2018 NASDA Foundation Farm to School Pre-Conference


September 8, 2018


Hartford Marriott Hotel & Convention Center

200 Columbus Boulevard
Hartford, CT 06103


Lisa Benson


(571) 418-0454

Farm to School Pre-Conference

Expanding School Market Opportunities for Farmers & Ranchers

The NASDA Foundation is offering the first-ever Farm to School Pre-conference this year ahead of the NASDA Annual Meeting on Saturday, September 8, 2018. This one-day conference will provide state department of agriculture staff with in-depth sessions focused on increasing farmers’ and ranchers’ sales of products into schools. Sessions will explore training and resources to help farmers sell to schools, working with the DoD Fresh Program, and creating grant programs to accelerate innovation.

Who should attend
The conference is open to all state department of agriculture staff. The information is tailored to staff who administer or work on their state’s farm to school programs or state leadership interested in expanding their farm to school program.

Registration is $150 per person for the event. REGISTER NOW!
A limited number of registration scholarships are available through the NASDA Foundation. For more information, contact Lisa Benson at lisa@nasda.org

Email Lisa Benson at lisa@nasda.org or (571) 418-0454.


8:30 AM

Conference Registration: Continental breakfast provided

9:00 AM

Welcome & Introduction

Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky, Connecticut Department of Agriculture
Dr. Lisa Benson, NASDA Foundation
Perry Harlow, NASDA Foundation
Commissioner Sid Miller, Texas Department of Agriculture

9:30 AM

Session 1: Preparing farmers and ranchers to successfully sell to schools

Erin Windham, Connecticut Department of Agriculture
Emilee Case, Texas Department of Agriculture
Karen Fedor, Maryland Department of Agriculture

10:30 AM


10:45 AM

Session 2: Working with USDA Department of Defense (DoD) Fresh Program prime vendors

Gary Gay, North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
Monica Pacheco, Connecticut State Department of Education
Emilee Case, Texas Department of Agriculture

11:30 AM

Session 3: Resources to support statewide farm to school program

Amanda Culp, NASDA
Samantha Benjamin-Kirk, USDA Office of Community Food Systems
Anupama Joshi, National Farm to School Network

12:00 PM

Networking Lunch

1 PM

Session 4: Creating statewide grant programs to accelerate innovation

Ali Zipparo, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
Ashley Bress, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Mark McMullen, New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets

2 PM

Session 5: Exploring diverse procurement strategies for farmers & schools

Tricia Kovacs, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service
Chris Iberle, Washington State Department of Agriculture

2:30 PM

Session 6 (Optional): Developing grant proposals to expand farm to school in your state

Dr. Lisa Benson & Perry Harlow, NASDA Foundation
Erin Healy & Samantha Benjamin-Kirk, USDA Office of Community Food Systems
Ken Keck, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service

Hotel Block

NASDA is currently holding a block of rooms at the Hartford Marriott Downtown at the rate of $189/night + 15% tax from September 7-12, 2018.

The deadline to book your room at NASDA’s group rate is 5:00PM EDT Friday, August 10. NASDA's limited block of hotel rooms could sell out well before the August 10 deadline so please reserve your room(s) early! Reservation requests received after the cut-off date will be based on availability at the Hartford Marriott’s prevailing rates.

If you wish to make your reservation over the phone please call the Hartford Marriott directly at 860-249-8000 before the August 10 deadline. Please be sure to mention the NASDA Annual Meeting to receive the group rate.S

Please reach out to Sara Arsenault at sara@nasda.org or by phone at (571) 367-9908 if you have any questions about NASDA's hotel block.

Hotel Reservation Cancellations: You may cancel your reservations within 72 hours prior to the reservation arrival date without penalty.

2018 NASDA Annual Meeting

The 2018 NASDA Annual Meeting will take place in Hartford, CT from September 9 - September 12, 2018. To learn more, visit the registration page.