Lead the nation in providing research, education, and resources to promote excellence in child nutrition programs.


Provide relevant research-based information and services that advance the continuous improvement of child nutrition programs.


  • Integrity in leadership, management, and operations
  • The mission of the University of Mississippi
  • Adaptability, creativity, and innovation
  • Stewardship in all aspects of ICN
  • Personal and professional growth of the ICN staff and customers
  • Collaboration with organizations that have similar missions

Promotion, Communication, Outreach

Expand ICN brand awareness and outreach through various marketing communication channels.

Continue to increase our web presence

  • Increase the number of resource downloads by 25%
  • Increase enrollments for online courses by 50%
  • Promote Applied Research resources
  • Create promotional video for new website

Increase end user outreach

  • Disseminate resources through direct mail
  • Present and exhibit at state and national conferences
  • Collect user testimonials

Increase social media presence

  • Add social media links to signatures, resources, etc.
  • Tell the ICN story from our perspective
  • Post testimonials of users
  • Launch hashtag campaigns – Ex. Fruit Friday, Food Safety Days
  • Create customized memes with logo

Engage staff in social media

  • Encourage staff to contribute to social media stories and messaging
  • Notify marketing division when a new resource is available
  • Encourage staff to embrace their contribution to the good of ICN
  • Feature staff on website with credentials, expertise, etc.

Excellent, Diverse, and Accessible Resources and Training

Develop and provide customer-focused, research-based resources and trainings through technology to support highly-skilled child nutrition professionals.

Develop and maintain high-quality, accurate, and up-to-date resources for child nutrition professionals.

  • Establish a standard protocol for development of resources
  • Establish a standard protocol for revision of resources
  • Incorporate current research in developing and updating resources

Offer a variety of materials and training

  • Offer a variety of training modalities
  • Design materials for different job levels and key areas
  • Design resources for different cultures
  • Develop non-verbal resources

Provide high-quality and effective face-to-face training

  • Recruit high-quality pool of consultants
  • Train consultant trainers
  • Develop electronic survey to assess site coordinator’s experience
  • Implement procedure to remediate unsatisfactory results

Ensure resources meet the needs of our customers

  • Evaluation of customer satisfaction
  • Determine effectiveness of resources

Leader in Child Nutrition Program Operations Research

Conduct and disseminate high-quality, credible applied research that is responsive to the needs of child nutrition professionals.

Identify, conduct, and disseminate high-quality child nutrition program operations research

  • Conduct an annual needs assessment to determine operational needs to support CNPs
  • Follow established protocols for different research
  • Disseminate the results of research-based activities to support CN professionals

Maintain strong partnerships and collaborations across ICN divisions to effectively integrate

  • Ensure that at least two ICN divisions are involved in all research and training


Support the professional growth and development of current and future child nutrition professionals, preserve the history of child nutrition, and position ICN to continue its mission.

Maintain and expand funding sources of ICN

  • Maintain good relationships with USDA
  • Increase use of ICN resources
  • Identify potential external partnership opportunities

Develop national internship and fellowship program

  • Offer internships, externships, and/or fellowships

Provide professional opportunities

  • Provide professional development opportunities for ICN staff
  • Provide professional development opportunities for child nutrition professionals
  • Develop career training tracks for child nutrition professionals
  • Establish an academy of curriculums for various areas in child nutrition

Establish an academy of curriculums for various areas in child nutrition

  • Develop a School Nutrition Leadership Academy
  • Create a School Nutrition Culinary Academy

Develop learning paths by area/topic

  • Conduct a needs assessment of trainings by job categories
  • Design training paths for job categories in child nutrition

Preserve the history of child nutrition through the Child Nutrition Archives

  • Enrich the Child Nutrition Archives through the continued collection of oral histories, artifacts, photographs, and other child nutrition collectible items


Collaborate with internal and external stakeholders whose visions and missions align with ICN.

Maintain relationships with diverse groups of internal and external stakeholders

  • Maintain National Advisory Councils of diverse stakeholders
  • Explore feasibility of creating a national virtual clearinghouse of allied organizations and resources

Enhance and foster collaboration with universities (UM and USM)

  • Partner with university departments to enhance ICN’s mission

Strengthen ICN’s relationship with consultants

  • Develop a communication plan to effectively correspond with ICN’s consultants regarding policies and


Support the ICN mission by fulfilling obligations to internal and external stakeholders, utilizing assets (human, financial, informational, and physical) effectively, and creating an environment of trust that encourages all stakeholders to actively contribute to the overall excellence of ICN.

Ensure all work conducted under grants and cooperative agreements is of exceptional quality and completed on time within budget

  • Assess existing grants and cooperative agreements for status updates and quality review on a consistent basis
  • Establish a plan to complete remaining work on grants and cooperative agreements

Update and maintain a standard set of policies and procedures

  • Conduct an assessment of the existing policies and procedures on an annual basis or as needed
  • Distribute policy and procedure manual to all new employees

  • Disseminate an updated policy and procedure manual to all staff annually

Maintain the security of physical assets

  • Secure all documents
  • Conduct an annual inventory of assets
  • Safeguard physical assets in the building

Maintain, protect, and backup information technology assets

  • Keep on and off premises systems patched and up to date
  • Maintain reasonable measures in place to protect from outside attacks
  • Keep on premise systems backed up off premises for purposes of disaster recovery