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What is the Arkansas Farm to School Institute?

The Institute aims to support Arkansas schools by increasing access to fresh, healthy, and locally produced food while also educating students about the importance of agriculture and nutrition while strengthening their local food system.

 

The Institute is a year-long professional development program hosted by the Arkansas Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program that offers training, resources, and technical assistance to school educators, administrators, school nutrition directors, cafeteria staff, local farmers, and community partners. 

Selected schools are invited to a summer retreat to create a collaborative farm to school action plan. With the support of a coach, teams spend the school year putting their plans into action and strengthening their capacity to impact classrooms, cafeterias, and communities, with change that lasts.  

 

Key features of the Arkansas Farm to School Institute include:

  • A three-day kickoff retreat in July 2024
  • Bi-monthly workshops for school teams 
  • A farm to school action plan development and implementation award 
  • Coaching and peer networking for one year 
  • A celebratory spring 2025 gathering 
 

Interested in participating? Fill out the team application for the 2024-2025 program!

Enrollment for the 2024-2025 Arkansas Farm to School Institute Program began on January 2, 2024!

The Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program is looking for 15 schools ready to embark on a year-long impactful journey embracing farm-to-excellence. If you’re passionate about elevating your school’s nutrition by integrating locally sourced, fresh produce into your cafeteria, enhancing agriculture in the classroom, and fostering engagement with the local community, seize this opportunity!

Arkansas School Garden Project

Schools selected to participate in the Arkansas Farm to School Institute will also be eligible to participate in the Arkansas Department of Education’s Arkansas School Garden Project.  

Selected Institute schools will be eligible for the following: 

  • 10 hours FREE professional development credits for Arkansas educators 
  • Optional 2 hours graduate credit ($80 per hour)
  • Funds to develop or expand the school garden 

Schools can receive $1,000 per teacher that completes the course (up to 5 teachers per school).

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2023-2024 Farm to School Institute

Institute Team Map

Institute Retreat Photos

The Arkansas Farm to School Institute retreat is a face-to-face collaborative conference where participants build a farm to school action plan with their school team and assigned coach. 

View photos from the 2023 - 2024 (FY2024) Arkansas Farm to School Institute Pilot Program:

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