f2sfstoolkit062513-w.. - Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems

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f2sfstoolkit062513-w.. - Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems

ContentsOverview........................................................................................................................ 1About this toolkit.............................................................................................. 1What is Wisconsin Farm to School?......................................................................... 1Get started...................................................................................................................... 3Tool: School nutrition director survey................................................................... 3Tool: Wisconsin Farm to School frequently asked questions......................................... 3Tool: Seasonal availability of Wisconsin fruits and vegetables........................................ 3Licensing and labeling requirements........................................................................ 3Tool: Licensing, labeling and regulation requirements in Wisconsin............................... 3Food safety...................................................................................................... 4Tool: On-farm food safety information for food service personnel................................. 5Tool: Food safety success story (Viroqua)............................................................... 5Community engagement...................................................................................... 5Tool: “Farm to School 101” powerpoint................................................................. 6Tool: Wisconsin Farm to School overview.............................................................. 6Locate and purchase local foods.................................................................................... 8Identify potential product sources........................................................................... 8Tool: Wisconsin Farm to School Producer Directory................................................. 8Invite potential vendors to submit bids..................................................................... 9Tool: Tracking document for local bids.................................................................10Tool: Sample bid sheet with scoring.....................................................................12Tool: Sample letter to local vendor......................................................................13Tool: Producer survey.....................................................................................13Tool: Product availability and pricing...................................................................13Meet with vendor(s) to negotiate details..................................................................13Tool: New vendor meeting checklist....................................................................13Tool: Servings to pounds calculator.....................................................................13Tool: Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs............................................13Tool: Pecks to Pounds.....................................................................................13Tool: Sample purchasing agreement.....................................................................13Wisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors 3


OverviewChildren Win• Fresh fruits,vegetables andother healthy foodshelp fight childhoodobesity.• Pairing healthyeating withagriculture andnutrition educationencourages kids todevelop healthyhabits.• Good nutritionfosters healthygrowth anddevelopment.Farmers andCommunitiesWin• Schools providelocal farmers withnew or expandedmarkets.• Money stays in thelocal economy.• The variety of localcrops produced canincrease, creatingopportunities forcommunityeconomicdevelopment.Schools Win• Overall, schoolsreport a 3 to 16%increase in mealparticipation whenfarm-fresh food isserved, thus bringingin more funds.• Local farm pricestend to fluctuate lessthan prices fromdistant markets.• Local produce cancost less than highlyprocessed producecurrently deliveredto schools.Wisconsin Farm to School values:• An individual’s lifelong well-being depends on healthy eating habits• All children should have access to fresh, minimally processed food as part of anutritionally balanced school meal program• Wisconsin farms that serve local markets make essential contributions to adiverse food system• Schools and nutrition professionals are important partners insupporting community well-being, local economies and environmentalstewardship through their food and nutrition education programs andpurchasing practicesSchools are typically motivated to buy food from local farmers so they can:• Support local farms and economies• Access a wider variety of foods• Encourage students’ healthy eating habits through agriculture and nutritioneducation• Receive fresh, high-quality product• Increase meal participation by offering food “with a farmer’s face on it”• Take advantage of opportunities to partner with producers for promotionaland educational activities• Increase students’ knowledge of how their food is produced by learningabout the farms that provide it2 Wisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors


Get startedSchools are allowed, and encouraged, to purchase from local producers. TheWisconsin Department of Public Instruction memo regarding local purchasingfor schools lays out the guidelines for local purchasing. The full memo canbe found at fns.dpi.wi.gov/files/fns/doc/snt_mail_092810.doc.Before diving into a farm to school program, it is important to assess yourcapacity to purchase locally grown product. Each school district varies in itsability to create local purchasing relationships. Assessing this ability isimportant for you and any new local vendors as you move forward. Use theschool nutrition director survey to assess your current needs and capacity.Share this tool with any potential local vendors or community partnerslooking to work with you.Dane County studentexperiences carrots freshout of the groundToolSchool nutrition director surveyGet your basic farm to school questions answered with our frequently askedquestions tool. It includes information about food safety, insurance and more.ToolWisconsin Farm to School frequently asked questionsFamiliarize yourself with the seasonal availability of Wisconsin fruits andvegetables with this produce calendar.ToolSeasonal availability of Wisconsin fruits and vegetablesLicensing and labeling requirementsIt is important to know the regulations for purchasing locally grown products. Thesale of most food products (other than whole, raw fresh fruits and vegetables) isregulated by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and ConsumerProtection. The licensing, labeling and regulation requirements in Wisconsin tooloffers a detailed look at state requirements by product and market. Schools fall underthe “institution” category.ToolLicensing, labeling and regulation requirements inWisconsinWisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors 3


Get startedState processing and licensing requirements for sales to schoolsFood item sold to schoolFresh produce, whole, uncutFresh produce, minimally processed(chopped, shredded...)DairyMeatHoneyMaple syrupWisconsin state requirementsNoneMust come from licensed facilityMust come from licensed dairy plantMust be processed at a USDA orWisconsin state inspected facilityNo license required (see detailedregulations for exceptions)Must be processed in licensed facilityFood safetyIn general, fresh fruits and vegetables pose a relatively low risk for food-borneillness when handled properly on the farm, in transit and in the kitchen. However,given the vulnerable populations you serve, you need to prioritize food safety andwill want some assurance that vendors are reducing this risk. Many producers followpractices on their farms that maximize food safety. Examples include having a manuremanagement plan, water cooling greens to remove field heat, using clean boxes fordelivery and providing clear trace-back of product through labeling.State and federal regulations on the direct sale of whole, raw fresh produce do notcurrently exist, so vendors and schools need to determine how to assure food safety.This may be as straightforward as providing answers to the food safety-relatedquestions on the producer survey tool (page 13), creating food safety plans for farmsor obtaining a third-party audit such as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection(DATCP) has created an on-farm food safety website that provides information onstate and federal regulations for individual farms, plus additional resources such astemplates for food safety plans: datcp.wi.gov/OnFarmFoodSafety/index.aspx.Initiate conversations about food safety with potential vendors so they clearly understandyour needs. Some school nutrition directors are comfortable with the assurancegained from the producer survey and a face-to-face conversation with a new vendor.4 Wisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors


Mt. Horeb fourth graders sample heirloom tomatoesGet startedOthers want to see a new vendor’s operation first-hand and the on-farmfood safety information for food service personnel tool providesguidance on touring farms for food safety. The food safety successstory provides an example of how the Viroqua Area School Districthandled food safety requirements with a farm visit.ToolOn-farm food safety information for foodservice personnelToolFood safety success story (Viroqua)Community engagementIt is important for school nutrition directors and staff to recognize that farm to schoolis not only the job of the school nutrition program, as it can sometimes be perceived.You are not alone!The benefits of farm to school are considerably richer and longer lasting whenmultiple advocates are involved. In addition to taking some of the work off of yourhands, these advocates can make all the difference in building programs that haveongoing community support and synergy. Ultimately, community engagement is acritical part of a sustainable farm to school program.Advocates are motivated to invest their time and talents in farm to school programsfor different reasons. For some, it is about the well-being of their children. Forothers, it is about support for local farms or the financial implications of the program.No matter what the reason, it is important to have a variety of people engagedin the process.Farm to school activities that may be coordinated by community partners and otherchampions can include, but are not limited to:• Local product research and procurement assistance• Volunteer coordination• Light food processing tasksWisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors 5


Get started• Cafeteria or classroom taste tests• Grant writing and administration• School garden coordination or other hands-on educational activities• Creation and dissemination of educational and outreach materials about afarm to school program• Working with local media to stimulate coverage• Scheduling and facilitating planning meetings• Presentations to school board members, parent-teacher associations,teachers, local organizations and other groups to broaden their awarenessand supportPotential advocates from the community won’t know the value of your farm to schoolprogram if they don’t know about it! Present farm to school concepts to your schoolboard, parent-teacher organization, staff and/or community groups to educate themand raise awareness about your program. The farm to school powerpoint andoverview will help in your outreach to key audiences. The Health in Practice websiteis also a valuable resource for community outreach: www.healthinpractice.org.Tool“Farm to School 101” powerpointToolWisconsin Farm to School overviewEating beets in the Seneca cafeteria6 Wisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors


Get startedCommunity support for farm to schoolSchoolcommunityAdministratorsTeachersParentsStudentsSchool board membersSchool nursesKey practitionersSchool nutritionprogram staffLocal producers:individuals or groupscooperativelyorganizedDistributors of localproductCommunity partnersNon-profitorganizationsLocal businessesLocal governmentColleges anduniversitiesAdvocates & expertsLocal public healthofficials and medicalpractitionersLocal ExtensioneducatorsCommunity economicdevelopmentexpertsWisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors 7


Locate and purchase local foodsThe task of identifying local producers who can meet your needs can be challenging.Assistance with this task and other outreach may be available by contactingorganizations listed in the “Additional Resources” section at the end of the toolkit.The following steps can simplify the process of finding and purchasing local product:1) Identify potential product sources2) Invite potential vendors to submit bids3) Review information4) Meet with vendor(s) to negotiate detailsIdentify potential product sourcesEach of the following product sources—school gardens, local producers and distributors—isconsidered an ‘approved source’ for school meal programs. As discussed inthe previous section, state regulations and food safety concerns need to be addressedwith any potential vendor.School gardens—Food grown in a school garden or through the school’sagriculture education program can be donated and/or sold to the school nutritionprogram. This USDA memo addresses many common questions regarding the useof food from school gardens and how school nutrition programs can support schoolgardens:www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/governance/Policy-Memos/2009/SP_32-2009_os.pdfLocal producers—While there is no one-stop shop where you can identify all theproducers in your area, there is a range of resources and strategies you or someone elsecan use to create a list of potential vendors. This task offers an opportunity to bring ina volunteer, or request assistance from your local University of Wisconsin CooperativeExtension agent or others familiar with local food in your area.Here are some possible ways to locate farms in your area:Farmers’ markets and Community Supported Agriculture farms are greatplaces to identify and directly contact potential vendors. Most markets have amanager who can help you identify growers selling the product you’re looking for.The Wisconsin Farm to School Producer Directory lists farmers by region whohave expressed interest in selling to schools.ToolWisconsin Farm to School Producer Directory8 Wisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors


Locate and purchase local foodsUniversity of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension has offices in eachcounty that can help you locate producers in your area and possiblyeven provide you with a list. Contacts for your county can be foundhere: www.uwex.edu/ces/cty/.Directly contacting local producers is another way to find vendors:Savor Wisconsin lets you search for Wisconsin producers byproduct and/or location: www.savorwisconsin.com.Madison student enjoying local vegetablesFarm Fresh Atlases provide listings of Wisconsin producers and farmers’ marketsby region. These are available in print as well as online, free of charge:www.farmfreshatlas.org.Local Harvest provides a searchable map identifying farms and markets in yourarea: www.localharvest.org.The Institutional Food Market Coalition provides local food purchasinginformation for institutions, including schools, and provides listings ofWisconsin producers: www.ifmwi.org.Distributors—Many food distributors are increasing their Wisconsin-grownofferings, so ask your distributor what they have available. Request information suchas specific farm names and locations so you can promote the local food you serve.Invite potential vendors to submit bidsSchools use either an informal or a formal bid process when procuring food from newvendors. The informal bid process may be used as long as the cost of the food fallsunder the small purchase threshold. While the informal bid threshold in Wisconsin is$100,000, some school districts set lower thresholds.Informal bid processThe informal bid process is relatively simple compared to formal procurementmethods. This process requires that the school nutrition program compete for goodsWisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors 9


Locate and purchase local foodsor services using an appropriate solicitation document and competitive process. Theschool nutrition director must develop a written solicitation to identify the number,quality and variety of goods needed. Schools may not issue a solicitation that states,“Will only accept locally grown products” or includes any other language thatpurposefully excludes non-locally grown products. These statements are notconsidered a preference, but rather an overly restrictive requirement of bidding.The school nutrition director may choose which growers and vendors to contact whensoliciting bids. Schools may choose to only solicit bids from local growers, traditionalvendors or a combination of both. With the informal bid process, schools are notrequired to post a public advertisement. However, schools should obtain price quotesfrom at least three farmers and/or vendors to maintain free and open competition.Documentation of all attempts to obtain price quotes is essential. The trackingdocument for local bids can be used to document price quotes, and attempts toobtain these quotes, from local vendors. When using the informal bid process, schoolsare required to choose the least expensive option among the acquired bids.ToolTracking document for local bidsPutting the informal bid process into practiceIf a school decides to purchase locally grown apples, for example, and the cost fallsbelow the small purchase threshold, the school may use the informal bid process.The school starts by writing detailed specifications for the product they would like topurchase, for instance:Specifications: Apples; 125-138 count; Whole; AcceptableVarieties: Gala, Jonathan, CortlandOnce the specifications are determined and written, the schoolmay start contacting local growers. The school should obtain pricequotes from at least three growers (or other vendors) who areeligible and likely able to provide the school with the specifiedRatatouille at Mt. Horeb school kitchen10 Wisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors


Locate and purchase local foodsproduct. Documentation must show a reasonable attempt was made to obtain thebest price by contacting a variety of growers. For example:Name of Vendor Date of contact Specifications Bid price1. Grower A 8/2/11 Red Delicious; 125 count $24.00/case(608)555-11112. Grower B(715)555-22228/5/11 Gala, Jonathan, Cortland;125-138 count$32.00/case3. Grower C(715)555-33338/4/11 Gala, Jonathan; 125-138count$26.00/caseThe grower willing and able to provide the specified product at the lowest price isawarded the bid. In this example, Grower C would be awarded the bid as they areable to meet the product specifications (apple size and variety) for the lowest price.Grower A offered the lowest price, but was removed from consideration because theywere unable to provide the specified varieties. The documentation shows the schoolmade a reasonable attempt to obtain the best price for the specified product andproper procurement practices were followed.Formal bid processThe formal bid process must be used for purchases exceeding the small purchasethreshold (see “Informal bid process”). Schools may use the formal bid process forsmaller purchases, and may choose to do so in order to help local vendors compete bymeeting specifications for geographic preference or outreach assistance.The formal bid process requires that schools publicly solicit sealed bids from potentialvendors. Schools determine criteria and write out specifications forthe food they are looking to purchase, advertise the bid topotential vendors and award points to submitted bids.Heirloom tomato tastingWisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors 11


Locate and purchase local foodsSchools are required to award at least half of the points based on price. Theremaining points can be allocated to a variety of specifications such as:• Location of vendor. Schools may determine a ‘geographic preference’; forinstance, a school may award points for product grown within 50 or 100miles of the school district, in-state, etc.*• Guaranteed consistent pricing through the season. Produce pricing throughdistributors often fluctuates with market conditions.• Ability to supply particular produce varieties such as Jonafree apples or AllBlue potatoes.• Ability to deliver to the school.• Ability and willingness to visit the lunchroom or classroom for taste testingor other educational activities.• Ability and willingness to host field trips for students and staff.Once you have information from potential vendors in hand, review it to determinewhich farms or distributors best meet your needs. If using the informal bid process,you are required to show you are getting the lowest price for the item you wish to buy.If using the formal bid process, you will award points for price and other criteria thatyou establish. See the sample bid sheet with scoring for an example of how a schoolcould score bids.ToolSample bid sheet with scoringWhether soliciting formal or informal bids, the tools on the next page can help. Usethe sample vendor letter to outline what you’re looking for and explain the bidsubmission process. Use the producer survey to collect information from growerssuch as food safety procedures, ordering and delivery logistics and other details youwill need. Growers can submit the product availability and pricing form to let youknow what produce they have, and at what price.*Geographic PreferenceHighlights of the final rule on geographic preference issued by the US Department of Agricultureon April 22, 2011 can be found on the National Farm to School Network’s website:www.farmtoschool.org/files/publications_365.pdf. This summary explains which products can andcannot have a geographic preference applied and clarifies what is meant by “minimally processed.”Additional information about using geography as a preferred option for bids, as well as additionalinformation about informal and formal procurement processes, can be found on the USDA SchoolNutrition website: www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/F2S/faqs_procurement.htm.12 Wisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors


Locate and purchase local foodsToolToolToolSample letter to local vendorProducer surveyProduct availability and pricing formMeet with vendor(s) to negotiate detailsWhen you have identified the vendor(s) with whom you would like to work, set upa meeting to negotiate details such as delivery schedule and invoicing. Use the newvendor meeting checklist to ensure you cover all important details.ToolNew vendor meeting checklistOnce you’ve decided which food to purchase, you need to determine the volumerequired. You may know this already or have the information in your recipe. Theservings to pounds calculator created by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture,Food & Forestry Farm to School Program can help you determine how much food topurchase. This calculator takes waste into account and determines your price per servingbased on the cost of the food. The USDA Food Buying Guide for Child NutritionPrograms provides pounds to servings conversions for raw and cooked produce.The Pecks to Pounds tool from the Maryland Department of Agriculture convertscommonly used farm measurements—such as bushels and crates—into approximatenet weight for a variety of fruits and vegetables.ToolServings to pounds calculatorToolTool: Food Buying Guide for Child NutritionProgramsTool Tool Pecks to PoundsClarify details such as packaging, price and delivery with vendors inwriting. Use this sample purchasing agreement as a guide.ToolSample purchasing agreementNew Richmond student tries new foods(Photo: Ruth Hilfiker)Wisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors 13


Incorporate local foodsStrategies for incorporating local foods into your school’s meal plan must be practicaland may require creativity. Adding local foods incrementally will allow trial and errorwithout unnecessary risk and will help you work toward changes that may be moresustainable in the long run. We recommend you start slowly the first year bysubstituting locally grown items for one or two products you typically use. It’s betterto start small and succeed than to make too many changes too quickly.Explore menu optionsMany schools have found creative ways to integrate local items while working withintheir budget and labor constraints. Replacing unprocessed fruits or vegetables such asapples or potatoes with locally sourced substitutes likely entails a manageable degreeof change and effort. Minimally processed, locally sourced products like carrots sticksor broccoli florets—if they are available in your area—can be substituted for existingmenu items.Other options for integrating local foods may require more staff training andadjustment time. Light, on-site processing such as chopping veggie sticks or roastingpotatoes requires up-front effort. But examples from other schools show that, oncesystems are in place, overall labor hours may not necessarily increase.On-site processing may require new equipment and staff training. The list ofrecommended kitchen equipment for light processing suggests equipment thatmay increase your efficiency.ToolList of recommended kitchen equipment for lightprocessingNew recipes that include local ingredients may require cooking from scratch. Menuitems cooked from scratch with local product might include pasta and pizza saucesmade from local tomatoes, roasted chicken wrap sandwiches with grated, localvegetables, coleslaw, soups and chili. This option requires the most planning anddevelopment, but may result in delicious, nutritious additions to your menu that youand your staff will take pride in. The list of recommended kitchen equipment forfrom-scratch cooking suggests tools to make your work more efficient.ToolList of recommended kitchen equipment forfrom-scratch cooking14 Wisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors


Incorporate local foodsVisit these websites to explore tried and tested recipes:The Lunch Box: scalable recipes with nutritional analysiswww.thelunchbox.org/menus-recipesMinnesota’s Farm to School Food Service Toolkit: product-specific recipeswww.mn-farmtoschool.umn.edu/Massachusetts Farm to School Cookbook: school-friendly recipeswww.farmtoschool.org/files/publications_134.pdfConsider incorporating a salad or fresh fruit andvegetable bar to easily serve seasonal produce whileavoiding the problem of having to announce specificproduct in advance on lunch menus. Fresh fruit andvegetable bars provide menu flexibility. Local,seasonal product can be highlighted when available,while fresh produce can be offered year round.Students can freely choose healthful items at aproduce bar.Get creative with recipedevelopment— ask staff to bring intheir favorite recipes, or hold a contestwith prize incentives for staff, studentsor people in the community! This is awin-win: gather recipe ideas AND buildinvolvement and enthusiasm for yourprogram. See page 18 for moreinformation about cooking contests.Based on the experience of participating schools, a fresh fruit and vegetable bar canbe efficient, cost effective and central to a farm to school program. The fresh fruitand vegetable bar production log can be used to effectively plan and track costs andconsumption patterns in your salad bar.ToolGuide to salad barsToolFresh fruit and vegetable bars: Production logAlthough it may require more advance planning than a salad bar, a Harvest of theMonth program is a way to both structure your procurement program andpromote local foods—and the farms that grow them—on your menu. Harvest of theMonth highlights one local product a month, utilizing it in multiple ways. TheWisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors 15


Incorporate local foodsHarvest of the Month sample calendar suggests how you might organize your program.For more information on this model, see page 18. Additionally, there are lots ofvaluable Harvest of the Month resources available at www.harvestofthemonth.com.ToolHarvest of the Month sample calendarWork with staffDuring implementation, farm to school Training employees to handle fresh produce or otherprograms report an increase of fresh local food fits within the parameters of their jobfruit and vegetable consumption descriptions and is one way to engage them in theof 25 to 84 percent. *process of building a farm to school program.Encouraging staff to take ownership and pride in theirwork will support your farm to school efforts and allaspects of your school’s nutrition program. Each staffmember can assist with program development and problem solving to achieve yourfarm to school goals. In general, involving staff throughout the process of developinga farm to school initiative, rather than just including them in its implementation, willincrease their investment and improve your odds of a successful, sustainable program.Tips for involving staff:• Train staff to “work smart,” utilizing their time efficiently. Match skill levelsto jobs.• Work out production schedules for local items. Know and respect the limitsof your staff (and yourself) when considering labor and time management.• Provide training and encouragement when making production changes.• Develop master recipes with staff input to guarantee labor costs for entrees,side dishes and scratch items.• Monitor progress of the program, including labor hours, on a weekly basis.“Incorporating farm to school into our program has actually been a fun andinvigorating addition to my job over the past three years. I am proud of what wehave accomplished. The most rewarding part is seeing the kids catch on and enjoythe healthy, local foods we can offer. We are all benefitting.”— Nutrition program staff member, Chilton, WI*Joshi and Azuma, 200916 Wisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors


Students and chef at Holmen’s Sand Lake ElementaryPromote your programMake sure others know about your local purchasingefforts. Informing your school’s students, parents and staff,and the broader community, about your farm to schoolprogram will keep current supporters engaged, energize newadvocates and increase the popularity of local menu items.Here are a few possible opportunities to communicate andpromote farm to school with your audiences:Post signs at the point of service and other lunchroomlocations to inform students and staff of new foods and thefarms where they are grown. Use the template flyer byinserting photos of the farm and food you’re buying. Besure to include a few interesting facts about that food. Youcan also show where the farm is located on the map.ToolSample flyer—Where does your food come from?ToolTemplate flyer—Where does your food come from?Create your own promotional materials. Take lots of pictures! Promote yourprogram to your school community, and the broader community, with photos ofhappy kids eating local produce. You may use the Wisconsin Farm to School logoon promotional materials you create.ToolWisconsin Farm to School logoSend letters to staff and parents encouraging them to engage students inconversations about their food and where it comes from. Parents and teachers canreinforce your educational messages and extend your farm to school program outsideof the cafeteria.ToolSample promotion letter for staff and parentsWisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors 17


Promote your programCommunicate your farm to school program through menus. The sample menussuggest how other school districts have done this. Some schools will simply write“seasonal vegetable” on their menus, giving themselvesflexibility to use what’s in season from local growers.Organize volunteers or students totaste-test new menu items in thecafeteria. Students can identify themost popular options and learn at thesame time.If you are using Harvest of the Month, make sure thespecific item is highlighted on the menu. Minnesota’sfarm to school website has many promotionalmaterials available for free as well as information ona range of foods that could be highlighted throughHarvest of the Month:www.extension.umn.edu/farm-to-school/toolkit/ToolSample school menus promoting local foodand/or harvest of the monthToolBerkeley Unified School District menuPublish farm to school information in newsletters, on the school’s website andthrough local media outlets. Submit a letter to the editor or press release to your localnewspaper. See www.healthinpractice.org/obesityprevention/farm-to-schoolfor talking points youcan use when working with the media.Plan healthy school lunch cooking contests.Involve students in recipe development withhealthy school lunch cooking contests. Thesecontests challenge students to come up withschool meals that meet USDA nutritionrequirements, fit the school district’s budget,incorporate local product and taste great. Thewinning menu can be incorporated into theschool menu rotation.A Madison student meets a chicken on a farm18 Wisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors


Laurel High School (Viroqua) Harvest Challenge teamPromote your programThe Viroqua Area School District’s Harvest Challenge isone example of a healthy school lunch cooking contest:www.farmtoschoolvc.org/#harvest-challenge.The youth get active with lunch success story describeshow participation in the Harvest Challenge and CookingUp Change, a national healthy school meal cookingcontest, was a life-changing experience for VernonCounty students.No matter how you purchase yourlocal products or choose to featurethem on your menus, don’t forget topromote your program and farmpartners! Volunteers can help withtasks such as developing cafeteriasignage and letters home to parents.Tool:ToolYouth get active with school lunch success story(Viroqua)For more information on Cooking up Change, seewww.healthyschoolscampaign.org/programs/cooking-up-change/.Partner with school fundraisers to raise money for your farm to school program andprovide families with opportunities to purchase local food. Go towww.reapfoodgroup.org/farm-to-school/school-fundraiser for a successful localfood fundraiser model.Wisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors 19


Educate studentsStudents are more likely to eat new items in the lunchroom if theyfirst learn about the food and where it comes from. Turn yourstudents into more adventurous eaters with comprehensive farm toschool education activities both inside and outside the classroom!Use the following tools to help you, the teaching staff or otherpartners on your farm to school team get started.There are many opportunities to educate students about thelocal food served in the cafeteria, and to expand student horizonsabout where food comes from and how it is raised. Harvestof the month is a great way to incorporate food into cafeteria,classroom and community. There are a variety of Wisconsinspecificcurriculum resources to teach students where their foodcomes from, and many lessons already meet the WisconsinModel Academic Standards.Students learn about locally grown vegetablesREAP’s food education lessons: www.reapfoodgroup.org/farm-to-school/resources-for-educatorsToolWisconsin Model Academic Standards for NutritionVermont FEED (Food Education Every Day) facilitates robust farm to schoolprogramming. Use their guide to taste testing to make the most out of yourclassroom or lunchroom tasting experiences.Vermont FEED’s Guide to Taste Testing:www.vtfeed.org/materials/guide-taste-testing-local-foods-schoolsComposting in the classroom or in the lunchroom is an excellent way to educatestudents, reduce waste and create fertile soil for your school garden. Use the schoolcomposting guide to explore ideas for both classroom- and lunchroom-basedmethods.ToolSchool composting guide20 Wisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors


Educate studentsInterested in starting or expanding a school garden? The Got Dirt? Youth gardentoolkit provides guidance on how to get started, along with many helpfulexamples of successful gardens.ToolGot Dirt? Youth garden toolkitUse the Got Veggies? Garden-based nutrition education curriculum to inspirestudents to learn about and eat foods fresh from the garden. This curriculum isdesigned for kindergarten through second grade students.ToolGot Veggies? Garden-based nutrition educationcurriculum (grades K-2)For older elementary students, the Nutritious, Delicious, Wisconsin curriculumlinks the study of Wisconsin to the food grown and processed in our state.ToolNutritious, Delicious, Wisconsin (grades 3-5, relevant to4th grade Wisconsin studies)Farm field trips are fantastic for engaging students. Field trips are a fun way toincrease students’ knowledge and excitement about fresh fruits and vegetables.Maximize your students’ educational experience by using The Hayride: a resourcefor educational farm field trips.ToolThe Hayride: A resource for educational farm field tripsIn addition to the resources included in this toolkit, there are hundreds morewebsites, curriculum guides and lesson plans related to food and nutrition. We havecombed through many of them to create this list of food education resources thatbuild an appreciation of food and create connections between farms and schools.ToolFood education resourcesWisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors 21


Evaluate your workEvaluate your farm to school program to demonstrate the impact and communicatethe value of your work, and learn how to improve. It is useful to track locallypurchased product (the tracking tool can help with this), document which itemsstudents like and measure changes in student knowledge and eating habits. You canalso keep track of how much of your school lunch budget is supporting local farmsand vendors.ToolLocal purchasing tracking toolIf your school or partners are interested in a comprehensive evaluation program,the evaluation toolkit produced by the National Farm to School Network and theUniversity of North Carolina provides a thorough resource of tools, measures andimplementation strategies.ToolFarm to school evaluation toolkitA robust evaluation can demonstrate the health and financial impacts of a farmto school program. This level of evaluation cannot be accomplished by the schoolnutrition staff alone. The agencies and organizations listed in the “Additionalresources” section may be able to help you identify sources of financial and technicalsupport for an in-depth evaluation of your program.Mini nacho bar lunch at Chilton High School22 Wisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors


Build sustainabilityOnce you’ve established a farm to school program,how do you sustain its momentum and increasesupport for your work? Sustainability of farm toschool programming is multifaceted, ranging fromthe relationships and protocols you build into yournutrition program to community engagement andpolicy changes at the school and district levels. Youcan use the tools in this toolkit to institutionalizefarm to school in your kitchens, lunchroomsand classrooms, connect with vendors who canprovide you with increasingly diverse and highqualityproduce, and develop systems for ordering,delivery and preparation of local product. Buildingcommunity engagement in your work, bothwithin your school and beyond its boundaries,can energize and sustain your program for yearsto come.Schools that participate in the federal schoolmeal program are required to have a schoolwellness policy. Farm to school advocates canwork with you and your school or district to incorporate the goalsand values of Wisconsin Farm to School into your wellness policy. This can helpensure local purchasing remains a priority in your district. The model wellness policylanguage for schools produced by the Community Food Security Coalition providesfurther guidance on incorporating farm to school into school wellness policies.Informational school sign describes source of applesToolPromoting local purchasing and farm to schoolactivities: Model wellness policy language for schoolsThe Wisconsin School Board Association’s article on local purchasing policiesdescribes local purchasing efforts by schools and provides some examples ofpurchasing policies adopted by some districts.ToolWisconsin School Board Association local purchasingpolicy articleWisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors 23


Additional resourcesConnect with ongoing farm to school initiatives, technical assistance and other resourcesavailable through local, state and federal organizations. Theseorganizations may have additional resources to strengthen your outreach to localschools and producers.Wisconsin Farm to School; Farm to School Toolkit for Producers:www.cias.wisc.edu/toolkitsUW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems:www.cias.wisc.edu/category/farm-to-fork/farm-to-school/Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction farm to school information:www.dpi.wi.gov/fns/f2s.htmlWisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection AmeriCorpsFarm to School Program:datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/Farm_to_School_Program/index.aspxREAP Food Group: www.reapfoodgroup.org/programs-events/farm-to-schoolNational Farm to School Network: www.farmtoschool.orgUSDA Farm to School: www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschoolWisconsin Department of Health Services School Initiatives:www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/physical-activity/school/index.htmHealth in Practice:www.healthinpractice.org/obesity-prevention/farm-to-schoolWisconsin Department of Public Instruction Farm to School:fns.dpi.wi.gov/fns_f2sMadison student enjoys a vegetable wrap24 Wisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors


AcknowledgementsAuthorsDoug Wubben, Farm to School Specialist, UW-Madison Center for IntegratedAgricultural SystemsSara Tedeschi, Wisconsin Farm to School Program Director, UW-Madison Center forIntegrated Agricultural SystemsAmanda Knitter, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of PublicHealth, Bureau of Community Health PromotionEditing by Cris Carusi and Ruth McNair, CIAS; publication design and layout byRuth McNairReviewers and contributorsKaren Brummer, Supervisor of School Nutrition, School District of NewRichmondPam Harris, General Supervisor, Mukwonago Area School DistrictDiane Chapeta, Operations Manager, Fifth Season CooperativeSusan Peterman, School Nutrition Director, Middleton Cross Plains Area SchoolDistrictJoni Ralph, School Nutrition Director, La Crosse School DistrictAlicia Dill, Public Health Nutritionist, Wisconsin Department of PublicInstruction School Nutrition TeamKathy Bass, Nutrition Program Consultant, Wisconsin Department of PublicInstruction School Nutrition TeamSarah Combs, Public Health Nutritionist, Wisconsin Department of PublicInstruction School Nutrition TeamWisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors 25


AcknowledgementsJill Camber-Davidson, Nutrition Education Consultant, Wisconsin Department ofPublic InstructionJulie Shelton, Nutrition Program Consultant, Wisconsin Department of PublicInstruction School Nutrition TeamDiane Mayerfeld, Wisconsin State Sustainable Agriculture Research andEducation (SARE) Program Coordinator, UW Cooperative ExtensionAmy Meinen, Nutrition Coordinator, Wisconsin Department of Health Services,Division of Public Health, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity ProgramCamilla Vargas, AmeriCorps Farm to School Program Manager, WisconsinDepartment of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer ProtectionD. Andrew Bernhardt, Agricultural Innovation Center, UW CooperativeExtensionVanessa Herald, Great Lakes Region Farm to School Network Coordinator,UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural SystemsMadison students enjoy spinach on a local farm26 Wisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors

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