Farm to School 101
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Farm to School 101



What is farm to school? Why should you do farm to school? How can you start a farm to school program? Where can you turn for more farm to school resources?

What is farm to school? Why should you do farm to school? How can you start a farm to school program? Where can you turn for more farm to school resources?



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Farm to School 101 Farm to School 101 Presentation Transcript

  • Farm to School : the ABC’s and 123’s of How to Get Started National Farm to School Network
  • Farm to School Local, Farm fresh produce in schools School Gardens, Composting, Recycling Nutrition Education / Experiential Learning Farm tours / Visits by farmers
  • Outline
    • How you do Farm to School
    • Why we need Farm to School
    • What is Farm to School
    • Who can implement Farm to School
  • What is Farm to School
    • Farm to school is a school-based program that connects schools (K-12) and local farms with the objectives of:
      • serving healthy meals in school cafeterias
      • improving student nutrition
      • providing agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities
      • supporting small and medium-sized local and regional farmers
  • Connecting local farmers to schools
    • buy and feature farm fresh foods
    • incorporate nutrition-based curriculum
    • provide students experiential learning opportunities through farm visits, gardening, and recycling programs
    • access to new markets
  • Benefits of Farm to School The minimum USDA requirement for Vegetables and Fruits in a school meal for Grades K-6 is 2 or more servings of vegetables and/or fruits, equal to 3/4 cup per child per day, plus an additional 1/2 cup over the course of a week. 1.2 cup/child/day 162% of USDA requirements 3/4 th cup/child/day 100% of USDA requirements Winters School District Salad Bar Lunch (2004) Davis School District Salad Bar Lunch (2004)
  • Why we need Farm to School
  • Why we need farm to school
    • For our Children
    • By some estimates 25 to 30% of American children have excess body weight, and there has been a 2.3- to 3.3-fold increase in childhood obesity over the last 25 years.
    • Our children will be the first generation to have a life expectancy shorter than their parents.
    • % of school-age children 6-11 years that are overweight
      • late 1970’s = 6.5%
      • 2000 = 15.3%
      • 2007 = 25%
    • 1 in 3 children born in 2000 will be diabetic in their lifetime (CDC).
  • Why we need farm to school
    • For our Farmers
      • 330 farm operators leave their land every week.
      • USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) predicted that 98 percent of total farm operator income will come from off farm sources and at last count only 7 percent of all farm families reported 100 percent "on-farm" income.
      • The farmer’s share of every dollar spent on food has dropped to 19 cents from 41 cents in 1950.
      • Buying direct from local farmers generates 44% more revenue for the local economy than purchasing food at supermarkets. In direct marketing initiatives, farmers take home 80-90% of each dollar the consumer spends.
      • In the 1930s, there were close to seven million farms in the United States. Today, just over two million farms remain— less than 1 percent of the country's population.
  • Why we need farm to school
    • For our Environment
    • Crop Varieties lost between 1903-1983
    • Tomatoes: 80.6 percent
    • Lettuce: 92.8 percent
    • Corn: 90.8 percent
    • Apples: 86.2 percent
    • In the U.S., the typical food item now travels from 1,500 to 2,400 miles from farm to plate, i.e. A head of CA lettuce shipped to Washington DC requires 36x more fuel energy to transport than the food energy it provides.
  • Why we need farm to school
    • Dollars and Sense
    Price of feeding one child school lunch during their tenure in k-12 = $6,000 Price of treating one adult for illness related to poor nutrition over the course of their life= $175,000 Farm to School = Priceless
  • How you do Farm to School
  • Implementing Farm to School
    • Local Product used in:
      • salad bars
      • hot entrees / other meal items
      • snack in classroom
      • taste tests
      • fundraisers
    • Educational Activities:
      • chef/farmer in class, cooking demos
      • greenhouses, waste management, recycling, and composting
      • farm tours
      • harvest of the month
      • CSA in the classroom
      • School gardens
  • Let’s get started
      • Start small—taste testing, farm tour, apples
      • Organize various stakeholders/hold a meeting
      • Research area farmers
      • Contact food service director and school administration
      • Identify funding sources
      • Market the program
      • Volunteer
  • Headlines Help Study: Kids Will Eat Healthy School Meals Upstate farmers to supply school veggies
  • Who can implement Farm to School
    • YOU
    students farmers chefs non-profit food groups administrators farmer organizations board members principals community members school food service staff PTA teachers parents YOU YOU YOU
  • Relationships Q. What’s the key to sustainability? This whole thing is about relationships. Local farmers have two distinct advantages:  Procedure - We can get fresh, high quality and safe product to the institutions in 24 hours after harvest including all the post handling procedures.  Relationship- The buyer and the grower have a real, face-to-face knowledge of one another. We must distinguish our product and ourselves and be unique. “ We are cultivating more than just food here; this is about community, this is about relationships.”
  • National Farm to School Network Networking Training and Technical Assistance Policy Information Services Media and Marketing
  • Debra Eschmeyer [email_address] 419-753-3412