A total of 48 workshops organized into 12 topical tracks will be offered during the conference over four, 90-minute sessions. Workshops are interactive sessions designed to provide opportunities for significant audience participation and are intended to build skills and foster discussion, problem solving and innovation.

Workshop sessions and times:

Workshop session A: Friday, June 3, 2:15 – 3:45pm
Workshop session B: Friday, June 3, 4:00 – 5:30pm
Workshop session C: Saturday, June 4, 10:15 – 11:45am
Workshop session D: Saturday, June 4, 1:30 – 3:00pm

Workshop tracks:

Workshop titles and presenters by track:

Track 1:  Communities Building Partnerships

A01: In It to Win It: Collaborate to Succeed in Creating a Healthy Local Food System (Intermediate)
Stephanie Heim, Carol Smathers, Sarah Wright

B01: Building & Sustaining Effective Statewide Networks to Catalyze Change (Intermediate)
Betsy Rosenbluth, Renee Page, Janet McLaughlin, Ali Zipparo

C01: Creating a Comprehensive Farm to School Strategic Plan: from the Big Picture to the Fundamentals (Intermediate)
Katie McGushin, Tom Redfern

D01: New York State of Mind: If You can Partner Here, You can Partner Anywhere (with DOE SchoolFood, Wellness in the Schools, and Edible Schoolyard NYC) (Introductory)
Olivia Parker, Ellen Emerson, Nancy Easton, George Edwards


Track 2:  Connecting Institutions within Farm to Cafeteria

A02: Why We Crunch: The Impact of Simple Farm to Cafeteria Promotional Events (Intermediate)
Kelly Lively, Vanessa Herald, Michael Downey, Paige Kyle

B02: Collaborating across institutions: How health care and education can transform the food supply chain (Intermediate)
Hillary Bisnett, National Procurement Director for Health Care Without Harm; David Schwartz, Campaign Director for Real Food Challenge; Kathy Lawrence, Co-founder and Deputy Director for School Food FOCUS

C02: Scaling Beyond Schools: Harnessing the Power of Farm to Institution Alliances (Intermediate)
Stacey Sobell, Peter Allison, Colleen Matts, Jenna Newbrey

D02: The Real Deal: Digging Into the Cafeteria Food Service Industry (Advanced)
Emma Brewster, Anna Hankins, Stephanie Yee


Track 3:  Local & Sustainable Procurement

A03: Put Your Values in Your Food Service Contract (Intermediate)
Peter Allison, Abbie Nelson, Jose Oliva, Annie Rowell

B03: Working Together to Improve Your Local Seafood Supply Chain (Introductory)
Michael Dimin, Frank Turchan, Mike LeClair

C03: Just Plain Farm to School: Hear Directly from the Farmers and the School about Serving Local Food in School Meals (Introductory)
Andrea Northup, John Peterson, Rae Rusnak

D03: Maximize Your Procurement Dollars through Regional Purchasing (Intermediate)
Sapna E. Thottathil, Christina Conell, Sara Pollock Hoverter, Bertrand Weber


Track 4:  Farmers, Food Hubs & Supply Chains

A04: What’s a food hub? Three stories from three regions, from the archives of “Inside School Food” (Intermediate)
Laura Stanley, Mikey Azzara, Mark Coe, Teresa Wiemerslage

B04: Finding the Best Fit: Are Institutions the Right for You? (Intermediate)
Colleen Matts, Noelle Harden, Melissa Mattson, Jill Hardy

C04: Getting GAP – On-Farm Food Safety Strategies for Farm to Institution (Intermediate)
Tricia Kovacs, Debra Tropp, Audrey Draper, Annake Ramsey

D04: From the Farmer (Intermediate)
Shari Kopmann, Jamie Kopmann, John Kopmann


Track 5:  School Gardens & On-Site Farms

A05: High school students start a garden. You’ll never believe what happens next (Intermediate)
Kyla Van Deusen, Ashley Rouse, Zoe Spencer, Caston Noorulah

B05: Harvesting Best Practices: School Garden Safety and Meals (Intermediate)
Tegan Bernstein, Sam Ullery, Zaundra Wimberley, Sarah Heusner

C05: The Importance of Student Engagement in Farm to College Initiatives: Education, Procurement, and Campus Farming at Occidental College, UW Madison, and Warren Wilson College (Intermediate)
Dylan Bruce, Galen Bergquist, Rose Bruce

D05: How Does a Classroom Teacher Become a Garden Teacher? (Intermediate)
Robyn Burns, Arden Bucklin-Sporer, Sam Ullery, Logan LeCompte


Track 6:  Advocating for Change

A06: Advancing racial equity in farm to cafeteria policy by connecting community stories to federal lawmakers (Introductory)
Amelia Moore, Sabrina Wu, Dara Cooper

B06: The Good Food Purchasing Policy: Building Food Movement Power from the Cafeteria to the Capitol (Intermediate)
Jose Oliva, Alexa Delwiche, Pete Huff

C06: Managing the Policy Environment (Intermediate)
Jessica Donze Black, Mollie Van Lieu, Whitney Meagher

D06: Strategic Policy Partnerships: Examples from the Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization (CNR) (Introductory)
Wes King, Erin McGuire, Pam Roy


Track 7:  Moving Forward Together

A07: Sustaining Coulee Region Farm to School: Years of Highlights and Innovation (Intermediate)
Ben Eby, Kerri Feyen, Michael Gasper, Maggie Smith

B07: The Real Deal – Resilient Farm to School Programs: Identifying common elements to create a “farm to school culture” in small, mid, and large sized school districts (Advanced)
John Fisher, Emelia Miguel, Miguel Villarreal, Andrea Northrup

C07: Nizhonigo Iina (the Beautiful Life in Navajo): How We are Reviving Ways of Using Healthy Traditional Foods (Intermediate)
Mark Sorensen, Louva Montour, Lorette Jones

D07: Beyond the Lunch Line: Incorporating Local Foods into Summer and Afterschool Programs (Introductory)
Clarissa Hayes, FRAC; Erin Kennedy Hysom, Maryland State Department of Education; Danielle Fleury, USDA Farm to School


Track 8:  Education, Training & Professional Development

A08: Connecting to Land and Place through Farm-Based Education (Introductory)
Vera Simon-Nobes, Dana Burns, Bente Goldstein

B08: Professional Learning Models for Building F2S Capacity (Advanced)
Ethan Bodin, Sara Tedeschi, Lisa Damon

C08: Growing Farm-to-School Leaders through Teen Engagement (Intermediate)
Kaila Allen-Posin, Hannah Traggis, Brandon Broussard, Shaundi Wall

D08: Serving Up Farm to Cafeteria: Best Practices for Training and Technical Assistance Resources (Advanced)
Vanessa Herald, Tricia Kovacs, Aubree Roth, Megan Kemple


Track 9:  Measuring & Reporting Impact

A09: Evaluating Farm to School Mini Grant Program Impacts at Multiple Levels (Advanced)
Sara Tedeschi, Lydia Oberholtzer, Johanna Heron, Lihlani Skipper

B09: Moving from Outputs to Outcomes: Evaluating What Matters (Intermediate)
Sophie Oppenheimer, Sommer Sibilly, Emily Cumbie-Drake, Megan Kemple

C09: Measuring Farm to School’s Impact: Taking a Statewide Approach to Evaluation (Advanced)
Katy Pelissier, Tia Henderson, Erin Roche, Mardi Solomon OR Holly O’Neil

D09: Utilizing Technology to Leverage Public/Private Farm To Cafeteria Partnerships (Advanced)
Linda Mallers, Eric Pearson, Jason Ruhlig, Lindsay Marlow


Track 10:  Farm to Preschool/Early Care and Education

A10: Starting Young, Community Based Partnerships to Increase Children’s Access to Farm Fresh Food (Introductory)*
Tracey Capers, Grace Brogan, Josie Ennist, Jamese Kwele

B10: Local Food Procurement in Early Childhood Programs (Introductory)*
Abigail Harper, Justina Suiba, Erin McKee VanSlooten

C10: Hands on Curriculum Strategies to Grow Young Minds (Introductory)*
Erin McKee VanSlooten, Rosa Romero, Jen Sellers, Lola Bloom

D10: Statewide Success: Strategies for Supporting Regional Farm to Early Care and Education Networks (Intermediate)*
Grace Brogan, Angela Hedstrom

*All four workshops in the farm to preschool/early care and education track have been approved for professional development hours through The Wisconsin Registry.


Track 11:  Equity & Justice in Farm to Cafeteria

A11: Strengthening Partnerships in Native Communities: Case Studies from USDA Farm to School Grantees (Introductory)
Samantha Benjamin-Kirk, Jesse Pardon, Mark Sorensen, Daniel Cornelius

B11: Cooks and Caretakers: Engaging Workers as Partners in Farm to School (Introductory)
Jennifer Gaddis, Cristina Cruz-Uribe, Bertrand Weber, Fallon Streater

C11: PEAT – Program for Entrepreneurial and Agricultural Training: Job Training, Ag Education and Business Skills for Disadvantaged Youth (Intermediate)
Olivia Parry, Robert Pierce, Shellie Pierce

D11: Community Organizing: A Toolbox for Food Justice (Intermediate)
Katie Blanchard, Laura Kington, Karen Weldon


Track 12:  Innovating the Movement

A12: Public Sector Role in Opening the Door to Local (Intermediate)
Olivia Parry, Scott Hoffland, Carrie Edgar, Claire Nagel

B12: California Thursdays: A Model for the Nation (Intermediate)
Adam Kesselman, Karen Brown, Vince Caguin, Bob Knight

C12: Sprout Scouts! FoodCorps Builds on the Girl/Boy Scouts Model (Introductory)
Eva Ringstrom, Kendal Chavez, John Fisher

D12: Innovating Farm to School with Hoophouses for Health (Intermediate)
Colleen Matts, Dru Montri, farmer TBD, food service TBD



Lightning Talks (sometimes referred to as Pecha Kucha, Ignite, talk20) are brief, engaging and dynamic presentations (5 minutes maximum) that include 15-20 highly visual slides and serve to spark your interest in a particular topic or project. Don’t miss these powerful speeches from your inspiring farm to cafeteria peers!

Lightning Talks will take place in four separate spaces at the convention center after lunch on Friday, June 3. The talks will span eight different themed tracks.

Visit the electronic conference guide and sort the Lightning Talks section by track to see them organized by these themes.

Group 1

Advancing food literacy for jr. high students with STRIDE’s Pink and Dude Chefs Program
Methodology of supporting rural communities and training instructors from diverse educational backgrounds
Alyssa Vaziri, Pink and Dude Chefs Site Manager, Cal Poly STRIDE

Building alliances to sustain agriculture and education
Developing partnerships between local schools, cafeterias, businesses, food pantries, community organizations and families
Hope Sippola, Farmer, Fiery Ginger Farm

Farm to Head Start in Central Brooklyn
How farm to Head Start programming is improving community access to quality food and more
Afia Bediako, Community Health Advocate, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

How to use social enterprise to sustain your school garden
Generate revenue to sustain your school garden by selling produce to the community
Courtney Leeds, Executive Director, Schoolyard Farms

Scale it! Combining the purchasing power of schools, hospitals and universities
The Wisconsin Procurement Strategy is an innovative new project that aligns the supply and combined institutional demand of hospitals, schools and universities
Sarah Elliott, Wisconsin Farm to School, Wisconsin Dept of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

Setting expectations: Communicating with stakeholders on the farm to school journey
Effective communication is critical to setting realistic benchmarks for success
Doug Davis, Food Service Director, Burlington Vermont Public Schools

What am I supposed to do with this winter squash?
Equipping food service staff with whole produce skills
Kaitlin Wojciak, Community Food Systems Educator, Michigan State University Extension

Stealthy vegetables: How to entice kids into eating healthy
Innovative ideas for incorporating locally-sourced vegetables into recipes that have been kid tested and approved!
Teresa Miller, RD, LD Saint Louis University


Group 2

Building community partnerships with local aquaponic food production
Hear how an aquaponic farm provides fresh protein and vegetables to a community, building healthy partnerships between farms, schools and people from all walks of life
Rebecca Nelson, Nelson and Pade, Inc.

Food literacy: Knowing what and how we eat
Libraries are becoming food hubs where books about food bring students, parents and educators together to understand what and how we eat
Philip Lee, Publisher, READERS to EATERS

Growing a school food system from the roots up
How to create a sustainable food system within the school system by connecting school gardens and small, local farms directly to the lunchroom
Kelli Brew, Farm to School Coordinator, Alachua County Public Schools, Florida

Hatching new ideas
The juicy story of how school districts in the upper Midwest led the charge to reform poultry production in the U.S.
Kathy Lawrence, Director of Strategic Development, School Food FOCUS

Mobilizing teens to be food citizens
By making connections between food and power, the environment and culture, we can empower teens with the information and passion they need to make change
Jennifer Rothman, Education Director, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

Partnering with Master Gardeners for school gardens
Hear how Iowa Extension staff and Master Gardeners teamed up to train schools staff and revive school gardens
Susan DeBlieck, Program Specialist/Iowa Master Gardener, Iowa Sate University Extension & Outreach

Taking root: Inspiring healthy food choices from an early age
An innovative approach to modeling healthier eating habits in preschool aged children
Joshua Smith, Media Specialist, Our Daily Bread of Tennessee

Building community through on-farm education programs
On-farm programs build community relationships that benefit families, schools and farmers as well as providing skills that lead to healthy lifestyles
Melina Barker, Program Director, Rogue Valley Farm to School


Group 3

“I can’t believe nature can taste so good!”
Why kids need gardens
Nathan Larson, Director, Cultivate Health Initiative, Community GroundWorks/UW Environmental Design Lab

Food hub partnerships with food service management companies
A strategy to enhance food access and equity
Margaret Smith, Outreach Coordinator, The Common Market

It’s not just the STEM in DOD Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Going beyond STEM classes to utilize the DOD Fresh program in the Humanities curriculum
Susann Moeller, PhD, DNO/GPS Inc.

Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties: Earning medals for movement
This Let’s Move initiative engages and empowers local elected officials to promote improved nutrition and increased physical activity in their communities
Traci Pole, Public Health Advisor, Dept. of Health and Human Services

Maintaining the livelihood of the New England fishing fleet
How college dining programs can offer flexibility of the catch in their menus, and in turn sustain New England’s day-boat fishermen
Molly Bajgot, Seafood Program Manager, Red’s Best

Pilot Light’s Reset the Table: Bringing chefs and educators together to nourish young minds and bodies
Pilot Light collaborated with Chicago Public Schools, USDA and Aramark on a nutritious lunch event for 390K+ students
Kendra Julion, Community Programs Manager, Pilot Light

Putting it all together
Incorporating policy and system change requires a diverse and dynamic group of stakeholders
Crystal Hammerschmidt, Farm to School Coordinator, Lawrence Public Schools

“The bestest day ever”: Helping Wisconsin youth garden programs shape their stories
All youth gardens have a story to tell
Beth Hanna, Training & Outreach Specialist, Community GroundWorks


Group 4

Advocacy in a flash
How state or federal advocacy can be quick, painless, fun and effective, no matter your job constraints
Natalie Talis, Policy Associate, National Farm to School Network

Chop! Chop! Getting to the heart of culinary skills trainings
Get a glimpse into the Chop! Chop! video series and what goes into filming a cooking show
Vanessa Herald, Farm to School Outreach Specialist and Great Lakes Regional Lead for NFSN, UW-Madison, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems

Engaging students with disabilities as leaders in the pursuit of food justice
Strategies for empowering students with disabilities by providing education and leadership opportunities
Stacey Steggert, Teacher, MAT, M ED, Shaker Heights City School District

Growing great theme gardens
Themed gardens are a fun way to involve kids in a gardening project ‘all of their own’
Candice Miller, Extension Horticulture Educator, University of Illinois Extension

Relinking the regional school food supply chain with technology
Learn how an innovation kitchen, a virtual food hub and a major urban school district are using an innovative software platform to bring atypical suppliers into institutional markets
Kymm Mutch, School Food Supply Chain Specialist, Local Orbit

The Grow Academy: Doing thyme in the garden
As an alternative to incarceration, young males are growing skills to successfully reintegrate into and be productive members of their communities
Joe Muellenberg, Horticulture Program Coordinator, University of Wisconsin-Extension, Dane County

Together, we plant seeds of change
The story of creating a district school garden committee in Oelwein, Iowa, to bring change with staying power
Molly Schintler, Service Member, FoodCorps/Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness

Strategies for starting farm to school, a case study
Small, scalable food items and educational events helped build capacity and understanding for farm to school in Springdale, Ark.
Mollie Kenerson, FoodCorps Service Member at Harp Elementary; Destiny Schlinker, Program Manager, Apple Seeds