Farm to Cafeteria Conference 2012

How much can you learn and how inspired can you become in one weekend? Apparently, quite a bit. I recently traveled to Burlington, VT as a presenter and attendee at the 2012 Farm to Cafeteria conference.

It was a fantastic event filled with workshops that ranged from procurement strategies to marketing healthy meals in the cafeteria. Regional networking sessions were extremely fruitful and influential names dotted the program. An evening reception on the picturesque, sprawling grounds of Shelburne Farms featured local products prepared by regional chefs was another highlight for many.

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The most exciting moment for me was the Poster & Resource Sharing Session on Saturday evening. I felt honored to be chosen as a presenter for this event and was thrilled to share the story of the School Food Tour with so many like-minded folks.

The visual SFT story.

Two questions kept surfacing as the crowd circulated around the ballroom:

  1. “So what’s next?”
  2. “This sounds awesome! How can I do a project like this?”

These queries are the same issues that I have been pondering as I consider how to keep a sense of continuity to the SFT initiative. Perhaps I will send out a fleet of SFT riders next spring; or publish a book about my adventures and lessons learned. Either way, the overwhelmingly positive reception that the SFT received in Vermont encouraged me to continue this work and pursue new collaboration opportunities. I am already looking forward to the next adventure!

Please drop me a line if we chatted at the conference. I would love to keep in touch with all of your smiling faces!

The influence of policy

According to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, policy can play a significant role in improving the health of our children. Researchers examined the weight statuses of students from schools in states with strict competitive food regulations in comparison to schools in states with more relaxed competitive food regulations. The results? Students that lived in higher-regulation states weighed less. Food for thought! 

Article abstract can be found here