Farm to CNP Newsletter: February 1-29, 2024

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Farm to Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) Newsletter

February 1-29, 2024 | Vol 5 Issue 5

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Inside this Issue

  • Farm to School Podcast: New episode and updates on a previous Podcast guest. (New)
  • Online Forum: Help Create a Shared Vision for the next 10 Years of Farm to School and School Gardens in Oregon. Next Office Hours meeting February 27th. (Repeat)
  • Call for Indigenous Knowledge Student Research Projects. Applications due March 8th (New)
  • Farm to School Institute: Applications are LIVE! Applications due March 15th. (New)
  • National CACFP Sponsors Association Virtual Conference Scholarships. Applications due March 15th. (New)

  • Farm to School in the News - Noodles of opportunity: how an Oregon law boosted a small food business and built community. The Guardian, February 9, 2024. (New)
  • Local Food for Schools Grant (Repeat)
  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Program (Updated)
  • Farm to CNP Noncompetitive Reimbursement Grant (Repeat)

  • Competitive Reimbursement Grant (Repeat)
  • Education Grant (Updated)

Farm to School Podcast Logo


New Episode

Check out the latest Farm to School Podcast episode below!


John Fisher

Bringing Learning to Life in the School Garden: Special Guest John Fisher

Join us as we interview John Fisher, from Life Lab in Santa Cruz County, California. John has dedicated his life to bringing school gardens to the forefront in the USA, and has been a main architect in the school garden movement.

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

In a previous issue, we shared the Farm to School Podcast episode with Kelly Douglas, and her experience as a School Garden Coordinator for Molalla High School.

Since that episode aired, a few great things have happened to Kelly because of the episode, including mention in this Oregon School Boards Association article titled New Farm to School Podcast Trying to Seed Spread of School Gardens. Kelly has also been enlisted by the USDA to speak to the Western Region State Agency members during an upcoming event and is currently working on her own TED talk.

Kelly Douglas

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

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:

  • 2/27 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


Call for Indigenous Knowledge Student Research Projects

The application period is now open for the Indigenous Knowledge Research Track Program developed by AISES - Advancing Indigenous People in STEM, with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Tribal Relations.

This endeavor stems from a cooperative agreement between USDA and AISES to elevate projects that focus on the intersection of Indigenous knowledge (IK) and western science and engineering. Indigenous knowledge is a body of observations, oral and written knowledge, innovations, practices, and beliefs developed by Tribes and Indigenous peoples through interaction and experience with the environment. Today’s announcement encourages high school, undergraduate, and graduate students to develop and conduct Indigenous knowledge research projects. Currently, year one students are conducting research projects on topics such as ethnobotany, mental health, and traditional medicine.

Selected applicants will be supported in their project and skill development journey through a $300 stipend to support IK research project activities, monthly webinars on IK topics from leaders in the field, and access to IK resources and Indian Country and USDA mentors. Additionally, participating students will be encouraged to present their research at the 2024 AISES National Conference in the Indigenous Knowledge Research Track and other events.

Up to 20 students will be selected this application cycle. Eligible applicants include current high school, undergraduate, and graduate students in the United States. The deadline for applications is Friday, March 8, 2024. Awardees will be notified by the end of March. If interested, please complete the Indigenous Knowledge Track Research Program Application.

For questions and comments regarding the application or program, contact Sky Wildcat at


APPLY NOW! Oregon & Washington Farm To School Institute Application is LIVE!

We are excited to extend a new offering to you! The Farm to School Institute in Oregon and Washington is the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.


Applications for the 2024–25 Oregon and Washington

Farm to School Institute are open!

Applications are due Friday, March 15, 2024.

Notifications of team selections will be made by April 8, 2024. 


About the Institute

Grow farm to school in your community with the support of an entire network

The Farm to School Institute model is a year-long professional learning experience that brings site-based teams together to build relationships, skills, and a collaborative action plan to further their farm to school goals. Team members bring a variety of expertise and may include classroom educators, administrators, nutrition services staff, garden educators, and community partners. With the support of a coach, teams spend the school year putting their plans into action and strengthening their capacity to integrate lasting impacts across classrooms, cafeterias, and communities.

Read more about this wonderful opportunity on the Institute Webpage.

How to Apply

Please fill out the Oregon and Washington K-12 Farm to School Institutes application here!

We encourage applicants to read through the FAQ page on the Institute webpage for more information about the program, Institute model, and in-person summer retreat details. 

Additional questions? Please reach out to


National CACFP Sponsors Association Virtual Conference Scholarships

We have already awarded 15 scholarships to attend the National Child Nutrition Conference, April 22-26, and are thrilled to announce that we're opening up applications for more scholarships!

This conference is a great opportunity for professionals from child care centers, home providers, sponsoring organizations, school districts, afterschool programs, Head Start programs, Food Banks, tribal nations and State Agencies.

We'll be giving away up to 100 scholarships, which is over $50,000 dedicated to enhancing educational opportunities for the CACFP, Afterschool Meals and Summer Food communities.

These scholarships are for the virtual option only. If you had previously applied for a scholarship to the conference this year, you will need to submit a new application in order to be eligible.

Apply for a Virtual Option Scholarship

The deadline to apply for a virtual scholarship is Wednesday, March 15. Recipients will be notified on Friday, March 22.

cherry tomatoes

Farm to School in the News

Noodles of opportunity: how an Oregon law boosted a small food business and built community. The Guardian, February 9, 2024.

Green Pears

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 Allowable and Unallowable Products, 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)

December claims must be submitted to no later than Thursday, February, 29th, 2024. The SY 2023-2024 FFVP claims deadlines can be found here. 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

Farm to CNP Noncompetitive Reimbursement Grant

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).

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.

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.
  • 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. It looks generic but you are in the right spot!).

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 April 2024. The Competitive Reimbursement Grant is only available for Sponsors that use all their available Noncompetitive Reimbursement Grant Funds.

green beans

Education Grant

Applications for the 2023-2025 ODE Farm to Child Nutrition Program Competitive Education Grant are currently in the final evaluation stage and we expect award announcements for the full grants to go out soon.

Please visit the Education Grant website for timeline updates. 

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

February 1-29, 2024 | Vol 5 Issue 5

Questions or suggestions for future issues? 

Please send an email to the Farm to CNP team at