A year-long community of learning to support you in transforming school food systems

Begins in October with a virtual orientation; first in-person gathering at Shelburne Farms November 13-15, 2024

The Farm to School Leadership Academy brings together leaders and aspiring leaders who are dedicated to food systems education and healing these systems in schools and early childhood settings. Participants will explore principles of transformational leadership, systems change, and community support to enhance and strengthen their ongoing farm to school efforts.

Who should apply? The program is best suited for educators, coordinators, and leaders working in farm to school and  food education in preK-12 settings. Priority will be given to those working in public school systems.

Join the Waitlist

Applications for our inaugural Farm to School Leadership Academy are now closed. Please compete the form below to express your interest. You will be notified if a spot opens up.

This program is offered in partnership with the National Farm to School Network, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, and North Carolina State University. It is funded at least in part with Federal funds from the US Department of Agriculture.

What We’ll Do Together

In this year-long program, 16 participants will meet five times throughout the year to:

  • Support each other in being change agents, while building connections and solidarity in farm to school work
  • Engage in project-planning, implementation, and evaluation around the change they are trying to create in their community
  • Participate in peer-to-peer feedback, support, and reflection time
  • Explore relational systems-thinking and tools
  • Integrate the arts and discover new ways of approaching challenges
  • Share tangible and practical tools

Join us for the first year of the Farm to School Leadership Academy, and build the strategies and relationships you need as you pursue a healthier, more just food system.


The Farm to School Leadership Academy is a hybrid offering, with multiple group sessions throughout the year:

  • Fall 2024: Virtual welcome and orientation session in October, date to be determined
  • Fall 2024: Program begins with a two-day retreat November 13-15 at Shelburne Farms in Vermont.
  • Winter 2024-25: Two virtual group sessions
  • Spring 2025: Second in-person retreat in North Carolina, details to be announced.
  • Spring 2025: Final virtual gathering

Additionally, throughout the year, participants will work on self-selected projects, gaining insight and wisdom from their peers, mentors, guest presenters, and the Land.

  • Andy Duback

    Explore what justice looks like in farm to school and our own communities.

  • Andrea Estey

    Move your work forward with project-planning and peer-to-peer feedback.

  • Sarah Webb

    During in-person retreats, visit schools and organizations to inspire your work in strengthening farm to school in your community.

  • Andrea Estey

    Form a network and support each other to be change agents, taking time to build trust and relationships.

Application Information

Applications are now closed. Please join our waitlist to be notified if a spot opens up.
  • How to Apply: To apply, complete the application form using the link below. Our application form includes several short answer questions designed to help us understand your background, goals, and interest in the program. To ensure you can provide thoughtful and thorough responses, we recommend drafting your answers in a separate document before copying and pasting them into the form. Applications are due Wednesday, July 10, 2024.
  • Eligibility: Eligible participants must currently work as an educator, coordinator, and/or leader working in farm to school and food education in a preK-12 setting. Priority will be given to those working in public school systems.
  • Commitment: Participants must commit to all in-person and virtual gatherings.
  • Cost: Program registration and expenses for the Farm to School Leadership Academy are generously supported by the US Department of Agriculture at no cost to participants. Any travel and incidental expenses are the responsibility of participants. Limited travel scholarships of up to $500 are available. Please indicate this on your application.

Connect With Us

Start a conversation with Director of Professional Learning Jen Cirillo at jcirillo@shelburnefarms.org or 802-985-0315 to talk about our programs. Or, complete our request for information form and someone will be in touch.