September 2020

The Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program is committed to providing equitable and just programming, resources, funding, and technical assistance to schools, farmers, and partners in the local food system. 
Webinars and Trainings
Preparing for October Farm to School Month: Arkansas Farm to School Network Conversation

September 22, 2020 3:30 p.m. CST
Join the conversation to hear about Arkansas Farm to School and how to prepare for October Farm to School Month. Speakers will share about upcoming events, campaigns, and opportunities to "Celebrate Local."
Missed a previous network conversation?
NWA Farmers Market Cook-Along Cooking Demo

September 19, 2020 12:00 p.m.
Join this free cooking demo where the recipe featured will highlight flavors from the Marshall Islands and use local farmers market produce. SNAP and P-EBT recipients will receive $25 in market tokens for attending. 
Cooking Matters for Parents

Tuesdays & Wednesdays through October 21
Learn to prepare delicious, affordable meals the whole family will enjoy. The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance is hosting 30-minute online classes on Zoom in September and October. The same lesson will be taught twice each week to try and accommodate parents' busy schedules. Beginning September 1st, sessions will be held every Tuesday evening from 6-6:30 p.m. and every Wednesday from 12-12:30 p.m. until October 21st. After completing the survey at the end of the class, any parent or caregiver of a child age 0-5 will receive a $10 e-gift card sent to a valid e-mail address. Come to one session or all 8 - You'll receive a gift card for each week a survey is completed - so up to potentially $80!
Produce Grower Remote Trainings

September 23-24, October 21-22, November 9-10, December 1-2: 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule is the first federally regulated standard for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding fresh produce in an effort to reduce microbial contamination and foodborne illness outbreaks. If you grow fruits or vegetables, attend a training hosted by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service's Produce Safety Team to learn information about best practices, risk management, and regulatory requirements. 
Specialty Crop Farmers and Farmers Market Managers Adapting to the COVID-19 Pandemic Grant

Deadline: September 30, 2020
The goal of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Alternative Selling Methods Campaign is to recognize and highlight Arkansas farmers and farmers market managers who have adapted their operations to continue meeting the needs of their communities during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Arkansas farmers and farmers market managers are invited to submit self-produced videos demonstrating the new selling methods they developed during COVID-19.
October Farm to School Month
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food. Schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities, and organizations in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. Territories join in celebrations such as taste tests in the cafeteria, nutrition education activities in the classroom, farm visits, and school garden harvest parties. 
Every year since 2015, the Governor has proclaimed October as Arkansas Farm to School Month. This year we are “Celebrating Local!” From the farmers who grow our food to the educators and parents who teach children about gardening, cooking, and nutrition, together we create a strong local food system. Stay tuned for more details on how to join in this year as we "Celebrate Local."
Food Justice is Racial Justice: National Farm to School Network Movement Meeting

October 14, 2020 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Join National Farm to School Network for a virtual Movement Meeting featuring food justice activist Karen Washington for deep conversation and action-oriented reflection on racial justice in the farm to school movement and wider food system. You’ll connect with fellow farm to school and food justice advocates from across the country, dig into conversations about what it means to shift power, and help shape the next steps of progress towards our vision of a just food system for all. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend this free event; no prior knowledge of farm to school needed. 
On August 31, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will extend several flexibilities through December 31, 2020. The flexibilities allow summer meal program operators to continue serving free meals to all children into the fall months. Additional waivers are available through the end of 2020.

CAFF is part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. The Farm School begins in January and is an 11-month, experiential learning program for beginning farmers of specialty crops or for those who want to learn how to grow food. The school includes both classroom curriculum and hands-on experience for integrating production and business and legal issues. Apprenticeships and outreach events offer continuing education to learn more about the skills needed for successful farming.
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