23 Great Ways to Celebrate National Farm to School Month

23 Great Ways To Celebrate National Farm To School Month

Tue 16 Oct 2012

Story by Chelsey Simpson

Re-posted with permission from the National Farm to School Month’s blog.

From “Kids Dig Farmers” and “Healthy School Vending” to “Celebrate Sweet Potatoes” and “Dress Up Your Oatmeal,” National Farm to School Month 2012 gives you 23 great ways to celebrate the connections between schools, farms and communities.

Growing together! At the National Farm to School Network’s annual meeting last August, we celebrated our 50 state leads and 8 regional lead agencies with our very first group photo!

As the membership and communications associate at the National Farm to School Network, I’m always amazed by the innovative ways that communities adapt the principles of Farm to School to their environment. For example, in Alaska, where growing fresh fruits and vegetables is challenging, the Sitka Conservation Society coordinates a “Fish to Schools” program. And a growing number of Head Start, nursery school and child care programs are running “Farm to Preschool” initiatives.

Farm to School programs come in many flavors because communities shape their programs based on local interests, needs and available resources. So this year, the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) decided to spotlight a different theme on each weekday during October, starting today. Each theme will feature information about the topic, links to our Theme partners, reflections or activity ideas, and suggested social media messages.

Some themes will focus on specific foods, such as milk and meat, while others will feature Farm to School activities, such as school gardens, salad bars, chefs in schools and classroom lessons. We’ll also be celebrating the people who make Farm to School happen, including farmers, ranchers, food service staff, parents, teachers, students and politicians.

By partnering with organizations, government agencies, associations and businesses to develop the themes, NFSN hopes to demonstrate the wide range of ways that Farm to School programs help strengthen local and regional food systems.

While some of our partners are familiar to the Farm to School movement, such as our friends at USDA Farm to School, the School Nutrition Assocation, FoodCorps and School Food FOCUS, we’re excited about the opportunity to collaborate with some new groups, such as the National Head Start Foundation (“Celebrate Farm to Head Start” day) on October 18, Vendu-cation (“Health School Vending”) on October 23, and Gateway Greening (“Celebrate Sweet Potatoes”) day on October 26.

We hope Farm to School programs all over the US will use the themes to get schools, farms and communities excited about deepening their involvement with Farm to School. Please visit this website and our Facebook page every day, follow us on Twitter and spread the word!

Happy National Farm to School Month!

About the author: Chelsey Simpson is the membership and communications associate for the National Farm to School Network, which provides leadership, and support for the Farm to School movement.


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