October 2021

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. 
Hiring Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator!
The Program is hiring a Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator! The Program Coordinator directs and manages the Department's school garden, education, and local procurement activities. This includes farm to school programs, grants, contests, trainings, resources, reports, marketing, and communication. The Program Coordinator also provides technical expertise and assistance to schools, early childhood education facilities, local farmers, and other institutions and farm to school stakeholders.
October is Farm to School Month!
October is Arkansas Farm to School Month! Arkansas has been formally recognizing Arkansas Farm to School Month since 2014 when then-governor Mike Beebe first proclaimed October as Arkansas Farm to School Month. Governor Asa Hutchinson has continued the tradition every year since. Find the Governor’s 2021 Arkansas Farm to School Month proclamation here.

This year, Arkansas Farm to School Month is themed “Connecting Schools, Farms, and the Community to Local Food.” Check out some of the opportunities below to see some of the many ways you can get involved! The Arkansas Department of Agriculture has also created a media and promotion toolkit that includes resources, graphics, language, and examples to help schools, farms, and individuals promote their Arkansas Farm to School activities.

Farm to School Opportunities
Virtual Farm Tour
October 14, 2021, 9:00 a.m.
Have you ever wondered where your ice-cold milk came from? Or how long it takes for milk to travel from farm to table? Your classroom is invited to join us for a FREE live Virtual Farm Tour of Triple A Farms in Bentonville, Arkansas. The link to view the live stream will be included in your confirmation and reminder emails. 

This tour is brought to you by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, the Arkansas Farm to School Collaborative, Midwest Dairy, and Discover Dairy.
National Farm to School Virtual Event: Shifting Towards the Next Generation
October 14, 2021 at 12:00 p.m.
Join the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) for a virtual Movement Meeting featuring young leaders of color working to transform their community. The discussion will open with how the food movement intersects with racial justice, environmental justice, economic justice, and other key justice-centered movements. A crucial step towards NFSN's vision of a just food system for all is centering the voices of our next generation of leaders. 
School Food Service and School Gardens Webinar
October 20, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.
Join the School Garden Support Organization Network (SGSO) for a webinar discussing how school gardens can be intertwined with the work of school nutrition programs. SGSO will share case studies related to school food service program funding and staffing support of school gardens, garden to cafeteria programs, and policies to support school gardening efforts. Bring your questions and ideas to share as time will be allowed for Question and Answer.
Grants and Funding
Budding Botanist Grant
Amount: $1,000
Deadline: October 29, 2021
The Klorane Botanical Foundation is committed to supporting programs to teach respect for the environment and protect nature through the preservation of plant species and biodiversity. Designed to further their mission, the Budding Botanist Grant will help our youngest citizens learn about plants, explore their world, and inspire them to take care of the life they discover in their local ecosystems. In early 2022, eighteen high-need schools across the United States will be awarded $1000 in grant funding to support their youth garden programs. 
Gro-More Good Garden Grant
Amount: $2,000-$5,000
Deadline: November 15, 2021
The Gro-More Gardens Initiative, sponsored by the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, will be awarding garden grants to supplement needs of existing garden projects and to help launch new garden projects. The Initiative will be awarding a total of $50,000 in grant awards. Recipients will also receive a gift card for the purchase of garden curriculum materials, tools, and additional gardening resources