2016 FTS Intensive Technical Assistance Workshops
We held three fantastic FTS ITA Workshops early this year. The mini-conferences provided critical training to support local food access and procurement by institutional kitchens. There are also two agricultural producer programs offered this year:
- Peer-to-Peer FTS Producer Mentoring Program (there is still time to sign up!)
- FTS Regional Grant Competition won by the Western Slope Region. To learn more, read the Denver Post article.
- Download all the workshop materials!
To learn about the 2016 ITAs, find more information HERE.
FTS Interactive Curriculum Spreadsheet
From the Colorado Farm to School Task Force, this excel spreadsheet is compilation of all the best FTS curriculum available in an easily searchable format. Need to identify school garden science curriculum for middle schoolers? Easy! Just click on the grade level and academic subject to automatically sort the resources in the spreadsheet.
Farm to School Growing Across Colorado
Colorado Farm to School is growing every year. Click on the map to open the interactive features!
When the 2015 USDA FTS Census final data is released, we will post an updated map. Check back early spring 2016.
Please tell us what your district is doing in their farm to school program. Click here to contact us with your exciting news!
Colorado Farm to School Evaluation Toolkit
The Farm to School Evaluation Toolkit, created by the Colorado Farm to School Task Force and Spark Policy Institute, is a resource to help farm to school programs of all sizes, in all states, undertake evaluation. The toolkit will walk you through each step of an evaluation, providing specific guidance and even the data collection tools. Find it on this website HERE or find it on Spark Policy Institute’s Tools for Social Innovators where the Toolkit and all of its trainings are available in easy-to-use pull-down menus.
Colorado Farm to School Food Safety Project
The Colorado Farm to School Task Force in partnership with other key stakeholders identified food safety as one of the major challenges facing the implementation of statewide farm to school programming. To help address these barriers, the Task Force with Spark Policy Institute and the Colorado Foundation for Public Health and the Environment produced a comprehensive review and analysis of the statutory and regulatory structure of agricultural policies as they relate to farm to school, with a specific focus on the interconnectedness of federal mandates on state regulatory structures and local county health regulations related to food safety. The project also produced “user-friendly” guidance in the form of Just the Facts Please guides and online presentations. These resources are available HERE.
Colorado Food Assessment Framework
The Colorado Food Assessment Framework (FAF) consists of four modules with a wealth of supporting resources to walk you through a food system assessment plus guidance on how to get started on a food assessment. Few communities have the resources to hire consultants to undertake a food assessment, which is why the FAF was developed. With the FAF in hand, a group of interested community members can begin to systematically gather data to develop an accurate picture of their current food system. With that picture in hand, communities can plan how to move the current food system toward a vibrant, viable local food system – one that supports economic development of local agriculture, increases access to healthy food, farm to school efforts, and helps improve community health outcomes. The FAF can be access HERE.
USDA Farm to School Census: Colorado!
In the great state of Colorado there are approximately 175 public school districts, 163 of which completed the USDA Farm to School Census. 75 districts representing approximately 1,075 individual schools with an estimated 562,170 children in attendance are engaged in farm to school activities. To learn more about Colorado’s farm to school happenings, CLICK HERE.
Recent USDA grant biggest boost yet to District 6’s progressive Farm-to-School program
In Colorado’s school-nutrition circles, some see Jeremy West of Greeley as a visionary. That’s actually quite funny, West says with a chuckle, because he really just wants his operation to resemble more of what was done back in the early-1900s. Under West’s leadership, Greeley-Evans School District 6 has become a leader in the old-school approach of buying more of its food directly from local producers and less from large-scale, bulk-supply companies. Read more….
Chef Ann Cooper wins a 2011 Growing Greens Award!
Congratulations to Colorado’s own Chef Ann Cooper (BVSD), who has been selected as the 2011 Knowledge Leader winner. Chef Ann started the Food Family Farming Foundation, which provides schools with the tools and guidance they need to transition from over-processed meals to healthy, fresh ingredients on a limited budget. Ann’s day job is in the trenches of Boulder Valley School District, where she is transforming lunch menus in the entire 48-school district, just as she has done before on the east and west coasts. Read more about the Growing Green Awards and Ann’s accomplishments here!
Schools Restore Fresh Cooking to the Cafeteria
August, 16, 2011. Greeley, Colorado’s schools now scratch cook 75% of the time, bringing fresh ingredients and whole foods to the kids. Culinary boot camps and a new central kitchen support the efforts. Read this New York Times article to learn more and then visit Greeley’s Nutrition Services website to learn more about their School Food Renaissance!
Rural Schools in Colorado Make Healthy Role Models
November 7, 2011. School districts in rural Colorado – from the Eastern Plains, to the Western Slope and the San Luis Valley – are taking on healthy eating and active living activities. While rural districts face the same health challenges as large districts, the solutions differ. Read this article and its links to learn more.
Greeley-Evans School District on Nightline
January 24, 2012. Cook for America is changing our school districts. Catch Jeremy West, food service director at the Greeley-Evans school district, talk about how his district has returned to scratch cooking and “stealth health” recipes. Jeremy’s interview is sandwiched between a segment on the State of the Union Address and Bill Gates.