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Growing Minds is a program of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project. ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food.

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Addressing Dietetic Intern Competencies with Farm to School

Since 2011, ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program—in collaboration with Western Carolina University, Lenoir-Rhyne University, and Appalachian State University in Western North Carolina—has taken an innovate “upstream” approach to further disseminate and sustain local food and Farm to School (F2S) efforts. The Growing Minds @ University Project institutionalizes local food and F2S experiences and training into undergraduate and graduate curricula for education and nutrition and dietetics students and Dietetic Interns (DIs). DIs report they have gained hands-on experience in teaching about local food, learned how to effectively educate and work with children, and gained an understanding of how to integrate and work with community partners, skills not always taught in academic programs.

We’re documenting these successes and looking to share these findings outside of Western North Carolina. In the link below, you’ll find specific ways in which local food and F2S activities can address core competencies for Dietetic Internships. These suggested activities are based on project experience and our team’s expertise and are meant to work in a variety of communities and programs. They are not exhaustive lists and can certainly be adapted to specific settings.

Interested in establishing your own Growing Minds @ University project? ASAP is happy to provide consulting services. Contact Emily Jackson for more information.

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