What is it?
For the past eight years, the California Farm to School Taskforce has been providing coordination and leadership around Farm to School programming through workshops, information sharing, policy advocacy, and networking. Last summer, the Taskforce came together and decided to broaden their work, and transition to a California Farm to School Network (CFSN) that is open to everyone in the state of California who is working on Farm to School programs and projects.
The California Farm to School Network is your “one-stop shop” for everything related to Farm to School in the state of California. As a communications hub and a convener across many organizations and regions in the state, the CFSN will align Farm to School efforts, share resources, and bring farmers, schools, distributors, and practitioners together, continuing California’s leadership in linking family farms to K-12 schools.
What can the CFSN offer me?
We’re launching now with a lot to offer! Here’s what’s coming up:
- A listserv with a monthly newsletter highlighting top Farm to School (F2S) news from California and around the country, plus an opportunity for participants to share California F2S-specific announcements and discuss barriers, strategies and tips for enhancing F2S programs [signup link here]
- @cafarmtoschool Twitter where we highlight the best of #FarmtoSchool on the web
- This website (cafarmtoschool.org), to be filled with plenty of resources, calendars, links to all organizations doing related work, listings of growers, buyers, and organizations for each region of the state, and a blog that distills key reports and findings for you and brings you stories from on the ground. This will include bi-monthly contributions from FoodCorps service members making an impact at ten service sites around the state
- Monthly fun activities such as this month’s School Lunch Photo Contest in partnership with FoodCorps! Schools that submit the best photos will receive prizes and/or be celebrated and featured in our newsletter and other communications
- Ten regional leads that will act as liaisons between the statewide network and the great Farm to School work on the ground in their respective regions
- Regional gatherings open to the public that will bring together farmers, distributors, schools, nonprofits, government, and FoodCorps in order to align regional Farm to School efforts and facilitate stronger buyer and grower relationships (schedule to come soon)
- Quarterly webinars, with the first at the end of February: The story of how Oakland Unified School District built its comprehensive Farm to School program through collaborative partnerships, feasibility studies, pilot programs, and even a successful city bond measure campaign
- A statewide conference to be held in 2015, with opportunities to participate in the planning and development of conference content
How can I link up to the network and learn more?
Sign up for our listserv, follow @cafarmtoschool on Twitter, and bookmark this website, cafarmtoschool.org, for comprehensive Farm to School updates. You can also help out by filling out this brief survey to guide us as we begin to plan for future content.