Presentations from the 2019 Iowa Farm to School Conference
Below are links to slides from the conference keynote, sessions and intensives presented during the Iowa Farm to School Conference on Friday and Saturday, June 21-22, 2019, at Central College in Pella. Session descriptions and presenter names are included, along with additional resources if provided. (Click session title to see slides.)
Video recordings of breakout sessions are provided courtesy of Central College.
Questions? Contact Chelsea Krist.
Friday, June 21
KEYNOTE (8 – 9:15 a.m., Maytag Student Center)
“Get Uncomfortable with Me.” Slides from the keynote presentation by Lola Bloom, director of food and wellness at DC Bilingual Public Charter School and co-founder of the nonprofit City Blossoms in Washington, DC.
BLOCK 1 (9:45 – 11:15 a.m.)
This session explored the unbelievable impact of partnerships between the Hampton-Dumont Pro-Start Culinary Arts Program, Healthy Harvest of North Iowa and Main Street Hampton that has resulted in classroom activities, field trips to local area food businesses, farm-to-fork dinners for the community, school garden conversations and more.
Presenters: Marie Boyd (executive director of Healthy Harvest of North Iowa); Jane Hoegh (culinary instructor at Hampton-Dumont High School); and Emma Sackville, 2019 graduate of HDHS.
Show students how to raise their food and where that food comes from. This session demonstrated how communities in Iowa and the Midwest can create school gardens and miniature farms to actively involve students in hands-on learning. Presenters showed participants how to involve community members in assisting in numerous ways as you begin this project.
Presenters: Steve Lane (district administrator); Cathy Carlson (school board member and Christmas tree farmer); Liliana McNutt (5th grade student), Jenna Koons (6th grade student), Kaila Heiserman (5th grade student), Dylan Gulick (3rd grade student) and Giliana Jimenez (3rd grade student).
Are the demographics of your district changing? Is it a challenge to serve meals that all students enjoy? What resources do you have in Iowa to serve a diversity of foods? This session covered planning and preparing diverse meals and using locally sourced ingredients. This “Iowa Grown” concept showed how our own tastes have changed and evolved from the traditional offerings of the Midwest.
Presenter: Chad Taylor (Des Moines Public Schools executive chef).
Growing the Seeds of Early Literacy (Roe 230)
Session for parents, caregivers and educators who work with children ages 3 to 5 years old. Learn about early literacy skills and strategies. Gain knowledge about how children’s picture books and non-fiction can be used to help children increase their early literacy skills and knowledge of farm to school. Cooperatively plan activities across multiple content areas using children’s literature related to farm to school.
Presenters: Lisa Stocksleger (Iowa AEYC literacy consultant); and Elizabeth Vitiritto (Iowa AEYC TEACH counseling specialist).
- Books related to gardening and farming
- Links to more information about literacy strategies
- Five Simple Steps (Des Moines Public Library resource)
How do we create an environment that decreases the fear and restriction of foods? Learn to embrace nutrition through intuitive and mindful eating practices that promotes a positive body image. Identify and dismantle society’s diet culture norms and distorted view of health. Practice creating inclusive, mindful, and neutral eating environments to foster a healthy relationship with food.
Presenters: Allison Lansman (FoodCorps service member, Des Moines); Tessa Ladsten (FoodCorps service member, Waterloo); and Claire Anderson (FoodCorps service member, Postville).
BLOCK 2 (12:45 – 2:15 p.m.)
Our Garden, Our History (Roe 238)
Explore the connections between personal history and the foods we eat. Find out where various vegetables originate. Reflect on your family’s origins and food cultures.
Presenter: Susan DeBlieck (ISU Extension and Outreach Master Gardener program specialist).
Grow It, Cook It, Taste It, Oh Kale Yes! (Roe 245)
Growing produce in the classroom? Cooking with students in the classroom? Getting students to ACTUALLY taste it? Oh kale YES!! In this session, presenters provided information on different ways you can grow veggies outside and in the classroom. Learn how diversity, math and science lessons can be taught through gardening. Cook kid-friendly recipes to share with students, and learn how to encourage students to try these new flavors (brownies with kale)!
Presenters: Anita Schuckert (Iowa City in-home childcare, after-school and summer program provider); Gladys Moval (Iowa AEYC Southeast Chapter representative and vice-president); and Quinn Brende (student at Lemme
Elementary, Iowa City).
Food Hubs and Farm to School in Iowa (Garden Cottage)
Food hub partnerships help school and district leaders solve infrastructure and procurement challenges around delivery, communication, wholesale pricing and meeting quantity demands for district orders. In this session, food hub managers from across the state shared some of the ways food hubs support school procurement specialists. Presenters brainstormed best practices for sourcing with attendees of this session, demystified procurement, myth-busted some of the worries around buying local and shared success stories from different regions of the state.
Presenters: Giselle Bruskewitz (Field to Family food hub manager); Ellen Walsh-Rosmann (FarmTable Procurement and Delivery owner-operator); and Jason Grimm (Iowa Valley RC&D deputy director, Grimm Family Farm).
By integrating Farm-to-ECE (F2ECE) learning experiences into your classroom, you’re providing children with important opportunities to explore healthy eating, food and farming. The value of F2ECE extends beyond the content knowledge children gain from these experiences. One of the most widely used curricula for F2ECE is The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool. This comprehensive, research-based curriculum is designed to help teachers plan experiences that promote learning through play, exploration and discovery—a natural fit for Farm-to-ECE learning. Learn how you can use The Creative Curriculum® strategies and activities in this session.
Presenters: Haleisa Johnson (Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness early childhood coordinator); and Vicki Starks (Fayette County farm to early care and education associate).
School gardens provide flexible, alternative classroom environments that meet students’ mental, physical, and emotional needs, making them naturally trauma-sensitive, highly valuable spaces for all students — especially those who experience challenges in a traditional classroom setting. In this session, participants engaged in discussion and hands-on activities focused on the successes and challenges of school gardens, and ways to incorporate trauma-awareness, mindfulness and social-emotional learning into lesson plans and activities in the garden.
Presenters: Barb Schmitz (elementary school counselor at Oelwein Community School); and Emma Dubay (FoodCorps AmeriCorps service member, Oelwein).
BLOCK 3 (2:30 – 4 p.m.)
Explore the difference between programming and systems (PSE) work related to K-12 farm to school and farm to early care sites. Explore opportunities to implement farm to school at multiple levels of your
school or site, and practice creating goals and action plans that can help build farm to school success.
Presenter: Lyn Jenkins (Community Health 5-2-1-0 Coordinator).
Learn more about the “how to” of building a successful gardening program. Presenters share tips about how to plan your garden using companion planting through an interactive lesson, what equipment you will need, how and where to order supplies — even what grants to look for. A standout student shared how to raise monarch butterflies. Other students shared their Ag Innovation Showcase projects. How to plan a Harvest Supper using your garden plan, and dream BIG by collaborating with others on ideas to bring home to your community.
Presenters: Kelsey Wigans (seed to table manager at Gilmore City-Bradgate Elementary); Lily Hoover (GCB 4th grade student); and Chloe Dickey (GCB 6th grade student).
Connecting the Local Food System with Early Childhood Education and
Healthy Communities (Roe 230)
Learn about the Iowa Farmers Union’s two-year project to explore policies and practices to connect Iowa farmers, early childhood education systems and healthy communities. This project is part of a long-term initiative that aims to increase access to healthy, local food for Iowans by promoting healthy eating in education and childcare institutions and by creating better systems to connect local growers to these markets.
Presenters: Aaron Heley Lehman (Iowa Farmers Union president); and John Norris (Slater Public Policy Group).
Cafeteria taste tests are a great way to get kids excited about trying local foods, but why stop there? Why not increase your impact by transforming a single cafeteria taste into a school-wide celebration of local foods? Learn the basics of conducting a successful cafeteria taste test. Build out your school-wide celebration by identifying stakeholders and resources in your school community and developing a menu of local food activities to engage those stakeholders.
Presenters: Lola Bloom (director of food and wellness at DC Bilingual Public Charter School); and Nathan Spalding (Iowa program coordinator for FoodCorps).
EXTRA SESSION (4:15 – 5 p.m.)
Extra, extra, read all about it: “Iowa Makes Farm to School Headlines!” (Maytag Student Center)
Presenters shared a national perspective on how staff with the USDA Office of Community Food Systems and the National Farm to School Network are creating and sharing resources and opportunities to advance farm to school across the country. They considered the work of the Iowa Farm to School Coalition and our growing state network. Build relationships, set goals and write the stories, successes and headlines making Iowa farm to school news.
Presenters: Andrea (Northup) Alma (USDA Farm to School Regional Lead, Mountain Plains Region); Anna Mullen (National Farm to School Network communications manager); and Chelsea Krist (ISU Extension and Outreach farm to school program coordinator).
Saturday, June 22
Intensive courses (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
Teaching Outdoors: Enhancing Student Learning with the Farm to School
Program (Roe 245 and Central Organic Garden)
Extend classroom instruction beyond the school walls. In the course, teachers engaged in fun, outdoor activities they can use with students in their schoolyard or garden. Participants learned about planning and teaching outdoors, grew in their understanding of local foods and farm to school programs, and left with many ready-to-use teaching resources.
Presenters: Shelly Johnson (Next Step Adventure outreach and energy generator); Sara Lockie (Next Step Adventure educator and info manager); and Martha McCormick (Next Step Adventure founder and convener).
Cafeteria Magic: Partnerships, Fresh Food Prep, and Youth Leadership in Your School Cafeteria (Garden Cottage)
Cafeterias can be spaces of transformative food experiences that benefit the whole school and community: students, educators, farmers, families and food service. The magic is in the visioning! In this session, attendees practiced hands-on culinary skills with Forward Food trainers, generated opportunities for student leadership and peer-to-peer learning with 4-H Healthy Living, and planned for 2019 Iowa Local Food Day and October Farm to School Month with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS).
Presenters: Michelle Hensley and Karla Dumas (Forward Food Culinary Trainers); Laura Liechty (ISU Extension and Outreach 4-H Healthy Living specialist); Tammy Stotts (Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, farm to school program and Iowa Specialty Crop Block Grant program).