Producer Support

Empowering producers in the farm to school movement

Agricultural producers, including farmers, fishers, ranchers, food processors, and other local food businesses, are vital within the farm to school movement. NFSN aims to support producers in building capacity to launch or expand efforts to market to schools, while centering the expertise and needs of BIPOC producers in order to advance equity in the food system. 

According to the USDA Farm to School Census, schools across the country purchased $1.26 billion of locally purchased foods during the 2018-19 school year—this demonstrates the widespread demand for local foods from schools and a growing market opportunity for agricultural producers. 

As schools’ demand for locally produced foods has accelerated, a clear need to equip producers with the support they need to reach this unique market has emerged. Below are some of NFSN’s initiatives to support producers with resources, training, relationship-building, and more. 

Bringing the Farm to School

In 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service established a three-year cooperative agreement with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and the National Farm to School Network to develop a farm to school training program for agricultural producers.

This program concluded in October 2023 and successfully trained over 900 agricultural producers on the best practices and viability of accessing K-12 and early care and education markets. NFSN is proud to have helped increase sales to schools for farmers while expanding farm to school activities for students in schools and communities across the nation. 

Producers can now access free resources, including a producer workbook, case studies, and training recordings from this program.

BIPOC Farmer League

Driven by the momentum of the Bringing the Farm to School program and the commitment of our Call to Action for achieving a racially just food system for all, NFSN is embarking on a new chapter of the Bringing the Farm to School program, the BIPOC Farmer League.

BIPOC Farmer League will focus on creating opportunities for intentional outreach and training for BIPOC producers on farm to school engagement, ranging from production planning, school community outreach, and the understanding of Child Nutrition Programs within K-12 & ECE settings. NFSN and regional partners will promote the utilization of existing farm to school tools & resources, and the market opportunities of farm to school through regional and national BIPOC producer conferences and convenings.

Getting Started

For more information, contact:

Tomas Delgado
Program Manager

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