2019 Maine Farm to School Conference

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Friday October 4, 2019

Innovations in Farm to School

Kennebec Valley Community College, Alfond Campus

Hinckley, Maine

Registration Cost: $60

Convening farm to school stakeholders from across the state and beyond for a day of learning, best practice sharing, and networking!

The conference is held during Farm to School Month in October, draws about 150 people, features local foods for snacks and meals, and is held in venues that feature farm to school in action. See below for information on past conferences.


FREE Pre-Conference Workshop

Local Foods Procurement Half-Day Training

October 3, 2019 1 pm - 4 pm, Kennebec Valley Community College, Alfond Campus

Join us for this special Pre-Conference Training to learn the ins and outs of local food procurement for your school cafeteria! This workshop is designed for School Nutrition Directors, Kitchen Managers, Business Managers, and others responsible for school food purchasing. Build your network of support and connect with other school food directors who are engaged in similar initiatives. 3 Credit Hours Earned.

Needs based, first come first served scholarships are available to support attendance costs-- travel and/or substitutes. Contact Renee Page at r.page@hccame.org if you are interested in attendance cost assistance.


Sponsor the 2019 Conference!

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Announcing our Keynote Speaker

Bertrand Weber


Keynote: 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.

Learn how Minneapolis Public Schools has weaved local procurement into all aspects of their programming - from forward contracting to farmer training, classroom education, seasonal menu development, community engagement and School Gardens. Over 20% of their produce purchases comes from small to mid-size farms that are committed to organic practices. Even with a short growing season similar to Maine, Minneapolis features local products on their menus all year long.

Building innovative procurement models and culinary programs is critical to ensuring that “Farm to School” is more than just a trend. Not only does local sourcing provide students with the high quality food they deserve, it also brings long lasting value to school districts, local economies and farming communities.

Breakout session: Forward Contracts: Tools for Effective Contract Growing for Schools

Bertrand will highlight how schools can effectively create forward contracts for farmers to grow products specifically for them. Understand how to write an RFP that follows USDA guidelines and is easy for farmer to fill out. Learn how to develop a matrix that uses value base scoring and provides opportunities for farmers to sell their cosmetically imperfect produce.

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