Welcome to the weekly update of resources and information from the National Farm to School Network—Iowa.
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October is Farm to School Month

October is National Farm to School Month, an annual 31-day campaign to recognize, appreciate and celebrate the connections happening across the country between kids, families and their community food systems. National Farm to School Month was designated by Congress in 2010, making this year’s campaign the 10th anniversary of National Farm to School Month celebrations.

However, this October will likely look very different than the previous nine years. Throughout October 2020, our activities will be focused on expressing appreciation, amplifying underrepresented voices, and shifting power through farm to school to create a more just food system for all. Here's how you can get involved.

In Iowa, daycares, K-12 schools and colleges and universities will celebrate Iowa Local Food Day on October 14. To participate, schools will commit to serving at least two locally sourced items at breakfast or lunch. Learn more and sign up to participate or support here.

Grants and Funding

1. Food 4 Families Initiative: Youth Funding Opportunity
The Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC) in partnership with Farm-Aid, Indian Land Tenure Foundation, and First Nations Development Institute is proud to announce the “Food 4 Families” initiative. While funds last, IAC is awarding coupons to cover processing fees of eligible show animals. Are you a Tribal youth that is an active 4H/FFA member in Indian Country? Did you have a recent COVID-19 related cancellation of your local live auction prevent you from marketing your 2020 4H/FFA Livestock Animal? If you answered YES to both questions, you qualify to apply! Learn more and apply.

2. Cigna Foundation's Healthier Kids For Our Future Grant Program
Deadline: September 30
Cigna Foundation is looking to partner with school systems and surrounding communities — including clinicians, local and national nonprofits — to supplement existing mental health programming and help close gaps both within and outside the school environment to address loneliness, anxiety, depression, and suicide prevention. To that end, it will fund programs that foster collaboration between various stakeholders, including school administrators and teachers, clinicians, and local and national nonprofits. The grants are up to $65,000 grants per year for two years. Learn more and apply.

3.  Voices for Healthy Kids' Policy Campaign Grant
Short Form Application Deadline: September 30
The Policy Campaign Grant is designed to support strategic issue advocacy campaigns supporting Voices for Healthy Kids policy priorities with a focus on health equity. Applications must be specific to an individual campaign for public policy change in one state, city, town or county, or tribal nation. Applications should focus on public policy changes to reduce health disparities for children in urban, suburban or rural settings who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, and Alaskan Native or from families who have low income. To learn more about the Voices for Healthy Kids policy areas - please review the descriptions in the policy lever agenda. Applications can be submitted for $50,000 - $200,000 for a duration of up to 18 months and can support non-lobbying and lobbying activities. Learn more and apply.

4. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Call for Proposals: Community Solutions for Health Equity
LOI deadline: October 7
With Community Solutions for Health Equity, RWJF seeks to make local health care systems more responsive to the needs of the community by elevating the voices, stories, priorities, and knowledge of people of color, and others who are left out of policy decisions. The Foundation's funding will provide community organizations with grant support to help increase their ability to organize members, build partnerships with other constituencies, and develop effective communication-all of which are critical to shared decisionmaking. Nine organizations will be given $300,000 each over the course of three years as part of the program. The Foundation is interested in engaging diverse groups and organizations, including those that have limited experience receiving grants of this size. Learn more and apply.

Webinars and Events

Three October events from Iowa Healthiest State Initiative

October is Healthiest State Month! Our Celebration Toolkits include resources for all sectors. The Education toolkit includes resources in the event of virtual learning and we’ve also added a Household toolkit this year!

October 7: Healthiest State 10th Annual Walk. Please consider registering a walk and help us celebrate 10 years of the Annual Walk! New this year: you can register as a “Household.”

October 15: 5-2-1-0 Virtual Summit. Those who register can attend on October 15 and/or have access to all of the recorded sessions following the live event. We’d love to “see” you there—and please encourage your partners to attend! Additionally, if your organization is interested in sponsoring or joining our virtual exhibit hall, there is information on the website.

Questions? Contact Lauren Kollauf at

1. Webinar: Beef Industry from Pasture to Plate
September 22 // 2:00pm ET
Raising beef is a complex process, and through it, one thing remains constant—the beef community’s commitment to raising cattle in a safe, humane, and environmentally sustainable way. A panel of experts and chefs will share how cattle are raised and cared for and how beef gets to the plate. You’ll also hear how the industry is adjusting to respond to COVID-19. This webinar is hosted by the James Beard Foundation. Register here.

2. EQUITY NESAWG Sankofa Webinar Series: Youth and Food Justice Education
September 22 // 4-5:30pm ET
NESAWG is launching the first webinar from their new Sankofa Series on Tuesday, September 22, from 4-5:30pm. In this Back to School webinar, learn how education is the key as we take a look at food sovereignty from the youth of VietLead and their work at Resilient Roots Farm. Hear from Tobias Fox, founder of the Newark Science and Sustainability organization. He will share the importance of education in his work, teaching sustainable living practices and how we can create self-sustaining communities. Register here. 

3. COVID-19 Webinar: Educational Gardens Support of Food Relief During Covid 19
September 23 // 2pm ET
Join the School Garden Support Organization Network and other School Garden Support Organizations to learn and share how school and community garden programs are distributing their harvests to address food insecurity and provide food relief during Covid-19.This virtual gathering will share case studies from Jones Valley Teaching Farm, Denver Urban Gardens, and other willing attendees. Note your interest in sharing in the registration process and we will be in touch with you prior to the presentation. Register here.

4. EQUITY Black Farm Cooperatives: Tangible Solutions Webinar
September 23 // 2:30pm ET
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and the Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFED) will be co-hosting this webinar - it will be a virtual discussion to learn about the history of Black cooperative land ownership and its connection to racial equity in federal agriculture policy. Learn how cooperative farming and racial equity in federal food policy can create economic sustainability in Black communities. Register here.

5. Food Justice, Climate Change and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals: A Workshop for Educators
September 23 // 3pm ET
The UN states, “Food is a life force for our families, cultures, and our communities. But profound changes in the way food is grown, processed, distributed, consumed, and wasted over the last several decades has led to increasing threats to a future of food that is sustainable, equitable, and secure.”  Join educators from Shelburne Farms, Northeast Climate Change Education Collaborative, and VT FEED to explore these ideas and learn how to support youth in bringing about a more just and sustainable food system. Register here.

6. COVID-19 USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) Producer Webinar
September 24 // 3pm ET
To introduce CFAP 2, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) will conduct a producer webinar Sept. 24, 2020 at  3 p.m. ET to discuss the expanded eligibility for certain commodities, new payment categories including a sales-based approach to specialty crops and other specific commodities, and information on how to apply. Register here.

7. COVID-19 Stepping Up To Contract Seed Production: A Forum for Midwest Growers
September 24 // 4:30pm ET
The COVID-19 pandemic increased demand for seeds in 2020 to an unprecedented degree. As seed companies assess their needs for replenishing seed stocks, farmers at all scales are considering producing seed for their own use or for sale to seed companies. This forum is designed to provide beginning or intermediate seed growers with a foundation in how to pursue, negotiate and deliver on seed contracts. The conversation is targeted toward growers in the Midwest region, but will be useful to growers in other regions as well. Learn more and register.

8.EQUITY Webinar: Increasing Equity in Community-Based Nutrition Research
September 25 // 12pm ET
Healthy Eating Research (HER) is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that supports research on policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) strategies with strong potential to promote the health and well-being of children, and that advance health equity in the areas of nutrition, nutritional disparities, and food security. As a funding organization, HER has committed to funding research with an intentional health equity lens. But, what does this process really look like in action and how can researchers effectively contribute to equity? How does equity become part of the evidence base? Presenters in this webinar will describe a framework for increasing equity impact in research, share their experiences applying and carrying out principles of equitable evaluation in their own work, and address the added complexity of issues such as white privilege and institutional racism when designing and carrying out research. Register here. 

9. Webinar: More Politics on the Menu - Registered Dietitians and Agribusiness Sponsored Education
September 25 // 3pm ET
Join Prescott College's Food System Fridays webinar series for Episode 16 of the web series. This week’s episode features Mary Purdy, MS, RDN, who was featured in the Food Politics post on sponsored education for dieticians. She will speak about the educational process of RDs, the governance framework for dietitians and how she came to be involved in the emerging social movement among RDs to address sustainability in our diets. Register here.

10. Dig In! Conference 2020
September 26 // 8:30am-1pm ET
The Poe Center is excited to continue the tradition of the Dig In! conference, previously hosted by Advocates for Health in Action. Dig In! is an educational event focused on school, community, and childcare gardening, as well as urban agriculture. As a leader in nutrition education, the Poe Center’s work in our unique GrowWELL teaching garden and themed-educational theaters make us a great organization to host this inspiring online event. Learn more and purchase a ticket.

11. Louisiana Farm to School Conference: Virtually Everywhere
September 30, October 1, 7, & 8 // 11am ET
The fifth annual Louisiana Farm to School Conference will be held entirely online, free of cost. The theme for the 2020 conference is “Virtually Everywhere,” and will occur in 2-hour sessions from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. CT on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 7 and 8. The event will emphasize the three main components of farm to school — education, school gardens and local food procurement. Hear from speakers, Helen Dombalis with the National Farm to School Network and Sunny Baker with the Mississippi Farm to School Network. Learn more and register. 

12. Virtual 2020 Urban Food Systems Symposium
Every Wednesday in October
In response to COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 Urban Food Systems Symposium: Nourishing Cities in a Changing Climate, hosted by the Kansas State University and K-State Research and Extension, has been modified to an online format scheduled for each Wednesday in October from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT. Live keynote speakers will be featured each Wednesday accompanied by breakout discussions and poster sessions. Cost for access to all live and recorded presentations is $100 for professionals and $50 for students (includes AmeriCorps and FoodCorps members), with a price increase after September 18. Recorded sessions will become available next week. Learn more and register. 

13. NFSN Food Justice is Racial Justice: National Farm to School Network Movement Meeting
October 14, 1-3pm ET (Virtual)
How can we shift power in our communities to create a more just food system? What community capital and resources can help us create systemic change in the ways we grow, prepare and eat food? Join National Farm to School Network for a virtual Movement Meeting on Wednesday, Oct.14 from 1-3pm ET, featuring Karen Washington, food justice activist, for deep conversation and action-oriented reflection on racial justice in the farm to school movement and wider food system. You’ll connect with fellow farm to school and food justice advocates from across the country, dig into conversations about what it means to shift power, and help shape the next steps of progress towards our vision of a just food system for all. This free, virtual Movement Meeting is open to everyone - no prior knowledge of farm to school needed. Register here.

14. Film Screening and Discussion: Just Eat It
October 16 // 7pm ET
Please join the Office of Sustainability at the University of California, Merced for a panel discussion with producer Jen Rustemeyer from the documentary film, “Just Eat It”. The event will be held on World Food Day, 10/16 at 4 pm PST. It is free and open to the public. Please watch the film here and then join our panel discussion on October 16th via Zoom

15. COVID-19 Webinar Recording: How Schools Can Utilize USDA Farmers to Families Food Boxes
The California Dairy Council hosted a webinar for school districts to learn how to leverage the USDA Farmers to Families Food Boxes Program (FFBP) to expand their business model to drive revenue while feeding children and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. This webinar recording features Scott Berndt from Riverside Unified in Southern California, which is one of the only districts in the nation operating as an FFBP distributor.Information about the application process, as well as benefits and challenges of the program for a food service director or manager were shared. To view the recording, click here.

Resources and Research
1. COVID-19 NFSN National Farm to School Network - 2020 Back to School: Farm to School/ECE and COVID-19 Resource List
National Farm to School Network is compiling back-to-school resources that will be relevant to farm to school and farm to ECE stakeholders during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. See the resource list. Have resources to suggest? Please email us at 

2. NFSN Vision and Key Strategies to Advance Farm to Early Care and Education
Farm to early care and education (farm to ECE) is a set of strategies and activities that include increased access to fresh, local foods through local food procurement, gardening opportunities, and food and agriculture education activities. The new resource from National Farm to School Network’s Farm to Early Care and Education Working Group share the vision for long-term impacts of farm to ECE, offer a comprehensive list of key strategies to advance towards that vision, and to elevate examples and resources that demonstrate these key strategies in action. Download the resource

3. COVID-19 EQUITY Advancing Equity in an Era of Crisis: A Guide to Equity in Remote Learning
The California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators has created a “Advancing Equity in an Era of Crisis” virtual guide that can help school administrators examine how to equitably meet the needs of all students in the 2020-21 school year. This guide pays particular attention to the digital divide, and provides strategies for ensuring equitable access to remote learning. Parents, teachers, paraprofessionals and school administrators are encouraged to use this resource as a tool to help support  all students. Read the guide here.  
4. COVID-19 Survey: COVID-19 Impacts on Farmers Markets
Deadline: October 31
The Farmers Market Coalition is reaching out again to get a big picture sense of how farmers markets across the country are faring economically. If you are a market operator/manager with a market that was operational at any time during 2020, please take 20 minutes to complete this questionnaire. If you are a vendor at a farmers market, please send this survey on to your market manager/operator and ask them to complete it. The response data from this survey will inform FMC's future work and services, and will be shared with USDA agencies as well as national food systems networks and supporters. No individual organizational or market-level data will be made public and any state-level data will only be shared if enough responses from that area allow individual data to be kept anonymous. Contact Nina Budabin McQuown with questions. 

5. Report: Support Early Childhood Education Programs for Health and Well-Being of Georgia Families
The limited ability of many parents to have access to affordable, quality ECE was not created by the pandemic, but it has been amplified as a larger number of parents now struggle to balance work and caring for their children as schools moved to online instruction. With 657,304 children aged four and under and about 28 percent of ECE centers temporarily closed, Georgia’s working parents are feeling the stress on many levels. Read the full report here.

6. EQUITY Advancing Racial Equity Webinar Series 
The American Public Health Association's Advancing Racial Equity webinar series takes an in-depth look at racism as a driving force of the social determinants of health and equity in the United States. To help you use the webinars to initiate or deepen anti-racism efforts in your organizations, schools and communities, we’ve developed a discussion guide to be used along with viewing the webinar recordings. The guide is primarily designed for public health students and professionals. However, many individuals and groups can also use the guide to launch meaningful conversations about racism and racial equity.
Iowa and National Resources

Eat Fresh Southeast Iowa
Regional network for local food producers and consumers, facilitated by ISU Extension and Outreach.

Eat Greater Des Moines

Central Iowa-based non-profit organization that facilitates and builds connections to strengthen the area's food system.

Flavors of Northwest Iowa
Regional network for local food producers and consumers, facilitated by ISU Extension and Outreach.

Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children
Iowa AEYC strives to encourage advocacy, build leadership, and promote professionalism. Find out how Iowa AEYC can help you as an early childhood professional! 

Iowa Farm to School Network
Find resources to support your farm to school efforts on the website of the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Farm, Food and Enterprise Development Program.

Iowa Local Food Day
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship initiated Iowa Local Food Day in 2018 to bring together all sectors of farm to school to celebrate Iowa-grown food.

Iowa Nutrition Network
Coordinated by the Iowa Department of Public Health, the network provides opportunities to meet in person with other leaders in the field. Participants also benefit from email announcements and information sharing Contact Suzy Wilson at to join the email list.

Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative
WK Kellogg-supported regional health and wellness project in Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard and Winneshiek counties.

Regional Food System Working Group (RFSWG)
The RFSWG network works to maximize the potential for community-based, economically sustainable, and environmentally and socially responsible food enterprises by supporting education, conducting research and facilitating partnerships.

National Farm to School Network

Sign up to receive monthly e-mail newsletters and stay up-to-date on the latest stories, best practices, learning opportunities and policy actions to help farm to school grow nationwide. 

The Dirt
Weekly e-letter of the USDA's Community Food Systems program.

Know of other resources to share? Email us!
This newsletter is adapted from the weekly newsletter of the National Farm to School Network,
This Week. It is published and distributed to this list with permission of NFSN.

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