April 2023

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. 

Welcome New Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator!

We are excited to introduce Jessica Chapman who recently accepted the position of Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture!

Jessica brings with her a lifetime of hands-on agricultural experience with both commodity and specialty crops. She comes from a generational farming family, growing up surrounded by rice fields in Stuttgart, Arkansas, where she assisted her family with commodity crop production throughout her childhood. Three years after graduating high school, Jessica and her husband launched their own small farming operation, Scott Melons and Produce, that focused on specialty crops, eventually expanding their farm by establishing a store to market their locally grown produce in Central Arkansas. In 2012, Jessica and her husband won an “Acting Out Against Hunger” award for donating over two million pounds of produce to the Arkansas Foodbank through the Arkansas Gleaning Project. In 2017, Jessica's family won the “Arkansas Farm Family of the Year” award for Pulaski County and East Central District. She is passionate about agricultural advocacy, supporting local producers, and providing agricultural education opportunities to schools and students.

Farm to School Opportunities

Webinar Series: The Outdoor Learning Virtual Workshop Spring Series

March 7, 2023 - June 13, 2023, 6 p.m. Central Time

The Outdoor Learning Store is partnering with Take Me Outside and others to provide the Spring Series of The Outdoor Learning Virtual Workshop. These 60-minute virtual workshops are free to attend and will be held at 4 p.m. Pacific Time, 6 p.m. Central Time. The workshops will feature a diversity of presenters and topics. In addition to ideas and inspiration, attendees will receive a certificate of attendance and the chance to win door prizes.

Learn More and Register Here

Farm to Table Cooking Classes

April 24, 2023 and May 18, 2023, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Central Time

Apple Seeds is hosting two Farm to Table cooking classes this spring on April 24th and May 18th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Farm to Table is a cooking class for kids ages 7-15. Students will spend the evening at the Apple Seeds Teaching Farm harvesting fresh ingredients and making a delicious garden-focused dinner.

Register for April 24th Here
Register for May 18th Here

Webinar: District-Led School Garden Programs

April 19, 2023, 2 p.m. Eastern Time

This is the first of a two-part webinar series focusing on school district-wide school garden programs led by school district staff and the unique opportunities and challenges they face. This webinar will focus on the organization and management of a district-wide school garden program with examples from three districts across the country of different sizes.

Register Here

2023 Traulsen and Hobart: Save Your Kitchen Giveaway

Enter By: May 5, 2023

Celebrate school hero day by winning a Traulsen unit and a Hobart product! The winner of this contest will get the chance to choose one of the following Traulsen units and one of the following Hobart products:

Traulsen Units:

  • Reach-In Refrigerator
  • Pass-Thru Refrigerator
  • Reach-In Freezer
  • 8-Crate Milk Cooler

Hobart Products

  • EDGE13A Centerline™ by Hobart Auto Slicer
  • HMM20 Centerline™ by Hobart Mixer
  • FP150 Food Processor

Enter below for your chance to win!

Enter Here

National Garden Bureau: Therapeutic Garden Grant

Deadline: July 1, 2023

The National Garden Bureau promotes the health and healing powers of human interaction with plants through an annual grant program for therapeutic gardens. Three established therapeutic gardens will be selected to receive a grant to help expand or maintain the therapeutic garden. In addition to the grant funding, the selected gardens will also receive a set of Corona Gardening Tools. Schools, non-profits, hospitals, retirement centers, rehabilitation facilities, veteran’s facilities, community centers, day camps, treatment facilities, and inter-generational groups throughout the United States are eligible. Applicants must document that they have had a therapeutic garden program for at least one year at the time of application with at least a five-year commitment for the garden to remain on that property.

Enter Here
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The Arkansas Department of Agriculture offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.