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NFTS_logo_colorAs many of us know, October is National Farm to School Month -- a time for lifting up Farm to School stories from around the nation, celebrating how far we've come over the past decade in linking family farms and school gardens to school classrooms and cafeterias, and looking to the future for how we'll continue to grow this movement.

We've got some great things to share from around the state and on the national level to highlight the success of Farm to School Month 2014. Check them out below!

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Monica_DrazbaFoodCorps service member Monica Drazba is serving with University of California Cooperative Extension in the Central Sierra. As a Bay Area transplant in El Dorado County, Monica has already experienced the true definition of "community" in gold country. Read on to learn about her service year so far and how El Dorado County makes farm to school happen.

At the beginning of September I moved to El Dorado as the county’s first FoodCorps service member.  “El Dorado?” I pondered when offered the position, “where is that again?” Like a true millennial I “Googled” it, and realized to my surprise that I knew the place. “It’s that region you drive through to get to South Lake Tahoe. That in-between place-- the foothills!”  Actually, by ‘knew the place’, I really meant that I peered out the back-seat window while my parents drove along Highway 50 on my childhood vacations.

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This week's guest post is by Aimee Retzler of Sierra Harvest (formerly Live Healthy Nevada County), a community organization in the Sierras that supports family farmers, child health, and other food systems programs in Nevada County. The organization also received a coveted USDA Farm to School Grant in 2014 to expand their farm to school program from 11 to 15 schools and establish a 2-acre educational farm, as well as ramp up nutrition education and connections with local farmers and chefs in the community. The story below is one example of that growing, inspiring work empowered by these grants.

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 6.16.12 PMTasting Week is a special time here in Nevada County. The weeklong event combines the creativity of chefs with the natural curiosity of children. Children are able to expand their experience of different foods and flavors with a focus on fresh, locally-grown food. Chefs from all over the county introduced students from twenty elementary schools to delicious, fresh preparations of local ingredients. Many of these local items came from a farmer the students know through Sierra Harvest’s Farm to School program.

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foodcorps_7559_27055_2014_October_16_S0069793This great story was written by Ashley Marquez, the new FoodCorps service member at San Diego Unified School District. Read on to learn about her service year so far, and the impressive range of programs SDUSD offers to improve the school food environment.

“Raise your hand if you’ve never had a green grape before?,” I asked the second graders. In an instant, nearly half of them had their hands raised. Wow was the first thought that came to mind, but it was quickly washed away with an epiphany – I am in the perfect position to make a difference in my community as a FoodCorps service member at San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD).

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Daniele and Host Site supervisor Heather reviewing the HOTM kitsIn the Farm to School field, it seems like new resources are constantly whizzing by.

A new report here, a resource guide there, sample policy language abounds--it can be hard to keep up with the constant flow of information!

Today, we're highlighting 5 useful resources you may not have seen and that we think you'll enjoy. Have any others to add? Submit a comment below or send an email to us at farmtoschool@caff.org!

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Sarah with Gurmeet

Sarah Bohannon of the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion (CNAP), a program of CSU Chico, takes us through CNAP's Farmer of the Month program, a strategy that builds on Harvest of the Month in a fun, engaging, and farmer-friendly way through communications!

Hi! I'm Sarah Bohannon. I’ve been working as materials creator for the Farmer of the Month program at CSU Chico’s Center for Nutrition & Activity Promotion (CNAP) for a year now.

My job is to put together newsletters and videos about farmers that teach kids how food travels from the farm to their fingertips. It’s a job that’s both fun and rewarding because I get to learn from the women and men at the forefront of our food supply. I also get to see first-hand the impacts that the Farmer of the Month program has made on local farmers, teachers and students.

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