North Dakota will be well represented at the 7th Annual National Farm to School Conference in Austin, Texas, April 15-18. There will be 10 residents attending the conference representing various communities and interests. That’s up from two registrants at the Vermont conference in 2012.
Circle of Nations School in Wahpeton was selected to attend the first ever “Engaging Native American Communities in Farm to School” session on Wed., April 15. This full-day, invitation only workshop brings together tribal communities from across the nation to learn more about farm to school activities, share program successes and challenges. Opportunities to share in the large group and to receive specific support in smaller work-groups are built into the schedule.
North Dakota Farmers Union, through its WILD program, provided scholarships for two attendees from New Rockford to attend the conference. This community has rallied around local foods and will include farm to school in its endeavors to “go local.”
ND State Farm to School Lead Sue Balcom will attend, as well as Luella Harrison, from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe with several others from the Fargo area.
The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference “Powering Up” will convene a diverse group of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement—more than 1,000 food service professionals, farmers, educators, youth leaders, policy makers, advocates, state/federal agency professionals, entrepreneurs, public health professionals and others—working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America.
Cafeterias in schools, universities, prisons, hospitals and childcare centers serve more than 40 million Americans every day during the school year, placing the farm to cafeteria movement at the forefront of the fight to end obesity and strengthen local food systems.
North Dakota has been a farm to school state since 2010 and celebrated its first ND Farm to School week in Sept. 2010.
For more information about the national organization, visit http://www.farmtoschool.org.