Farm to School connects schools (K-12) and local farms by serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing food, farm, and nutrition education, and supporting local, family farmers. There are over 2,000 farm to school programs nationwide.
Activities can include featuring fresh, local food in school meals, hands-on cooking and taste testing, edible school gardening, field trips to farms, and standards-based experiential learning in the classroom.
Most kids can’t tell you where food comes from or name a farmer in their community. In addition to selling food to local schools, farmers can get involved with Farm to School initiatives by offering farm field trips or talking to students so they can put a “face on their food.”
SEEKING FARMERS FOR FARM TO SCHOOL!
If you are a farmer who is interested in working with schools or students please complete this short survey to tell us a little about your farm, its products, and how to get in touch with you. We’d also like to know if you are interested in educational opportunities with students.
The information you provide will be shared with local school systems and will give school officials the information they need to start doing business with you!
Sourcing to Schools
This handbook provides a thoughtful overview of Farm to School, and tips on how school nutrition directors can start their own programs. Also included: Harvest calendar and seasonal availability guides, food safety information and a list of Georgia farmers.
This valuable resource, created by Oklahoma Farm to School, discusses tips, tools, and guidelines relating to food safety and distribution.
In May of 2011 the USDA decided that schools and other providers may give preference to locally grown and locally raised agricultural products for the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast, Special Milk, Child and Adult Care, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable, and Summer Food Service programs. The rule is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This rule gives a competitive boost to local producers.
This is a good overview of all the logistics that farmers should consider when selling at farmers markets or institutions.
The USDA has many resources which discuss the benefits of F2S for schools and farmers. This guide discusses local produce in school meals.
- Pecks to Pounds NEW!
This great resource from the Maryland Dept. of Agriculture translates common products from farm language to kitchen language. How many peaches are in a bushel? 48 pounds!
Preparing for a School Visit
Check out these farm focused lesson plans and organic growing methods that students will understand created by Georgia Organics for students of all ages. This is a sample of the knowledge some students will have before coming to visit a farm.
This tool kit consists of materials offered at Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s workshop “Safe, Fun and Educational Farm Field Trips”. Designed for teachers and farmers, this tool kit includes resources to help boost your ability to attract school groups to your farm.
Developed by Vermont-FEED, this guide provides tips on how to market your food for use in schools, how to use for farm for education with kids, and easy to use hands-on, farm-based educational activities.
The USDA has many resources which discuss the benefits of F2S for schools and farmers. These FAQs focus on farm to school implementation.
Not sure how to get your Farm to School program off the ground? This template provides a list of key stakeholders, helpful tips and a sample agenda.
Want to have your farm listed as a great place to take a farm field trip? Environmental Education in GA is a great way to let teachers and schools know about your farm! Simply join their online directory to create an organization profile for your farm.
This Wisconsin organization is building a more sustainable regional food system. REAP tries to connect farmers with consumers and other important stakeholders.
Cornell University Department of Food Science has created the Good Agricultural Practices Network for Education and Training to assist growers.
Includes information from identifying, approaching and understanding the institutional food system to articles about farm to school locally. This tool kit offers important resources for anyone interested in selling to schools. Developed by Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.