Farm to School Boot Camp Education

About the Boot Camp

The Illinois Farm to School Boot Camp was a half day of learning, hands-on practice and collaboration in a professional demonstration kitchen and learning space. The Boot camp was geared towards teams of food service, administration and garden managers.

ISBE Continuing Education Credits are available for food service staff.

Learn Through Example and Action

  • Develop knife and processing skills while learning concise methods and hacks for ease in adding whole, local produce to meal offerings and lunch lines.
  • Learn from successful Illinois programs how indoor and outdoor garden programs can connect to food service, the classroom and at-risk kids in your school community.
  • Learn proven methods to incorporate local and garden foods into meal patterns for k-12, early childhood and boarding facilities.
  • Locate local foods, discover funding sources, and learn to develop community partnerships to create a sustainable program.

Farm to School Training Certificate

If you attended an Illinois Farm to School Boot Camp, you are eligible for ISBE Continuing Education Credits for food service staff. 

Central Illinois Farm to School Boot Camp (Oct 15, 2019)

Fill out this certificate of attendance to receive food service continuing education credits for this Boot Camp.



Creating a Farm to School Plan

Creating a plan is important in growing your farm to school program. IFSN has created a guide to help you put together a plan that works for you. 

How do I develop a plan to grow Farm to School?

  • Register for programming!
  • Become familiar with the Farm to School tools available.
  • Build a team by connecting to others at your site including garden clubs, cooking staff, science and math educators, and Wellness teams.
  • Create a one-two year plan to map out program pieces and growth. 

Resources for Planning

Two to Five Year Planning Document, IFSN

This planning document helps you create short and long term goals for your farm to school program.

Farm to School Planning Toolkit, USDA Office of Community Food Systems

This comprehensive toolkit helps sites build a team, establish a vision, and develop a strategy for implementing and evaluating their farm to school programming.

Evaluation for Transformation, National Farm to School Network

We recommend building a strategy to measure the impact that your farm to school activities have on food producers, health, education, and the environment. This evaluation guide will give you common language, guidelines, and metrics to build and assess your local food sourcing and gardening efforts.

Farm to School Planning Toolkit, VT FEED

Vermont FEED (Food Education Every Day) developed a Farm to School Rubric, Action Planning Template, Impact & Feasibility Analysis Tool, and Media Kit to help farm to school teams create sustainable and beneficial programs.


Illinois Garden Produce Act

In 2018, the State of Illinois passed the Illinois Garden Produce Act (Public Act 100-0505). This Act states:

“School-grown produce. A school district may serve students produce grown and harvested by students in school-owned facilities utilizing hydroponics or aeroponics or in school-owned or community gardens if the soil and compost in which the produce is grown meets the standards adopted in 35 Ill. Adm. Code 830.503, if applicable, and the produce is served in accordance with the standards adopted in 77 Ill. Adm. Code 750.”

Boot Camp Presentations

Learn farm to school program tips with these presentations from the Central Illinois Farm to School Boot Camp (October 15, 2019).