October 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. 

Happy Arkansas 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 2022 Arkansas Farm to School Month proclamation here.

This year, Arkansas Farm to School Month is themed “Growing Together.” Check out 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 all month long!

Learn More Here

Farm to School Opportunities

Arkansas Farm to School Cook Off

October 1 - 31, 2022

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is hosting its first ever recipe contest for Arkansas Farm to School Month. The program invites K-12 schools, early childhood education facilities, and alternative learning environments across the state to participate in the Arkansas Farm to School Cook Off! Students have the opportunity to showcase their interests, creativity, and skills by submitting a recipe to be featured in the Arkansas Farm to School Kids’ Cookbook, a cookbook made by kids for kids.

To celebrate the great seasonal products that Arkansas has to offer, recipes will feature fall seasonal ingredients. Visit the Harvest of the Season Fall page to learn more about products in season now. 

All entries will have the chance to be featured in the cookbook, but one winner will be selected for the best recipe! The winning student or group of students will have the opportunity to share their seasonal recipe with the state on KATV’s Good Morning Arkansas program.

Learn More Here

Arkansas Farm to School Month Celebration 

October 12, 2022, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Central Time

Join other schools in the state to celebrate farm to school! We will gather at Pinnacle View Middle School on October 12, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Attendees will hear a message from Governor Hutchinson and Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. Banners will be presented to the winners of the 2022 Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest during the event. Attendees will also have the chance to win some fun farm to school prizes!

Learn More Here

Meal Talk: Taste-Test Events

October 12, 2022, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Central Time 

In honor of National School Lunch Week, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Team Nutrition Initiative will present a Meal Talk webinar on taste-test events. Team Nutrition staff and guest speakers from the Pennridge School District in Pennsylvania and Kern County Superintendent of Schools in California will share tools, tips, strategies, success stories, and best practices related to hosting taste-test events with elementary and secondary school students.

Register Here

Apple Seeds Farm to Table Cooking Class  

October 13, 2022, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Central Time 

Apple Seeds Teaching Farm is offering a Farm to Table cooking class for students aged 7-15. Students will learn basic cooking techniques, kitchen safety, how to build flavor, and how to make simple, healthy, delicious recipes with garden-fresh veggies. This class is focused on Wood Fired Pizza, so students will learn to make their own sauce and dough, and the beauty of adding fresh veggies to the fan-favorite dish. Students will go home with a full belly, an eagerness to help in the kitchen, and an Apple Seeds cookbook!

Learn More and Register Here

Growing School Gardens Summit Lightning Talks Webinar

October 19, 2022, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Central Time 

Join the School Garden Support Organization Network for an hour of bite-sized 5 minute Lightning Talks, each diving into a variety of school garden programming topics. After each talk, there will be reflection time to integrate the information and time at the end for questions.

Learn More and Register Here

Virtual Farm Trips

Virtual Farm Trips offers one-of-a-kind learning experiences by connecting participants to real working farms from the comfort of their computers, classrooms, conference rooms, and living rooms. They are offering a full line up of free, virtual farm field trips to engage with students this fall! 

Find Trips Here
Grants and Funding

Budding Botanist Grant

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: October 14, 2022

Designed to further the Klorane Botanical Foundation's mission, the Budding Botanist Grant will help students learn about plants, explore the world, and inspire them to take care of the life they discover in their local ecosystems. Twenty high-need schools will be awarded $1,000 in grant funding to support their youth garden programs. Any public, charter, or private school serving K-12 students in the United States with 40% of student population qualifying for free or reduced-price meals are eligible to apply. 

Learn More Here

Bee Grants

Amount: Bee equipment or $1,500

Deadline: October 15, 2022

The Whole Kids Foundation and the Bee Cause Project have partnered to provide bee grants to allow for schools and non-profit organizations to receive support for educational beehives and bee programming so students can observe bees up close and learn about the vital role these pollinators play in our food system. K-12 schools and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply to start a new or enhance an existing bee program hosting live bees on their campus. The Renewal Bee Grant Program is also available for previous grant recipients.

Learn More Here
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