Farm to School

FAMU Cooperative Extension Programs, in collaboration with the New North Florida Cooperative, has developed an effective model that both:

  • Allows for school districts to incorporate fresh, locally and regionally grown fruits and vegetables into school meal programs.
  • Addresses the specific needs and capabilities of small-scale farmers to cultivate schools as markets for agricultural products.

 

The collaborative program is participatory and involves group activities, farmer-to-farmer training, and "real farm" demonstration/pilot projects.

Training areas include:   Alternative Enterprise Development, Alternative Production Practices, Marketing Strategies, Post-harvest Handling, Packaging, and Distribution Logistics.

Actual hands-on activities and pilot projects provide not only for enhanced knowledge and skill building, but also create real economic opportunities for enterprise diversification and market development.

Program activities have been conducted with rural and urban school districts serving over one million school children in:

              Florida                        Alabama   

             Georgia                       MIssissippi

             Arkansas                    Tennessee

 

Market trials, or pilots, and full-year deliveries have been conducted with such products as:

             Leafy Greens (Collards, Turnips)                       Strawberries

             Sweet Potatoes                                                      Blackberries

             Green Beans                                                            Muscadine Grapes

             Southern Peas and Beans                                   Watermelon

             Okra

             Red Potatoes

 

Individual farmers and producers groups have been trained in:

  • Alternative Enterprise Production and Management
  • Quality Control Requirements
  • Value-Added Processing and Packaging
  • Distribution and Transportation Logistics
  • Labor Training and Management

 

School Food Service Personnel have been trained in:

  • Procurement Procedures
  • Menu Planning
  • Fresh Produce Storage and Preparation

 

Additional Resources:

What is Farm to School?

Culitivating Schools in a Local Market for Small-Scale Farmers

Facilitating a School Market

Sharing Good Nutrition

Farm to School:  A Regional Marketing Model

Innovative Marketing Opportunities for Small Farmers:  Local Schools as Customers

 

Special Projects

Florida School Pilot 2011
Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurship
Farm to School Academy