Farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and preschools.
Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips. Farm to school empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities.
Farm to school implementation differs by location but always includes one or more of the following:
- Procurement: Local foods are purchased, promoted and served in the cafeteria or as a snack or taste-test;
- Education: Students participate in education activities related to agriculture, food, health or nutrition; and
- School gardens: Students engage in hands-on learning through gardening.
UW-Extension, Rock County is working with local school districts, the Rock County Health Department, local farmers, and interested community members to improve the health and well-being of school kids in Rock County through Farm to School efforts.
To date, the Rock County Farm to School Coalition has granted over $9,000 to schools throughout the county to start gardens and acquire kitchen equipment. Two school-cafeteria-worker trainings have taken place to teach how to effectively and efficiently deal with fresh produce in the classroom. Educators have been working in the classrooms to teach healthy eating from the garden, and UW-Extension recently hired two Farm to School AmeriCorps members to expand these Farm to School efforts within Rock County.