November 2016

Free Webinar
Thursday November 3, 2016
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EDT

Learning the ABCs of Farm2Childcare: Perspectives from the Farm and the Childcare Center presented by the Planning Council


Marissa B. Spady, The Planning Council
Nora Farrell, The Planning Council
Jake Browder, Browder’s Fresh Pickins LLC


Farm to Childcare is an emerging opportunity within the broader theme of Farm to Institution that connects infants and young children to local produce farmers. The goals are to improve child nutrition, decrease childhood obesity and hunger and lastly, to improve local economic activity.  This program aims to increase children’s consumption of fresh, local produce through procurement, gardening and education. This Coffee Talk will focus on a Farm to Childcare (F2CC) program operating in rural Virginia. Marissa Spady and Nora Farrell of The Planning Council will share the program’s goals, objectives, and pilot activities, as well as lessons learned and how to overcome community-specific challenges. They will also describe the tools and resources that are supporting this pilot program. Marissa and Nora will be joined by a local farmer, Jake Browder of Browder’s Fresh Pickins LLC in Smithfield, VA, who is partnering with the program to provide fresh produce and creative opportunities for the community to come together. The presentation will be framed by background on the F2CC program, including emerging opportunities with CACFP (Child & Adult Care Food Program), a nutrition and wellness focus that includes childhood obesity prevention, and related policy activities.


Presenter Bios

Marissa Spady is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Specialist with The Planning Council in Norfolk, Virginia. She is the Program Manager for the Farm to Childcare program, where she connects local farmers to local childcare programs in the Western Tidewater area of Virginia through menus, taste tests, CSAs, produce fundraisers, and community gardens. Through grants with Nemours/CDC, she has worked with individual childcare centers to help them make long-term action plans toward healthy changes in their programs.


Nora Farrell, MPH, is a Management Analyst with The Planning Council in Norfolk, Virginia. Her primary role is to research and analyze data from secondary resources (such as Census, CDC, and the USDA) to present to community stakeholders. She also manages and coordinates the evaluation of Farm to Childcare program in Western Tidewater.


Jake Browder, of Browder’s Fresh Pickins LLC in Smithfield, VA, has been farming for five years and raises five acres of specialty crops such as high tunnel tomatoes, sweet potatoes, blackberries, pumpkins, shiitake mushrooms, strawberries, and other delicacies.  Prior to that, Jake attended Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA and received a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Horticulture. He has worked as a Soil Conservationist with USDA-NRCS for 6 years and was a Peace Corps agriculture extension agent in the Dominican Republic for two years.

Browder’s Fresh Pickins LLC is the dream of a young couple coming true. We understand the importance of hard work, service, building relationships, and living a healthy and Earth friendly life. With those values in mind we started Browder’s Fresh Pickins to provide our community with a variety of locally grown, delicious, and healthy products. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed, so prepare to “TASTE THE GOODNESS!”



You can read more about The Planning Council’s Nutrition and Wellness efforts here.