Farm to School Institute


"The coaches help follow up on projects, ideas, and planning, and they've been invaluable in that process. It gives us a chance to sustain our efforts. Farm to school is really hard work - hard in a world of competing priorities in public school, and it takes a lot of commitment and organization. The design of this program has been the best that I've experienced in a long career of quality professional development."

Bruce Williams, Superintendent of School, Two Rivers Supervisory Union


Applications for the 2017-18 Farm to School Institute are now closed.

The Northeast Farm to School Institute is a unique year-long professional learning opportunity for twelve school teams from New England and New York. Our year-long Institute kicks off with a Summer Retreat held at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT from June 27-29, 2017.


  • FTS Program Development - during the Summer Retreat, participants will develop a comprehensive school-wide Farm to School Action Plan that includes curriculum, local procurement, utilizing outdoor learning spaces, and cultivating family and community connections.
  • School-Year Coaching School - teams will be paired with an experienced coach from their state’s FTS Network. You’ll have communication and meetings with this coach throughout the school year to assist you in implementing and adapting your action plan to meet the changing needs of the school.
  • Networking - Individuals and teams will have time to share innovations, join in dialogue, and share food and fun with other FTS practitioners.
  • Teacher & Nutrition Staff Professional Development - All team members receive certification of participation for the Summer Retreat. School nutrition staff receive continuing education/training hours for their time. Teachers may opt to receive graduate continuing education credits through Castleton University by participating in a fall curriculum retreat.


  • Attend the 3-day residential Summer Retreat at Shelburne Farms for team planning time and connecting with FTS peers and experts from June 27-29, 2017
  • Participation in planning meetings with your coach for the full school year.
  • Modest program fee of $600 per accepted team is due by April 3rd to secure the team’s spot. Program fee includes the cost of room and meals at the Summer Retreat. Limited scholarships are available.


  • Apply by Thursday, March 9, 2017. Please direct questions to Program Associate Amy Rougier at
  • To apply, identify a team (4-6 members) comprised of:
    • School nutrition directors or managers
    • Classroom teachers
    • School administrators or curriculum coordinators
    • School nurses
    • Parents, school board, or community members
  • You’ll be notified of acceptance by the end of March. Priority may be given to schools interested in or currently providing a summer meals program.


The Northeast Farm to School Institute is supported by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, and generous anonymous donations.