Monday, October 3, 2016

October is Farm to School Month

Guest blogger, student intern Julia Callahan shares some information on Farm to School Month.

Welcome, October! A time of reflection on the beauty of nature in the changing of seasons, a time of unpacking the sweaters out of the dark void of your closet, a time for pumpkins, pumpkin spice, root vegetables, and most importantly Farm to school Month. Farm to School is a nation-wide focused effort to connect children to local food through interactive, edible learning.

Farm to school month, created by The National Farm to School Network, was approved by Congress in 2010 and is recognized as month to highlight the importance of child nutrition, local economies, and learning the origin of food. Activities include taste testing in school cafeterias, farm visits, harvest parties, connecting all 50 states and D.C to the power of local food and its positive impacts on communities.

New York State contains within its state line, a diversity of landscapes, populations, and agricultural productivity. Urban gardens in NYC, rich productivity in the Hudson Valley, and mountainous lands in the ADKs produce diverse growing systems. It is the goal through Farm to School month to promote these regional food systems through interactive efforts that allow students to handle their food through all stages of growing. Many school districts in New York State are implementing school garden programs, adding agricultural focused classes into the curriculum, and supporting local food economies. Public groups such as the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, The NYS Department of Health and the Governor’s Ant-Hunger Task Force have collaborated with private groups such as Farm to Institution, Grow NYC, and Cornell Cooperative Extension in order to enhance the local impact.

                 So far, the Far to School Network has engaged 23.6 Million students, 42% of US schools, spent 789 Milliot on local food economies, and engaged 40 states with supportive policies. If you are interested in join the interconnected Network, Check out for more information. Join the Movement!