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Farm to school is taking place in all 50 states, D.C. and U.S. Territories! Select a location from the list below to learn more or contact a Core Partner. 

National Farm to School Network

News

2018 Farm to School Story Roundup!

NFSN Staff Wednesday, December 12, 2018
by Elizabeth Esparza, Communications Intern

In 2018, farm to school and farm to early care and education activities grew strong in all 50 states, D.C., the U.S. Territories, and Native Communities. Some highlights from this year include garden workshops for teachers, cooking competitions, garden-sourced school lunches, garden growing contests, student-run garden markets, locally-sourced meals, community partnerships, and much more! Read on for a list of farm to school stories that prove farm to school is happening everywhere in 2018! 

Alabama: Students at Colbert County High School gain confidence in growing food for themselves and their school through their horticulture class. (Times Daily)

Alaska: Students at Pottsville Junior High School learned about victory gardens that were grown by Americans to help provide fresh food for their families during difficult times and built a community garden to help provide fresh food to students and families. (Courier News)

Arizona: In June, Killip Elementary School was the first school in Flagstaff to certify its school garden, using a ‘best practices’ approach to allow produce grown in the garden to be safely served in the lunchroom and at after-school programs. (Arizona Daily Sun)

Arkansas: In March, Arkansas Farm To School Summit welcomed farmers, educators, school nutrition staff, parents, distributors and value-chain coordinators to learn how to work with students during hands-on learning, serve the local food in the school cafeteria and sell products to schools. (thecabin.net)

California: Rep. Jimmy Panetta visited an elementary school in Watsonville to observe the impact of a school garden program designed to provide young children in resource challenged communities with fresh healthy food and knowledge about where it comes from. (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Colorado: Preschool students at Florence Crittenton Services have a school garden as part of a program introducing them to healthy food choices and influencing what the whole family eats at home. (CBS Denver)

Connecticut: More than 1,900 students at 18 schools throughout Stamford participated in the Eighth Annual Lettuce Challenge. Students had six weeks to grow a head of buttercrunch lettuce, with each class submitting their three best plants to be judged by local horticulture experts. (Stamford Advocate)

Delaware: Agriculture students from William Penn High School learned about farming at Historic Penn Farm, where they plan, sow, and gow a variety of fruits and vegetables on four acres of land. (Delaware Greenways)

District of Columbia:
High-school students who are part of Mighty Greens, a youth-led cooperative in Washington, D.C., help educate the community about healthy eating and last year produced 1,200 pounds of fresh food, which is sold or donated. (PBS)

Florida: This year a new, almost 5,800 square foot greenhouse at Vanguard High School in Ocala produced its first batch of hydroponically-grown vegetables. The Marion County Hospital District plans to open new greenhouses at all seven public high schools in Marion County over the next three years. (Ocala Star Banner)

Georgia: Completely run by students, the Garbage-to-Garden program at Athens Intermediate School reduces major food waste. With more than half of waste reduced, the whole school is on board! (WHNT News)

Guam: Guam Department of Education was awarded a Farm to School Grant by the USDA. The department aims to encourage students to consume locally grown fruits and vegetables by working with schools to sustain school garden projects, integrate agriculture and nutrition education into existing curriculum, and implement innovative student learning activities. (USDA)

Hawaii: Hawaii public schools celebrated the holiday season with an Okinawan sweet potato pie as part of November's Aina Pono: Harvest of the Month program in more than 200 cafeterias statewide. (Khon 2)

Idaho: Boise schools celebrated National Farm to School Day with Harvest Day at Grace Jordan Elementary School, featuring a lunch menu that included Idaho-based food such as local bread, cheese, sweet corn, and grapes, as well as herbs and tomatoes grown by the Boise High community garden. (KTVB)

Illinois: An agriculture program at Freeport High School in Freeport provided students with jobs and customers with fresh vegetables. In its sixth year, the program gives about 15 students each year the chance to learn self-sufficiency and business schools through growing vegetables and operating a market. (Journal Standard)

Indiana: Indiana Grown teamed up with Purdue Extension, the Indiana State Department of Health, and the Department of Education to make a resource guide to connect Hoosier farmers to Indiana Schools. (WTTV)

Iowa: Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offered a five week School Garden 101 course to help local schools start or expand their school gardens, teaching participants how to build a compost bin, test soils, plant seeds, and incorporate garden produce into classrooms and cafeterias. (Morning Ag Clips)

Kansas: In April, Kansas City Chiefs tight ends teamed up with Kansas City Community Gardens at Luff Elementary in Independence to help plant vegetables in the school’s gardens. (The Kansas City Star)

Kentucky: Fifth-graders in economics class at Latonia Elementary gained real-life lessons in growing plants and selling them. Every students has a job to do, from monitoring the plants to marketing and sales. (WCPO 9)

Louisiana: The garden at F.K White Middle School in Lake Charles worked with students who might have behavior problems in other areas to help them gain pride in their work in the garden. (KPLC TV)

Maine: In April, students and food service staff from all over Maine took part in the second regional farm to school cook off to recognize school nutrition staff and students for their skills while promoting food that is grown, raised, caught, or made in Maine. (WABI 5)

Maryland: Students at Urbana High School piloted a composting program aimed at reducing school cafeteria waste. The program, led by students in an environmental science class, involves students sorting recyclables, food scraps, trash, and liquids. (The Frederick News-Post)

Massachusetts: Students at Framingham High School work in the cafeteria and Flyers Farm in a youth program called the Partnership for Skilled Workforce. The produce is used to help make 1,000 meals per day for the Framingham Schools Food Service. (Metrowest Daily News)

Michigan: This year, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians teamed up with TCAPS’ Central Grade School to grow the student’s knowledge of ancient gardening techniques. Members of the Grand Traverse Band spoke to students about the significance of their three sisters garden and gave students rare ancient squash seeds to use. (Up North Live)

Minnesota: Middle and high school students in a Minnesota district learned about agricultural careers at a camp hosted by the Minnesota State Engineering Center of Excellence. Students learned about animal and food science, and they made and took home a small hydroponics system (The Free Press)

Mississippi: Tupelo Public School District worked to expose its pre-K and elementary students to healthy food sources and eating habits with and combat the state’s obesity crisis with the help of the district’s fifth FoodCorps volunteer. (Daily Journal)

Missouri: Columbia Public Schools and the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture teamed up to create a new farm to school coordinator position to help encourage third to fifth grade students to eat more fruits and vegetables. (Missourian)

Montana: At Helena Flats School, a section of the school’s garden contains only plants that are native to the state to bring awareness of native ecosystems into school curricula. (Flathead Beacon)

Native Communities: This year, a group of Democratic senators and representatives pushed for federal legislation to allow for tribes to administer free federal food and nutrition programs to school children. (Associated Press)

Nebraska: In March, Fairbury Public Schools kicked off their Farm to School Lunches, for the first time ever serving hamburgers raised and processed in Jefferson County. (KWBE)

Nevada: Two nonprofits in Las Vegas partnered together to create a STEM curriculum for the Clark County School District. The curriculum, which is being used by more than 3,000 teachers at more than 100 CCSD  schools aims to promote healthy living by taking classroom lesson plans for kindergarten through fifth grade out into the garden. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)                                                                                                                
New Hampshire: LEAF Charter School in Alstead ran a Food and Garden program where students grow their own food and prepare healthy meals every day at school. (Sentinel Source)

New Jersey: The Princeton School Garden Cooperative was awarded “Top Tomato” status by the New Jersey Department of Agriculture for its work familiarizing local school children with locally grown produce. (Town Topics)

New Mexico: The New Mexico Public Education Department announced that it is investing in a statewide initiative to promote farm to school produce for meals in local schools. More than $400,000 is being spent to serve some 250,000 students nutritious fruits and vegetables from local farms. (KSFR)

New York: New York State announced it would invest $1.5 million in additional funds in Farm to School lunch programs in efforts to bring fresh, locally grown farm products to public schools in the 2018-19 school year. (U.S. News)

North Carolina: Wake County School system and the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle partnered to launch an after school gardening program called Sprout Scouts at Bugg Magnet Elementary School in Raleigh, where students learn how to grow their own healthy food and think about where their food comes from. (WRAL)

North Dakota:
Bismarck Public Schools launched its own farm to school initiative this year, partnering with a local farmer who provides 75 pounds of cucumbers each week to the district’s elementary schools. (The Bismarck Tribune)

Ohio: A partnership between Badger Schools and Red Basket Farm in Kinsman worked to change the perception of school lunch in their area. They started out with greens for salads, then expanded to apples, cantaloupe, cucumbers, and peppers. (WFMJ 21)

Oklahoma: Oklahoma had over 98 school districts that participated in the farm to school, working to improve the health of school children and help local farmers. (Oklahoma Farm to School Network)

Oregon: Corvallis School District’s Urban Farm, which gives students struggling in traditional classrooms an environment where they can learn through hands on work on the farm, also gave four students the chance to have jobs on the farm during the summer. (Corvallis Gazette Times

Pennsylvania: In January, students at Patton Middle School grew vegetables in the middle of winter in their indoor Tower Gardens. The towers were in addition to the school’s FCS Garden Initiative, which already included 30 raised beds outside the school. (Chester County Press)

Puerto Rico: A Puerto Rican high school student founded E-Farm, a digital platform that connects farmers across the island with consumers to help bring products that are both healthy and good for the environment. (NBC News)

Rhode Island: The University of Rhode Island’s Cooperative Extension School Garden Initiative (SGI) helped to set up a garden at Narragansett Elementary School. The SGI is a plan which seeks to set up gardens in voluntary schools to expose students to the benefits of such space. (The Narragansett Times)

South Carolina: The Florence chapter of Eat Smart Move more received grants from the city to design and construct garden beds at a handful of Florence schools and churches. The local chapter of Eat Smart Move More is a coalition dedicated to reducing obesity by promoting healthy eating and exercise. (SC Now)

South Dakota: Every elementary school classroom in the Vermillion School District received a visit from the Coordinator of Sanford FitKid, who brings them the Produce of the Month program. The program helps introduce the students to new fruits or vegetables each month. (Vermillion Plain Talk)

Tennessee: At Kingsbury High School in Memphis, the garden program has been around since 2013, but this year is the first time that students were able to work in the garden over the summer and get paid. (WMC5)

Texas: A garden program at Pre-K 4 SA in San Antonio helped picky eaters grow their curiosity for nutrition by engaging all of their senses. Some of the student’s families planted seeds at home and learned new recipes from school demonstrations. (KENS 5)

U.S. Virgin Islands: After last year’s hurricanes, staff, former students, and other volunteers worked to resurrect the Farm to School program. (The St. Thomas Source)

Utah: Provo City School District made every effort to use local products, using signs highlighting the local farms to show students where their food comes from and bringing in whole pumpkins during Farm to School Month to show students what the inside of the food looks like. (Daily Herald)

Vermont: Students throughout Vermont traveled to Essex Junction in March to take art in the 11th annual Junior Iron Chef Vermont Competition. Junior Iron Chef VT is a statewide culinary competition organized by Vermont FEED. (Bennington Banner)

Virginia: During Virginia Farm to School Week in October, students at Charlottesville High School welcomed people from Casa Alma to discuss urban farming with its garden to market class to help the students develop an appreciation for where food comes from. (NBC 29)

Washington: This spring, fifty-two volunteers brought more than 1,500 students into their gardens through the Walla Walla Valley Farm to School Program, offering class lessons and after-school and recess garden clubs where students who planted crops in the garden got to taste the fruits of their labor. (Union-Bulletin)

West Virginia: With funds from Intel and a grant from the State farm Youth Advisory Board, Crellin Elementary School was able to construct a barn and a greenhouse for the school’s farm, Sunshine Farm, where agriculture is included in everyday lessons and students are responsible for daily chores on the farm. (The Garrett County Republican

Wyoming: Students at Summit Innovations High School in Jackson have their own organic farm enclosed in a small greenhouse to the side of the school, where they grow produce to sell at a farmers market. (Gillette News Record)


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