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 2020-2021 Institute will be available in December 2019. For updates, sign up for our quarterly newsletters or follow us on social media (Fb | Tw | Ig).

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 Institute kicks off with a Summer Retreat held at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT. Download the program flyer to share with your network and colleagues — thanks for helping spread the word!


East Hartford Public School

Harwood Union High School



  • Farm to School 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: teams will be paired with an experienced coach from their state’s Farm to School 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 Farm to School 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 three-day residential Summer Retreat at Shelburne Farms for team planning time and connecting with peers and Farm to School experts.
  • Participation in planning meetings with your coach for the full school year.
  • Program fee of $900 per accepted team will be due by the end of April in order to secure the team’s spot. Cost of attendance should not be a hindrance in a school or district team deciding to apply, as scholarships are available. The program fee includes the cost of room and meals at the Summer Retreat. 


Applications are now closed for the 2019-20 Institute. For updates on the 2020-21 Institute, sign up for our quarterly newsletters or follow us on social media (Fb | Tw | Ig).

  • Application Deadline: Thursday, March 14, 2019. Please direct questions to Program Administration Coordinator Kelly Foster at [email protected].
  • For School Teams: First assemble a school-based or school district-wide team of 4-6 members for schools or 5-7 members for districts. Teams should be comprised of a diversity of individuals representing all aspects of the school, including, but not limited to: 
    • School nutrition personnel — food service directors, school chefs, kitchen managers
    • Classroom teachers
    • School administrators or curriculum coordinators
    • School nurses
    • Parents, school board, or community members
    • One district-level administrator *(for district-wide teams only)
  • For School Distrcit Teams: In your application, please identify one or two schools in your district in which you will focus efforts on implementing a Farm to School action plan that can serve as an example for other schools within the district. We have found this to be the most successful way to guide district teams through the planning process. 
  • Notification of acceptance: We hope to notify applicants by the end of March 2019.


The 2019-2020 Northeast Farm to School Institute is made possible with the support of the Doe Family Foundation, the Ittleson Foundation, the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.

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