Celebrating Farm to School Month, Meet the New Faces of FINYS

November 5, 2018

October was National Farm to School Month

The New York Campus Crunch and Big Apple Crunch are both initiatives in October to bring awareness to local foods and farmers across New York’s apple belt. On October 18, Big Apple Crunch participants across the state gathered to bite into a NY grown apple to serve as inspiration to Eat Local. A week later on October 24, twenty New York campuses joined the New York Campus Crunch to support farmers by buying and eating local. At half past noon, students, faculty and staff across New York State took a bite out of a New York State-grown apple to affirm their commitment to food that is healthy for people and the planet. Pictured above, more than 130 New York State Department of Education staff members bit into locally grown apples to celebrate local food and farms!

Meet the New Faces of FINYS


Join us in welcoming Stephanie Hsu as the Farm to Institution New York State Manager! Stephanie will serve as American Farmland Trust’s FINYS Manager, bringing with her an impressive background in event and program management rooted in a passion for food education and an interest in how to improve nutrition through institutional food service. She is a graduate of Cornell University and the Culinary Institute of America, and holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Washington.
While living in Washington state, Stephanie gained significant hands on experience as an Early Learning Chef and Kitchen Manager for Encompass, and as Interim Partner Programs Manager for Northwest Harvest, a hunger relief nonprofit. She oversaw Apple Corps/Cooking Matters programming with Solid Ground, a nonprofit that works to alleviate and prevent poverty through a people-centered approach.
As the FINYS Manager, Stephanie will oversee our farm to institution efforts in New York at time of great growth for the initiative. She will help advance the Local Food Buyer Learning Center housed at , the development of the emerging New York Farm to School Institute, and support state advocacy efforts to ensure unprecedented state funding for farm to school continues, among other activities. Stephanie is located in the Hudson Valley and can be reached at [email protected]

Want to join our team? We're hiring!
American Farmland Trust is seeking a Program Assistant to work in both our Farm to Institution New York State (FINYS) initiative and our multiple projects focused on bringing a new generation of farmers on to the land. 
For more details and to submit a resume and cover letter, please see New York Program Assistant Announcement.

FINYS Leadership Team Spotlight - Meet Kate Dorr
Kate Dorr is the Assistant Food Service Director for Oneida Herkimer Madison BOCES, a Registered Dietitian and Certified Childhood and Adolescent Weight Management Specialist. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nutritional Food Science and Dietetics and then went on to complete her dietetic internship and graduate work with Cornell University. She also completed her M.B.A. at SUNYIT.

Kate has been working with the BOCES Food Service Program since early 2009. She understands the complexities of the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs; balancing a tight budget with healthy foods that students will eat is not an easy task. Regardless, her main goal is to make School Lunch and Breakfast programs as healthy as possible one step at a time. She has worked closely with a group of regional partners to create the Mohawk Valley Farm to School Initiative (MVFTS). Together, the team helps regional schools, especially those in her own OHM BOCES Food Service Program, procure and serve more products that have been grown and raised in New York State. MVFTS has been integral in expanding FTS in the region through New York State Ag and Markets Farm to School grants received by the local (Oneida County) Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Harvest of the Month program and multiple New York State Food Days. Kate is also on the Board of Directors for Oneida County Cornell Cooperative Extension and the New York School Nutrition Association’s Farm to School Committee.
Kate loves running, hiking, traveling, being outdoors and spending time in the Adirondacks with her husband and two girls. As her oldest daughter enters kindergarten, she realizes now, more than ever, how important it is to continue to improve and change the food culture in our schools, homes and communities. Check out the full list of FINYS Leadership Team members on our About page!

USDA Fiscal Year 2019 Farm to School Grants Available

The FY 2019 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is now open to applicants. Due to additional funding made available to the Farm to School Grant Program through the FY 2018 Omnibus Bill, the Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) seeks to award approximately $7.5M in FY 2019 funding. Applications are due Dec. 4, 2018. Learn more and apply here.

Join the FaHN Farm to School Corps
Applications for full- and part-time 2018-2019 AmeriCorps positions are now being accepted. The Farm to School Corps is a part of the Food and Health Network’s (FaHN) regional Farm to School program that works collaboratively with 26 school districts in South Central New York. Farm to School Corps members will work as part of an expanding regional team to develop, implement, grow, and evaluate programs to bring healthy, local food to students. Members will work with staff, students, parents, farms, and community partners to increase capacity for hands-on learning, local procurement, and creating a school-wide culture of health. More information about the AmeriCorps program can be found here.  

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