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Farm to School Growing in Montgomery County. National Farm to School Network Nourishing Kids and Community.

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Farm to school growing in montgomery county
Farm to SchoolGrowing in Montgomery County


National Farm to School Network

Nourishing Kids and Community

Vision: The National Farm to School Network envisions a nation in which Farm to School programs are an essential component of strong and just local and regional food systems, ensuring the health of all school children, farms, the environment, economy, and communities.


National Farm to School Network

Nourishing Kids and Community

Mission: The National Farm to School Network increases access to local food and nutrition education to improve children’s health, strengthen family farms, and cultivate vibrant communities.


National Farm to School History

  • 1996-1997 Birth of Farm to School through pilot projects in California

  • 2000 USDA IFAFS supports establishment of the National Farm to School Program

  • National Farm to School Network founded

  • 2008 Farm Bill legislation allows food service directors to preference local products

  • 2010 Ohio Farm to School launched as project of Governor Strickland’s Food Policy Council with Ohio Department of Agriculture giving leadership

  • 2011 Leadership of Farm to School is transitioned to Ohio State University Extension


What is Farm to School?

  • Farm to School links schools to local farms with the objective to:

  • serve healthy meals in school cafeterias,

  • improve student nutrition,

  • provide agriculture, health, and nutrition education opportunities and

  • support local and regional farmers.


Why Establish a Farm to School Program?

  • Healthy Young People

  • eating habits

  • obesity and other health risks

  • Healthy Economies

  • keep local money in local economy

  • increase demand for Ohio’s agricultural products

  • Healthy Communities

  • connect people and resources to make the community /neighborhoods better for everyone


Who participates in Ohio’s Farm to School? Pre-K, K – 12, College, University, Institution

  • Farmers and Food Companies

  • Food Service Personnel

  • Educators

  • Community Leaders

  • Students


Healthy habits take root in Ohio 12, College, University, Institution

Source: Farm To School Census – Spring 2013


Local Impact 12, College, University, Institution

The Ohio School districts that bought local products in the 2011-2012 school year spent an estimated $34,780,859 on school food, with $3,912,708 of that directly locally.

59% of these districts say they will buy more local products in the future.

Source: Farm to School Census, Spring 2013


Ohio schools invest in local communities 12, College, University, Institution

with their food dollars

$3,912,708

invested into local communities

Source: Farm to School Census – Spring 2013


School gardens are sprouting up all over Ohio. 12, College, University, Institution

8% said Yes = 54 Edible School Gardens

Source: Farm to School Census Spring 2013


How do you start a Farm to School Program? 12, College, University, Institution

  • Organize – Establish a strong stakeholder group that includes food service directors, parents, teachers, farmers, students, school administrators, and local non-profits

  • Assess – talk with various stakeholders to determine the feasibility of the program in your area, discuss where to buy local foods, how best to serve them at school, develop the budget, and identify staff or volunteers to support the program

  • Evaluate – establishing the success of your project is important for acquiring funding and promoting the importance of Farm to School – record local food spending, student meal participation, student preference as more before and during the program


How do you start a Farm to School Program? 12, College, University, Institution

  • Plan - design your ideal program and list specific first steps – Successful projects are based on relationships of mutual respect and trust; taking the time to understand perspectives and capacities will ensure a sustainable program.

  • Fund – secure necessary funding for projects

  • Do – enact your plan – take the first step

  • Evaluate – establishing the success of your project is important for acquiring funding and promoting the Farm to School Program– record local food spending, student meal participation, student preference before and during the program.


Remember, there is help available 12, College, University, Institution

Planning, Implementation and Support Service grants are available from the United States Department of Agriculture. Ohio State University Extension Montgomery County is there to assist you.


The City of Dayton and Montgomery County are 12, College, University, Institution“Growing Growers”

A “grower” may be located near your school and would be happy to sell their products. Check out your neighborhood!


It is all about the youth and their FUTURE 12, College, University, Institution


Thank You 12, College, University, Institution

Suzanne Mills-Wasniak

Extension Educator Montgomery County

Agriculture and Natural Resources

937-224-9654 Extension 109


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