Montana State University

Registration Now Open for Taking Root: Montana Farm to School Conference

July 17, 2012 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN - The Office of Public Instruction and its Montana Team Nutrition Program along with Montana State University and Learning by Nature are hosting the inaugural Taking Root: Montana Farm to School Conference on August 16 -17, 2012 at Montana State University in Bozeman.

Through workshops and field trips, participants will explore a wealth of Farm to School topics throughout the cafeteria, classroom and community, network with a variety of stakeholders, and be inspired by the diverse ways Farm to School has taken root across Montana. Teachers, administrators, school foodservice professionals, students, parents, and community partners from early childhood through 12th grade, as well as ranchers and farmers are encouraged to attend.

Farm to School is a national not-for-profit network that aims to improve child nutrition by helping children understand and experience where their food comes from. It incorporates healthy, farm-fresh food in school meals and snacks, provides increased opportunity for garden-based learning, provides agriculture education across the curriculum, and strengthens community-wide connections to support Montana's local farmers and children's well-being.

This conference will highlight:

  • School Gardening: Tips for making it work in Montana and school garden field trips (PreK-12).
  • Keeping it Local: Tips for incorporating local foods in child nutrition programs and school fundraisers.
  • Food = Learning: Teaching kids to make healthy food choices and meet science and math education standards.
  • From Garden to School Cafeterias: Ideas for successful service learning projects and agricultural education lessons (PreK-12).
  • Local Food Purchasing Toolbox: Ensuring food safety and staying within your budget.
  • Policy Update: National Farm to School Network.
  • Community: Cultivating strong partnerships.
  • Day 2 Optional Field Trip: School & Community Gardens Tour sponsored by Learning by Nature.

Registration is now open. Registration for Aug. 16 is $45.00, while the shorter field trip session on Aug. 17 costs $25.00.

Renewal units from OPI, Montana Early Childhood Project, and School Nutrition Association are available -- 7.5 hours for August 16 and 3.5 hours for August 17, 2012.

For more information and to register, visit:

Montana Team Nutrition works with educators, school administrators, school food service managers, parent groups and community members to provide training and technical assistance centered on implementing student wellness through school-based programs, like school meal programs, nutrition education and physical activity. Located at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana Team Nutrition is part of the Office of Public Instruction School Nutrition Programs and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Contact Katie Bark, program director, Montana Team Nutrition Program (406) 994-5641 or