Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Community Development Resources

Choctaw Nation Promise Zone:

Federal, State, and Nonprofit Opportunities

Native Food Systems Initiative 

First Nations will award 12 grants of up to $35,000 each to support projects that aim to strengthen local food-system control; increase access to local, healthy and traditional foods; and decrease food insecurity and food deserts, all with an emphasis on serving Native American children and families. More information... 

Application Deadline: February 17, 2017


Tribal Sexual Assault Services Program

The Tribal Sexual Assault Services Program provides funding directly to tribes, tribal organizations, and nonprofit tribal organizations to create, maintain, and expand sexual assault services within Indian country and Alaskan native villages. More information...
Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline: February 23, 2017 


Indian Health Service Dental Externships 

If you're a third-year dental student in search of a rewarding and unique training opportunity, the IHS Division of Oral Health (DOH) Dental Externship Program can provide you with the perfect opportunity. You will gain valuable clinical experience in an Indian health facility, develop your clinical skills under expert supervision, and contribute to an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals. More information... 

Location: Nationwide 

Application Deadline: February 28, 2017


Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part C Capacity Development Grants 

This program provides funding to assist public and nonprofit entities in their efforts to strengthen their organizational infrastructure and to increase their capacity to develop, enhance, or expand access to high quality HIV primary health care services for people living with HIV or who are at risk of infection in underserved or rural communities. More information...
Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline: February 28, 2017


Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children

The President's FY 2017 Budget seeks to ensure all children have consistent and adequate access to nutritious food year round by proposing a permanent, nationwide expansion of the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (Summer EBT) program. This program will provide families with children eligible for free and reduced price school meals access to additional food benefits during the summer. More information... 

Application Deadline: February 28, 2017 


Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program
The NIST Public Safety Innovation Accelerator Program seeks applications from eligible applicants for activities to accelerate research, development, production, and testing of key broadband technologies and capabilities for first responders. More information...
Location: Nationwide 

Application Deadline: February 28, 2017


Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children's Health in American Indian and Alaskan Native Communities, U.S. Territories, and Pacific Jurisdictions Cooperative Agreements (Indigenous - Project LAUNCH) 

The purpose of this program is to promote the wellness of young children from birth to eight years within tribes, territories and Pacific Island jurisdictions by addressing the physical, social, emotional, cognitive and behavioral aspects of their development. The goal of Project LAUNCH is for children to be thriving in safe, supportive environments, and entering school ready to learn and able to succeed. More information...
Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline: March 1, 2017


Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Family Treatment Drug Courts 

The purpose of this program is to expand and/or enhance substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services in existing family treatment drug courts, which use the family treatment drug court model in order to provide alcohol and drug treatment (including recovery support services, screening, assessment, case management, and program coordination) to parents with a SUD and/or co-occurring SUD and mental disorders who have had a dependency petition filed against them or are at risk of such filing. More information...
Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline: March 3, 2017


Cooperative Agreements for Tribal Behavioral Health (Native Connections) 

The purpose of this program is to prevent and reduce suicidal behavior and substance use, reduce the impact of trauma, and promote mental health among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) young people up to and including age 24. More information...
Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline: March 9, 2017


Community Connect Broadband Grant Program
This program helps fund broadband deployment into rural communities where it is not yet economically viable for private sector providers to deliver service. More information... 

Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline: March 13, 2017


Telehealth Resource Center Grant Program 

The purpose of the Telehealth Resource Center Grant Program (TRCGP) is to support the establishment and development of Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs) that will provide technical assistance to healthcare organizations, healthcare networks, and healthcare providers in the implementation of cost-effective telehealth programs to serve rural and medically underserved areas and populations. More information...
Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline: March 16, 2017


Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program: Tribal Transit Program 

The primary purpose of these competitively selected grants is to support planning, capital, and operating assistance for tribal public transit services. More information...
Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline: March 20, 2017


Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants

This program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. More information... 

Applications are accepted at your local office.

Application Deadline: March 31, 2017

Source: USDA


Grant Opportunity Encourages Community Development Approaches for Libraries, Archives and Museums
The initiative encourages projects that demonstrate the viability of adapting approaches from the collective impact, social well-being, and community development arenas for use by libraries, archives and museums. The projects will identify how libraries, archives and museums can determine at the local level which resources, partner organizations and practices can be used to better serve their communities. At the same time, the projects should represent models that can be adapted by other libraries, archives and museums. More information... 

Application Deadline: April 3, 2017


Economic Development Assistance Programs 

The Economic Development Administration's (EDA's) mission is to lead the Federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for economic growth and success in the worldwide economy. More information... 

Application Deadline: Rolling


Rural & Tribal Passenger Transportation Technical Assistance 

The rural program provides technical assistance for small communities of less than 50,000 people. The focus of the program is economic development: helping small and emerging businesses and stimulating economic development through new and improved public transportation.
The tribal program is designed to help Native American tribes enhance economic growth adn development by improving transportation services. Technical assistance is limited to planning and may support transit service improvements and expansion, system start-up, facility development, development of marketing plans and materials, transportation coordination, training and other public transit problem solving activities.
For more information and to register, click here. 

Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline: Rolling
Source: Community Transportation Association of America


Homegrown By Heroes

The Homegrown by Heroes label is a key differentiation for farmer veteran products in competitive markets. The HBH label gives farmer veterans the point-of-sale visibility they need to be successful in the marketplace. The HBH label also affords consumers a tangible way to support veterans while providing an avenue to share the veteran's story. More information...

Dates: Annually renewable

Location: Nationwide


Rural Business Development Grant 

A competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas that have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues. More information... 

Application Deadline: Applications are accepted through local or state Rural Development offices once every year. 


Helpful Tools and Internship Opportunities

Forest Service Releases 2016 Fall Tribal Relations Newsletter

Click here to access the newsletter 


Find Your Town, a New Tool Promoting Small Towns from the White House Opportunity Project

December 1, 2016 -- Small towns and rural places hold a special place in our vision of America. They offer residents a unique and often genial place to live. Visitors and those just passing through come to enjoy distinct lifestyles, commerce, and countryside.  Yet, many rural towns have trouble promoting themselves and planning for a vibrant future. More information...

Source: USDA


The Office of Senator James Lankford Internship

The Office of Senator James Lankford is currently seeking applications for unpaid interns for the Spring 2017 semester in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa offices. Intern responsibilities may include but are not limited to: answering phones, performing administrative tasks, assisting with database management, contributing to the office correspondence process, supporting staff with projects, and conducting legislative research. Applicants should be highly organized and hardworking. They should also have strong written and verbal communication skills and have the ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment. More information... 

Interested candidates should apply by emailing a resume, cover letter, and writing sample to

Application Deadline: April 14, 2017


Chuuk Women's Council Empowers Micronesian Women to be Healthcare Leaders 

November 2, 2016 -- Although there is only one state hospital for the 50,000 residents that inhabit Chuuk, a group of women is making a difference for the state's healthcare system and for Chuuk society as a whole. Read more... 


Training Opportunities

Overtime Law Workshops

Hear up-to-date information about the Fair Labor Standards Act, and its impact upon the nonprofit sector. The changes to overtime laws go into effect December 1, 2016.

Pauls Valley - March 30, 2017 


Ensuring Your Nonprofit's Financial Strength
Designed especially for Executive Directors and Financial Professionals, this workshop will equip nonprofit leaders with skills for making financial strength a priority across the organization.
Trainer: Aaron Ackerman, CPA, CGMA.

Oklahoma City - February 16, 2017


Standards for Excellence

Standards for Excellence 2.0 includes expanded and enhanced benchmarks for nonprofit best practices, including 79 benchmarks for best practices; new sample policies in social media and information technologies all nonprofits need to know; and improved information on outcome based measurements and logic models to prove mission impact.   

StillwaterFebruary 21-22, 2017 

TahlequahMarch 28-29, 2017 

MuskogeeApril 18-19, 2017  


Using Census Bureau Data for Economic Development 

This hands-on workshop will teach you how to obtain the newly released Economic Census data from the Census website. Economic Census data may be used in business planning, business peer comparisons and market analysis. This opportunity is free of charge.
When: February 16, 2017  1:00pm - 4:00pm
McAlester Registration
Enid Registration
Muskogee Registration
Ardmore Registration 


Grant Writing Basics
This workshop is designed to introduce you to the idea of writing grants for your organization. You will learn grant writing basics, terminology, tips for creating and sustaining funder relationships and ideas on how to present budgets and other relevant attachments for grants. 

Ponca City - February 21, 2017


Grant Writing 201

This intermediate course will cover advanced communication and grantsmanship for fundraising, including: communicating with funders, writing your best grant narrative, and reporting and follow-up. 

Bartlesville - March 7, 2017


Grant Writing Summits 

Attend this intensive sessions to cover all the bases on grant writing. This day-long session will also include an opportunity to workshop a portion of your own grant narrative.
Oklahoma City - March 14, 2017
Tulsa - March 16, 2017


2017 Oklahoma Conference on Nonprofit Law & Finance

This two-day conference will feature local and regionally recognized speakers on topics including legal compliance, charitable giving, financial oversight, Oklahoma policy and advocacy, along with new horizons: cultural competency, cyber security, and the affects of immigration policy on the nonprofit sector. 

Oklahoma City University School of LawMarch 23-24, 2017 


Fundraising Summits

The Fundraising Summit provides nonprofit professionals an opportunity to gain extensive knowledge about fundraising in a short, 6-hour setting. Fundraising experts present in quick succession their knowledge about best practices on the many topics every nonprofit professional needs to know. Participants will learn insider-tips for applying for grants, tried-and-true tactics for making bold asks, and flawless management for annual fundraising plans.

Bartlesville - February 15, 2017
Lawton - March 21, 2017
Enid - March 28, 2017 

Oklahoma CityApril 6, 2017
Ponca City - May 11, 2017


Funders Forums 

We all want to know the secrets to receiving funding from foundations and corporations. The Center's Funders Forum can help! This will consist of a morning session, networking lunch, and after-lunch session where the dynamic panel of corporate and foundation employees will offer you tips and share their expertise.
Oklahoma City - May 16, 2017
Tulsa - May 30, 2017 


Preparing for a Financial Audit 

Having an annual financial audit is a best practice as defined by the Standards for Excellence Institute, and requires significant work from the entire organization. This three-hour workshop will help participants understand the administrative responsibilities of a financial audit, from the perspective of an audit team. 

Tulsa - May 18, 2017 

Oklahoma CityJune 8, 2017


Other Opportunities

Congressional Art Competition for Oklahoma High School Students 

Students submit artwork to their elected representative's office, and panelists select winners from each district. Winning works are exhibited at the U.S. Capitol, and winners have the opportunity to be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. More information...
The instructions for your entries are available through your representative's link below.
1st District - Congressman Jim Bridenstine
2nd District - Congressman Markwayne Mullin
3rd District - Congressman Frank Lucas
4th District - Congressman Tom Cole
5th District - Congressman Steve Russell 

2017 Voices of the Wilderness Alaskan Artist Residency Opportunity 

The Voices of the Wilderness artist residency is a unique opportunity. It is modeled after traditional residencies in the national parks...with a twist. Instead of staying at a remote wilderness cabin, our participating artists are paired with a wilderness specialist and actively engaged in stewardship projects, such as research, monitoring, and education. The idea is to give artists a sense of the stewardship behind America's public lands, fostering an artistic exploration of these natural and cultural treasures. More information...
Application Deadline: March 1, 2017

Click here to access the application.

Indian Health Service Health Professions Scholarship Program

The IHS Scholarship Program provides qualified American Indian and Alaska Native health professions students an opportunity to establish an educational foundation for each stage of your pre-professional careers. More information...

Location: Nationwide

Application Deadline: March 28, 2017


NOSORH Rural Health Grant Writing Institute

Don't miss this opportunity to learn how to write better grant proposals, turn rurality to your advantage, learn to connect with funders, and more. This web-based series is perfect for beginners seeking to gain the skills to research and draft winning proposals from various agencies. Class size is limited, so register today! More information...

Application Deadline: March 29, 2017


Runnerclick Accepting Submissions for Scholarship Program

Runnerclick feels that maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and remaining active in sports as well as other outdoor activities can be beneficial in building a strong mind and good charcacter sportsmanship. The Runnerclick scholarship is awarded to three winners with an amount of $2,000. More information...

Location: Nationwide

Application Deadline: April 20, 2017


Fifth and Eighth-Grade Teachers Encouraged to Apply for Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute Fellowships

While at Colonial Williamsburg -- the world's largest living history museum -- Oklahoma teachers meet character interpreters of 18th-century people and are immersed in early American history through hands-on activities and reenactments of historic events. More information...
Application Deadline for 5th Grade Teachers: June 8-14, 2017
Application Deadline for 8th Grade Teachers: June 15-21, 2017


American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association Scholarship

Established to provide American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students with financial assistance to earn a degree or certificate in the hospitality, tourism, recreation, culinary arts or related fields.  AIANTA will award three (3) individuals who have met all scholarship application criteria. AIANTA would like to encourage Indigenous students to build their careers in the tourism industry while sustaining and strengthening their cultural legacy. Access the application here! 

Application Deadline for Fall 2017 Semester: July 28, 2017
Application Deadline for Spring 2018 Semester: December 1, 2017 



Bringing Life Downtown After Hours: Arts, Shopping, Culture After 5

Being open evening hours is not just a matter of extending store hours. It is more like opening a whole different store with different customers. Becky McCray and Deb Brown be sharing ideas and examples from real small towns. Deb will share from her experience as a Chamber of Commerce director, and Becky will share from her perspective as a business owner in a small town. More information...

When: Webinar continually available.

Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program Webinar 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced the availability of $27 million in grants to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses through the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program. This webinar will help farmers, producers groups and other potential applicants to understand the program requirements.
For more information and to register click here! 

When: February 15, 2017 (2:30pm - 4:30pm ET)


HUD Historic Preservation Award – Call for Nominations:

HUD is partnering with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) to offer the HUD Secretary's Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. The 2017 Award will be given to a project that promotes affordable housing, community revitalization, and/or enhanced economic opportunities through the continued use or adaptive re-use of historic buildings and neighborhoods.


The deadline for nominations is March 27, 2017 and details about the criteria and submission process for the HUD Historic Preservation Award are available now.


Projects completed within the last three years with HUD funding or financing are eligible to apply. Work must meet preservation guidelines - the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. The award will be presented in conjunction with ACHP's business meeting in July.


The Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) and the Office of Environment and Energy (OEE) developed the award with ACHP, an independent federal agency that advises the President and Congress on historic preservation matters and administers the regulations that implement Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. HUD is a designated member of the Council. The HUD Secretary's Award was previously offered jointly with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


USDA Food and Nutrition Service: GoodGreens:

January 26th Meeting Summary

Noel Bielaczyc, Food Hub & Meat Value Chain Specialist at Michigan State University, shared information about the Michigan Food Hub Network, part of the Michigan Good Food Charter (MGFC). The MGFC envisions an equitable and thriving Michigan food economy. The Charter is a network that includes the MI Farm to Institution Network, MI Local Food Council Network, and Michigan Meat Network. Currently, Michigan boasts over 8 food hubs, 3 new/emerging food hubs, and 20 food incubators/kitchen spaces. The Michigan Food Hub Network assists food hubs to become more financially viable by providing technical assistance and education, largely via state-wide meetings. A 2015 Food Hub Survey showed that 64% of operators felt strongly that food hubs were strongly related to improving community health. 92% of those surveyed said that they sourced from small or mid-sized farms and ranches. Noel can be contacted here


Krista Kirkham, Assistant Aquatic Ecologist, The Nature Conservancy, shared information about TNC's work on The Franklin Research and Demonstration Farm. TNC advances conservation through research, innovation, and community outreach. This 280-acre farm in Lexington, IL has been owned and operated by the Franklin family for over 160 years. In 2003, the Franklin Family partnered with The Nature Conservancy to experimentally determine ways to decrease nitrate and phosphorous levels in waterways (as a result of agricultural runoff).  Through the introduction of wetland drainage areas, TNC helped the farm to decrease nitrate levels by 18-44% and phosphate levels by 57-68%. Additionally, TNC leveraged a USDA-NRCS conservation Innovation Grant to study the effect of cover crops on nitrate and phosphate levels. TNC also worked with the farm on various projects, including savannah and prairie restoration, floodplain wetlands, and grassed waterways. 

Additionally, the farm conducts educational events with over 20 partner organizations aimed to educate researchers, farmers, students, and elected officials on their efforts. This partnership serves as a model for conservation agriculture, innovative research, and successful partnerships between growers and partner organizations. Krista Kirkham can be contacted here


Michelle Horovitz, Executive Director, Appetite for Change, shared information about her community-led organization (begun in 2011) that uses food as a tool to build health, wealth, and social change in North Minneapolis. The organization facilitates workshops in urban agriculture, hosts community kitchen spaces, and runs youth leadership and employment programs.

The organization is financially sustained through grant funding and via two businesses: Kindred Kitchen (a shared commissary kitchen) and Breaking Bread (a fast-casual café). These businesses generate revenue for the youth employment programs and trainings. The organization's urban farms also hire and train youth to harvest and sell food to local businesses. The organization's urban farm network formed a co-op that sells produce to local groceries stores, restaurants and businesses. Michelle can be contacted here


Alex Poltorak, Founder & CEO, Chicago's Urban Canopy, presented on the successes of new initiatives that his organization used to increase redemption rates for farmers market coupons for WIC and Senior Citizens in low-income urban areas. Working with the City of Chicago, Urban Canopy sold produce at farmers markets in food deserts on Chicago's South and West sides. The City helped to cover various costs to ease the burden of entering an area where success was unsure. Traffic and sales were low during the first two years of operation, which Alex attributed to lack of transportation access, especially for senior citizens.

In order to ease some of the barriers, Urban Canopy began hosting pop-up markets in senior citizen centers and WIC sites. In 2016, 14 pop-ups produced $5,840 in sales (an 87% jump from 2015). WIC clinics saw a similar success. Pop-up markets in senior citizen centers and WIC sites have shown continued success every year since 2014. Alex can be contacted here


Stephanie Folkens, Director of Programming at Common Threads, shared information about the national nonprofit organization that focuses on cooking and nutrition education for children. Believing that cooking is a life skill that all people deserve to possess, the organization operates in 9 different markets in the US. After years of programming successes, the organization recently created Common Bytes, a digital tool for schools and homes. Common Bytes satisfies local wellness policy requirements in a way that blends subjects like science and math into fun and interactive cooking and nutrition education activities and videos. The organization recently posted the Small Bites Grant, which helps to fund schools implement the organization's Small Bites curriculum. Stephanie can be contacted here


Sherrie Tussler, Executive Director at Hunger Task Force, discussed their model as a free, local and independent food bank that has supplied healthy and nutritious foods to Milwaukeeans in need. The organization's newest project is Fresh Picks Mobile Market, which is a converted NASCAR trailer that sells fresh produce in low-income areas. This mobile market operates Monday – Friday, averaging 2 stops per day. Target sites include food pantries, low-income housing, and areas with low access to grocery stores. Sherrie attributes the market's successes to an extensive volunteer network, consistently scheduled stops, the use of SNAP and debit/credit cards for transactions in lieu of cash (to minimize theft), and collaboration with partners to identify best practices. Some strategies that have not been as successful include pricing per pound instead of per piece. One of the biggest contributors to keeping prices competitive was leveraging a USDA FINI grant and other private donations.  Sherrie can be contacted here


February 23rd Meeting Agenda
The first hour of our February meeting will focus on two USDA grant programs—Local Foods and Farmers Market Promotion Programs. As you'll see from the agenda below, we'll hear from organizations that have leveraged these grants, as well as from USDA staff who administer these programs.


Dewell Paez-Delgado, Grants Management Specialist, USDA-AMS, will share information on USDA-AMS's Local Food and Farmers Market Promotion grant programs (which are now accepting proposals). The programs fund projects that support the local food supply chain (LFPP) and direct-to-consumer local markets (FMPP).


Pakou Hang, Hmong American Farmers Association, will share information about how her organization leveraged the Local Food Promotion Program grant in 2014 to expand the Alternative Markets Program. The program trains small-scale, low-income, and urban-dwelling farmers to access new markets in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.


Brittany Bradd, Brightmoor Artisans Collective, will share information about how her organization leveraged the Local Food Promotion Program grant in 2015 to establish a cold storage and commercial kitchen to improve healthy foods access, education, and economic opportunities in the Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit.


Michael Howard, Fuller Park Community Development, will share information about how his organization leveraged the Farmers Market Promotion Program grants in 2012 and 2015 to grow the Eden Place Farmers Market, CSA program, and provide urban farm and food safety training for residents to serve Chicago's Fuller Park community.


Tera Johnson, Founder and Director of the Food and Finance Institute at the University of Wisconsin Extension, will share information about how her organization leveraged the Local Food Promotion Program grant in 2015 to help food hubs scale up. The Institute will provide financial/resource management training through a national network of at least 100 trained food hub managers and technical assistance providers.


Linda Mallers, FarmLogix, will share information about how her organization leveraged the Local Food Promotion Program grant in 2014 and 2015 to expand their online supply chain portal that connects regional producers and distributors with schools.


Fred Carter, Co-founder of Black Oaks Sustainability Center, will share information about how his organization leveraged the Local Food Promotion Program grant in 2014 to develop new market opportunities for farmers and ranchers in Pembroke, Illinois. The organization will provide training, working capital, and non-construction infrastructure improvements to improve the Healthy Food Hub's existing food system facilities.


Jessi Averill, Toledo Food Bank, will share information about how her organization leveraged the Farmers Market Promotion Program grant in 2015 to run a mobile market in NW Ohio that provides individuals with healthy guidelines, develops and distributes recipes to use fresh produce, and accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.                                                                           


The second half of the meeting will feature two additional speakers with time at the end for announcements and news.


Michaela Oldfield, Director Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council, will share information about the organizing of the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council and its recent initiatives. The Council is comprised of government, health departments, universities, health care institutions, farmers markets, and other food and health organizations in Greater Cincinnati's ten-county region.  In 2016, the council initiated the Cincy Good Food Fund and the Cincy Good Food Fellows programs. Michaela will speak on lessons learned from these initiatives, including the results of funding a project to run a free shuttle service to connect areas less accessible by public transport to Northside Farmer's Market, and where the Council will be focusing in 2017. The GCRFPC's parent organization, Green Umbrella, is also the fiscal sponsor for Produce Perks, funded by the City of Cincinnati Health Department and Creating Healthy Communities initiative. This program doubles the value of purchases for customers using SNAP benefits at ten farmers markets and one CSA program. Ana Bird, Manager of Produce Perks, will discuss the evolution of Produce Perks.


Joan Nelson, Executive Director, Allen Neighborhood Center, will share information about her organization, which functions as a hub for neighborhood revitalization and activities that promote the health and well-being of Lansing's Eastside community and other stakeholders. Some of the organization's programs include the Allen Farmers Market, the Hunter Park GardenHouse—an  urban farm & garden education facility, youth programs, Incubator Kitchens, and the Exchange, mid-Michigan's Food Hub.  All programs operate year-round.


Sharing by member organizations of recent news/developments (All).

  • Illinois Farmers Market Association Annual Conference
    Where: Kendall College - Chicago, IL
    Date: March 29th, 2017
    For more information, visit the organization's website

The Good Food Conference and Expo, hosted by FamilyFarmed
UIC Forum - Chicago, IL
Date: March 16th-18th, 2017
Fore more information, visit the event website.


What is GoodGreens? 

GoodGreens is a collaboration facilitated by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service Midwest Region to share resources and best practices that support local and regional foods systems and increase consumption of healthy, locally grown foods. GoodGreens meetings are held monthly in person at the USDA Midwest Regional Office in downtown Chicago and via conference call.

Interested in a specific topic or speaker at a future GoodGreens meeting? Please email Alan Shannon to let us know!


News, Resources, Grants and More... 

(Click on the links below to see more)




Deepening Roots, Growing Success (The Carrot Project) Purpose: A business training program for urban farmers and processors.  Date: Eight Monday evening sessions (Jan. 30 – March 20, 2017). Location: Roxbury, MA.


New! Come to the Table Dinner Series: Sustaining, Reviving and Leading Purpose: Dinner series in February, March and April that celebrates the food systems collaboration between chefs and farmers in Chicago. Cost is $65 per series. Dates: Mar. 6, April 4, 2017. Location: Chicago, IL.


New! Turner Farm Gardening Classes (Turner Farm) Purpose: Workshops on various gardening topics. Register at the link. Date: Feb. 15 (Introduction to pest management). Mar. 8 (Seed starting). Mar. 15 (Conversation about gardening). Location: Cincinnati, OH.


2017 Southwest Michigan Food Safety Summit and Grower Produce Safety Course Purpose: The summit will feature hands-on post-harvest handling training, GroupGAP information, and a food safety plan writing workshop. The summit will also feature FDA-authorized Produce Safety Alliance Grower Food Safety Modernization Act certification courses. Date: Register: February 10, 2017. Summit: February 15-16, 2017. Location: Kalamazoo, MI.


2017 Farm Service Agency Workshop (The Land Connection) Purpose: FSA workshop on conservation support, emergency assistance, loan programs, and preferential funding groups, eg: beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers. Date: February 11, 2017. Location: Champaign, IL.


Risk Management in the Emerging Organic Grain Industry Workshop (The Land Connection) Purpose: In this program, regional experts and stakeholders will discuss how farmers can manage risk together by sharing information and collaboratively marketing and processing. Date: February 16, 2017. Location: Central Illinois.


New! Farm and Food Education Fellowship (Allegheny Mountain Institute) Purpose: A fully funded 18-month program aimed to prepare and empower its fellows to become teachers and ambassadors to promote a better local food system. Fellows will spend six months in immersive training on our farm campus (Phase I) and one year in service work with a partner organization (Phase II). Applications due 2/19/17.  Date: Phase I Farm Study: 4/30/17 to 11/1/17. Phase II Service Application: 1/1/18 – 12/31/18.  Location: Virginia.


Film Screening - At The Fork Purpose: Film screening and discussion of the documentary, At the Fork, which reviews the history of livestock farming. Date: February 20, 2017. Location: Grayslake, IL


MOSES Organic Farming Conference Purpose: This conference is the largest in the U.S. about organic and sustainable farming, and offers 65 workshops, keynotes, roundtables, and exhibit hall. Date: February 23-25, 2017. Location: La Crosse, WI.


New! Agriculture and Natural Resources Week (Michigan State University) Purpose: Sessions/conferences on a wide variety of topics in agriculture, horticulture, and natural resources. Date: March 4-11, 2017. Location: East Lansing, MI.


Farmer Field School (Michigan State University) Purpose: Beginning in 2015, the MSU Farmer Field School facilitates intensive 1-2 day hands-on workshops focusing on organic practices, vegetable production, and how to be sustainable and profitable. Date: Vegetable Transplant Production Success (Mar. 19). Location: Ceresco, MI.


Mentorship Program (The Land Connection) Purpose: One-year one-to-one mentorship for beginner small, diversified farm operators, organic transition, and everything in between. Date: Rolling. Location: Illinois and Indiana.


Chicago and Illinois Young Farmers Coalition (CINYFC) Purpose: CINYFC is the local chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition, whose mission is to connect the growing community of young farmers emerging in Illinois. Members receive invitations to events, special discounts, and networking opportunities. Date: Ongoing. Location: Illinois.


USDA Conservation Reserve Program Purpose: Provides financial and technical assistance to address agriculture conservation practices related to: drinking water protection, reducing soil erosion, preserving wildlife habitats, preserving/restoring forests/wetlands, and aiding farmers whose farms are damaged by natural disasters. New CRP programs were recently announced for organic farmers and for dairy farmers with 100 or fewer head of grazing dairy cows. For more information, visit local FSA office. Date: CRP is ongoing. Location: Nationwide.


Homegrown By Heroes Purpose: Promotes farmer veterans' point-of-sale visibility, greater awareness of farmer veterans, business planning and food safety support from the Farmer Veteran Coalition. The program is a marketing initiative started by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and expanded nationally by the Veteran Farmer Coalition. Dates: Annually renewable. Location: Nationwide.


Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Purpose: Provides risk management safety net for all commodities on the farm under one insurance policy. This insurance policy is available to farms with less than $8.5 million in total revenue. The policy is also available to specialty and/or organic commodity farms or local or regional producers. Dates: See website. Location: Nationwide.


Affordable Care Act Gives New Farmers the Freedom to Farm Purpose: Provides a variety of affordable insurance plans for rural Americans. An estimated eight out of ten may qualify for financial assistance to help pay for coverage. Dates: See website. Location: Nationwide.


Bridges to Opportunity (USDA FSA) Purpose: Connects agricultural producers, information and resources, and non-USDA partner organizations. This opportunity launched in certain FSA county offices in Fall 2015. Location: See link for counties serviced.


Organic Grain Listserv (Moses and University of Wisconsin—Madison) Purpose: this listserv shares information about events, best practices, resources and, equipment for grain farmers.


Share Your Story on Growing Young Farmers (FamilyFarmed) Purpose: The average age of U.S. farmers is around 60. FamilyFarmed is receiving submissions for young farmer stories to highlight this demographic.


New! National Young Farmers Coalition 2017 Survey Purpose: This survey will help to guide NYFC's policy platform to help young people overcome barriers to enter agriculture.


Vendors Wanted (Original Farmers Market) Purpose: Be a vendor at the Original Farmers Market in Owosso, Michigan. This is an established market with excellent exposure on State Highway M-21 and lots of available parking. Contact Bob Collard at 517-256-6425 or for more information Location: Owosso, MI.


Seeking producers for Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets in Ten Ohio Stores Purpose: Those interested should call Ben Bush at 331-253-3225 or send an email to Interested farmers should present an overview of seasonality and volumes of produce and any food safety/GAP/organic certifications. Location: Toledo, Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, OH.


Seeking farmers for Milwaukee Smart Grocery Network (Milwaukee Professionals Association LLC) Purpose: The MPA is seeking farmers, particularly those who are black, women, young, and/or Hispanic. Those interested should call or text 414-610-1044 or email Date: Ongoing. Location: Milwaukee, WI.


School and Farm to School

Farm to School Day (Illinois Farm to School Network) Purpose: The morning session features training for teachers and food service to affordably incorporate scratch recipes into lunch menus. The afternoon session is for families to learn about seed starting/growing food, cooking with local foods in the winter, and healthy meal planning. Date: March 3, 2017. Location: Geneva, IL.


Let's Move! Salad Bars to Schools Purpose: Provides technical and financial support to install salad bars in schools. The initiative is jointly sponsored by United Fresh, the Center for Disease Control, and others. Dates: rolling application. Location: Nationwide.

FNS Farm to School E-letter. Sign up at


Food Systems

New! Participate in Double Up Food Bucks program during 2017 market season Purpose: Provides a one-to-one-match of purchases by SNAP customers at farmers markets. Date: Deadline: Feb. 13.


New! Apply to Join the Board of Directors (Minnesota Farmers Market Association) Purpose: Apply to be on MFMA's Board of Directors. Date: Deadline: Feb. 13.


New! Accepting SNAP Bridge Cards at Michigan Farmers Markets Webinar (MIFMA) Purpose: Attend this webinar to learn how to accept SNAP benefits at farmers markets. Date: Feb. 21.


New! Accepting SNAP as a Direct Marketing Farmer Webinar (MIFMA) Purpose: Attend this webinar to learn how to accept SNAP benefits at direct-marketing farm outlets. Date: Feb. 23.


Illinois Winter Farmers Market List for 2016-2017 Purpose: Online list of the farmers markets that are operating in Illinois during the winter months. Locations, dates and times of operations as well as websites are listed. Date: November 2016 – April 2017. Location: Illinois.


Urban Farming Apprenticeship Program (Lansing Urban Farm Project) Purpose: Apprenticeship runs from early May through early November and includes 20 hours/week of instruction, farm work, market experience, and field trips. Apprentices receive a stipend. Apprenticeships are open to all Lansing-area residents, particularly those who live in the Urbandale Farm service neighborhood. Date: May – Nov, 2017. Information sessions: Jan. 28, Feb. 13, Feb. 23. Location: Lansing, MI.


Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Annual Conference Purpose: This three-day conference is Ohio's largest sustainable food and farm conference. The conference will feature speaker sessions, industry trade show, and nearly 80 workshops on sustainable farming topics and urban agriculture. Date: February 9-11, 2017. Location: Dayton, OH.


Local Foods College No-Cost Webinars (University of Minnesota Extension) Purpose: These no-cost online classes are available to anyone interested in strengthening food systems. Registration required. Dates: Jan. 31 (Postharvest Handling), Feb. 21 (Soil Health), Cottage Food Law (Feb. 21), Feb. 28 (Accessing Capital for Growing Your Commercial Scale Production), Mar. 7 (Seed Saving), Mar. 4 (Raising Poultry for Fun or Profit).


Market Manager Certificate Program for managers from all states (MIFMA) Purpose: Three in-person sessions and seven webinars on essential farmers market mangers topics. Click here to view full program guide. Dates: In-person: Feb. 11 and Mar. 7 (MI), Mar. 11 (IL), and TBD (IN). Webinars: Avoiding market downfalls and planning for success (Feb. 13), Earning financial support for your market (Feb. 15), Collecting and sharing farmers market data (Feb. 17), Grant writing and financial management (Feb. 20), State-specific licensing, regulations, and food assistance programs (Feb. 22), Developing and using an annual marketing plan (Feb. 27), Planning for events, entertainment, and emergency situations (Mar. 1). Location: Please see full program guide (link above).


New! Marketing and Promotions for Your Business Workshops (Bath Farmers Market and MIFMA) Purpose: Workshops presented by experts in the fields of branding, marketing, and social media. There is no fee to attend the workshop. Each session qualifies for 1 Professional Development Hour for MIFMA's Manager Certificate Program. Register at the link. Dates: Mar. 13 (Creating a budget to support your marketing plan). Mar. 20 (Best practices for engaging Facebook posts). Mar. 27 (Instagram – the power of photos). Apr. 3 (Merchandising and promotions to sell your brand). Apr. 10 (Getting permission and giving credit). Location: Bath, MI.


New! Market Manager Mentorship Program (Michigan Farmers Market Association) Purpose: Sign up to become a farmers market mentor, mentee, or sponsor to help mentees overcome obstacles to increase access to healthy food in underserved communities. Date: Register by Feb. 27. Program: March 8 – Nov. 30, 2017. Location: Michigan.


Michigan Farmers Market Conference 2017 Purpose: Two-day conference with three tracks and 15 educational sections for beginner market managers, advanced market managers, and farmers/vendors. Date: March 7-8, 2017. Location: East Lansing, MI.


NW Minnesota Farmers Market Gathering (Minnesota Farmers Market Association) Purpose: This gathering will cover farmers market issues like social media, SNAP and Market Bucks, special events, and simplified Cottage Foods information. Date: March 8, 2017. Location: Crookston, MN. 


New! Minnesota Farmers Market Association Annual Conference (Minnesota Farmers Market Association) Purpose: Network with farmers, vendors, and market managers from across the state. Learn how to market your farmers market and about special market programs. Date: March 21, 2017. Location: Monticello, MN.


"Growing Together": IL Annual Statewide Farmers Market Conference (IL Farmers Market Association) Purpose: Convene all vendors, producers, market managers, city managers, and anyone interested in starting a new farmers market. Registration available soon. Date: March 29, 2017. Location: Chicago, IL.


Farmers Market Survey (Vermont Law School, Farmers Market Coalition, NOFA-VT) Purpose: Fill out this brief, 5-question survey to help FMC and other partners produce a Farmers Market Legal Toolkit.


National Nutrition Network (Wholesome Wave) Purpose: Connect with those involved in nutrition incentive programs, access tools to build and sustain nutrition incentive programs, and work one-on-one with Wholesome Wave's technical assistance providers to expand programs.  Dates: Rolling.


Agricultural Grader Apprenticeship Program (USDA-AMS) Purpose: Receive 12 months of specialized training to become an agricultural commodity grader (ACG). ACGs preform quality grading and inspections of food and agricultural products. The program, launched recently with Department of Labor and Department of Veterans Affairs, is one of the ways that USDA is supporting veterans. Dates: Rolling.


Farm to Freezer Job Training Program (Goodwill Northern Michigan) Purpose: Assists unemployed individuals to develop skills in flash freezing from local farms in Northern Michigan. Contact for more information. Date: Rolling. Location: Traverse City, MI.


Farmers Market Partners. USDA facilitates a collaboration with Midwest farmer's market coordinators to discuss challenges, successes, news, and events. Together we can learn ways to improve and increase markets. Conference calls are held every 3-4 months and info is shared via emails. Please email Penny Weaver at if interested.


Interested in authorizing your Farmers Market/direct retail to receive SNAP? Contact USDA-FNS EBT/Farmers Market coordinator



Health Care Partners. FNS Public Affairs facilitates a collaboration with primarily health care partners (eg: Mayo Clinic, Blue Cross Blue Shield) and related organizations and agencies who view hunger as a health issue. FNS holds conference calls every four months and sends monthly email blasts with news, resources, grants focused on FNS nutrition assistance programs, healthy food access, and work being done by health care companies and hospitals. Please email Alan Shannon at if interested.



Starting a Food Business Workshop (The Hatchery) Purpose: Workshops on food entrepreneurship encompassing topics including licensing, procurement of certifications, financing and branding. Dates: Feb. 13: Starting a Food Business. Mar. 1 (Your Logo's Great! How's Your Brand?). Mar. 7 (E-Commerce: Legal tips to running a successful food business online). Mar 16: (Trademarks: selecting and filing the right ones for food and beverage) Location: Chicago, IL.


Good Food Festival and Conference (FamilyFarmed) Purpose: The Good Food Festival & Conference helps share information and resources for farms and businesses through seminars, expos, trade shoes and various demonstrations, all focusing around the "Good Food" movement. Dates: March 16-18, 2017. Location: Chicago, IL.


Detroit Kitchen Connect (DKC) Purpose: Networks Detroit's shared-use community kitchen partners. Location: Detroit, MI



City Innovator Connect (Living Cities and Bloomberg Philanthropies) Purpose: Are you an innovator working in city government? Do you know others who are innovators in city government? Fill out this survey by Living Cities and Bloomberg Philanthropies to help them tailor their new funding opportunities. Dates: Available until survey closes.



New! Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (First Nations Development Institute) Purpose: Funds projects that strengthen local food system control with an emphasis on serving Native American children and families. Eligibility: U.S.-based, Native American-controlled, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, tribal organizations, Native American community-based groups. Funding: Up to $35,000 per grant. Deadline: Feb. 17, 2017. 


Resources, Tools & Technical Assistance

Grants & Funding

Data, Statistics & Reports

Food Waste


Employment Opportunities



Educational Resources/Training

Do You Know How Much Radon is in Your Home?

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. If you smoke and live in a home with high radon levels, you increase your risk of developing lung cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Surgeon General's Office estimate radon is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the U.S. Knowing how much radon is in your home can save your life. Click the image above or here to learn more about protecting yourself and your family from radon.  


How Do I Test for Radon?

Testing is inexpensive, easy, and should only take a few minutes of your time. It requires opening a package, placing a small measuring device in a room, and then leaving it there for the desired period (which may be a few days, or as many as 90 days or more). The longer the testing period, the more relevant the results are to your home and lifestyle. Click here for more information on radon and how to test for it. 


Are You Prepared?

About half of U.S. adults do not have resources or plans in place for a possible emergency. If a disaster strikes in your community, you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for several days. You may think that you will have enough time to run to the grocery store, but stores quickly sell out of important supplies following emergency warnings.  Packing an emergency supply kit can help keep you and your family prepared in the event of an emergency. 


Here's a quick tip for packing your emergency supply kit:

3-day supply of food (including utensils) and water 

Every family is unique, so you may have emergency needs not included in this list. Be sure to update your kit to fit your family's needs. Click the image or here for more information on packing an emergency kit.


Early Childhood Leaders Convene Around Financing Options to Expand Programs 

North Carolina Chambers of Commerce leaders, county commissioners, early learning program providers, private foundations, community organizations, local school board members, Smart Start local partnerships and business leaders recently spent a day together discussing how to make greater local investments in young children. Thirty leaders from Buncombe, Durham and Forsyth counties learned about local financing options to expand early learning programs in their communities.  The training was led by the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) and the NC Budget and Tax Center (BTC). The Forum's Elizabeth Gaines also presented local examples and lessons learned from around the country. The training built on NCECF's earlier publication Local Funding for Early Learning: A Community Toolkit. The toolkit provides information and steps for considering a local financing initiative - detailing strategies, opportunities and challenges, getting to action and results. One workshop participant suggested, "If your community is considering locally expanding early care and education services, this toolkit and workshop are essential to your planning." More about the North Carolina financing workshop can be found here.


Culture of Health Leaders Application Process Open

Culture of Health Leaders are people working in every field and profession who want to use their influence to advance a Culture of Health-one that enables everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives.  Culture of Health Leaders is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation leadership development opportunity for people working in every field and profession who want to use their influence to advance health and equity. Through this program, leaders will be prepared to collaborate and provide transformative leadership to address health equity in their communities.  The Culture of Health Leaders program includes representation from fields as diverse as architecture, education, urban farming, the arts and many others. As new leaders are brought on board, the search is on for even broader representation from every field and profession across the private, public, nonprofit and social enterprise sectors.

The deadline for applications is February 15, 2017. Learn more and apply.

Opportunity Nation: Restoring the American Dream Series

Wednesday, February 15

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Washington, DC


The very promise on which America was founded - equal opportunity for all - is out of reach for too many. On February 15, Opportunity Nation, along with co-conveners Gap Inc. and the Forum for Youth Investment, will bring together bipartisan leaders and young adults from the Coalition on Capitol Hill for the first in the "Restoring the American Dream" series. This initial conversation will focus on solutions to reengage one million Opportunity Youth. Building on the work of the 2016 National Opportunity Summit, Opportunity Nation has launched a series of convenings on Restoring the American Dream to highlight the six Opportunity Millennium Goals laid out in the Our Opportunity Nation plan, which was signed by more than 130 members of the Opportunity Nation Coalition. Opportunity Nation members unite to promote innovative, evidence-based strategies to reinvigorate the American Dream and restore the country's promise of opportunity for all.

Register now.


2017 National Family and Community Engagement Conference

June 22 - 24, 2017

San Francisco, Calif.

The 2017 National Family and Community Engagement Conference, presented by the Institute for Educational Leadership, supports all who strive for excellence in family-school-community partnerships. Participants will access four major plenaries presenting leadership perspectives from a multitude of backgrounds, including the high-impact work taking place locally in the Bay Area.  Engaging Families: Transformational Moments, Sustainable Practices is a field-building, personal and professional development event that focuses on knowledge areas such as early support and intervention, relationship building and trust, building adult capacities and parent leadership and advocacy.

Learn more and register.


Funding Opportunities

Webinar: K-14 Education Grants in Agricultural and Related Sciences

Are you a K-14 educator who likes to use nature, food, agriculture or human sciences to enhance your teaching? Do you have a talent for engaging students in agri-science? You may be eligible to apply for up to $300,000 for your school.  The Secondary Education, Two-Year Postsecondary Education, and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom Challenge Grants (SPECA) Program funds teaching in agri-science, aquaculture, food science and many other areas.  Visit the (SPECA) funding opportunity page to access application instructions and abstracts of previously funding grants.

Free Webinar Details

Start Date: Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Start Time: 3:00 pm /EST (1 hour)

Webinar Link:

No need to register. 1) click the link, 2) sign in as guest, 3) type your name and enter the conference.

Questions?  Contact us at


No comments:

Post a Comment