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Farm to School

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Farm to School is a movement that strives to build a youth’s connection to healthy, local food through school gardening, farm field trips, hands-on cooking and nutrition education and sourcing of local fresh fruits and vegetables to school cafeterias.

On This Page:

Getting Started Farm to School Programs

Find out how to build a school garden, have a cafeteria taste-test and more!

  • School Gardens: What grows best in a school garden? When should you plant? How do you sustain school garden spaces? Find additional resources to support your efforts.
  • Farm to Cafeteria: North Carolina has a unique landscape for sourcing local and regional fruits and vegetables in schools. With required GAP’s and challenging price points, it can be a rocky road to navigate. Read the stories and successes that programs and organizations throughout the states have been working on.
  • Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Education: Youth that participate in nutrition education that is hands-on and uses fruits and vegetables grown in the school garden are more willing to try and taste new foods. Read about strategies, recipes and programs that have kids sampling radishes, sautéing kohlrabi and munching on beet greens!

Gather inspiration, models and ideas from these programs actively leading Farm to School initiatives.

  • Farm to School Coalition of North Carolina: With recent USDA Farm to School funding, a group of state government agencies and non-profit organizations have come together to plan a statewide coalition to nurture Farm to School throughout North Carolina. To join the conversation, sign-up for the listserv with Communications Assistant Kirsten Blackburn and for more information contact F2SCNC co-chairs, Remi Ham or Tracey Bates.
  • Grow For It: North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Youth program in Crop Science, Entomology, Plant Pathology, Horticulture, and Soil Science. This program supports county extension efforts to connect youth to agriculture by offering curriculum, training workshops and statewide youth programs.
  • Growing Minds:  A leader in building the North Carolina Farm to School movement, ASAP provides a rich array of best practices and materials to support programming efforts.
  • National Farm to School Network: The National Farm to School Network supports the work of local farm to school programs all over the country by providing free training and technical assistance, information services, networking, and support for policy, media and marketing activities. Contact our North Carolina Core Partner, Remi Ham for more information.
  • USDA Food and Nutrition Services’ Farm to School Program: The USDA FNS Farm to School program provides state by state data on F2S programs, a grants program, as well as technical training and resources for local food purchasing, and other F2S activities.
  • Vermont FEED: This is a Farm to School partnership between Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) and Shelburne Farms. This Guide for Farm to School Community Action Planning is a primer on organizing a school committee to develop a farm to school program.
  • FoodCorps:  FoodCorps, a national non-profit supports efforts to grow grassroots Farm to School programs.

Primary Contact:
Liz Driscoll
4-H Youth Specialist
Departments of Crop and Soil Sciences, Entomology and Plant Pathology and Horticulture Science
NC State University

Written By

Liz Driscoll, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionLiz Driscoll4-H Specialist Crop & Soil Sciences, Entomology & Plant Pathology, Horticulture Call Liz Email Liz Horticultural Science
NC State Extension, NC State University

Contributing Author

tessa thraves, N.C. Cooperative Extensiontessa thravesCEFS's Farm to School Coordinator Call tessa Email tessa Center for Environmental Farming Systems
NC State Extension, NC State University
Page Last Updated: 1 year ago
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