November 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. 
Applications Now Open for
Arkansas Farm to School Grants

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the second-annual Arkansas School Garden Grant Program and the new Arkansas Taste Test Grant Program to help schools start or expand farm to school activities. The grant programs are available to public and private K-12 schools, early childhood education facilities, and alternative learning environments. All eligible schools are encouraged to apply, whether they already have existing farm to school activities or they are just getting started with school gardens and local procurement.

Applications for both grants will be accepted through November 30, 2021. More information about the Arkansas School Garden Grant Program and Arkansas Taste Test Grant Program can be found at: agriculture.arkansas.gov/arkansas-department-of-agriculture/farm-to-school/ or by contacting Erica Benoit at erica.benoit@agriculture.arkansas.gov and Shannon Newerth-Henson at shannon.henson@agriculture.arkansas.gov
2021 Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest Winners Announced

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas announced the 2021 Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year contest winners. Congratulations to the 10 winning schools on this achievement! 

  • Best Start-up School Garden Proposal, $500 Awards: Blevins High School and Quitman Elementary School
  • Best Education Based School Garden, $500 Awards: Ouachita Elementary School and Sheridan Elementary School
  • Best Harvest Partnership School Garden, $500 Awards: The Delta School and First Friends Preschool
  • Best Community Collaboration School Garden, $500 Awards: Ozark Junior High School and Retta Brown ABC
  • Best Overall School Garden, $1,000 Award: Cedarville Elementary School
  • Champion of School Garden Sustainability, $1,000 Award: Forest Park Elementary School

Find the official press release announcing this year’s winners here.

Watch the announcement video here!

2022 USDA Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA)

Amount: up to $500,000

Deadline: January 10, 2022
The 2022 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is now available! The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) seeks to award up to $12 million this fiscal year. Eligible schools, institutions operating the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program, State and local agencies, Indian Tribal Organizations, small- to medium-sized agricultural producers or groups of small- to medium-sized agricultural producers, and non-profit organizations are eligible for Farm to School grants.

Please see the RFA for full details. The Office of Community Food Systems will host webinars  Monday, November 8th, 2021 and Tuesday, November 9th, 2021, each at 2:30pm ET, to help interested applicants learn more about the RFA and put together a grant package, respectively.

Additional information is available through the Farm to School Grant Applicant Resources Page of the FNS website. 
Growing My Plate
Survey Results

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture, Arkansas Resource Conservation and Development Council – Full Circle FarmCorps, and AmeriCorps VISTA, compiled survey findings for the Growing My Plate courses delivered by Full Circle FarmCorps members in the summer of 2021. The Growing My Plate program empowers students with cooking skills, nutrition knowledge, and a desire to prepare healthy foods. Results of the Growing My Plate Survey were released in October and are available here.
Grants and Funding

Youth Garden Grant

Amount: $1,050 – $2,200
Deadline: December 17, 2021
A total of 50 programs will be awarded Youth Garden Grants in 2022. All winning programs will receive a check for $250, and materials to grow their garden program. Forty programs will receive packages worth $1,050, five programs will receive the base package plus a $1,000 tool grant from Corona Tools, and five programs will receive the base package plus two Garden Towers from Garden Tower Project! Any nonprofit organization, public or private school, or youth program in the United States or US Territories planning a new garden program or expanding an established one that serves at least 15 youth between the ages of 3 and 18 is eligible to apply.
Training Opportunities
Regional School Garden Support Models
November 17, 2012, 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. CT
Are you seeking ways to more effectively support a large or larger number of school gardens? Discussion will include activities that regional support organizations provide and sharing of a framework to enhance your work supporting multiple school gardens. In preparation for this webinar, please complete this template.