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Farm to School

Montana Farm to SchoolFarm to School is broadly defined as a program that connects schools (K-12) and local farms with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and supporting local and regional farmers.

Montana Team Nutrition Program assists educators, school nutrition professionals, school administration, parents, farmers and other community members with growing their own Farm to School programs. We have provided a multitude of resources below, which are categorized by topic for easy navigation.

MT Crunch Time

Montana Crunch Time
Montana Crunch Time is a statewide event to celebrate Food Day and National Farm to School Month in Montana by crunching into locally and regionally grown apples on October 24, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. MST.

Montana Crunch Time 2015 was a great success! Individuals from Bozeman to Winifred grabbed an apple and celebrated farm to school connections and healthy communities!

Register your Crunch Time event and download Montana Crunch Time guide, recipes, activities, and other resources.

 Sign up to Crunch!

Capture Your Crunch!
Share your story by tagging a photo or video with the hashtag #MTCrunchTime on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites. Also feel free to contact Aubree Roth, Montana Farm to School Coordinator at aubree.roth@montana.edu or 406.994.5996.

Farm to School Month

National Farm to School Month
National Farm to School Month is a great time to offer up meals featuring Montana-grown foods or take a field trip to visit a nearby farm! In October 2013, Superintendent of Education Denise Juneau declared October as Farm to School Month in Montana! Read the proclamation here. There are many great ways to celebrate Farm to School Month whether you are a student, teacher, parent, food service director, farmer, or community member. Consider the following ways to celebrate: MyPlate

  1. Put Montana foods on the tray. Consider serving up these Montana foods from each section of MyPlate: apples (fruit), squash (vegetable), wheat (grain), beef or lentils (protein) and milk (dairy). Learn about why these Montana foods are great for building healthy bodies and minds with these facts.

    Download the 2013 Farm to School Month in Montana Poster

    Download the 2013 Farm to School Month in Montana guide to get menu ideas, activities, and more!

    Download the Farm to Preschool during Farm to School Month Fact Sheet NEW

    Try out the following standardized recipes:

  2. Embark on food and agricultural explorations! Go on a farm field trip or bring a food producer or chef into the classroom to talk about what they do. There are many other fun in-class activities that connect perfectly with Montana standards.
  3. Connect with your community. Consider hosting a harvest dinner at the school cafeteria or other community location to celebrate delicious food, healthy communities, and Montana’s agricultural bounty.

Let’s Count the Trays
Help us count the ways Farm to School Month is being celebrated in Montana. Take a minute to sign up your program.

Additional Resources

National Farm to School Month
This site has numerous resources from activity and menu ideas to posters to a communications toolkit to help you promote your activity.f

Webinar: Montana Farm to School Month—Ideas and Resources – October 2012
Get ideas of ways to celebrate Farm to School Month from around Montana. Also, find resources that are available nationally and in Montana. Hosted by Montana Rural Health Initiative.

Sample School Board Resolution
This sample Farm to School Month school board resolution can be adapted for use at any school district. This is a great step to take and easy to do.

Food Day – October 24th
Check out the School Curriculum guide for this day, put your event on the calendar, and receive your Food Day resources.

Farm to School Month Teacher Toolkit
Created by Gallatin Valley Farm to School, this toolkit provides activity ideas and helpful tips for conducting farm field trips.

Join the fun or share how you are celebrating by contacting Aubree Roth at aubree.roth@montana.edu or 406.994.5996.

National Farm to School Month

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The Montana Harvest of the Month program showcases Montana grown foods in Montana schools and Montana Harvest of the Month logocommunities. This program is a collaboration between the Office of Public Instruction, Montana Team Nutrition Program, the National Center for Appropriate Technology, Montana State University Extension, Gallatin Valley Farm to School, and FoodCorps Montana. Funds were provided in part by a USDA Team Nutrition Training grant, a USDA Farm to School grant, Montana Healthcare Foundation, Northern Pulse Growers Association, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, and Montana School Nutrition Association.

Each month, the schools participating in the program focus on promoting one locally grown item (e.g., winter squash) by serving it in a meal, offering taste tests to students, and doing educational lessons and activities surrounding both the nutritional and agricultural aspects of the food. The two primary goals for this program are to expose students to new, healthy foods and to support Montana’s farmers and ranchers.

The Montana Harvest of the Month program is open for registration for the 2016/17 school year. Ready to dig in?

 Register Here

Educators

Edible Schoolyard
Edible education is making an impact in communities all over the world. Learn about the innovative work being done and support the incredible people doing it. If you have a program, join the network and share your story!

Montana Ag in the Classroom
This agriculture curriculum program provides schools and communities with opportunities to learn about agriculture in a fun and effective way, and seeks to instill appreciation for local agriculture and food production. This site contains full lesson plans and other helpful resources.

Lesson Pathway
Education Outside’s Lesson Pathway is a curriculum framework that allows educators to plan a comprehensive and sequenced outdoor education program by selecting lessons that are nested into a larger, coherent structure.

Farm to School and Education Standards
Farm to school programs provide a great venue to meet educational standards including Common Core. Resources are increasingly available to help educators link farm to school activities with Common Core, Next Generation, and other standards.

Training Template: Best Practices for Experiential EducationNEW
National Farm to School Network has created training templates for farm to school topics by collecting best practices from around the country. Each training module includes a customizable slide deck, speaker notes, handouts and an evaluation form. Use these to train staff, stakeholders, or your farm to school team! Topics available: Farm to School 101, Best Practices for Experiential Education, Communicating the Value of Farm to School to Administrators (coming soon).

Rethinking School Lunch: A Curriculum Resource from the Center for Ecoliteracy
The Rethinking School Lunch Program creates a framework for a comprehensive curriculum that integrates campus gardens, kitchen classrooms, school lunch, and a wide range of academic subjects. This program uses a systems approach to address the crisis in childhood obesity, provide nutrition education, and teach ecological knowledge.

Discover Montana's Delicious Treasures NEW
The Discover Montana's Delicious Treasures poster and meal-planning and food exploration lesson for elementary students (grades 2-5) is intended to teach basic nutrition to children while showcasing healthy Montana foods.

USDA Garden Curriculum Resources
The USDA has created three interactive and exploratory lessons as a creative way to connect gardens with nutrition messages in the classroom, cafeteria or lunchroom, and at home.

The Farmer Grows a Rainbow
This is a set of pre-K through 5th grade activities that were developed in order to
connect Ag in the Classroom activities with the MyPyramid resources from
USDA.

Discover Dairy
An engaging, interactive, cross-curricular, multi-leveled lesson series designed
for upper elementary-aged students. Helps students understand where milk
comes from and the many ways dairy farms contribute to our lives.

Linking Food and the Environment (LiFE ) Curriculum Series
Developed at Teachers College at Columbia University, this series of modules,
intended for students from grades 4-6, promotes scientific habits of mind through
thoughtful, inquiry-based activities that integrate the study of food, food systems,
and environmental and personal health.

All About Farmer’s Markets: A Teaching Guide for Classrooms, Camps and
Community Programs

This 116 page guide, containing games, songs and activities, helps to children
make the connection between the land, the food we eat, and our health and wellbeing.
Intended for pre-K through 2nd grade.

Healthy Food Choices – From the Farm to Your Table – a selection of resources for children.

Selection of Books for Elementary Children:

  • Williams-Paisley, Kimberly (with Gurney Williams III) Henry and the Hidden Veggie
    Garden, Silverback Books, Inc. 2008
  • Ehlert, Lois, Growing Vegetable Soup, Harcourt Brace and Company, 1987
  • Gibbons, Gail. The Milk Makers, Aladdin Books, Macmillan Publishing Company, New
    York, 1985.
  • Ehlert, Lois. Eating the Alphabet, Harcourt Brace and Company, Orlando, 1989
Mmm Mmm Montana: Delicious food that is grown right here in Montana Poster
Mmm Mmm Montana Poster
Classroom or Cafeteria Activities
Montana Food and Farm Trivia
Mmm Pyramid Adventure Activity
THINK TWO Snack Activity
Traditional Uses of the Buffalo
Traditional Uses of the Buffalo Match Game
Traditional Uses of the Buffalo Match Game Answers

The Traditional Uses of the Buffalo activity was developed by United Tribes Technical College, Bismarck ND, and is part of the Buffalo and Native American Wellness Resource. For more information on this resource, go to: http://landgrant.uttc.educlear

School Food Professionals

Local Food Procurement Resources
Guidelines for Purchasing Local Foods
Farm to Cafeteria Network
Montana Farm to Cafeteria Manual NEW
Farm to School Training Templates for Child Nutrition Directors and Producers
10 Facts About Local Food in Schools
Farm To School: A Tool For Success With The New Nutrition Standards
Selling Local Food to Schools: A Resource for ProducersNEW
Using DOD Fresh to Buy Local
Finding, Buying, and Serving Local Foods WebinarsNEW

  • Intro to Procurement – Archived
  • Conducting a Local Procurement Baseline Assessment – Archived
  • Finding Local Producers – February 13
  • Using the Informal Procurement Method – February 27
  • Using Specifications to Target Local Products – March 13
  • Working with Distributors – March 27
  • Using a Forward Contract – April 10
  • Introduction to Geographic Preference – April 24
  • Using Geographic Preference – May 8
  • Using USDA Foods as Resource to Purchase Local – May 22
  • Using DoD Fresh to Purchase Local – June 12
  • Tying It All Together and Digging In – June 26

Geographic Preference
USDA Memo - Procurement Geographic Preference Q&A’s (SP_18_2011)
USDA Memo – Procurement Geographic Preference Q&A’s Part II
When & How to Apply Geographic Preference

Montana Beef to School
Montana Beef to School Video
Procuring Montana Beef for Montana Schools
Procurement Facts about Beef
Beef Processors Around Montana

Find Montana Food Producers
Abundant Montana: AERO’s Directory to Sustainably Grown Montana Food
Montana Department of Commerce: Made in Montana Program (food/beverage list)

Montana Menu Board: Reusable menu board designed to showcase Montana foods served in cafeterias
Download poster for printingand Instructions
Contact us for printed & laminated posters

Recipe Ideas

Lentils, Gems in The Treasure State ResourceNEW
New School Cuisine: Nutritious and Seasonal Recipes by School Cooks for School Cooks
Montana Recipe Roundup: Recipes from Montana School Cooks


Mmm Mmm Montana: Delicious food that is grown right here in Montana Poster
Mmm Mmm Montana Poster Classroom or Cafeteria Activities
Montana Food and Farm Trivia
Mmm Pyramid Adventure Activity
THINK TWO Snack Activity
Traditional Uses of the Buffalo
Traditional Uses of the Buffalo Match Game
Traditional Uses of the Buffalo Match Game Answers

Cooks for Kids Season Three: Cooking Green Across America
Episode three of this series features Missoula County Public Schools' Farm to School initiatives. clear

School Gardens

List of School Gardens in Montana

USDA Q&A - Using School Food Service Funds for Farm to School - 2014NEW

USDA Q&A - Using School Food Service Funds for Farm to School - 2009

Webinar: Planting the Seeds of Healthy Eating through School Gardens – April 2011

The Edible Schoolyard
The Edible Schoolyard (ESY) is a program of the Chez Panisse Foundation.  Website resources include garden lesson, kitchen lessons and classroom lessons… and much more. 

Food Safety in the School Garden

Let’s Move School Garden Checklist
This webpage and the downloadable checklist provide steps to get moving in the school garden and great tips including how to ensure safety.

Gardening with Kids.org
Lots of resources for conducting fun and engaging activities with children.

Kids Gardening.org
A website created by the National Gardening Association with links to loads of information and resources related to gardening with children.

School Garden Wizard
A resource created for America's K-12 school community through a partnership between the United States Botanic Garden and Chicago Botanic Garden.

Gardening Videos NEW

Preparing the Soil
How to Water
How to Compost
How to Weed
Season Extension
How to Prune
How to Build A Cold Frame
Fall Garden Planningclear

Healthy & Local Fundraising

Schools often rely on fundraising activities to supplement budgets and pay for equipment, supplies and events. Unfortunately, these fundraisers often include the sale of unhealthy foods. OPI School Nutrition Programs and Montana Team Nutrition recognize the importance of addressing the availability of healthy food options throughout the school environment, including school fundraising.

Here you will find sample resources to help your school implement a fundraising program that raises money through the sale of Montana-made healthy food products. The sample resources you will find here were developed through the 2008 and 2011 pilot programs organized by Montana Team Nutrition Program and 2009-2011 offerings organized for Bozeman-area schools by Gallatin Valley Farm to School. Feel free to adapt these resources for your needs to develop a fundraising program in your school/district.

Harvest Montana Fundraiser Model
Harvest Montana Fundraiser How to Guide
Simple Guide to Harvest Montana Fundraiser
Harvest Montana Fundraiser Brochure Template
Harvest Montana Fundraiser Order Form Template
Harvest Montana Fundraiser Order Tabulation Spreadsheet
Talking Points for Promotion of Montana Farm to School Fundraiser
Fundraiser Timeline
Sample Announcement/Flyer for Fundraiser
Instructions for Sellers
Sample Order Form
2008 Pilot Report
2011 4-H Pilot Report

Additional Resources for Healthy Fundraising at School
Healthy, Creative Ideas for Fundraising: Action for Healthy Kids - Virginia
Sweet Deals: School Fundraising Can be Healthy (Center for Science in
the Public Interest)
Michigan Farm to School: Link to Local Food – Fundraising Information
Farm-Raisers: Fundraising with a Healthy Twist – Center for Food and
Justice

Healthy School Fundraisers: Wisconsin Action for Healthy Kids
Promoting Healthy Fundraising in Our Children’s Schools

Links to Lists of Montana Food Producers
Made in Montana: A Program of the Montana Department of Commerce
Abundant Montana – Producer database managed by AERO
Organization (AERO)

University of Montana Farm to College Program: Vendor Linksclear

Sprouting Success: 2016 Montana Farm to School Summit
Mark your calendar for the Montana Farm to School Summit: Sprouting Success to be held on September 22-23, 2016 at Montana State University in Bozeman. Learn and share how Montana schools and programs are sprouting success through the core elements of farm to school--serving local foods, school gardens, and nutrition, agriculture, and food education. Workshops, field trips, and networking opportunities will provide inspiration and skill building. The summit will feature Montana farm to school champions as well as Chef Ann Cooper who is nationally renowned for her work inspiring innovation in school meals. For more information and to register (opening March 2016) visit: https://tofu.msu.montana.edu/cs/f2s_2016.

Taking Root: 2012 Montana Farm to School Conference
Taking Root: Montana Farm to School conference was held August 16-17, 2012 at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. The conference was a great success with ten workshops, three field trips, an open session discussion, networking hour, fabulous speakers, and 140 attendees from all over the state. To facilitate the continued exchange of information after the conference, we have provided conference and workshop materials here.

General Conference Information
Workshop Resources
Open Session Notes