, resources, and upcoming events in the realm of youth gardening. Join today! Job Opportunities Job Training Program Case Manager | Wasatch Community Gardens | Apply today! The Case Manager is responsible for supporting the Job Training Program Director in effective implementation of program and participant goals, primarily through case management, advocacy, and continuum of care while practicing trauma-informed care and maintaining a psychologically-informed work environment. 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 CACFP Savings with Gerber At Gerber, they recognize the important work of child care providers. Gerber is committed to being your partner by providing high quality, nutritious foods that meet the CACFP meal patterns. Join Gerber's child care network  and get access to discounted products, their Gerber cycle menu and a few other surprises.   Newman’s Own Food Justice for Kids Prize now open!  |  Due June 11  | Apply today! Is your organization working towards food justice for kids? If so, this is your chance to receive up to $100,000 in grant funding over the next 2 years and deepen your impact! They’re seeking applications from organizations working in two priority program areas:  (1) Indigenous Food Justice and (2) Nutrition Education and School Food   No Kid Hungry Grants | Due May 15 |  Complete an interest form today! No Kid Hungry is offering grants to summer meal sponsors to ensure more kids in rural communities can access healthy meals in 2024. A new provision of the federal Summer Meals programs allows non-congregate feeding options such as grab-and-go, mobile meals or home delivery in qualifying rural communities. Funds are intended to support the implementation of non-congregate summer meal programs. Send all questions to Kristen Dunphey at kdunphey@strength.org  National Agriculture in the Classroom - Conference Scholarships This year's National Agriculture in the Classroom conference will be held June 25-27 in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is an opportunity for educators from across the country to come together to not only experience agriculture within the host state, but to learn more about how to integrate agriculture into the core curriculum of their classroom   There are multiple scholarships available to attend. Learn more here! You'll hear from us again next month. In the meantime, we'd love to hear from you!

Monthly Harvest - March 2024

Monthly Harvest - March 2024

March 2024 Hello Farm to Fork Friends!   This week, our team had a great tour of farm to school programs in San Juan, Emery, Carbon, and Grand Counties. Big thanks to everyone who hosted us for school lunch and showcased their work. Shoutout to those leading the charge for the next steps in this movement!   A few words participants have used to describe their experience so far include: Movement Building Nights   Join the movement and register for your region today!   March Workshops: Northern Utah Region - March 19 Uinta Basin Region - March 26   Have suggestions for your region? We want to hear from you! What to Harvest This Month Gardening season is upon us! Begin sowing seeds for cool-season vegetables like peas, lettuce, and radishes as soon as the garden soil becomes workable, adjusting based on your specific location within the state. One of the hardiest greens to grow this spring is spinach. When it’s ready to harvest, try our Chicken and Spinach Quesadilla  recipe! Get Involved! National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) is March 4-8!  Celebrate the importance of a nutritious school breakfast in fueling students for success. This special observance during the first week of March celebrates the national School Breakfast Program and the many ways it gives kids a great start every day. Click here to learn more about the National School Breakfast Program in Utah! Resources and Trainings School Breakfast 101: Implementing Innovative Breakfast Models  |  Thursday, March 7 at 1:00 PM MT Join the Food Research & Action Center  this National School Breakfast Week to learn how schools are supporting student success through innovative breakfast models. The School Breakfast Program supports student health and learning and improves school attendance; however, traditional breakfast models, where breakfast is served before the start of the school day, hinder participation. Innovative breakfast models, such as Breakfast After the Bell, are effective ways to boost participation and ensure children start their day ready to learn. Register here!   A Deep Dive into the Community Eligibility Provision  |  Thursday, March 14 at 1:00 PM MT Join the Food Research & Action Center  to explore the benefits of CEP, and what the lower eligibility threshold means for your schools and community. The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) provides eligible schools the opportunity to nourish all students at no charge. CEP reduces barriers to school meal participation and eases the administrative and operational burdens faced by school districts. In 2023, USDA released a new rule lowering CEP's participation threshold, thus allowing even more schools to participate. Register here!   Virtual Field Trip: Farmers, Robots and Technology - Caring for Cows | Tuesday, March 19 at 1:00 PM MT  Join Dairy West  for a LIVE Virtual Farm Trip to a robotic dairy, where you’ll explore how robots and other technology help dairy farmers feed, monitor, milk and keep their cows as healthy as possible; and their featured farmers will answer your students' questions! This trip is designed for students in grades K-5, with additional classroom resources available upon registration. Register today!   Farm to School Toolkit Training by Growing Minds  |  Wednesday, March 20 at 1:30 PM MT Growing Minds Farm to School Program is part of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, a nonprofit based in Asheville, NC. We are excited to announce the launch of our new resource: “I Tried Local…” A Toolkit for Engaging Kids with Local Food and Farms. It is designed for use in early care and education (ECE) through second grade and offers curriculum alignment.    In this training you will learn about the different components of the Toolkit, hear success stories from farm to school champions across the state, and brainstorm ways you can start using it in your classroom. All are welcome no matter what your experience with farm to school is!  You can access a digital version of the toolkit here!   Register today! Food Justice Moab Youth Garden Project - 14th Annual Online Auction Fundraiser The Youth Garden Project 2024 Auction Fundraiser is now open! The auction will run from February 28 (8am) to March 5 (8pm). Bid on hundreds of items and experiences in Utah, Colorado, and beyond, all the while supporting YGP's mission of growing healthy food, kids, and community! Click here to bid ! Job Opportunities Utah Ag in the Classroom is hiring a new Director!  |  Logan, UT  |  Apply today! This position is responsible for directing the Utah Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) program as part of Utah State University Extension. The program staff develops, promotes, and presents PreK-12 teacher resources as a member of the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization. The program is designed to enhance the ability of teachers to increase student knowledge in agricultural literacy while meeting mandatory Utah core standards in science, social studies, nutrition, and career and technical education. This is a fiscal year (12-month), tenure-track appointment within the Applied Sciences, Technology & Education Department in the College of Agriculture & Applied Sciences at Utah State University.   West Field High School is hiring a CTE Ag Teacher!  |  Ogden, UT  |  Apply today! A position has been declared open in the Weber School District at West Field High School for a CTE AG Teacher. This position is for 8 hours per day, 9 months per year. The courses may include but are not limited to Ag Biology, Animal Science, Plant and Soil Science, Natural Resource Science, GreenHouse Management, Floracultural.     Youth Garden Project is now hiring for seasonal positions!  |  Moab, UT  |  Apply today! Our Youth Programs Instructors work together in a hands-on, outdoor setting to lead a variety of elementary education programs. In the Spring & Fall, YGP hosts two after-school programs, Garden Classroom field trips, and a Spring Break & Fall Break Camp. During the summer, instructors lead YGP Summer Camp, providing much needed high-quality child care for 1st – 6th graders during the summer break. Instructors spend their seasons in a garden in Moab getting to know some of the youngest members of our wonderful community!   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 Outdoor Recreation Grants  - Help build tourism in communities around the state through the construction and expansion of outdoor recreation amenities!   There are multiple grant programs available, including Utah Outdoor Classroom Grant that awards up to $15,000 to community-based non-profit organizations or publicly funded K-12 schools to help get Utah’s K-12 students outside— to learn, gain a skill, and enjoy the outdoors! Applications are due Friday, March 15! Apply today!   National Agriculture in the Classroom - Conference Scholarships This year's National Agriculture in the Classroom conference will be held June 25-27 in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is an opportunity for educators from across the country to come together to not only experience agriculture within the host state, but to learn more about how to integrate agriculture into the core curriculum of their classroom There are multiple scholarships available to attend. Learn more here! Be sure to share your upcoming events, grant opportunities, and jobs with us so that we can share them here! You'll hear from us again next month. In the meantime, we'd love to hear from you!

Monthly Harvest - February 2024

Monthly Harvest - February 2024

February 2024 Hello Farm to Fork Friends! Movement Building Workshops are off to a wonderful start! These workshops serve as regional hubs where passionate individuals like yourself come together to learn and grow the farm to school network. So far we have united teachers, nutrition staff, community leaders and more in Cedar City and Salt Lake. A few words participants have used to describe their experience so far include: Inspired - Reconnected - Motivated - Grateful Movement Building Nights   Join the movement and register for your region today!   February Workshops: Wasatch Back Region - February 13th Weber/Morgan Region - February 20th San Juan Region - February 27th Southeast Region - February 28th   Have suggestions for your region? We want to hear from you! What to Harvest This Month This February, enjoy Valentine’s Day with a sweet Beet and Cherry Yogurt Smoothie . Made with frozen Utah cherries and hearty winter beets, it’s a tasty treat you can enjoy all year thanks to preservation methods like drying and freezing.   Get Involved! Happening now in Utah! -- School Lunch Amendments: Expanding School Meals Access for Utah students.  If enacted, the RFA would appropriate $4M to eliminate a household’s co-pay for reduced price meals!   Read the current draft of the RFA here.   Do you support the School Lunch Amendment? Find your legislators  and ask for a YES vote! Resources and Trainings The 2024 National Agriculture Conference is coming to Salt Lake City! Funds are available to offer scholarships to pre-kindergarten to 12th grade teachers to attend. Applications are due February 15. Apply today!   Virtual Field Trip Webinar  |  February 28 at 12 PM Mountain Time  |  Register here!  Join the School Garden Support Organization Network to learn about options to attend field trips as well as resources, tips and advice for creating your own virtual field trip.   Food Justice Sign ups are now open for New Root Weekly Farm Boxes!  New Roots SLC offers a weekly farm box delivery service, providing market exposure and supplemental income for refugee farmers through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Sign up here! Did you know Utah has its very own Food Justice Coalition? Visit their website  and sign up for their newsletter to stay informed on community events, volunteer opportunities and more! Job Opportunities Davis School District Nutrition Services is looking for positive, hard-working people to help feed kids! Career opportunities include permanent cooks, substitute cooks, and part-time cooks to work at various schools throughout the district. Applications open until filled.   Apply today!   Youth Garden Project is now hiring for seasonal positions!  |  Moab, UT  |  Apply today! Our Youth Programs Instructors work together in a hands-on, outdoor setting to lead a variety of elementary education programs. In the Spring & Fall, YGP hosts two after-school programs, Garden Classroom field trips, and a Spring Break & Fall Break Camp. During the summer, instructors lead YGP Summer Camp, providing much needed high-quality child care for 1st – 6th graders during the summer break. Instructors spend their seasons in a garden in Moab getting to know some of the youngest members of our wonderful community! Urban Food Connections of Utah is hiring a full-time Operations Coordinator! Salt Lake City | Apply today! This role will plan and implement Urban Food Connections of Utah’s markets, coordinate operations, seasonal staff, vendor relations, and events. They also coordinate the SNAP and DUFB programs, Local Food Microgrant Program, and other UFCU programs.   Funding Opportunities KidsGardening Grant Opportunities - KidsGardening offers a variety of grants to new and existing youth garden programs across the nation. Each funding opportunity has its own timeline, defining features, eligibility requirements, and reporting expectations. We encourage you to explore their grant programs to see which one might be the best fit for your particular situation. If something catches your eye, you can find more details on each grant’s homepage. Learn more here!   Utah Outdoor Recreation Grants  - This Legislature-authorized grant helps build tourism in communities around the state through the construction and expansion of outdoor recreation amenities.   There are multiple grant programs available, including Utah Outdoor Classroom Grant that awards up to $15,000 to community-based non-profit organizations or publicly funded K-12 schools to help get Utah’s K-12 students outside— to learn, gain a skill, and enjoy the outdoors! Applications are due Friday, March 15! Apply today! You'll hear from us again next month. In the meantime, we'd love to hear from you!

Monthly Harvest - January 2024

Monthly Harvest - January 2024

January 2024 Hello Farm to Fork Friends!   As the new year begins, Utah Farm to Fork is excited to introduce an exciting lineup of opportunities for 2024! Join us on this journey as we share experiences and initiatives that strengthen our community's bond with fresh, healthy food and local food producers.  Movement Building Nights - Registration now open!   We are excited to extend an invitation for the upcoming regional Movement Building Nights. This series of events serves as a gathering point for dedicated advocates in the Farm to School and Farm to Early Care and Education realms, providing an invaluable opportunity to celebrate shared achievements, foster meaningful connections, find inspiration, and collaborate to nurture the growth of farm to school.   This is a great opportunity for teachers, parents, farmers, school nutrition providers and anyone interested in learning more about farm to school!   Have suggestions for your region? We want to hear from you! What to Harvest This Month Embracing the winter season doesn't mean compromising on flavor. It’s still possible to cook with locally sourced ingredients, such as honey, cheese, eggs and dried berries.   Warm up with a delicious recipe for Honey Lemon Chicken ! Get Involved! Farm School Act of 2023 . In 2010, Congress provided $5 million annually in mandatory funding for the farm to school competitive grant and technical assistance program. The USDA Farm to School Grant Program increases the use of and improves access to local foods in schools – thus boosting farm income and economic opportunities – while also fostering experiential food education for our nation’s children. The Farm to School Act of 2023 would increase mandatory funding from $5m to $15m annually in the Senate version, and from $5m to $10 annually in the House version.   Read the one-pager here . For more details to follow along with progress → ( S. 3129 / H.R. 6308 ) Resources and Trainings New resource! Nibbles for Health: Nutrition Newsletters for Parents of Young Children. These colorful and engaging newsletters for parents of young children can be shared by Child and Adult Care Food Program providers to communicate information about popular nutrition topics. There are 15 newsletters available in both English and Spanish. Download here! Food Justice Webinar opportunity! Advancing Racial and Social Equity in Wisconsin Farm to School: Strategies for Investing in Historically Underserved Producers  |  January 17 at 11:00am   How can schools, support organizations, and policymakers improve access for historically underserved producers to participate in farm to school procurement? Allison Pfaff Harris of REAP Food Group and Jess Guffey Calkins of University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension will share findings from their 2023 study report that delved into the needs and opportunities of historically underserved Wisconsin producers for engaging in farm to school markets. This report’s in-depth information about barriers faced by producers and detailed stakeholder recommendations are relevant for anyone looking to improve farm to school procurement.    Click here to download the resource.   |  Register for the webinar here! Job Opportunities Wasatch Community Gardens has multiple full time positions as well as seasonal positions. Applications close early January, so apply today! The gardening season will be here before you know it! Click here to learn more and apply today!   Enjoy working in a kitchen with quality ingredients? Liberty Heights Fresh is hiring a Prep Chef! Click here to learn more and apply today!   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. Apply by January 22, 2024.   Farm to School Grant Request The USDA Farm to School Program is excited to announce the official release of the fiscal year (FY) 2024 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA). USDA will award up to $12 million in competitive grants to eligible entities through the grant program this fiscal year. Each grant will help implement farm to school programming that increases access to local food in eligible schools, connects children with agriculture for better health, and inspires youth to consider careers in agriculture.  Apply by January 24, 2024   Funding of Innovation and Partnerships in Rural School Food Systems As part of the USDA’s Healthy Meals Incentives Initiative, funding and learning support is now available for a cohort of up to 35 rural school food authorities (SFAs) across the nation. Project SCALES (Supporting Community Agriculture and Local Education Systems) will work with SFAs over a two-year period as they engage in projects to build partnerships for innovative solutions to increase local procurement in their school meal programs. The Center for School and Community Partnerships at Boise State University will provide a grant (up to $150,000) for each SFA, with expert technical assistance from LunchAssist . Apply by January 26, 2024   Young Farmer Grant Program  - The National Young Farmers Coalition is partnering with Chipotle to offer $5,000 grants to 50 young farmers and ranchers to support them in building careers in agriculture.  Learn more and apply today! Fund a Farmer Grants - FACT awards competitive grants of up to $3,000 to working, independent farmers located in the 50 United States and five major U.S. territories who raise beef cattle, bison, broiler chickens, dairy cows, ducks, geese, goats, laying hens, pigs, sheep and/or turkeys. Learn more and apply today! You'll hear from us again next month. In the meantime, we'd love to hear from you!

Local Beef Feature: Headwaters Cattle and Guest Ranch

Local Beef Feature: Headwaters Cattle and Guest Ranch

Follow along as Farm to Fork features local producers supplying meat for the Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement in Utah. Meet Ronald and Brandie Johnson, owners of Headwaters Cattle and Guest Ranch! Provide a brief history of your farm or ranch. Ronald Johnson, inspired by his deep connection with the natural beauty of Boulder, Utah, embarked on a journey with his wife Brandie to create positive environmental change. Their passion for the region and commitment to global thinking and local action led them to purchase the Boulder Mountain Ranch in 2007. Drawing from Ron's experience in sustainable business practices, they aimed to promote non-dependence on fossil fuels in food supply and renewable energy. The couple fostered a community of progressive minds to discuss and implement concrete solutions. Their engagement with Bioneers, an organization focusing on turning thought into action, spurred them to become a living example of their principles. They hosted permaculture design courses, workshops, and events at Boulder Mountain Ranch, showcasing regenerative agriculture, land management, and biomimicry. They emphasized the importance of responsible land stewardship and aimed to be the change they wished to see. Over four years, in collaboration with Lance Pierson, the Johnsons invested their resources into a comprehensive land remediation project covering Boulder Mountain Ranch, Headwater cattle, and two additional ranches. This project laid the foundation for sustainable food production, marking the final prong of their commitment to accountable change, complementing their efforts in preservation, education, healthcare, and the arts. Recognizing the impact of current lifestyles on the planet's well-being, the Johnsons dedicated themselves to acting one acre at a time, fostering conscientious life stewardship from the individual to the community level. Their focus on creating a new bioregional food system led to the establishment of a cattle ranch, where they strive to provide delicious, highly nutritious, affordable, and humanely cultivated beef to their local community. In doing so, the Johnsons aim to contribute to a healthier and more sustainable future. Tell us about your farming practices. Holistic, sustainable and ecologically friendly are the most important aspects to our land management. Our practices encompass our long term vision of providing the healthiest beef available while nurturing the land that provides it. We refuse to run cattle beyond the point that would diminish the health of our ranch. Only by carrying herd sizes that are smaller than industry standards can the land replenish itself and continue to thrive year after year. We hold these values in the  highest regard and hope our customers share this mindset. What sets your beef or bison apart? We never use any Pesticides or Herbicides on our fields. Our cows are kept in large pastures with lots of space, never condensed to avoid the need for antibiotics. They are naturally weaned from their mothers and thrive on a diet of mixed grasses their entire lives. Never would we send them to a feedlot to gain excessive and unhealthy weight before being butchered.  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.

Local Beef Feature: JnCFarmCO

Local Beef Feature: JnCFarmCO

Follow along as Farm to Fork features local producers supplying meat for the Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement in Utah. Meet Chris Neely, owner of JnCFarmCO! Provide a brief history of your farm or ranch. JnCFarmCO is a small family farm located in the SouthWest corner of Colorado, in the town of Yellow Jacket. We began farming in 2017. We produce bison, forages, and grains. We farm with my father who farmed with his father who farmed with his father before that. Farming is in our blood. Bison are awesome animals and we want to share them with you! They free range on about 300 acres on our farm and are often visible grazing or lounging in the field.  Tell us about your farming practices. Part of our farming journey has been to talk with other farmers in our area and learn from them. Yellow Jacket is part of the High Desert and we rely on our local reservoir for irrigation on most of our farm.  We are a conventional farm which means we use the tools available to us to Steward the Land for Future Generations. We are not Organic but we are very conscious of our environment and our resources.  Our Bison are kept as natural as possible. They roam and feed freely. That means they go where they want, when they want, and eat what they want. We provide hay, grown on our farm, for them during times of year when the vegetation is needing a rest. What sets your beef or bison apart? Bison are set apart by nature! They are a natural component of our ecosystem and we are proud to be bringing them back to the land. We don’t work Bison like cows. They are pretty much hands off. The only time they are bothered by us is when we gather them for sorting. Some of them are designated at weaning as future mothers in the herd. Others for Bison Hunts. Still others for market animals, some of which you are having for lunch.  They are tagged to help identify them for these purposes as well as to keep records if something goes wrong. The thing that mostly sets them apart from other livestock is that they are Wild Animals. Cows have been born and bred in captivity for thousands of years. Bison just came off of the Wild American Plains. 150 years ago nobody owned bison. In fact wild herds of bison were hunted to near extinction. That was an awful tragedy and one we are still recovering from.It is one of the awesome American recovery stories that Bison are again on the rise, stewarded now by farmers and ranchers like us and several Indigenous Tribes. Bison hold a special cultural place for indigenous peoples and we are proud to be a part of restoring that amazing heritage! Why do you love ranching? Every day is an adventure! Each sunrise brings new challenges and obstacles to overcome! My office has no walls, no roof, and looks over thousands of miles of some of God’s most beautiful creation.  I don’t do the same thing day after day. Many tasks are repeated but I get to be a welder, an engineer, a scientist, a hydrologist, a geologist, a plumber, a carpenter, a heavy equipment operator, a businessman, and many more on any given day. It is the most exciting and rewarding career I could think of. It is also one of the hardest! Things go wrong. Things break. Plans don’t work like you think they should and you have to be able to adapt to the situation and move forward. Many times I fail more often than I succeed. Failure is not a tragedy. The tragedy is not getting back up and trying again! Thank you for enjoying the fruits of our hard work and I hope you all work hard to be able to share your fruits with others. 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.

Local Beef Feature: Blue Spoon Ranch

Local Beef Feature: Blue Spoon Ranch

Follow along as Farm to Fork features local producers supplying meat for the Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement in Utah. Meet Lissa Pabst, owner of Blue Spoon Ranch! The best meat you will taste on both sides of the mountains! https://bluespoonranch.com/ Provide a brief history of your farm or ranch. Blue Spoon Ranch is located in Western Colorado, just outside the small town of Hotchkiss. The ranch is run by a mother-daughter team and supported by 3 wonderful kiddos. Blue Spoon Ranch is the culmination of 5 generations of ranchers who ranched everywhere from Wisconsin to Colorado. Tell us about your farming practices. Here at Blue Spoon Ranch we believe that everything deserves respect and love. Our animals are part of our family. Our cattle herd comes when we call them and most adore head scratches. The world has given us the amazing task of raising these animals and we try to do our best to honor that task by caring not only for the animals but also for the land. Without healthy land, we lose everything, especially our sources of food. What sets your beef or bison apart? Our beef is grass fed and grass finished. We do not finish our cattle with corn or grain. We also don't vaccinate, use medications/antibiotics/hormones. We cross angus and longhorn cattle which produces a healthy and lean but super flavorful and tender beef. Why do you love ranching? I love ranching because it is in my blood! I'm very lucky in the fact that I can draw on the ranching experiences of my mother, grandfather, great grandfather, and great great grandfather. Ranching allows me to be connected to nature and our Mother Earth. Our animals bring me immense joy and have taught me so very many life lessons. I also am able to raise my 3 children on our ranch which is an amazing way to grow up! My children are able to learn a work ethic, appreciate life from birth to death, work hard for what they want, and have amazing friendships with so many different animals. 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 - December 2023

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

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

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

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 !

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