USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Awards New Grant to Support NC Farm to School Online Training Initiative

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded a two year, $219,458 grant to North Carolina Extension/North Carolina State University and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) to expand our online farm to school course into a Farm to School Collaborative Training Initiative (NCF2SCTI).

In spite of added stress brought on by the pandemic, health, and supply chain challenges, North Carolina schools continue to feed children across the state – creatively meeting educational needs, and fostering powerful partnerships between educators, school nutrition authorities, and Extension. Farm to School programming has proven to make lasting positive health and learning impacts on youth and communities. The NC Farm to School Training Initiative (NCF2SCTI) aims to expand statewide education and outreach, while also advancing Farm to School as an educational and community food security strategy.

The NCF2SCTI hopes to broaden and deepen the capacity of communities across the state to deliver and support farm to school programming. As an online for-credit, no-cost certificate course, this initiative will deliver course materials, provide short demonstrations, resources, and activity guides for teachers and staff, School Nutrition, farmers, Extension, state agency personnel, and nonprofit organizations working to build strong farm to school programs. Course modules will include an introduction to farm to school, building farm to school teams, school garden classroom, cooking in the classroom, racial equity, local food procurement, farm field trips, student engagement, and program evaluation. The NCF2SCTI will also provide financial support to assist with specific program needs of each school partner, garden and material costs, and classroom activities and supplies.

This project is led by Liz Driscoll, NC Extension 4-H Specialist; Remi Ham, Assistant Teaching Professor and Cooperative Extension Farm to School Coordinator; and Kirsten Blackburn, CEFS Farm to School Outreach Coordinator. This work is supported by the Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program (FASLP) [grant no. 2022-70026-37847/project accession no. 1028922] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Learn more and find updates about this project:

To join the NCF2SCTI mailing list, please complete this form: NCF2SCTI Mailing List Sign Up