Professional Development

On the 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

"It has all been very educational and insightful. It's nice knowing we are not alone in our obstacles but are inspired from others' success stories. Connecting with other schools has been helpful. Loved all the speakers. Workshops were great."

-Kerrie Mathes, Champlain Elementary

VT FEED offers a range of professional development opportunities around the state, as well as customized courses upon request. Our offerings range from stand-alone workshops to graduate-level courses and our renowned yearlong Farm to School Institute. We offer courses for communities, schools, food service programs, educators, and more. Browse our offerings below, search the events page for upcoming trainings, contact us to learn about upcoming professional development opportunities, customizing a training for your group, organization or staff, or partnering with us to bring a course to your region.

Click on the titles for expanded information.

Farm to School Courses

Level I: Cultivating Farm to School

(1 credit available for Castleton University for extra fee)

For school staff and administrators and community members. Explore and expand personal and professional knowledge and experience related to farm to school education while building and strengthening community connections. Participants are encouraged to bring shared learning experiences back to their communities and classrooms and to develop the vital relationships necessary to make farm to school education a real and lasting part of the community, classroom, and cafeteria!

Interactive class sessions include a balance of hands-on cooking, networking, guest expert presentations, dialogue, small group activities, and practical experiences.

Possible class topics include:

  • School Food
  • School Community Gardens
  • Curriculum Connections and Development
  • Food Justice and Hunger
  • Child Nutrition
  • Principles of Sustainable Agriculture
  • Food Systems
  • Cooking with Local Foods

Level II: Farm to School Curriculum Connections

(1 credit available for Castleton University for extra fee)

Designed for classroom teachers who are looking to deepen or expand their curriculum and project-based learning related to farm to school including: nutrition, food systems, classroom cooking, and garden-based education. In response to feedback from previous participants, this course focuses on teacher needs. Designed to be dynamic and democratic, this emergent course offers teachers the time and space to develop projects of personal interest while providing opportunities to learn from colleagues and other leaders in the farm to school field. Interactive class sessions will feature a blend of individual work time, peer-to-peer feedback, resource sharing, hands-on food preparation, and large and small group discussions.   

Farm to School Institute

The Northeast Farm to School Institute is a year-long professional development opportunity for twelve school teams from New England and New York. Learn more about this unique learning opportunity and apply for the 2016-2017 Institute. Learn more >

Culinary Workshops for Child Nutrition Professionals

For child nutrition professionals, in partnership with the School Nutrition Association of VT (SNA-VT). These workshops are held at locations throughout the state and are designed to help child nutrition professionals:

  • develop hands-on professional skills
  • use scratch cooking techniques efficiently
  • facilitate nutrition education programs for students
  • reduce sodium in food served at school
  • create lunch and breakfast items

Each class earns 2 or 3 credit hours towards SNA Certification. Topics are selected based on feedback from previous workshop participants. If you have a workshop topic you’d like to see offered please contact us. The next workshop series will be offered in spring 2016. Topics have included:

  • Mastering the Basics: Expert Food Preparation Techniques Fast and Fun
  • Fresh Foods Galore: Preparation and Cooking Techniques Spanning the Seasons
  • Spice it Up: Bring a World of Flavors to School Food
  • Back to Basics: Cooking Techniques You Use Every Day
  • Time is of the Essence: Developing an Efficient Kitchen
  • A Pinch of This, A Pinch of That: The Art and Science of Scratch Baking
  • Kids in the Kitchen
  • Sodium Solutions: Shaking the Salt Habit

ABCs of Farm-Based Education

For teachers and administrators looking for new ideas for an existing program or interested in exploring the opportunities of farm-based education. This three-day workshop of hands-on, discussion- and activity-based learning and exploration of the Shelburne Farms campus includes the dairy, farmyard, garden, and forest classrooms and featured activities from Shelburne Farms’ publications Project Seasons and Cultivating Joy and Wonder. Discussions are based around ways to engage school groups and farm visitors. Workshop in the past have included topics such as, creating a safe learning environment, developing programs, resource sharing and networking among participants, and more!