2023 Louisiana Farm to School Conference- Growing New Connections
The annual Louisiana Farm to School Conference gathered participants from across the state for an opportunity to learn, celebrate, share and inspire the movement of bringing healthy, local, sustainably grown foods to the minds and plates of students in Louisiana and beyond! Attendees can attend in-person sessions guided by farm to school champions from across the state. In addition, the gathering featured a venue for networking in a relaxed, face-to-face environment, allowing participants to grow lasting connections.
In case you missed the conference or a particular session, you can find all the speakers presentations below.
Given by Christina Melton, Executive Director of the Knock Knock Children’s Museum
Break Out Session One
- Serving School Garden Produce in the Cafeteria
Bringing school garden produce into the school cafeteria can be a win-win: food service staff find a local source of fresh produce, and students enjoy the bounty that they helped plant and harvest. With proper attention to food safety, both in the garden and in the cafeteria, students are able to see their food change from seed, to plant, to lunch!
- Keep it Moving: Crop Rotation
Did you know you should rotate the plant families grown in garden beds each year? Did you know plants have families? Join Denyse Cummins as she explores the ins-and-outs of crop rotation. Participants will get the chance to practice planning a spring garden using what they learn.
- Better Together: The Power of Partnerships
As farm to school programs move forward, resiliency and creativity are top of mind as efforts continue to keep children fed and educated on where our food comes from. This session focuses on farm to school partners who are leveraging and leaning into collaboration to support the needs of students and families in communities across Louisiana.
Break Out Session Two
- Local Procurement Strategies
This session will help you get familiar with ways to bring more local foods to the school meal tray. A basic overview of procurement principles and regulations as they relate to Louisiana will be discussed, as well as identifying areas of flexibility to target local products. This session will explain how a child nutrition director begins buying from a local farmer, the farm tour process, what to look for, and the procurement process.
- Planting the Seed: Harvesting Connections
Regina Smart, Calcasieu Parish High School Teacher of the Year for 2022, will share her experience in establishing a school garden, overcoming obstacles and garden growing pains, and using the garden to connect and involve students and the community to producing food sustainably.
- Experience the Garden with the Classroom in Mind
Learn how two Louisiana schools are incorporating farm to school within their school culture and classroom curriculum. These educators represent excellence in extending the classroom to include the garden for grades Pre-k through 8th grade.
Thank You to this Year’s Exhibitors! Click each logo to learn more about each exhibitor.
2022 Louisiana Farm to School Gathering
Seeds to Success: The Louisiana Farm to School team is thrilled to welcome you to the sixth annual Louisiana Farm to School conference! This year’s gathering will have the same great content attendees have come to expect from our annual event – inspiring sessions, abundant resources, and knowledgeable speakers. We are grateful we can continue to connect with our stakeholders and bring them the opportunity to network, share and gain knowledge while celebrating the successes of farm to school from around the state.
This year’s program is full of great information to guide you through the gathering and more! You can find the general schedule on pages four and five. The schedule includes a brief description of the sessions, the speakers, and where the session will be taking place. In addition, the program includes information on the 2022 Louisiana Farm to School Challenge and Great Louisiana Satsuma Peel. New this year is our Farm to School Art Contest. Share your students’ artwork and enthusiasm for farm to school by submitting their artwork to be featured in our 2023 Seeds to Success Calendar! Check out pages six, seven, and eight for details and deadlines.
Beverly Girard, a consultant with Chef Cyndie’s K12 Culinary Team, will kick off the conference with the keynote address on why she loves Farm to School. Beverly Girard is a coach and leader to many professionals in school nutrition, specializing in operational and financial management. She has over thirty years of experience providing leadership, mentoring, and training for staff and dietetics students in school nutrition operations and management, quantity food production, nutrition education, and customer service.
This session will cover how to scale your farm to school program, no matter how large or small. Learn how one parish harmonized multiple schools to scale a farm to school program parish-wide. Hear more about questions to consider and helpful resources that unlock new value to your farm to school program.
Want to know the ins and outs of agritourism? Get a behind-the-scenes view of coordinating and hosting farm tours with K-12 schools. Discover how a trip to visit a farm and meet the farmer can be a memorable and educational day your students are sure to remember!
Hear first-hand accounts of how teachers enhance their classroom by adding an outdoor laboratory, a garden! The session will include insight into school garden experiences, using tools from Seeds to Success, and how student excitement keeps the momentum going. Discover how Master Gardeners and teachers can join forces to bring student learning to new heights through school gardens guided by knowledgeable volunteers.
Nutrition demonstrations and taste tests are a great way to teach children about food safety and trying new foods. This session will break down taste testing in step-by-step, time-saving strategies that can also help build an amazing classroom culture around fresh, local food.
2020 Louisiana Farm to School Conference
Check out our interactive Conference Program: Using the “Virtually Everywhere” Conference Program’s table of contents, you can click on the day and/or a specific session. Each session is broken down into a link to watch the recording, description of the session, speakers and their contact information, and resources to further your conference experience! The resources for each session include websites, activities you can do from home, more information on farm to school, and how you can get involved in your community food system.
Keynote & COVID-19
Welcome Address & Keynote
Join us as we kicked off the 2020 Louisiana Farm to School “Virtually Everywhere” Conference with a welcome from our local and national partners who share our passion and dedication for moving farm to school forward in Louisiana.
- National Farm to School Network (NFSN)
- NFSN Fact Sheets and Resources
- NFSN COVID-19 Resources
- LSU AgCenter
- Louisiana Farm to School Program
- Louisiana Believes (Louisiana Department of Education)
COVID-19 & Farm to School
When the COVID-19 emergency closed schools across Louisiana, child nutrition programs responded by instantly pivoting their practices to ensure children and families continued to have access to nutritious food. This session will showcase Child Nutrition Program Directors from two districts. Participants will identify strategies to incorporate farm to school practices and local foods in school nutrition programs during public health emergencies and natural disasters.
- Livingston Parish Public Schools Department of Child Nutrition
- Child Nutrition Program – Monroe City Schools
- Child Nutrition – Louisiana Department of Education
- Cleaning and Disinfection of Food-Contact and Touch Surfaces for the COVID-19 Virus
- LA FitKids
- Food Safety from Delivery to Plate Video
- Farm to Early Care and Education in the Context of COVID-19
- National Farm to School Network Local Food in COVID-19 Response and Recovery
Watch the Full Day:
Local Procurement & School Gardens
A Story of Local Procurement
We will discuss a basic overview of procurement principles and regulations as they relate to Louisiana and identify areas of flexibility to target local products. Celeste Finney will share her story of local procurement in Lafayette with Lester Williams (Farmer) and Crystal Besse (Louisiana Farm to School Program). This session will explain how a child nutrition director begins buying from a local farmer, the farm tour process, what to look for, and the procurement process.
- *NEW* School Guide for Local Food Purchasing
- Louisiana Farm to School Resources- In the Cafeteria
- Lafayette Parish School System Child Nutrition Services
- Williams Produce MarketMaker Profile
- Louisiana MarketMaker
- Supreme Rice
- Farmer Checklist and Conversation Guide
- “School gardens open doors to learning, and fun, at nine Lafayette schools”
Farm to School Garden Sustainability
Learn how to start and maintain a successful school garden from three non-profits through generating buy-in, building a team, finding funding and support, gaining growing know-how, and using your garden to involve students. Also learn how to use and maintain your gardens during a pandemic!
- SPROUT NOLA
- Shreveport Green
- Organic Gardening 101 (Shreveport Green) PowerPoint
- Good Food Project
- Good Food Project Community Garden Application
- Good Food Project Videos available to the public on Food Bank of Central Louisiana YouTube channel
- Good Food Project Facebook
- Good Food Project Monthly Newsletter- Sprout
- Food Bank of Central Louisiana
- A Compendium of Activities & Lessons on Louisiana Food Products– Use this collection of lessons, books, and videos connected to Louisiana Student Standards to teach your students about Harvest of the Month items.
- The Junior Master Gardener Program– The program is piloting a 10-week series of virtual lessons (Learn, Grow, Eat and Go). If you sign up for the pilot, your class can participate for FREE.
Harvest of the Month Taste Test
Sweet potatoes are in season! Let’s highlight them this week with a lunch prep featuring local sweet potatoes and Louisiana Harvest of the Month. The taste test will showcase how to make Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas and will include tips and tricks on prepping and cooking Louisiana sweet potatoes. Get your local ingredients together and join us in a healthy lunch as we learn more about this wonderful root!
- Harvest of the Month Sweet Potato Poster
- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadilla Home Recipe
- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadilla Recipe Video
- The Sweet Truth About Sweet Potatoes in Louisiana
- Harvest of the Month Sweet Potato Resources
- What is Louisiana Harvest of the Month?
- Louisiana Seasonality Chart
- Find Local Sweet Potatoes — Louisiana MarketMaker Sweet Potato Growers
- Louisiana Sweet Potato Breeding: From Seed to Variety (Don LaBonte)
Watch the Full Day
Farm to School at Home & Success Stories
Farm to School Education at Home
With COVID-19, many schools have gone partially or fully virtual this school year. In this session, you’ll learn about the farm to school resources and activities available for education at home! Thus, helping to ensure that even from home, agriculture is incorporated into the classroom.
- Seeds to Success
- Louisiana Harvest of the Month
- Dairy MAX Resources:
- Fast Food Farms
- American Farm Bureau
- National Agriculture in the Classroom
- Louisiana Ag in the Classroom
- Nutrients for Life Foundation
- Other Resources
Farm to School Success Stories
Are you considering incorporating farm to school in your area but are not sure what to do? This session will highlight how others around the state have gotten involved to share some inspiration and motivation to get you started!
- RESEARCH BRIEF: Implementation of a K-12 School Garden Leadership Workshop
- “Over $5 Million in Farm to School Grants Awarded”
- USDA Farm to School Grant Program
- Farm to School in Louisiana
- Benefits of Farm to School
- Louisiana Resources
Watch the Full Day
LA Heritage & The Food System
Louisiana Heritage in the Cafeteria
In this session, we’ll discuss the importance of carrying on our Louisiana culture through our cuisine and explore the practical ways to select and incorporate foods that reflect Louisiana heritage in the cafeteria.
- Us Up North
- Culinaria — Food Blog: Southern Food and Beverage Museum
- LSU AgCenter Farm to School Program Harvest of the Month Recipes
- ICN, Healthy School Meals Resource System, and Team Nutrition from USDA/FNS
- What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl: A Collection of Recipes for Schools and Child Care Centers
- Recipes for Healthy Kids (R4HK) in the Team Nutrition Resource Library
- “Louisiana’s Food Traditions: An Insider’s Guide,” By Maida Owens
- The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South
Farm to School in the Food System
This session will be about the role of Farm to School in the Food System and show how different parts of the food system affect others.
- Mississippi Farm to School Network
- Louisiana Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)
- Slow Food USA Farm to School Network and Resources
- Community Food System Fact Sheets
- Five Reasons Why You Should Celebrate Farm to School Month
- Mississippi Food Justice Collaborative
- Article “‘Our Food System Is Very Much Modeled on Plantation Economics’”
- Article “‘The most nutritious meal they’ll get’: How Mississippi districts are feeding kids in a pandemic’”
- Collective Impact
- SoulFire Farm
- The Biggest Little Farm movie (available on Hulu!)
Harvest of the Month Taste Test
Broccoli is in season! Let’s highlight it this week with a lunch prep featuring local broccoli and Louisiana Harvest of the Month. The taste test will showcase how to make roasted broccoli and will include tips and tricks on cooking, storing, and growing this cold season crop. Get your local ingredients together and join us in a healthy lunch!
- Harvest of the Month Broccoli Poster
- Roasted Broccoli Recipe
- Roasted Broccoli Recipe Video
- Harvest of the Month Broccoli Resources
- What is Louisiana Harvest of the Month?
- Louisiana Seasonality Chart
- Find Local Broccoli — Louisiana MarketMaker Broccoli Growers