What is Farm to School?
The term Farm to School encompasses a variety of efforts to connect schools with local farms. While programs vary by locality, they commonly include: serving local food in school meals; and educating about local food and agriculture through classroom learning, school gardens, field trips, and celebrations. Students learn about local agriculture and have access to delicious local foods; farmers gain new markets for their products; and local economies grow stronger.
Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Farm to School Outreach
CCE Farm to School Outreach aims to help extension professionals, food service professionals, farmers, teachers, parents and community members develop farm to school connections. This program website serves as an informational hub.
CCE Farm to School Outreach is supported in part by Cornell Cooperative Extension and is based in the Division of Nutritional Sciences in both the College of Human Ecology and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University.
The intended outcomes of CCE Farm to School Outreach are that:
- Schools will serve healthy meals that incorporate New York- produced foods.
- Students, teachers, parents, school food service professionals and community members will become more aware of their local food and agricultural systems.
- New York farmers will gain access to local markets.
- Local economies will grow stronger.
New York State and Regional Farm to School Leadership
CCE Farm to School Outreach is among several entities in New York providing leadership and support for Farm to School. Others include:
- American Farmland Trust New York State Office
- Farm to Institution New York State
- National Farm to School New York Resources
- New York Farm Bureau
- New York School Nutrition Association
- New York State Agriculture in the Classroom Program
- New York State Assembly Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy
- New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets
- New York State Department of Education: Child Nutrition
- New York State Department of Health
- Seeking Common Ground: Finger Lakes Farm to Cafeteria Initiative
- United States Department of Agriculture Farm to School New York State Contact
- New York State Farm to School Coordinating Committee
National Farm to School Leadership
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm to School Program and the National Farm to School Network offer on-line resources, technical assistance, training, and grants.