ASHEVILLE NC – ASAP is hosting the 2016 Southeast Farm to School Conference, the first regional farm to school conference serving the entire Southeast. The conference will be held on September 23-24, 2016 in Greenville, SC, serving teachers, early childhood educators, parents, community health professionals, and child nutrition staff from an eight state region. These stakeholders will come together to strengthen existing programs and jump start new farm to school efforts. The conference is a two day event: a full day of workshops and networking, a pre-conference day with field trips to sites in upstate South Carolina, and a local foods reception.
“Farm to school programming connects classrooms, the cafeteria, and the community—helping children develop healthy relationships with food and enriching the overall educational experience for children and adults alike,” said Emily Jackson, ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program Director. “The 2016 Southeast Farm to School Conference, hosted by ASAP, is the perfect entry point for those beginning with farm to school or for those who want to take their own farm to school expertise to the next level.”
With more than 15 years of experience in farm to school training and programming, ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program offers a combination of creative ideas and practical applications for school environments. The 2016 Southeast Farm to School Conference is designed to provide school staff and community members the training and resources necessary to implement successful farm to school programs.
The conference will feature workshops focused on six specialized tracks (including an early childhood track) as well as networking opportunities and state meetings for individuals from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama. Each track will feature content for attendees new to farm to school as well as those that want to improve their existing programs.
All attendees will receive certificates of completion for continuing education purposes. The Early Childhood track has been pre-approved as a training opportunity by North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. In addition, the full conference is pre-approved by the Commission on Dietetic Registration as a continuing education opportunity for Registered Dieticians.
The 2016 Southeast Farm to School Conference is made possible with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm to School Program, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, and other community sponsors.
Registration for the conference is now open at growing-minds.org. Attendance for the main conference day is $100 per person. Field trips and the reception are $35 each. More information on the conference and ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program is available at growing-minds.org or by contacting the ASAP office at (828) 236-1282.
ABOUT ASAP (APPALACHIAN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROJECT)
ASAP’s mission is to help Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia’s farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. Growing Minds, ASAP’s Farm to School program, has been in operation for more than a decade, connecting farms and schools and providing children positive experiences with healthy local foods. Experiences include farm field trips, nutrition education, school gardens, and local food in cafeterias.