Farm to CNP Newsletter: January 1-31, 2024

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Farm to Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) Newsletter

January 1-31, 2024 | Vol 5 Issue 4

Farm to CNP logo

Farm to School Podcast Logo


New Episodes

Two new Farm to School podcasts are now available!



Rick Sherman

Everything happens for a reason: Michelle interviews her co-host Rick Sherman

From his humble beginnings as a Dockboy and competitive distance runner, to earning an ED degree and finding his dream job as a State Agency Farm to School Analyst, listen as Michelle interviews her co-host, Rick Sherman.


For show notes, podcast transcripts and contact information please the OSU Farm to School Podcast website.

Teeny School? No Kitchen? No problem! Find out how Lua Siegel transformed a very rural charter school into an edible landscape

Join Rick and Michelle as they interview Lua Siegel, a School Garden Coordinator with very unique challenges.


For show notes, podcast transcripts and contact information please the OSU Farm to School Podcast website.

Lua Siegel


The Farm to School Podcast is a project by Oregon State University (OSU) and Oregon Department of Education (ODE), funded by the USDA. It is hosted by Oregon Farm to School coordinators Rick Sherman of ODE, and Michelle Markesteyn from OSU.


Podcast Logos

Oregon Farm to School & School Garden Network Conference Logo

Registration Closes Jan 31!

2024 Oregon Farm to School & School Garden Conference


Just 8 days left to reserve your spot!

The program is packed with useful workshops, inspirational stories and lots of time to learn, connect and share. Whether you are an educator, child nutrition professional, food producer, support organization or community member, you'll find something of value at this gathering! 

Here are the details: 

February 15th & 16th, OSU Alumni Center


Learn more and Register Here!


If you are a small farmer, rancher or food maker attending the OSU Small Farms Conference, there's special funding available to help you with travel/lodging if you come the Oregon Farm to School Conference Friday! 

Swiss Chard

Help Create a Shared Vision for the next 10 Years of Farm to School and School Gardens in Oregon

Over 20 years ago many ideas were germinating across the country about how we could improve the meals kids ate in schools in ways that could also help farmers prosper. Those ideas grew into a movement and then institutionally took root in Oregon when in 2007 the Oregon State Legislature created the statewide Farm to School and School Garden Program.

Fast forward 20 years, and Oregon is home to the robust Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network in partnership with public programs within the Oregon Departments of Agriculture and Education and at Oregon State University all working in concert with countless statewide non-profit organizations, Commodity Commission, individuals and private businesses. And its worked!

We have come so far, and where we go from here is up to us. Please join the conversation.

The online forum is officially open until March 20th. There are written directions on the website, or you can watch a video tutorial here

This online forum presents goals and strategies for your review and comment. We recommend everyone start by reviewing the Goals tab. Then you can dive deeper into one or more areas of work that matter most to you. You can offer feedback on proposed strategies as well as share any additional strategies that you believe will help. Please use the pro/con tool to share more about your perspective.

If you would like personal instructions and/or to be part of a group going through it together, Michelle (OSU) and/or Melina (OFSGN) has office hours on the following days and times:

  • 2/6/24 Tuesday 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM ZOOM LINK 
  • 2/15/24 Thursday In-person session at the Oregon Farm to School & School Garden Conference in Corvallis, OR register here. 
  • 2/27 Tuesday 9-10:30 (Melina) ZOOM LINK
  • 3/4 Monday 3:00-4:30 (Melina) ZOOM LINK
  • 3/6 Wednesday 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM ZOOM LINK
  • 3/15/24 Friday or Saturday at the Oregon School Nutrition Association Conference in Salem, OR. Details here


USDA 2023 Farm to School Census Logo

USDA 2023 Farm to School Census

The Farm to School Census is now closed. Oregon's final participation rate was 92.1%.

Thank you so much for taking the time to complete the Farm to School Census!

Green Pears

Federal USDA Farm to School Grant: Local Food For Schools (LFS) Grant

The USDA Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program, (or, the LFS Grant for short), is a Federal, one-time award that enables State Agencies to reimburse School Districts for local foods that meet certain criteria. All NSLP sponsors were automatically opted into this grant.

Agreements were sent to sponsors in the fall of 2023 with follow up from ODE's contracts department through the end of the year. Please sign and return your grant agreements as soon as possible in order to make funds available for reimbursement.

Allowable Items:

  • Milk from either inside the Oregon border or up to 400 miles outside of the Oregon border (Fluid milk - half pints, flavored milk).
  • Unprocessed or minimally processed food from up to 400 miles outside the Oregon border.
  • NEW: Unprocessed or minimally processed food from inside of the Oregon border, only after your initial Farm to CNP Noncompetitive Reimbursement Grant award is exhausted.
  • The mandatory training as well as the LFS Allowable/Unallowable document can be found on on the ODE Local Food for Schools Grant website under Training Resources, and Resources for Claims, respectively. Please refer to these resources for additional details and claim guidance.

This grant begins March 1, 2023 and closes on August 31, 2024.


Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)

FFVP grant agreements for the 2023-2024 program year were sent out on Tuesday, December 26, 2023.  Please have your Authorized Representative sign and return the agreement as soon as they are able. 

Please note: Subgrants will be on hold in EGMS until grant agreements are fully executed and the mandatory 2023-2024 FFVP training is complete and we have received your attestation as such. You are still required to submit claims for review by their claim month’s due date to be reimbursed for the claim once agreements are fully executed. 

November claims must be submitted to no later than Monday, January 29th, 2024. The SY 2023-2024 FFVP claims deadlines can be found here. And the updated FFVP claim form can be found here. 

Curious what other schools are purchasing with their FFVP funds? Here is a list of fruits and vegetables purchased during the 2022-2023 school year

Any questions can be sent to us at

Colorful Beans in harvest baskets

Noncompetitive Reimbursement Grant

Noncompetitive Reimbursement Grant award amounts were announced on July 18, 2023.

All NSLP, CACFP and SFSP CNP sponsors were automatically opted in to receive a Farm to CNP Noncompetitive Reimbursement Grant for the 2023-2025 biennium (July 1, 2023-June 30, 2025).

This Farm to CNP Noncompetitive Reimbursement Grant will require a grant agreement. The grant agreement will be sent from an ODE Procurement and Contract Specialist in the next two weeks or so. Please prioritize signing and returning the Grant Agreement to avoid delays in the release of funds from the ODE’s Electronic Grants Management System (EGMS).

The Grant’s start date is retroactive and you will be able to submit claims for items purchased starting July 1, 2023 when your district or grant organization’s Grant Agreement has been signed and returned to ODE for Agency’s signature.

Action Needed:

  • Nutrition Service Directors and Program Directors MUST sign up for the Farm to CNP listserv. ODE communicates its Grant Program updates predominantly through the listserv. Staff working on Farm to CNP activities, including purchasing and finance are encouraged to sign up as well. (Note: When you click on the link it will direct you to an "Oregon Department of Education email updates" sign-up page).

The following is due before Sponsors can submit claims in EGMS:

  • View the Mandatory Training. After viewing is complete, each grantee must fill out a Reimbursement Grant Attestation Form. The link to the Reimbursement Grant Training Attestation Form can be found at the end of the Mandatory Training
  • Baseline report (for new Sponsors) available on our grant webpage under “Reporting.” New sponsors must complete this step before submitting their first claim.
  • Final report from last biennium (for returning Sponsors). The final report is available on our grant webpage under “Reporting.” Returning sponsors must complete this step before submitting their first claim.
  • Sign Grant agreement.
  • If you do not plan to participate in this Grant during the entirety of the 23-25 biennium, please complete this brief form to indicate you would prefer to opt out. This form will be shared with our Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Network. The Regional Farm to School Hubs may reach out to you to confirm.
  • The 2023-2025 claim form can be found on the Farm to CNP Reimbursement Grant webpage. It is the first item under the "Resources for Claims" section.

Please let the Farm to CNP team know at if you have any questions.

Orange carrots in a basket

Competitive Reimbursement Grant

The Competitive Reimbursement Grant is a separate sub-program that will be available again this biennium. A Request for Application (RFA) will be developed and available for applications in approximately February 2023. The Competitive Reimbursement Grant is only available for Sponsors that use all their available Noncompetitive Reimbursement Grant Funds.

Close up of a huckleberry

Education Grant

Oregon State University Soil Science - Summary of the 2021-2023 biennium Education Grant Project

School gardens are associated with many health benefits; however, soils may be enriched in heavy metals, which can adversely impact children’s health. Many schools lack the funding to conduct analyses of metals. With this in mind, Dr. Sarah Rothenberg led Oregon State University’s Soil Science Project funded by an ODE Education Grant during the 2021-2023 biennium and has recently returned the results to the participating schools. Forty-three preK-12 schools from across Oregon participated, representing 20 (out of 36) counties in Oregon. A total of 2,500 children take part in the school garden programs. For each school garden, up to 5 soil/compost samples were collected and sent to Dr. Rothenberg's lab for analysis of metals (manganese, iron, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury). Metals concentrations were compared to soil screening levels from the EPA and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry (ATSDR). Results were returned to each school in December 2023 and mitigation measures were suggested. In return for their participation, each school received a Lamotte Topsoil Tour kit, providing everything needed for students to conduct soil analyses and interpret their own results. You can read more about the study and its results here.  


2023-2025 Education Grant Update

Applications for the 2023-2025 ODE Farm to Child Nutrition Program Competitive Education Grant are currently in the evaluation stage.

Please visit the Education Grant website for timeline updates. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at

January 1-31, 2024 | Vol 5 Issue 4

Questions or suggestions for future issues? 

Please send an email to the Farm to CNP team at