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Summit Success

The Illinois Farm to School Summit was the first event hosted and coordinated by the Illinois Farm to School Network, and we had a great time in Springfield working with so many enthusiastic farm to school supporters!

Quick Facts:

  • Over 90 people from around the state registered for the conference, including teachers, food service staff, community advocates, and farmers.
  • Food service workers from school districts all over the state were able to quickly learn some advanced skills and cooked a huge meal from scratch.
  • We worked with five farms, including a local meat processor, to set our menu.
  • Composting at the Summit was able to divert over 50 pounds of food scraps from the landfill, meaning that we turned our local lunch into local soil!
  • We mapped out a strategic plan for farm to school in Illinois – which you will hear more about over the coming months.
  • Illinois farmers came out to speak about their participation in farm to school, including Wayne Sirles of Rendleman’s Orchards and Gary Neibrugge of the Krops 4 Kids Program.
  • The local CBS news affiliate brought a camera crew to document the incredible kitchen work – watch the coverage here!

We’ll share the strategic plan and workshop materials soon. Here are some great photos from the day, including the hands on cafeteria training and lunch!



Register now! The Summit is coming!

IFSN Summit Graphic2Join us on June 7th at Lincoln Land Community College, in Springfield, Illinois, to
participate in a day of hands-in-the-dirt workshops on many topics: from school gardens to the food on the cafeteria tray. Discover how farm to school activities can improve learning and student nutrition. Everyone is welcome.

The Illinois Farm to School Summit will have separate tracks for food service staff, farmers, and educators. We will all eat a fresh, scratch-cooked lunch of local foods that can be served in any school.

Farmers:  We invite all Central Illinois specialty crop farmers, value-added producers and ranchers to the Illinois Farm to School Summit. Join us for an informative day of discovery as we focus on the institutional marketplace. Whether you sell direct or wholesale, institutional sales can increase your share of the market: for any sized farm. Spend less time selling at farmer’s markets and more time on your fields by diversifying your market share. Learn how wholesaling can be accomplished on a limited budget, and learn the benefits of an on-farm food safety plan. Food safety doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult! We can show you how.

Food service staff: Learn how to prepare scratch cooked meals, using tasty local foods, on a school lunch budget! We promise this workshop will be fun, hands on in the kitchen, and informative. Even if your school doesn’t have an on-site prep kitchen, and even if you’ve never done this before, you will leave with new skills to make the impossible… possible!

Teachers: Did you know that studies have proven that school garden activities boost students’ science scores? At the Summit, you will learn how to engage your students with real-world science concepts in an edible garden. Learn from the experts and receive a full curriculum, plus hands on training in how to run cooking demonstrations in the classroom and more! CEUs are available.

Conference Details:

June 7th, 2016

The Trutter Center at Lincoln Land Community College

9am to 3:30pm

Free! Register online on our website today.