What is the Massachusetts Farm to School Network?
The Network will offer learning opportunities and improve communication between farm to school practitioners, highlighting and sharing challenges and best practices for the rich diversity of farm to school activities in our state.
The Massachusetts Farm to School Network provides statewide leadership to align, strengthen, and grow the farm to school movement across classrooms, cafeterias, and communities.
We envision that all school communities in Massachusetts have consistent access to locally produced food to nurture student health, integrate comprehensive food education and garden-based learning in the curriculum, and support a vibrant agricultural economy.
The Farm to School Network is comprised of three working groups focused on the following areas: Education, Supply Chain Development, and Policy. These working groups are open to all individuals interested in strengthening the farm to school movement in Massachusetts. Learn more about the working groups and sign up to be a working group member. If you are interested in staying up to date with network news but are not ready to join a working group, click here to receive Network news.
Farm to School Network History
The idea for a statewide farm to school Network has been percolating for several years. Mass. Farm to School has been providing some Network functions, such as a regular conference and communications, but has not yet supported a formal network structure. In 2015 Mass. Farm to School carried out a strategic planning process involving a diversity of individuals from different roles within the Massachusetts food system. This process identified the need for a strong, statewide network in order to grow and diversify the farm to school movement in Massachusetts. Partners throughout the state have advocated for this network and the time is now right to create a more structured farm to school Network that can help advance farm to school efforts across the Commonwealth.
In early 2016 we put out a call for applicants for our Network leadership team. We received over 30 applicants for these volunteer positions! The 12-member leadership team has been holding monthly meetings since May, 2016 and is now ready to build out the Network through developing working groups and engaging many more farm to school advocates.