2019 Maine Farm to School Conference


Thank you to all who attended!

Kennebec Valley Community College, Alfond Campus

Hinckley, Maine

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Check this page again soon for photos!


Local Foods Procurement Half-Day Training

View Resources from the Training


Conference Agenda

October 4, 2019 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Kennebec Valley Community College Alfond Campus

Innovations in Farm to School

Agenda Subject to Change

8:30  Registration, Breakfast, Networking

9:00 Welcome—Renee Page & Stephanie Cesario, Maine Farm to School Network

9:30  Keynote Address: How do we know when our Farm to School Innovations have been successful? When Farm to School is no longer an initiative but is fully integrated as part of everyday operations!—Bertrand Weber, Minneapolis Public Schools (Learn more about Bertrand below!)

Explore the Exhibitors! See Sponsor List Below

Breakout Session Block 1

  • Aquaponics Entrepreneurship in the Classroom—Julie Wallace, MSAD 59, Kennebec Valley Multiple Pathways Program

  • Connecting the Classroom with the Cafeteria—Abbie Nelson, VT FEED & NOFA-VT

  • Maine Harvest of the Month Program: Lessons Learned & Best Practices—Jenn So and Stephanie Stambach, ME Dept. of Education Child Nutrition

  • Preserving the Harvest: Master Food Preservers and School Garden Programming—UMaine Extension Master Food Preservers

  • Food Fuels Learning Toolkit: Innovative Approaches to Understanding School Food Security—Kristina Kalolo, Anna Franceschetti, Laura Robinson, Cumberland County Food Security Council, Food Fuels Learning

  • Fill Your Farm to School Advocacy Bus!—Amy Shollenberger, Action Circles

12:00-1:00 Local Foods Lunch, Networking, Visit Exhibitors

Breakout Session Block 2

  • Bringing Farm to School into your Classroom Curricula—Kelsey Fortin, Maine Agriculture in the Classroom

  • Growing Aspirations: An Exploration of Agricultural Careers—Leslie Forstadt, Maine Association of Family and Consumer Science, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

  • Forward Contracts: Tools for Effective Contract Growing for Schools—Bertrand Weber, Minneapolis Public Schools

  • Creating an Effective, Efficient, & Educational Salad Bar—Ted Bridge-Koenigsberg, Barbara Nichols, Sebago Learners

  • Funding School Gardens with Grants (and Creativity)—Michelle Erhard, Maine School Garden Network

  • Connecting Schools with Local Food through Ending Hunger—Kristen Miale, Jessica Gildea, & Lori Williams, Good Shepherd Food Bank

Breakout Session Block 3

  • The Golden Trash Can: How Food Waste Reduction In Your School Can Save You Money, and Build Great Programming—Ryan Parker, FoodCorps Maine, and David Pope, Massabesic Middle School

  • Have 'they' said you aren't allowed to use school garden produce in your school kitchen? Let's bust that myth!—Martha Poliquin, Falmouth Schools

  • Planting Trees of Fruit and Seeds of Thought—Richard Hodges, ReTreeUS

  • Working Together: How Maine Public Health Nutrition Programs Can Support Your School Wellness Efforts—Ashley Edmundson, Let’s Go! Maine Health, Kate Xersa, University of Maine, EFNEP, and Elizabeth Pratt, UNE, SNAP-Ed

  • How Network Connections Cultivate Farm to School Innovations—Renee Page, Maine Farm to Institution, & Ken Morse, Maine Network of Community Food Councils

  • Money Isn't the Only Answer to Farm to School: Engagement Makes it Sustainable!—Ron Adams, Maine Farm & Sea Cooperative, Alisa Roman, Paula Rouillard, & Rebecca Dugan, Lewiston Public Schools

3:45-4:30 Next Steps in Your Farm to School Action Plan

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Thank You to Our Keynote, Bertrand Weber


Connect with Bertrand and follow his farm to school work HERE

and stay updated on Minneapolis Schools’ farm to school initiatives HERE

More About Bertrand:

Bertrand Weber’s career spans over than 40 years of combined management experience in the hospitality industry and school food service.

Trained in hotel management in Switzerland, Bertrand has managed some of the finest hotels and resorts on the east coast. His compassion for the well-being and future of our children and our environment led Bertrand to the Hopkins School District, Minnesota in 2003.

Bertrand‘s progressive thinking at Hopkins received national recognition. His efforts were the focus of several University of Minnesota research papers, including Analyzing Health Innovations in a School Lunch Program and The Power of Three: A Whole Grain Intervention. In 2004 he initiated one of Minnesota first Farm to School Program which led to another research paper in 2005 “Making the Farm to School Connection”

From 2006 until 2011, Bertrand worked for Taher, Inc. as Director of Wellness, Nutrition and Culinary Standards and was responsible for the implementation of the Food for Life initiative.

Now, as Director for Minneapolis Public School Culinary and Wellness Services since January 2012, Bertrand wasted no time rethinking MPS School Lunch. Market Cart Salad Bars have been introduced in every schools, all 7 high schools, 5 Junior High Schools and 24 elementary schools have returned to scratch cooking with 4 more scheduled for the 2019-2020 school year. MPS is on the leading edge of the Farm to School movement contracting forward with over 14 local farms. Bertrand introduced MN Thursday in 2014 which features lunch sourced 100% from Minnesota and In the 2018-2019 school year, he launched both the Plant Protein/Plant Forward Initiative and The True Food no Waste Action Plan.

Bertrand has served as Vice Chair on the National Farm to School Network Advisory Board, was the lead District of School Food Focus Midwest, Chair of SNA Major City Committee Chair. Currently Bertrand is an Advisory Board Member of the Chef Ann Foundation Lunch Box, School Nutrition Culinary Institute Advisory Board, FoodCorps Design Team, Anchor Partner and Wellness in the Schools.

Learn more about Bertrand's work.


2018 Conference

Location:  Inaugural Maine Farm to Institution Summit, University of Maine Hutchinson Center, Belfast

Conference Agenda



2016 Conference

Location: Bates College, Lewiston

Conference Agenda



2015 Conference

Location: Kennebec Valley Community College/Maine Academy of Natural Sciences, Hinckley

Conference Agenda



2014 Conference

Location:  Ellsworth Elementary/Middle School, Ellsworth



2013 Conference

Location:  East End Community School, Portland

Conference Agenda



2012 Conference

Location:  Mount View High School, Thorndike