A Proven Model for Making Lasting Change

The Farm to School Institute is a proven professional learning model of team building, action planning, and coaching that accelerates whole-school systems change to create robust, sustainable farm to school programs that become deeply embedded in a school’s culture. Our Farm to School Institute Adaptation Program is an opportunity for farm to school leaders across the country to adapt the model to their region and grow farm to school in their state.

How to Apply

Applications for the 2023–24 program are now closed. Applications for the 2024–25 program will open in late 2023.

What Farm to School Leaders Say

"Having [the program] already laid out with research-based curricular components and stories of success behind it made it easy to build a case and get buy-in from my state. Everything we did was based on the Vermont model, including coaching, and it really just made everything feasible for us."

Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith
Nebraska Department of Education Farm to School Coordinator, 2021–22 Adaptation Program

Program Overview

This model’s success lies in its ability to engage whole-school teams in building shared leadership and capacity to connect the dots between what happens in classrooms, cafeterias, and communities. Our model fosters an ongoing commitment to farm to school by integrating programming with school priorities and enabling school teams to make connections among themselves and other teams that encourage a shared sense of responsibility to the work.

The Farm to School Institute was designed to be adaptable, and we’re eager to see our model replicated in states across the country, engaging new cohorts of leaders who can share their learning and experience. Adaptations are underway or planned  in 18 states across the country — your state can be next.

This project is in partnership with USDA Food and Nutrition Service and has been funded at least in part with Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

See the Program in Action!

About the video: Originally created by Vermont FEED, a partnership of Shelburne Farms Institute for Sustainable Schools  and NOFA-VT, the Farm to School Institute model kicks off with an in-person retreat. Get a glimpse of the 2022 retreat where teams build energy, form relationships, and create action plans to hit the ground running back in their communities.

Connect with Your Peers

Seeing and experiencing the model in action while we were in Vermont was amazing. That peer-to-peer learning was really wonderful; connecting with the other adaptation teams from Nebraska, Arkansas, and Connecticut has been invaluable.

Angela McGregor Hedstrom
Angela McGregor Hedstrom
Ecotrust Community Food Systems Manager (OR), 2021–22 Adaptation Program

Commitment & Program Timeline

  • Summer: Attend an in-depth, five-day training at Shelburne Farms in conjunction with the Northeast Farm to School Institute summer retreat to experience the Institute in action. A pre-Institute deep dive into program components will be included, as well as a post-Institute debrief and planning session.
  • Throughout the year: Direct technical assistance tailored to individual adapters will be provided, covering topics such as recruiting schools and coaches, supporting a coaching program, budgeting and logistical concerns, centering equity in program and recruitment efforts, professional learning framework, and evaluation.
  • Ongoing: Join a cohort of with other state adaptation teams in a year-long Community of Practice. With Shelburne Farms Institute for Sustainable Schools as host, you’ll learn from our resources, technical assistance, tools, and your peers.

Meet the Core Instructors

Betsy Rosenbluth, Vermont FEED Project Director

Jen Cirillo, Shelburne Farms Institute for Sustainable Schools Director of Professional Learning

Qing Ren, Shelburne Farms Institute for Sustainable Schools Evaluation & Program Analyst

Connect With Us

Start a conversation with Betsy Rosenbluth to learn more or request information about this program.