August 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. 

Farm to School Opportunities

2023 CACFP Virtual Summit

August 15-17, 2023

Looking for food program training? Join the National Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Sponsors Association from August 15 to 17 for workshops on nutrition, program administration, operations, management, and more. Attendees are eligible to earn up to 12 hours of continuing education credit. Sessions include:

  • Explore New Foods with a Taste Testing Adventure
  • USDA Policy Updates & Town Hall
  • Promoting Responsive Feeding Practices in ECE Settings
  • Book & Bake to Build Math, Science, and Literacy Foundations
  • Plant-Powered Palates: Showcasing Plant-Forward CACFP Recipes and Menus
  • Resilience is Everything

Registration for the summit is $149 and includes on-demand sessions, available through August 31, 2023.

Learn More and Register

Kids Garden Community Chat: Starting a Youth Garden

August 15, 2023, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET

Join this Community Chat to ask your questions and share ideas about all things related to starting a youth garden! This Chat is perfect for anyone who is just getting started and for those who have started gardens before and can lend some advice. From those new to gardening to seasoned educators, everyone is welcome!

Sign Up

Write Winning Grant Proposals Seminar

September 13-14, 2023

The University of Arkansas Division of Research and Innovation, along with the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center, is hosting a Write Winning Grant Proposals seminar on September 13 and 14. This seminar will focus on proposal writing for federal agencies. The content will be relevant and usable for individuals applying to various grant funding entities (including private foundations, professional organizations, and state/other federal agencies).

Registration is open now and closes at 5 p.m. CDT on Friday, August 18. Limited seats are available for the event. Selected applicants will receive confirmation of their acceptance into the seminar the last week of August.

Learn More and Apply

Grants and Funding

Giving Tree Grants

Deadline: August 15, 2023

Arkansas Community Foundation has 29 affiliates throughout the state that offer Giving Tree grants through a competitive process aimed at supporting a wide variety of causes. Giving Tree grants are place-based, and committees of local leaders in each community determine the best use of their funds. Some affiliate offices have initiatives specifically focused on food security and early childhood literacy. Any nonprofit organization, school, hospital, or government agency serving the counties where grants are available is eligible to apply. Check out current funding opportunities and focuses for your area here

Learn More

The CHS Foundation Classroom Grant Program

Amount: $500

Deadline: September 15, 2023

The CHS Foundation provides $500 grants each year to pre-kindergarten-12th grade teachers who have classroom projects that use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and more. Eligible projects include classroom and schoolyard gardens, embryology projects, aquaculture projects, and agricultural literacy reading programs to name a few. Teachers have until June 1 the following year to complete the project and submit a final report. Only state-certified classroom teachers employed by a school district or private school teachers are eligible to apply. The CHS Classroom Grant application deadline is September 15, 2023.

Learn More and Apply

Farm to School Resources

Advocating for Farm to School: How to Host Site Visits

National Farm to School Network

Showcasing your farm to school program in person is one of the most impactful ways to advocate for farm to school. Some officials may have never heard of farm to school, and site visits are a great opportunity for them to learn more. Giving decision-makers at any level or branch of government the opportunity to experience your farm to school program firsthand will not only make them familiar with farm to school, but also allow them to interact with those who benefit the most. This resource includes:

  • Who You Should Invite
  • General Considerations
  • Messaging Tips and Best Practices
  • Coordinating Site Visits: Before, During, and After
  • Advice on Reaching out to Press
  • Sample Emails and Press Release Template
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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.