Food Connects Farm to School Conference will return this year on April 8. Hosted at the SIT Campus, the conference will bring together teachers, administrators, school nutrition professionals, parents, and other school-based staff for a day of learning, networking and resource sharing.
The conference will include a keynote speech by Joseph Kiefer, Food Justice Educational Consultant, as well as three breakout sessions and a locally-sourced lunch. Food Connects reached out to partners throughout Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts to ensure workshops covered a diverse range of topics. Workshop presenters will cover subjects ranging from cooking with kids to increasing school meal program participation to farm-based and outdoor education. Whether you’re a classroom teacher looking to integrate Farm to School into your curriculum or a school nutrition director interested in better utilizing social media, there’s a workshop that will interest you!
New England, and notably our region, is a leader in Farm to School initiatives—schools and their partners are doing innovative work in classrooms, cafeterias, and with their communities. This conference is a time for Farm to School champions from throughout the region to come together to share their successes and common problems, as well as learn from Farm to School experts.
“Our 2019 stakeholder survey showed us that school professionals not only want but need this professional development opportunity,” says on Conor Floyd, Food Connects Farm to School Program Manager. “This conference will leverage regional knowledge to improve school lunches and gardens, impact trauma-sensitive practices relating to nutrition, and enhance Farm to School programming and curricula across our community.”
The conference takes place at the Lowey International Center Dining and Classrooms on the SIT Campus in Brattleboro on April 8 from 8:30 am to 3 pm. Early bird registration is open now until February 18, $50 for member schools and $75 for non-members. Regular registration will run until March 18, at $75 for member schools and $100 for non-members. Scholarships are also available for those who are underrepresented and underfunded; whether due to race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, education, or geographic location.
To learn more and register for the conference head to https://www.foodconnects.org/farm-to-school-conference.
Food Connects is an entrepreneurial non-profit that delivers locally produced food as well as educational and consulting services aimed at transforming local food systems. The Food Hub aggregates and delivers from over 70 local farms and food producers to over 140 buyers in southeast Vermont, southwest New Hampshire, and western Massachusetts. Their educational services focus Farm to School programming. Acknowledged as a statewide leader, the program supports over 30 schools to increase local food purchasing, school meal participation, and food, farm, and nutrition education. Together these core programs contribute to a vibrant local economy by increasing local food purchases by schools and improving students’ nutrition and academic performance. Additionally, Food Connects is frequently hired to provide leadership and consulting services for efforts aimed at transforming local food systems in the New England region.