Conference Sessions

Pre-Conference Sessions


Vision Board Workshop, Tanya Green, She Collaborative
Tanya Green, Transformational Living Coach & Founder of She Collaborative is a mom of four and a veteran of the US Coast guard, certified coffee, wine and chocolate snob who lives by the rule of each and every day is a day for learning and if we just open our eyes to possibility it really is everywhere!  Over 20 years of experience in leadership, sales, & entrepreneurship gave her the skills to take a huge leap into her own coaching & training company. Tanya specializes in group leadership masterminds, transformational living, goal-achieving strategies, and visualization workshops.  Numerous studies have shown that mental practice (through visualization) can be as effective to improve skills as real practice. During this three- hour workshop you will undergo a process to give
you an opportunity to experience the next level in your success.

Solution Focused Discussions
We all have challenges in our daily lives and at work. And sometimes we just need a few moments to sit down with someone to talk it through. This interactive session will be designed as a drop in session with an opportunity for you to do just that.

Breakout Sessions


Utilizing Your Commodity Dollars, Willow Dye & Jaclyn Burns
Willow & Jaclyn will talk you through the financial benefits of commodity food usage as well as demonstrate some easy recipes combining 2 or more commodity items with 1-2 commercial items, as well as provide you with the recipes they are currently developing in West Des Moines.


Growing the Farm to School MovementKaitlyn Scheuermann
The Waukee Farm to School team will share their experience in leveraging cross-sector partnerships and developing a strategic plan to support local food procurement, nutrition education, and hands-on agricultural opportunities in the fastest growing school district in Iowa. Through an interactive workshop, participants will brainstorm ideas for growing the Farm to School movement in their local communities, and leave the session with tangible tools and resources to support procurement, programming, partnership, and policy efforts, whether they are just beginning or already engaged in the farm to school movement.


Understanding & Simplifying the Meal Pattern
Looking at the regulations, IT”S A LOT! Let’s break it down into everyday language and look at some
menus and food items that will have your students and staff loving school lunch.


Identifying a Reimbursable Meal
The students are flying past us at the Point Of Sale, it’s really difficult to process the items on that tray and assess if it is a reimbursable meal. Come and learn some tricks for quick processing, and assisting students with making a quick choice for a reimbursable meal.

Excel Data: What You Need to Know to Get Good Outputs, Mike Burke
Learn how to be more effective with Excel and automate reporting with functions, formulas, and PivotTables. This session is appropriate for System Level Staff – Directors, Supervisors, Coordinators, Buyers, Central Office Staff and State Staff. 


Prep Hacks....Who knew?
Stressed about the length of time it takes to pan those tedious items? Some of our colleagues will share tips and tricks for quicker prep without pressure. If you have something to share as a prep hack, join us!

Iowa Commodity Group Panel, Iowa Commodity Groups
Food is something to celebrate! It nourishes and entertains; it’s the centerpiece of family traditions. But how it’s grown and raised is not without question – especially if you’re one of the 98% of Americans who don’t farm. During this session, a farmer panel will welcome your questions about modern agriculture. From sustainability practices to learning about animal care, no question is off the table for this interactive discussion. Our goal is to give you the insights and connections you need to feel confident in the food on your plate.

Smart Snacks: When You Are in a Pinch to Identify
Learn the key quick points to understanding a Smart Snack. We still have to put items through the calculator, however, we have experts that will share how to determine if an item is worth your time to put through the calculator.

Equipment Review, Bob Schade
Equipment tips and tricks to pull your items from the cooking process at their best quality.


Food Packaging Event, Kids Against Hunger
Kids Against Hunger is a non-profit humanitarian organization with a mission to provide fully nutritious food to impoverished children and families around the world...and around the corner. The goal of the organization is for the meals to provide a stable nutritional base from which recipient families can move their families from starvation or food insecurity to self-sufficiency. We will be hosting a food packaging event with the goal of packaging 7,500+ meals.

SNAI is Iowa’s state organization of school nutrition professionals committed to advancing the quality of school meal programs through education and advocacy.