Presentations from the 2018 Iowa Farm to School Conference

Below are links to slides from the conference keynote presentation by Andrea Northup, along with each of the nine workshops offered at the Iowa Farm to School Conference on Friday, June 29, 2018. The workshops are grouped by theme: Cafeteria, Classroom, and Community. Presenter names and contact information are included.

At the bottom of the page are some photos from the event; visit our Facebook page for more pictures and a couple of archived live streams from presentations.

Questions? Contact Chelsea Krist.

KEYNOTE (Rm. 107, 9 – 9:45 a.m.)

It Takes a Village: Building a Strong Farm to School Team by Andrea Northup, USDA Farm to School Lead, Mountain Plains Region

Links to resources mentioned in the presentation:

CAFETERIA (Rm. 108-109)

Demystifying Local Procurement: Farm to School in Practice! (10 – 11:30 a.m.)

While many Iowa schools are familiar with procurement rules and regulations, this session addressed how to apply these rules and regulations to buying local food. Through hands-on activities and “real life” scenarios, participants learned five models for buying local food and explored the procurement specifics of each model. Presenters gave tips and hints for approaching farmers and building relationships, as well as tried and true strategies for making local procurement work on a budget.

Presenters: Keerti Patel,; Andrea Northup,

Additional resources from the presentation:

Below is a 32-minute excerpt from the presentation.


A School District’s Path to Incorporating Local Produce for the School, Students, and Community (12:30 – 1:30 p.m.)

A registered dietitian/food service director and ag teacher put their heads together and looked to their community to help find ways to increase local procurement for their school district while engaging students. This session featured Shenandoah school district staff and youth, and guided participants to generate plans and goals for their own district food service programs.

Presenters: Emily Furst MS, RD, LD,; Sarah F. Martin,; Sam Martin and Payton Stephens (students; no email addresses provided).

Below is a 7-minute excerpt from the presentation.


“Quick Firing” Student Tastebuds via Local Ingredients and Nutrition Education: Tips for Incorporating Local Products for All Age Groups (1:45 – 2:45 p.m.)

This session presented creative concepts with local ingredients in kid-friendly recipes. Attendees showcased their skills against Chef Chad as a possible “Quick Fire” contestant using all Iowa products. Presenters offered exercises for teaching nutrition education, and what works and what doesn’t when incorporating local products into the lessons.

Presenters: Chad Taylor,; Anita Turczynski,

CLASSROOM (Rm. 212-213)

School Garden Toolshed: Gathering Tools for Community Support and Academic Learning in the Garden (10  – 11:30 a.m.)

This session combined trainings from ISU Extension and Outreach’s School Garden 101 & Next Step Adventure’s environmental education resources.

School Garden 101: People Power to Reinvigorate Gardens – School gardens need strong school leaders and community support to survive. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach staff and Master Gardeners will present about how School Garden 101 can help. School Garden 101 is a hands-on workshop series offered by ISU Extension and Outreach to teams of school staff.

Seeds, Trowels, & STEM: Tools for Integrating Gardening Skills and Academic Content – Next Step Adventure offers gardening lesson plans to educators and other youth development specialists. These hands-on, STEM activities can be used during school hours or with out-of-school-time programs. Leave this engaging session with ready-to-use K-5 curriculum units that integrate gardening skills with required content from the Iowa Core, including Next Generation Science Standards.

Presenters: Susan DeBlieck,; Shelly Johnson,; Sara Lockie,; Michelle Sackville,; Jenny Jorgensen,

Below is a >2-minute excerpt from the Seeds, Trowels, and STEM portion of the presentation (Next Step Adventure), immediately following the outdoor scavenger hunt.

Below is a 13-minute excerpt from the School Garden 101 portion of the workshop (Iowa Master Gardeners).

How to GROW Your School Garden Project through Student and Community Engagement (12:30 – 1:30 p.m.)

Interactive session featuring Sioux City’s vibrant school garden program and Gilmore City- Bradgate (GC-B) Elementary’s Seed to Table Program — both producing passion and STEM learning connections for students. Attendees learned how to manage a successful garden, orchard, greenhouse, learning kitchen, Little Chefs and Gardening Club, gardening classes, fall harvest tasting parties, classroom snacks, school farmers’ market, and donations to food pantries. Sioux City’s gardens have GROWN with volunteers, and harvested 1,954 pounds of produce last year. A passionate GC-B student shared how gardening has shaped her life.

Presenters: Kelsey Upah,; Lily Hoover, (student); Laurie Taylor,

Below is a <2-minute excerpt from Laurie Taylor’s portion of the presentation (Sioux City).

Garden to Table: Building Strong Partnerships for Hands-On Learning (1:45 – 2:45 p.m.)

Partnerships with the school and community are key to a successful school garden. In this session, two districts in Iowa shared information about their community partnerships. Participants learned how to leverage partnerships to maintain the garden (including during the summer), provide garden lessons that meet Iowa Core Curriculum standards, and teach garden or nutrition/cooking lessons that incorporate interactive, hands-on learning opportunities.

Presenters: Jen Lamos,; Kara Poppe,; Jodie Huegerich, RD,; Sarah Steinmeyer,; Kathryn Gilbery,

Panel Discussion: Farm to School in the Pre-K Classroom (Rm. 107, 10 – 11:30 a.m.)

Farm to school blends seamlessly with the learning styles of preschoolers. This panel discussion highlighted a variety of roles that are key to a successful program: program director, classroom teacher, and classroom support. These individuals shared their tips, tricks, and favorite go-to activities. Their personal success stories and lessons learned gave attendees a place to start for working with our youngest eaters.

Presenters: Sara Converse,; Jolene Rosonke,; Kate Lower; and Anissa Deay,

Links to resources mentioned in the presentation:

COMMUNITY (Rm. 112-113)

A Garden is For Healing and Growing: Trauma-Informed Garden Education (10 – 11:30 a.m.)

The garden is constantly touted as a space for academic connections in schools, a place to enhance curriculum, promote physical activity, and to encourage healthy eating. Less often, we talk about the garden as a place of healing. We daily encounter students who are experiencing trauma, and the school garden can be a place where we offer a safe and healing space for students. This session discussed trauma-informed education in the garden, and utilized social and emotional learning competencies to create hands-on garden lessons featuring some of these strategies.

Presenters: Amy Joens,; Esperanza Gilbert,; Nathan Spalding,

Promoting Food Sovereignty Through Farm to School (12:30 – 1:30 p.m.)

This session focused on unique aspects of the Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative’s farm to school work. Presenters highlighted the main farm to school events facilitated by MFSI, discussed food sovereignty as it relates to farm to school, and talked about how they promote community involvement and inter-generational learning in all of their programs. They encouraged participants to reflect on their own communities, and think about how they would take these ideas home and adapt them to their own place and for their own culture.

Presenters: Donetta Wanatee,; Emma O’Polka,; Regan O’Hanlon,; Francisco Lasley-Santos (no email provided).

S.O.S. – Seeds of Success: Cultivating Future Food Leaders, Community Support, and Local Food Projects (1:45 – 2:45 p.m.)

Gardens galore… aquaponics, hydroponics, raised beds, school gardens! Presenters explored the use of local foods in your school lunch program with a few simple projects, students’ involvement, and community support. Participants explored the options for their school as representatives from Central Decatur Community Schools shared their Seeds of Success.

Presenters: Joy Evertsen,; Rosa Sondag,; Addison Parmer,

Photos and videos by Lyn Jenkins, Kelly Hanson, and Leigh Adcock.