June 2022

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 State School Garden Manager

We are excited to introduce Cecilia Trotter who recently joined the farm to school team at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture as the State School Garden Manager! Cecilia will provide technical assistance to schools, develop farm to school resources, host webinars and trainings, and lead the school garden contest and grant program. Welcome, Cecilia!

Cecilia Trotter is a Mississippi native who graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelors of Public Policy in 2020. Cecilia has now called Arkansas home for the last two years while receiving her Master of Public Service from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. She has worked on various projects around Little Rock focused within the education sector. Cecilia is passionate about education and public health! The intersection of these interests led her to the State School Garden Manager position. Cecilia is excited to get started with this important work and grow as a public servant in a new capacity. 

Reach Cecilia via email at cecilia.trotter@agriculture.arkansas.gov

Farm to School Opportunities

Webinar: Funding Your School Food Garden

June 14, 2022, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.

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School food gardens need funding to get started and to continue from year to year. What better way to secure support than through your local community? There are many organizations in your community ready to donate seeds, soil, tools, and even food for educational classes. In this webinar, a panel of garden experts will discuss ways to fund-raise. From crowdfunding to securing donations, learn what makes your program attractive to funders. Join us to learn how to fund-raise and secure donations locally.

Register Here

Adopt a Cow with Discovery Dairy

Registration: May 1 - September 15, 2022

The Adopt a Cow program is a free year-long experience for your classroom! Educators in a traditional classroom setting or other after-school and out-of-school programs are all eligible to sign up. Once paired with a calf from a United States dairy farm, you will receive progress about her growth and other exciting updates, like photos, live chats from the farm, activity sheets, and lessons!

Apply Here

2022 Edible Schoolyard Virtual Summer Training

June 21 - 24, 2022

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Join the Edible Schoolyard Project's upcoming virtual summer training to learn and share core principles and practical tools for engaging students in academics, sensory learning, and culturally responsive lessons in the kitchen, garden, and cafeteria. The training is designed for educators and organizations in the early stages of developing their garden and kitchen classrooms and curriculum to explore the fundamentals of edible education. Register for free to attend your favorite sessions today! 

Apply Here

Nature-Based Early Learning Conference

July 27 - 30, 2022

The Natural Start Alliance's annual conference is the nation's largest professional event for teaching, administration, research, and advocacy in nature-based early learning. The conference includes featured speakers, workshops, concurrent sessions, field experiences, and site tours of nature-based programs. If you can't join in person in Cincinnati, Ohio, there is the option to attend the conference online as well. Conference registration includes year-long access to all on-demand conference sessions, live-streamed plenary sessions, and professional development certificates for every session attended. 

Register Here
Grants and Funding

Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest 

Amount: $500 - $1,000

Deadline: June 5, 2022

The ninth annual Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest is sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture with funding provided by the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas. Applicants may be any school, early childhood education facility, or alternative learning environment that had a school garden during the 2021-2022 school year or is planning to start a garden in the 2022-2023 school year. Contest entries will be accepted through June 5, 2022. 

Learn More Here

Christina Sue Lilja Resource Grant

Amount: $100 in store credit

Deadline: June 30, 2022

The Christina Sue Lilja (CSL) Resource Grants (formerly White-Reinhardt Resource Grants) are made possible by the CSL Foundation. The foundation was established to carry on the advocacy of Christina Lilja, the late Director of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture, for educating teachers and students about the importance of agriculture. The purpose of the grants is to provide funds to educators to purchase accurate agricultural literacy materials for use in their classrooms. For 2022, 85 educators will win $100 in credit to purchase agriculture literacy resources from the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture store. 

Learn More Here
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