Midwest Farm to School Conference: March 2, 2016, Nebraska City, NE - Connecting Farms, Schools and States - Early Bird Registration Ends Feb 1

Release Date: 



Sarah Smith, sarahs@cfra.org, Phone: (402) 783-1183
or Elisha Smith, elishas@cfra.org, Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1007

Lyons, NE - The Center for Rural Affairs, Iowa Department of Agriculture and University of Missouri Extension will be presenting the inaugural Midwest Farm to School Conference at the beautiful Lied Lodge and Conference Center in Nebraska City, NE on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.

This full day event will bring together those interested in building the farm to school initiative in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas. Invited and encouraged to attend include farmers, ranchers, growers and food producers; school food service professionals, students, school administrators and faculty members; community members and parents; and educational and food-related organizations.
“If you want to increase students’ knowledge about local and healthy foods, and increase the amount of local foods served to students in school - this is the place to be,” commented Sarah Smith Nebraska Farm to School Lead with the Center for Rural Affairs.
“Throughout the day we'll spark connections and provide the necessary paths to bring the farm to our region’s schools,” added Smith. “Experts will address best practices for establishing farm to school relationships. Successful local food relationships will be shared.”
Ample time for networking will be provided, as well as coaching on helpful topics to address when in conversation with various stakeholders.
Smith continued, farm to school is not a "one size fits all" program - come share what you know and learn from others as we build a healthier future for our kids, schools, farms, and communities.
The opening  keynote speaker will be Chef Robert Rusan.  Rusan is the District Chef for Maplewood Richmond Heights School District in Maplewood, Missouri. He was named a School Nutrition Association's 2015 School Nutrition Hero.  Rusan, is one of five school nutrition professionals from across the country to be awarded this prestigious honor.
Throughout the day conference goers will have the opportunity to attend a variety of discussions and sessions for food service professionals, farmers, school staff and others interested in building farm to school in their communities. Sessions will address procurement tips, scaling up farm products, school gardens, and bridging the farmer and school communication gap.  
According to Smith, participants will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with folks from all sectors of Farm to School. Food service professionals, food producers (farmers/ranchers, growers, processors), and community members (parents, students, and school administrators) from the region will be able to converse and make connections.
Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) will be available for those interested.
Early bird registration ends February 1, 2016. For more information, a full agenda and to register, visit: 
http://www.cfra.org/midwest-farm-school or contact Sarah Smith at sarahs@cfra.org or 402-783-1183.
Registration includes all meals, snacks, and beverage service throughout the conference.

Plenty of space is available for exhibitors. Those interested in hosting a booth should register online and contact Pamela Mueri, mueri683@gmail.com or 402-580-9835 with questions.

For media passes to the conference, contact media@cfra.org.

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