By Riley Neugebauer, Farm & Sea to Campus Project Manager

Posted March 6, 2017

News

Farm & Sea to Campus Network Working Group Update

What's Happening in the Farm & Sea to Campus Network Working Groups?

The four working groups of the New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network brainstorm, discuss, and identify action projects that participants think will help advance the mission of the network. Each group has developed a purpose statement to more clearly define its scope of potential work, and membership in the groups is open to anyone who has a relevant role in the farm and sea to campus sector.

Learn more about each working group’s current efforts below and find out about places you can contribute. We also invite you to join a working group

Education & Engagement  

Chair: C.J. Walke, Peggy Rockefeller Farms Manager, College of the Atlantic

Efforts: This group has identified several ways that we could build greater awareness about campus efforts to build their local foods programs, both in the classroom and in operations. One project is developing a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that network participants can help us provide responses for, and then they can be shared online as a resource for everyone. In addition, the group is also creating campus profiles that can ultimately be shared publicly and be searchable through keywords. The group has created this form to collect information about individual campuses who want to share a public profile about their local foods efforts and we would love to have additional campuses complete the form. Lastly, the group helped create a campus farm managers listserv, and is also continuing to build a food systems faculty/researcher directory for the region.

Communications & Outreach

Chair: Peggy Holden Briggs, freelance writer and video producer; NYU Food Studies Master’s student
Former Chair: Caylin McKee, Sustainability Manager (former), University of Vermont Dining/Sodexo

Efforts: This group is working to identify the audiences that are most interested in farm and sea to campus efforts, discern what information they would like to receive from the network, develop communication tools and platforms to best share information with network participants, and generate stories and information that can be shared. You can join the Farm & Sea to Campus Network mailing list so that you receive our monthly newsletter.

Evaluation & Tracking

Chair: Andy Cox, Director of Dining Services, Smith College
Former Chair: Nicole Tocco Cardwell, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Bon Appetit Management Company

Efforts: This group is focused on trying to understand the current local and sustainable food tracking tools and metric systems that are being utilized by campuses in the region and also assess where there are gaps or opportunities for improvement. The ability to measure progress is important, yet many campuses do not have a clear tracking system in place. The next step for this group is creating an internship description and identifying a grad student who would like to help do a more in-depth research project during summer 2017. The intern project would be focused on comparing existing tools and providing recommendations for next steps. If you would be interested in sharing this opportunity with students at your campus, please let us know by emailing [email protected].  

Supply Chain Development

Chair: Kyle Foley, Sustainable Seafood Brand Manager, Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Efforts: This group discussed several possible projects that would help increase the demand for local foods in the region, and ultimately prioritized a producer and institution map as a tool that could benefit a large number of people and be regional in scope. Check out an overview of the mapping concept. We are conducting focus group interviews with key stakeholders such as Department of Ag representatives, dining operators, and others. If you have thoughts to share about this concept, please join the group, or email [email protected].