New York Profile
Farm to School programs come in many shapes and sizes unique to the communities that build them. After exploring the resources and existing programs on the left, contact your state Farm to School lead for additional information and assistance specific to New York. New York has multiple state leads divided by region:
The New York State Farm to School Coordinating Committee provides statewide leadership for our initiatives. The Committee is a coalition of school food service directors, farmers, health professionals, growers associations, community and university members, state government staff and others interested in increasing use of local foods in schools. Committee meetings are held twice a year to discuss recent achievements and on-going projects; identify needs and develop strategies for making sustainable connections; provide learning opportunities; and plan for upcoming promotional events/activities.
New York State Farm to School Legislation passed in 2002. The legislation charges the New York State Department of Education and Department of Agriculture & Markets with working together to facilitate the purchase of New York farm products by schools, universities, and other educational institutions. The legislation also formalized the establishment of a New York Harvest for New York Kids Week to promote New York farm products.
Farm to You Fest! (New York Harvest for New York Kids Week), is an annual celebration of local food and agriculture held in the fall. This weeklong event is supported by the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets Farm to School Program, the New York State Education Department Child Nutrition Program and the many, many partners on the New York State Farm to School Coordinating Committee. In 2009, the Department of Agriculture & Markets provided an array of fun and educational materials to more than 82,000 children at schools, libraries, 4-H clubs, and on farm visits. The materials, developed in conjunction with the Coordinating Committee, focuses on the benefits of local agriculture and healthy eating habits.
Cornell University Farm to School Research and Extension Program is recognized as a key partner and leader in the New York State Farm to School effort. The Cornell Farm to School program provides significant outreach education, applied research, and program development, that build awareness, increase knowledge, and support efforts to increase the amount of locally produced fresh or minimally processed foods served in New York's schools, colleges, universities, and other institutions.
New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets Farm to School Program staff initiated a School Food Service Director Survey in 2008 (repeated in 2009). This survey of school food service directors captures a wealth of information including: current farm to school activities; interest in farm to school in general; detailed demand for specific products; and obstacles to increasing local food sourcing in schools. The information gained also helps growers quantify the potential demand for specific products.
Other exciting initiatives and projects being pursued by the NYS Farm to School Coordinating Committee members and Department staff include: professional chef trainings focusing on handling fresh, local foods and recipe development; new product development, all using local products, such as apple slices and carrot coins, frozen vegetable mixes and frozen organic black beans; and school ‘garden to café’ projects. New York is also proud to be home of the USDA “HealthierUS Gold Award” winner, Binghamton City School District (2010).
To learn more about these and other projects, please visit these websites:
NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets Farm to School Program http://www.agmkt.state.ny.us/f2s/index.html
Cornell University Farm to School Research and Extension Program http://farmtoschool.cce.cornell.edu/ NYS FARM TO SCHOOL RULES
|Farm to School Programs profiled on this site||5|
|Number of Schools Involved||17|
|Number of Districts Involved||15|
|Farm to School programs in this state (estimated)*||110|