Connecting Students and Farmers—Still Trying | FoodAnthropology

This campaign (just down the road from me) has already done amazing work to get the conversation and the organizing started for regional products to be used in the Southeastern Louisiana University campus purchasing process; FYI-this university sits within a very active farming community and many of its farmers sell to nearby New Orleans outlets. The campus student group Reconnect and their academic advisor Dr. David Burley continue to offer as much information and to open as many communication channels as they can to assist Aramark in understanding what the campus wants, but to no avail. In response Aramark has deliberately undermined their efforts with their embargo against meetings and their”food giveaway” tactic! Using markets as organizing wedges can be the best way to keep the pressure on head-in-the-sand institutions; big props to the Reconnect students and to Dr. Burley for keeping these efforts going year after year. If you have any resources or ideas to assist their efforts to put pressure on Aramark, feel free to email them.

Connecting Students and Farmers—Still Trying | FoodAnthropology.

GOP proposes waiver to schools healthy food mandate, arguing too much being thrown in the trash

Just remember, the pressure will not end. The idiocy of whining about what is thrown away when that has never been measured before and that making these changes meaningful will take a whole systems approach will need to be pointed out again and again and again and again and again….

GOP proposes waiver to schools' healthy food mandate, arguing too much being thrown in the trash |

As Farm to Plate movement blooms, Vermont food and farm jobs help drive economy

In January 2011, when the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan was released, an economic analysis indicated that with every five percent increase in food production in the state, 1,700 new jobs would be created. Goal #1 of the Farm to Plate Strategic Plan is to increase Vermonters’ local food consumption from five to ten percent over ten years.

As Farm to Plate movement blooms, Vermont food and farm jobs help drive economy – Burlington Sustainable Agriculture |

“Where Farmers Markets and CSAs Fall Short” An interview with Mary Berry

Be forewarned-if you know me, you are going to hear and see this interview many, many times in the near future. An extremely concise and necessary interview with Mary Berry of the Berry Center and daughter of our agrarian apostle* Wendell Berry, on the shortcomings of our good food work at this point. I think all of her points are gravely necessary to consider and all of them have potential actions to take to push forward.
In These Times

*Don’t worry-The term “apostle” is used here in the Classical Greek context of messenger.

National 2013 Food Hub Survey-NFGN

Authored by Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems & The Wallace Center at Winrock International
From the Executive Summary:

Findings from the survey showed that food hubs across the country are growing to broaden the distribution infrastructure for local food. From the survey, 62% of food hubs began operations within the last five years, 31% of food hubs had $1,000,000 or more in annual revenue and the majority of food hubs were supporting their businesses with little or no grant assistance—including food hubs that identified as nonprofits. Financially, the most successful food hubs tended to be for-profit and cooperative in structure, in operation for more than 10 years and working with a relatively large number of producers. The values-based nature of food hubs makes it hard to judge many of them solely on their level of financial success.
The survey also revealed a number of persistent challenges and barriers to growth that even the most financially successful food hubs faced.
For example, many food hubs indicated their needs for assistance in managing growth and identifying appropriate staffing levels for their hubs. They also often pointed to their need for capital and other resources to increase their trucking and warehousing capacity.

NFGN Report

Maryland Food System Map | Center for a Livable Future

This is one of my favorite food system sites . Wouldn’t it be great if each state and every regional projects collected and shared this type of visual data?

A screen shot of the Maryland Food Map circa July 2013.

A screen shot of the Maryland Food System Map circa July 2013.

Note from the organizers:

Map updates include expanded Nutrition Assistance data and updated points of interest for Maryland.
Nutrition Assistance – new and updated data about federal nutrition assistance programs.
SNAP usage by Zip Code
Schools with 50% or more children who are eligible for free and reduced cost meals
Afterschool Meal Program Sites
WIC office locations
NOTE: The following existing data layers have been moved to this category:
SNAP Participation by County
SNAP Retailers
WIC Retailers
Points of Interest – updated points of interest note changes in addresses and expand lists statewide.
Institutional sites in this list – schools and hospitals – will be expanded further this year, as we gather data and statistics about how these institutions are using local food. Here are the layers currently updated:
Public schools
Recreation centers
Senior centers

Maryland Food System Map | Center for a Livable Future.

The Farm Bill Deserved to Fail

“By rejecting reforms and doubling down on mean-spirited cuts in nutrition and the SNAP program, a critical mass of people across the political spectrum couldn’t stomach this bill. The result was a strong ‘no’ vote, leadership looking embarrassed, and the House in disarray.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, U.S. Representative from Oregon

Jeff Sessions Argues Food Stamps Increase Not Moral, Mocks Kirsten Gillibrand

In case you sometimes forget that the farm bill is a political fight, and there will many attempts to derail a thoughtful, serious conversation about the type of food we eat, who produces it and who will get access to it.

Jeff Sessions Argues Food Stamps Increase Not Moral, Mocks Kirsten Gillibrand.

National Farm to School Network Position Announcement

National Farm to School Network

Position Announcement: Associate Director (updated September 2011)

Deadline for Applications is September 15, 2011

ABOUT THE NATIONAL FARM TO SCHOOL NETWORK: The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) sprouted from the desire to support community-based food systems, strengthen family farms, and improve student health by reducing childhood obesity. Comprised of eight Regional Lead Agencies, and 50 state leads, the NFSN coordinates, promotes and expands Farm to School at the state, regional and national levels.

POSITION SUMMARY: NFSN is seeking a committed, dynamic individual to join as Associate Director. The selected candidate will be actively involved in fundraising, and assisting the NFSN Director in administrative and programmatic tasks as necessary. The Associate Director will also work to ensure implementation of the NFSN strategic action plan in the priority areas of policy; media, marketing and outreach; training and technical assistance; information services; research and networking.

The selected candidate will be employed by the fiscal sponsor (to be determined in September-October 2011) of the National Farm to School Network with the option to work remotely from any location in the continental US. This position is funded full-time until August 31, 2012. Continued employment is based upon availability of funds.

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES: Assist in overall management of the National Farm to School Network, working closely with the NFSN Director to:

· Connect with all NFSN staff, Regional Lead Agencies, State Leads and Advisory Committee members – reviewing existing roles and responsibilities, developing internal accountability measures, ensuring regular communication and team building.

· Communicate on a regular basis with the fiscal sponsor and others involved in NFSN to develop key decision-making protocols, staffing structure, and future plans.

· Foster external and internal partnerships and collaborations.

· Raise funds and assist with financial planning for NFSN, including grant writing and reporting.

· Assist with overall evaluation efforts of NFSN.

· Represent NFSN at conferences and meetings.


Past experience and interest in Farm to School or other farm to institution initiatives, community food systems, public health, school nutrition, sustainable agriculture or related fields. Minimum of five years in program development and management.

Experience working with a diverse set of stakeholders, including groups from low-income communities, communities of color and business interests.
Expertise in a minimum of one of the following areas: procurement, food safety, curriculum development, organizing, research and/or trainings.
Excellent collaborator, able to successfully work with NFSN staff, regional and state leads, and national partners.
Ability to travel as needed, 8 – 12 trips per year.
Excellent oral and written communication skills.
Strategic thinker.
Self starter.


· Minimum of five years in management position, preferably in a national or regional

organization, including fundraising and financial planning experience.

· Experience working with farm organizations, nutrition groups, and school food


· Ability to coordinate a conference team, with multiple national partners, planning

for over 800 attendees.

· Proven entrepreneurial skills, including successful grant writing

· Excellent coordination and organizing skills

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: This position requires at least eight hours or more per day either sitting at a desk (responding to emails, developing materials or being on the phone), attending meetings outside of the office, travelling within the US to attend conferences and workshops, and speaking at public forums. These physical demands are representative of the physical requirements necessary for an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodation can be made to enable people with disabilities to perform the described essential functions of the job.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: While performing the responsibilities of the job, these work environment characteristics are representative of the environment the employee will encounter: a basic office environment, visits to schools or farms, conference centers or hotels where events are being held. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable people with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Compensation and Benefits: Compensation for this full-time position is in the mid fifties, and will include benefits – health, vision, life, and dental insurance; a retirement plan; vacation and sick leave.

APPLICATION: Send resume, cover letter, salary history, and contact information for three references to

Deadline for applications is September 15, 2011, 5 pm eastern

National Farm to School Network is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, and bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical condition including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and AIDS-related conditions.

Anupama Joshi
Director, National Farm to School Network
Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, Occidental College
Tel: (323) 341-5095