NE Iowa Food and Fitness Early Childhood and Iowa Association of Education of Young Children recently attended the Farm-to-Early Care and Education Community of Practice National Meeting at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health in Washington D.C. the end of March. The meeting was sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and The Policy Equity Group.
The five people representing the Iowa Collaboration were: Kelly Hanson, Farm to Early Care & Education Program Specialist Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children; Rick Roghair, Professional Development Manager Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children; Erin Olson, Community Health Consultant Iowa Department of Public Health; Maren Beard, Center for Sustainable Communities Luther College and Haleisa Johnson, Early Childhood Program Coordinator Northeast Food & Fitness Initiative.
50 attendees from across the country came together for two days of cross-site collaboration, discussion, and learning about the innovative Farm-to-Early Care and Education work that is happening nationally.
Four state presentations were giving by Wisconsin, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. State teams were selected by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in early 2016 to help lead a national ‘proof of concept’ of how Farm to Early Care and Education can make a difference in our youngest of children’s lives.
Food organizations, advocacy organizations, early care and education practitioners, and evaluators from each state engaged in facilitated cross-state discussions. After two days of learning, reflection, and inspiration, participants reconvene with their respective states to determine next steps for their ‘proof of concept’ plan.
A special treat for the Iowa team was the opportunity to tour the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the latest National Smithsonian Museum to be built.