Last week, I attended the National Farm to School Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. I’m the Georgia lead, and every year we state leads all get together for our annual conference.
This year, we covered the new national website, diversity strategies, Farm to Preschool, and the upcoming Farm Bill and Child Nutrition Reauthorization. We also spent some time working on a community garden and getting the know the local landscape a little more.
One of my favorite activities in this meeting is when every state lead stands up and shares what they’re working on. Here are some of my favorites!
- Florida splits the state into seven regions so that schools get the freshest, most local product.
- Washington, D.C. has created Growing Healthy Schools Week.
- New Jersey hosts an annual state garden competition.
- Indiana has the cutest farm to school logo ever.
- Michigan has super data on farm to school in nutrition programs.
- North Dakota helps farmers with food safety, and then advertise those farmers to schools.
- Iowa created an online bidding sheet for school nutrition and farmers.
- Arkansas has farm safety surveys for farmers.
- Utah has a “ grow your own salad” project and hosts a School Garden of the Year competition.
- Nevada has a Department of Education farm to school lead.
- Oregon offers grants for local purchasing.
- Washington school districts collaborate on local purchases
- A Michigan program gives hoop houses to farmers in exchange for CSA shares to low-income families.
- California created a farm to fork office, a collaboration of the state Department of Education and the Dept. of Agriculture.
- Kentucky hosts a Jr. Iron Chef competition!