Archived files are provided for reference purposes only. This file was current
when produced, but is no longer maintained and may now be outdated. Content
may not appear in full or in its original format. All links external to the
document have been deactivated. For additional information, see

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center of the National Agricultural Library
Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Farm to School: A Selected and Annotated Bibliography

Special Reference Briefs Series no. SRB 2011-02

Compiled by:

Stephanie M. Ritchie
Alternative Farming Systems Information Center
National Agricultural Library
Agricultural Research Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture


Wei-Ting Chen
Center for a Livable Future
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

June 2011


About the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center

The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) specializes in locating and accessing information related to many aspects of sustainable and alternative agriculture, crops and livestock – sustainable and organic crop and livestock farming systems; renewable farm energy options; alternative marketing practices; crop and livestock diversification including aquaculture, exotic and heritage farm animals, alternative and specialty crops, new uses for traditional crops, and crops grown for industrial production; and small farm issues.

AFSIC was founded in 1985 and is an integral part of the National Agricultural Library (NAL) in Beltsville, Maryland. The Center is supported, in part, by USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, and a cooperative agreement with the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. NAL is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

A current list of AFSIC information products and full-text publications are available electronically on the AFSIC Web site. Recent publications are also available, on request, in hard copy.

For further information:

Alternative Farming Systems
Information Center National Agricultural Library, ARS, USDA
10301 Baltimore Ave., Room 132 Beltsville MD 20705-2351; phone: 301-504-6559; fax: 301-504-6927
E-mail form:
Web site:

About the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Founded in 1996, the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future promotes research and communicates information about the complex interrelationships among diet, food production, the natural environment and human health. As an interdisciplinary center it serves as a resource to solve problems that threaten the health of the public and hinder our ability to sustain life for future generations.


Although we have tried to provide the most current and correct information available, the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information resources presented. Internet links to people, Web sites and documents change constantly; the links in this document were checked and accessed successfully in June 2011.

The publication is produced by a U.S. Government agency and includes abstracts produced by the United States Government that are not protected by U.S. copyright law, as well as abstracts originating from publications that may be protected by U.S. or non-US copyright law. You may need to obtain permission from the copyright, trademark, or patent holder to acquire, use, reproduce, or distribute these materials.

The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this publication is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the United States Department of Agriculture, the Agricultural Research Service, or the National Agricultural Library of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable.

This publication provides links to many other Web sites. Once you access another site through a link that we provide, you are subject to the copyright and licensing restrictions of the new site. It is the sole responsibility of you, the user of this publication, to carefully examine the content of the site and all linked pages for copyright and licensing restrictions and to secure all necessary permissions.

Cover photograph licensed from iStock International Inc.

Back to Top

Table of Contents

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all of its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex (including gender identity and expression), marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, political beliefs, genetic information, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).

To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Back to Top


Since the passage of the National School Lunch Act in 1946, key legislation has played an essential role in providing our Nation's children with access to healthier meals. Programs like the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) have provided, and continue to provide, nutritionally balanced and low-cost or free meals and snacks to children each school day. As early as 1997, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) began an effort to connect farms to the school meal programs. For purposes of this document, Farm to School is defined as efforts to serve regionally and locally produced food in school cafeterias, with a focus on those that participate in the Child Nutrition Programs. Farm to institution efforts are also included, which bring the Farm to School model in organizations or establishments such as hospitals or correctional facilities.

Successful Farm to School activities have the potential to benefit multiple stakeholders including schools, farmers, and children. Activities surrounding Farm to School can also help children learn essential lessons about how farm products are grown and their role in a nutritious, healthful diet. Introducing local farm products in both the classroom and the cafeteria allows children to experience the value and appeal of a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. While USDA does not currently have definitive data measuring the national demand for Farm to School, there are strong indicators that interest in Farm to School activities has increased over recent years.

The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to provide assistance in support of Farm to School projects through grants and assistance to schools and nonprofit entities. These activities were eventually funded in December of 2010, when the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was signed into law. This Act authorized USDA to provide technical assistance and competitive matching Farm to School grants. The grants may be used for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships and implementing farm to school activities.

In addition to the Farm to School grant program, the USDA is also supporting Farm to School efforts through a number of initiatives, and continues to look for ways to help facilitate this important connection. In late 2009, the USDA established "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food," ( an initiative which focuses on the importance of understanding where our food comes from and how it gets to our plate. As a part of the USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, we developed this working bibliography with two goals in mind. First, we aim to document existing research and resources on Farm to School and Farm to Institution efforts around the Nation. Second, we hope to help identify research gaps for this topic. Understanding what we do know and what we need to know about Farm to School may foster future research that will eventually facilitate the growth of sustainable food production and local food consumption.

About this Bibliography

This bibliography attempts to represent selected documentation from a wide range of resources: peer reviewed literature databases, organizational Web sites, report citations, conference proceedings, Cooperative Extension Service publications, and more.

Information resources for Farm to School activities are underrepresented in the formally published academic literature. Most materials exist as informal papers and research reports on individual organizational Web sites or as articles in regional/local news, trade and popular publications. This bibliography pulls together many substantial materials on Farm to School efforts across the United States. Some citations include links to full-text documents; most do not; or only provide links to publisher Web sites.

All publications cited are in English, and most were produced in the past two decades, but we have included a few older publications to provide historical context of Farm to School efforts in the United States. Cited items owned by the National Agricultural Library (NAL) are noted with NAL call numbers.

Back to Top

Farm to School K-12 Education

Citations in this category range from case studies of individual schools to district, regional and state-wide reports of Farm to School efforts. The primary sources are peer-reviewed scientific journals and non-academic, foundation or community-based organization reports. A small selection of books, theses and videos are also included.

Popular media articles and organizational reports typically highlight the presence of local Farm to School efforts or celebrate the successes of local activities. Schools and districts that have had longer history of Farm to School related activities (such as Davis Unified School District (CA), Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (CA), and Burlington Public School District (VT)) are repeatedly used as examples. A few of the organizational reports evaluate the behavioral changes that occurred as a result of Farm to School activities.

Articles from peer-reviewed journals examine a wide range of issues, such as the barriers to successful Farm to School activities, changes in student food behavior after implementing Farm to School, and the political nature of Farm to School. One article (Allan and Guthman 2006) treats Farm to School activities as social justice efforts and considers the long-term socio-political trajectories of Farm to School.

While the momentum of Farm to School is growing, research efforts remain uneven. At the moment, the effect of Farm to School on diet-related behavior appears modest at best. Part of the issue may be the newness of the field of Farm to School (operational only since 1996-97). It is possible that Farm to School and local food education may have a delayed effect on student behavior, e.g. until students become older and have greater autonomy in selecting and purchasing the food they eat.

Another possible research direction is the effect of Farm to School on local development. There is limited evidence that Farm to School is helping small farms become more viable (see, for example, Kish 2008) but the data is still limited and not systematic. In the article "Pennsylvania Farm-to-School Programs and the Articulation of Local Context," Kai Schaft and colleagues conducted an original mail-in survey study as well as reviewed data from existing case studies to learn more about Farm to School efforts in Pennsylvania (Schaft 2008). The authors find that rather than representing a more or less uniform set of practices, in both scale and content, Farm to School programming varies widely across school districts depending on district needs, resources, and the salient local issues that act as catalysts for Farm to School (e.g., nutrition, obesity prevention, strong community identification with local agriculture, and/or local economic development). They suggest that Farm to School might therefore best be understood and promoted as a flexible range of locally embedded strategies that schools might use to address specific community and school needs. Their conclusions suggest the need for more community-based studies of Farm to School efforts in order to understand the role of agricultural producers in their local communities, and direct resources that meet the needs of the local community.

Another article worth highlighting is "Do Farm to School Programs Make a Difference? Findings and Future Research Needs," from the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition (Joshi, Azuma and Feenstra 2008). The authors reviewed 15 Farm to School studies and suggest some future research needs, including:

  1. The need to have third-party researchers to conduct evaluation studies.
  2. The need to understand the roles of food services staff and teachers in Farm to School efforts.
  3. The need to understand actual levels of student demand (meal participation rate).
  4. The need to understand the actual level of farmers’ ability to supply (as well as define) local food.
  5. How do school policies actually change individual behavior?
  6. What’s the role of community involvement in Farm to School efforts? Do Farm to School efforts change community behavior as well? How do different communities vary?
  7. What are the tradeoffs between behavior change and cost? Can Farm to School efforts be sustainable?

These selected articles and those listed below create a baseline of knowledge for the Farm to School community and will help shape future Farm to School research.

K-12 Education – National

  1. Allen, P. and J. Guthman. 2006. "From "Old School" to "Farm-to-School": Neoliberalization from the Ground Up." Agriculture and Human Values. 23 (4): 401-415.
    NAL Call Number: HT401.A36
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: Farm-to-school (FTS) programs have garnered the attentions and energies of people in a diverse array of social locations in the food system and are serving as a sort of touchstone for many in the alternative agrifood movement. Yet, unlike other alternative agrifood initiatives, FTS programs intersect directly with the long-established institution of the welfare state, including its vestiges of New Deal farm programs and public entitlement. This paper explores how FTS is navigating the liminal terrain of public and private initiative, particularly the ways in which it interfaces with neoliberalism as both a material and discursive project. It examines the political emergence of school food programs and finds that FTS is strikingly similar to traditional school programs in objectives, but differs in approach. Yet, in their efforts to fill in the gaps created by political and economic neoliberalization, FTS advocates are in essence producing neoliberal forms and practices afresh. These include those associated with contingent labor relationships, private funding sources, and the devolution of responsibility to the local, all of which have serious consequences for social equity. The paper also discusses how FTS programs are employing the rhetoric of neoliberal governmentality, including personal responsibility and individual success, consumerism, and choice. While these may be tactical choices used to secure funding in a competitive environment, they may also contribute to the normalization of neoliberalism, further circumscribing the possibilities of what can be imagined and created to solve social problems.
    Copyright © Springer Science+Business Media

  2. Azuma, Andrea M. and Andrew Fisher. 2001. Healthy Farms, Healthy Kids: Evaluating the Barriers and Opportunities for Farm-to-School Programs. [Venice, CA]: Community Food Security Coalition.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: This book describes in detail seven farm-to-school projects from around the country, examining the barriers and opportunities surrounding farm-to-school programs, including childhood obesity, the struggles of family farmers, and the changing school food environment with the rise of fast food and soft drinks in the school lunchroom. The report also includes an analysis of federal policies related to nutrition and local food systems, and makes a series of policy recommendations.

  3. Carlsson, L. and P. L. Williams. 2008. "New Approaches to the Health Promoting School: Participation in Sustainable Food Systems." Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition. 3 (4): 400-417.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: The purpose of this review is to synthesize research on 3 strategies that public schools use to procure food from within sustainable food systems - school food gardens, farm-to-school programs, and school procurement policies - and discuss the potential roles for dietitians. Peer-reviewed and "grey" literature provides a wealth of successful models for how schools participate in sustainable food systems, why they do it, what benefits they reap and what barriers they encounter. While available published literature provides reason to believe that these strategies may contribute to sustainable community design, food system localization, and child health and nutrition, it has also been suggested that they may encourage transfer of government responsibilities to the community.
    Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group

  4. Center for Ecoliteracy. 2004. Rethinking School Lunch. Berkeley, CA: Center for Ecoliteracy. 165 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/7/2011]

    Abstract: This comprehensive web-based guide to enhancing school nutrition in school districts is the culmination of five years of research by the Center for Ecoliteracy and their project partners aimed at identifying the elements necessary to create integrated farm-to-school programs that incorporate nutritional, educational, community development, and environmental goals. Essays, interviews, tools and resources, divided into ten thematic chapters, are offered together to help a diverse array of stakeholders begin the process of envisioning and planning innovative school feeding programs that are designed to enhance the social and mental well-being of students, help improve student performance, and enable students and teachers to reconnect with their local communities in meaningful ways.

  5. Dwyer, Emily. 2010. Farm to Cafeteria Initiatives: Connections with the Tribal Food Sovereignty Movement. Los Angeles, CA: Occidental College, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, National Farm to School Network. 53 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/9/2011]

    Abstract: This publication seeks to profile work underway in Native America to restore traditional food systems for children in tribal schools. The eight community profiles in this report capture the work of a multitude of tribal communities, mainly in the Southwest and Great Lakes regions, working to restore their tribal food systems up until July 2008, which is when the interviews were conducted. The scope of this report, originally planned to profile tribal farm to school programs, was expanded to explore the role of farm to cafeteria programs within the broader tribal food system restoration work underway in Indigenous communities. We hope this report will serve as a resource guide for individuals working within Native American communities on strengthening food sovereignty and farm to cafeteria programming.

  6. Farenga, S. and D. Ness. 2010. "Going Locavore: Teaching Students about the Benefits of Food Produced Locally." Science Scope. 33 (5): 52-56.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: Three activities that can be used to teach students about the benefits of food produced locally are outlined. Students examine the global interdependence of the world's food supply, arrange a supply chain to examine the energy steps needed to bring agricultural products from the farm to the plate, and explore the environmental benefits of consuming locally produced food in comparison to food transported over great distances.
    Copyright © NSTA

  7. Fitzgerald, P. L. 2010. "Planting the Seeds." School Nutrition. 64 (6): 46-52.
    NAL Call Number: LB3479.U54 S3
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: Go and grow! How to get started with a farm-to-school program. This article provides a basic roadmap to create a model for your farm-to-school program with advice from successful farm-to-school program managers.
    Copyright © School Nutrition Association

  8. Gottlieb, R., A. Joshi, and M. Vallianatos. "Farms to Schools: Promoting Urban Health, Combating Sprawl, and Advancing Community Food Systems (Southern California)." Pavel, M. P. 2009. Breakthrough Communities: Sustainability and Justice in the Next American Metropolis. Urban and Industrial Environments Series and Sustainable Metropolitan Communities Books. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 285-302.

  9. Gregoire, M. B., C. Strohbehn, J. Huss, G. Huber, R. Karp, and S. Klien. 2000. Local Food Connections: From Farms to Schools. PM 1853a. Iowa State University Extension. 4 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: This booklet provides an overview of potential opportunities and issues to be addressed in implementing farm-to-school programs including guidelines for individual farmers and community organizations seeking access to schools as markets.

  10. Gregoire, M. B. and C. Strohbehn. 2002. "Benefits and Obstacles to Purchasing Food From Local Growers and Producers." Journal of Child Nutrition and Management.  26 (1): 1.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: The article discusses the benefits and obstacles of purchasing food from local growers and producers in the U.S. This food buying effort has received strong support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as evidenced by such activities as the Small Farms/School Meals Initiative. This Initiative encourages local growers to sell food products to schools and urges schools to buy food from local growers. Goals of the effort are to improve the economic stability of small farmers and the long-term health of school children. USDA currently estimates that almost 1.9 million farms in the country, or 94 percent of all farms, are small or limited-resource farms that provide an average net income of less than $25,000. The potential of these farms to generate income has been restricted in part by depressed prices for many bulk agricultural commodities and recent reductions in traditional crop subsidies. Development of new markets for agricultural producers is one strategy to increase profitability and ensure survival of small to medium size farm operations.
    Copyright © School Nutrition Association

  11. Gryder, S. D. 2010. "Many Routes to Many Roots." School Nutrition. 64 (6): 20-30.
    NAL Call Number: LB3479.U54 S3
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: What path should you take in bringing the farm to your school? Blaze the trail best suited to your school nutrition program. This article covers different strategies for procurement, promotion, educational outcomes, and school gardens based on experiences of successful farm-to-school programs from across the U.S.
    Copyright © School Nutrition Association

  12. Haase, M. [2005?]. "Farm to School: Cultivating Food Values and Healthy Children." Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Newsletter. 1-4.

  13. Hackes, B. L. and C. W. Shanklin. 1999. "Factors Other Than Environmental Issues Influence Resource Allocation Decisions of School Foodservice Directors." Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 9 (8): 944-949.
    NAL Call Number: 389.8 Am34
    URL: [Accessed 6/9/2011]

    Abstract: This paper identifies resource allocation decisions and policies and procedures used by school foodservice directors that were based on the concepts of pollution prevention, product stewardship, and sustainable development. A questionnaire about operational characteristics (including equipment and production systems, menu selection and service style) and environmental issues was mailed to school foodservice directors. Subjects were school foodservice directors in major cities who were members of the American School Food Service Association. Of the 389 questionnaires mailed, 168 (45.5%) were returned and used for data analysis. Descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, and correlation were used to analyze data. Cost factors were rated more important (P=.05) than environmental factors when operational decisions were made. Labor was ranked as the most important future issue by 45.0% of respondents, but it was not the most important factor when current operational decisions were made. Less than 20.0% of the respondents indicated that their districts had specific water (3.3%), energy (14.2%), or solid waste management policies (16.0%). However, 62.6% of respondents stated that their district had a recycling program. With the exception of recycling programs, school foodservice departments have not adopted a framework of pollution prevention, product stewardship, and sustainable development practices. Recycling and energy conservation programs and use of locally grown food products would minimize the environmental impact of school foodservice operations while reducing operational costs.
    Copyright © Elsevier, Inc.

  14. Harmon, A. 2003. Farm to School: An Introduction for Food Service Professionals, Food Educators, Parents and Community Leaders. [Los Angeles, CA]: Occidental College, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, Center for Food and Justice, National Farm to School Program.

  15. Harmon, A. 2004. Farm to School: Case Studies and Resources for Success. [Los Angeles, CA]: Occidental College, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, Center for Food and Justice, National Farm to School Program.
    URL: [Accessed 6/9/2011]

    Abstract: This publication contains case studies for Farm to School projects in New Jersey, California, New Mexico, Iowa, Vermont and other locations based on school district and non-profit organization programs. An extensive list of organizations, handbooks, curricula, Web sites and region-specific resources are included.

  16. Joshi, A. and A. Azuma. "Bearing Fruit: Farm to School Program Evaluation Resources and Recommendations."  2009. Los Angeles, CA: Occidental College, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, Center for Food and Justice. Report.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: Farm to school programs, which link local farmers with schools, have increased in number, from fewer than ten in 1997 to more than an estimated 2,000 programs in 2008. With this phenomenal increase, many in the farm to school movement are faced with the question: what are the specific impacts of the program? Funding agencies, advocates and policy makers grapple with this question as they consider farm to school programs as a model to improve school nutrition and farm profitability. While it may seem intuitive that linking students with local foods would lead to positive outcomes in student dietary intake and farm income, well-designed evaluations and research projects are needed to examine impacts on student health, dietary behaviors, school district policies, local farm profitability, and other aspects of the community at large.

  17. Joshi, A., A. M. Azuma, and G. Feenstra. 2008. "Do Farm-to-School Programs Make a Difference? Findings and Future Research Needs." Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition. 3 (2/3): 229-246.
    URL:  [Accessed 6/9/2011]

    Abstract: Farm-to-school programmes are increasing in number across the US, yet research and evaluation of programmes is limited, with only a few studies published in refereed journals. This article sought to consolidate and evaluate emerging evaluation research, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of evaluation findings and suggest a future research agenda to better understand the impacts of farm-to-school programmes. Farm-to-school is broadly defined for the purposes of this article as a school-based programme that connects schools (K-12) and local farms with the objectives of serving local and healthy foods in school cafeterias or classrooms, improving student nutrition, providing health and nutrition education opportunities, and supporting small- and medium-sized local and regional farmers. The article reviewed 38 studies, and selected 15 based on specific inclusion criteria. Preliminary findings are related to the impacts of farm-to-school programmes on behaviour of students, school teachers and administrators, foods service, farmers and producers, and parents, as well as knowledge gains and attitudinal changes. Further evaluation and research are needed to improve practice and assist programmes in meeting their goals.
    Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group

  18. Joshi, A. 2010. "From Neighborhoods to the Nation, Farm to School Programs are Taking Root." The Digest (Public Health/Community Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association). Spring: 1-3.

  19. Joshi, Anupama, Marion Kalb, and Moira Beery. 2006. Going Local: Paths to Success for Farm to School Programs. Los Angeles, CA: Occidental College, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, Center for Food and Justice; National Farm to School Program; Community Food Security Coalition. 28 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: This report showcases innovative farm to school programs from around the country. It draws upon the existing information as well as new research to present a compilation of eight case studies of farm to school programs operating in different regions of the country. Each case study profiles a program’s operations and accomplishments as well as the barriers that have been faced and the tactics used to overcome these challenges.

  20. Kalb, Marion, Kristen Markley, and Loren Gustafson. 2005. Feeding Young Minds: Hands-on Farm to School Education Programs. [Portland, OR]: Community Food Security Coalition. 31 p.

    Abstract: Focusing on educational activities that complement local purchasing for school meals, this booklet highlights farm to school experiential education programs from around the country. These range from cooking classes in New Mexico, to school fundraisers in Ohio, to kindergartners tasting watermelon radishes in Pennsylvania. Each program is unique, yet offers insights and possibilities of what can be achieved when farm-fresh products in the cafeteria are linked with experiential education activities. A resource section is included.

  21. Kalb, Marion, Kristen Markley, and Sara Tedeschi. 2004. Linking Farms with Schools: A Guide to Understanding Farm-to-School Programs for Schools, Farmers and Organizers.  [Portland, OR]: Community Food Security Coalition.

    Abstract: Details the benefits, challenges, and strategies for success for building successful farm to school projects and includes case studies of innovative projects and an extensive resource list.

  22. Kalb, Marion and Deborah Shore. 2005. Department of Defense Farm to School Program: Frequently Asked Questions.
    URL: [Accessed 6/9/2011]

    Abstract: Provides in-depth information about the history and use of the U.S. Department of Defense Farm to School Program including how the program is funded, types of school partnerships possible with the Department of Defense, how the program works, and how the farm products are delivered to schools.

  23. Kish, S. 2008. From Farm to School: Improving Small Farm Viability and School Meals. [Washington, D.C.]: USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES). 2 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: This short article describes a Farm-to-School project funded through the USDA's Initiative for Future Agricultural and Food Systems (IFAFS) program.

  24. Kloppenburg, J. and N. Hassanein. 2006. "From Old School to Reform School?" Agriculture and Human Values. 23 (4): 417-421.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: This commentary illustrates the development and emancipatory possibilities of farm-to-school and farm-to-college initiatives. This is in response to an essay [Allen, P. and Guthman, J. Agriculture and Human Values (2006) 23 (4)] that suggested that those involved in farm-to-school programmes are not making reforms as they are embedded in a neoliberal structure that constrains action. It is reiterated that those who are engaged in farm-to-school programmes all over the USA are undertaking critical thinking and political action and that they are endeavouring to achieve equity, public funding and state support for their proposed reforms.
    Copyright © Springer Science+Business Media

  25. Markley, Kristen, Marion Kalb, and Loren Gustafason. "Delivering More: Scaling Up Farm to School Programs: A Report on the Farm to School Distribution Learning Community."  2010. 47 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/9/2011]

    Abstract: Farm to school efforts have expanded rapidly in the United States since the 1990s. From only a handful of projects in 1996, there are now over 2,000 programs in 42 states that bring farm fresh products into school meals. That record of success reflects a convergence of many factors, including concerns about rising childhood obesity and diabetes rates and growing interest in local foods. To continue to grow, farm to school programs must find ways to further develop their delivery systems. Specifically: How can farm to school programs continue to expand to reach more students and more schools? What are the best long-term strategies for distribution in, for example, remote rural and large urban settings?

  26. McLaren, P. 2010. "From Magic Beans to Golden Eggs." School Nutrition.   64 (6): 32-44.
    NAL Call Number: LB3479.U54 S3
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: It’s no fairy tale: You can make a farm-to-school program an enormously successful part of your school meals operation. This article provides an update on farm-to-school after nearly a decade of interest in the concept and addresses many key issues of concern for food service professional with experiences from successfully implemented programs.
    Copyright © School Nutrition Association

  27. McLaren, P. 2004. "A Growing Movement: Farm-to-School Programs Take Root." School Foodservice and Nutrition (now School Nutrition Magazine). 58 (5): 28-36.
    NAL Call Number: LB3475.A1S3
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: Profiles six farm-to-school programs with varying characteristics including geographic region, number of schools served, number of students served, and types of local food served. Each profile includes program background, plus/minus comparison and advice for others planning a farm-to-school program.

  28. Morgan, K. and R. Sonino. 2008. The School Food Revolution: Public Food and the Challenge of Sustainable Development. Sterling, VA: Earthscan Publications Ltd. 231 p.

    Abstract: Drawing on new empirical data collected in urban and rural areas of Europe, North America and Africa, this book makes an innovative contribution to both political and academic efforts to promote sustainable food systems through creative public procurement strategies. The starting point of the book is that school meal systems can provide significant payoffs, including lower food miles, the creation of markets for local producers and effective food education initiatives that empower consumers by nurturing their capacity to eat healthily. To assess this potential, the book compares a variety of sites involved in the school food revolution from rural communities committed to the values of 'the local' to global cities such as London, New York and Rome that feed millions of ethnically diverse young people daily. The book also examines the developing country school feeding program of the United Nations, which sees nutritious food as an end in itself as well as a means to meeting the Millennium Development Goals and raising the quality of life of the poorest of the poor. Ultimately the book provides a critical look at the worlds of theory, policy and practice and it is a guide to the design and delivery of sustainable school food systems.
    Copyright © Earthscan Publications Ltd.

  29. Olson, C. 2007. "Fresh Food Nation." Mothering. (143): 72-76.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: Some US schools now make it a priority to feed students fresh, wholesome food, and are turning to farm-to-school programs to improve the quality of school meals and the effectiveness of nutrition education. Farm-to-school programs not only offer healthy, tasty, fresh food to students, but also provide hands-on educational experiences to connect children with the sources of their food. Local farmers benefit from direct sales of their products, which helps the community as well. Do farm-to-school programs really make a difference?
    Copyright © Mothering Magazine

  30. Poppendieck, J. 2010. Free For All: Fixing School Food in America. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 368 p.

    Abstract: How did our children end up eating nachos, pizza, and Tater Tots for lunch? Taking us on an eye-opening journey into the nation's school kitchens, this superbly researched book is the first to provide a comprehensive assessment of school food in the United States. Janet Poppendieck explores the deep politics of food provision from multiple perspectives - history, policy, nutrition, environmental sustainability, taste, and more. Farm to school efforts are discussed as potential solutions to some school food challenges.
    Copyright © The Regents of the University of California

  31. Strohbehn, C. H. and M. B. Gregoire. 2001. "Innovations in School Food Purchasing: Connecting to Local Food." Journal of Child Nutrition and Management.   25 (2): 62-65.
    NAL Call Number: TX945.S344
    %20Issue%202.pdf [Accessed 6/9/2011]

    Abstract: There is much local interest in and government support for efforts to develop stronger links between schools and local growers and producers. Several successful programs have been developed that provide models for school foodservice directors who are interested in this effort. Benefits and challenges do exist in the development of these new markets, both from the perspective of the school foodservice professional and the producer. Discussions of the benefits, obstacles, and pilot projects are included in this report.
    Copyright © School Nutrition Association

  32. Vallianatos, M., R. Gottlieb, and M. A. Haase. 2004. "Farm-to-School: Strategies for Urban Health, Combating Sprawl, and Establishing a Community Food Systems Approach." Journal of Planning Education and Research. 23 (4): 414-423.
    URL:  [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: Farm-to-school is a new, innovative strategy with multiple planning-related objectives. The article evaluates the significance of farm-to-school in relation to improving the health and nutrition of school-age children, particularly low-income youth; strengthening the capacity of local farmers, particularly those engaged in sustainable practices; adding to the toolkit of strategies designed to contain and ultimately reduce sprawl-inducing developments by helping preserve farmland; and helping establish a community food systems approach no longer entirely dependent on the global food system that has come to dominate food growing, processing, distribution, and consumption patterns around the world.
    Copyright © Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning

  33. White, P. 2004. "Fertile Field: The Farm-to-School Concept Flourishes as Schools and Communities Address Cultural Concerns and Promote Healthy Living." School Foodservice and Nutrition (now School Nutrition Magazine). 58 (5): 18-26.
    NAL Call Number: LB3475.A1S3
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: A review of the farm-to-school concept, the nascent movement to bring local foods into schools, successful pilot programs, policy barriers and Federal and state program supports.

Back to Top

K-12 Education – Regional

K-12 - North Central

(Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.)

  1. Berkenkamp, JoAnne. 2006. Making the Farm/School Connection: Opportunities and Barriers to Greater of Locally-grown Produce in Public Schools. University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics. 31 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: This report explores the feasibility of expanding use of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables in Minnesota's public K-12 schools. The core questions addressed in this study are: What would it take to make locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables a mainstream element of a school district's food supply within the prevailing budgetary environment? What are the opportunities and barriers to using fresh, local food in significant volumes, on a sustained basis, and without additional outside subsidies? This is part of a broader effort by University of Minnesota researchers, focused on the Hopkins, MN school district, to explore links between childhood obesity and the federal school lunch program.

  2. Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and Minnesota School Nutrition Association. 2010. Farm to School in Minnesota: A Survey of School Food service Leaders. Minneapolis, MN: Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. 7 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: The Minnesota School Nutrition Association (MSNA) and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) work together to support the adoption and expansion of farm to school initiatives across the state of Minnesota. In January 2010, a survey was conducted to gauge interest and activity in farm to school among Minnesota school foodservice professionals. This report provides a summary of the survey results. Respondents from 69 Minnesota school districts reported that they purchased Minnesota-grown foods in 2009. This is up from approximately 30 districts when the initial survey was conducted in November 2008. Among districts currently engaged in farm to school, 76 percent expect to expand their farm to school programs in the 2010/11. None indicated that they plan to reduce their farm to school activities in the upcoming school year.

  3. Izumi, B. T., O. S. Rostant, M. J. Moss, and M. W. Hamm. 2006. "Results from the 2004 Michigan Farm-To-School Survey." Journal of School Health.  76 (5): 169-174.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate Michigan school food service directors' interest in, and opportunities and barriers to, implementing a farm-to-school program. Farm-to-school may be a timely and innovative approach to improving the school food environment and helping food service directors meet their nutrition goals for school meals. Health and agriculture advocates have recognized the importance of farm-to-school in addressing health issues and creating opportunities for farmers and rural communities. Research subjects were 664 food service directors representing school districts across Michigan. Respondents (n=383) reported a high degree of interest in sourcing food from local producers (73% reported being very interested or interested). Interest was significantly augmented (83%) when respondents were asked to assume that these foods were available through current vendors. Interest was independent of free/reduced lunch participation rate or school district location (rural, suburban, urban location). Food service directors expressed diverse motivations for their interest in farm-to-school, including supporting the local economy and community; accessing fresher, higher-quality food; and potentially increasing students' fruit and vegetable consumption. The most frequently reported barriers and concerns included cost, federal and state procurement regulations, reliable supply, seasonality of fruits and vegetables, and food safety. Michigan school food service directors appear ready to make linkages with local agriculture. However, there is need to address the concerns and barriers through education; inclusion of community partners, such as current vendors; funding; and state and federal policies that support local purchasing.
    Copyright © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  4. Izumi, B. T., D. W. Wright, and M. W. Hamm. 2009. "Farm to School Programs: Exploring the Role of Regionally-based Food Distributors in Alternative Agrifood Networks." Agriculture and Human Values.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: Farm to school programs are at the vanguard of efforts to create an alternative agrifood system in the United States. Regionally-based, mid-tier food distributors may play an important role in harnessing the potential of farm to school programs to create viable market opportunities for small- and mid-size family farmers, while bringing more locally grown fresh food to school cafeterias. This paper focuses on the perspectives of food distributors. Our findings suggest that the food distributors profiled have the potential to help institutionalize farm to school programs. Notably, their relationships with farmers may be a critical element in expanding the scale and scope of local school food procurement. Their ability to catalyze local school food procurement however, is limited by the structural context in which farm to school programs operate. Specifically, the oppositional school year and agriculture production cycle, and tight food service budget constraints disembed and limit the potential of farm to school programs to decrease the "marketness" of school food procurement and to shift it from a process based largely on price to one that is more territorially embedded. As farm to school programs continue to gain support, regionally-based food distributors that have the meaningful relationships necessary to re-embed the school food service market back into the larger society may be critical to enabling advocates to achieve their goals.
    Copyright © Springer Science+Business Media

  5. Izumi, B. T., K. Alaimo, and M. W. Hamm. 2008. "Farm to School Programs and Their Potential for Meeting School Food Service Goals." Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 40 (4, Supplement 1): S37.
    NAL Call Number: TX341.J6
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: The purpose of this study was to learn why school food service professionals (SFSPs), farmers, and food distributors participate in farm to school programs and how they characterize its opportunities and challenges. A qualitative study was conducted with stakeholders participating in one of seven programs in the upper Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States. Seven SFSPs, seven farmers, and four food distributors were each interviewed twice and relevant documents were collected to cross-check findings and enhance validity of the results. Data were analyzed using thematic codes and displays. This presentation focuses on the perspectives of SFSPs. According to the qualitative analysis, SFSPs buy food directly from farmers and small-scale food distributors because doing so helps them to simultaneously meet the school food program's financial and nutrition objectives. Vendor flexibility and relationships with farmers emerged as important variables that mediated this outcome. Supporting the local community and economy was seen as an ancillary but important benefit of buying locally grown food. The results of this research suggest that some of the benefits attributed to farm to school may be lost if small-scale food distributors and farmers are replaced with large-scale distributors that rely on generic standards of food quality.
    Copyright © Elsevier, Inc.

  6. Izumi, B. T., K. Alaimo, and M. W. Hamm. 2010. "Farm-to-School Programs: Perspectives of School Food Service Professionals." Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 42 (2): 83-91.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: This qualitative study used a case study approach to explore the potential of farm-to-school programs to simultaneously improve children's diets and provide farmers with viable market opportunities.
    Semi structured interviews with seven farm-to-school programs in the Upper Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States probed why farmers, school food service professionals, and food distributors participate in farm-to-school programs and how they characterize the opportunities and challenges to local school food procurement. School food service professionals described three motivators for buying locally grown food for their cafeterias: (1)The students like it, (2) The price is right, and (3) We're helping our local farmer. Students' preference for locally grown food was related to food quality, influence of school staff, and relationships with farmers. Buying food directly from farmers and wholesalers was associated with lower prices and flexible specifications, and the "local feel." It was concluded that understanding school food service professionals' motivations for buying locally grown food is critical to the sustainability of farm-to-school programs.
    Copyright © Elsevier, Inc.

  7. Kish, S. 2008. "Fresh Food Program Promotes Healthy Eating Habits Among Children." NRI Research Highlights. NAL Call Number: aS441.N75
    URL: [Accessed 6/6/2011]

    Abstract: Communities across the nation are fighting the increased incidence of childhood obesity and Type II diabetes. With funding from USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), a group in Illinois is promoting environmental sustainability and healthy eating habits in the youngest Americans.

  8. Kloppenburg, J. and D. Wubben. 2007. Farm-to-School Program Provides Learning Experience. Research Brief, 74. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin-Madison, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. 2 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: How do you get kids to eat their vegetables? Americans are bombarded with news about childhood obesity and the importance of replacing junk food with healthier fare. But this is no easy task when children are enticed with empty calories by advertisers, restaurants and even schools. When you look at the big picture, getting children to eat their vegetables isn’t simply a matter of coaxing picky eaters. For many kids, vegetables aren’t on the table. Farm-to-school projects emerged in the late 1990s in response to the nutritional inadequacy of children’s diets, the struggles faced by independent family farmers, and a desire to connect children with farms. By 2006, there were about 400 of these projects in 22 states. In most of these projects, schools purchase food - usually fresh fruit and vegetables - from local farms and serve it in school cafeterias. How are farm-to-school projects working? Jack Kloppenburg of the UW-Madison Department of Rural Sociology reviewed the literature and found both opportunities and obstacles for such programs. He then drew from his participatory action research in a farm-to-school project in Madison -Wisconsin Homegrown Lunch- to understand some of the barriers.

  9. Kloppenburg, J., D. Wubben, and M. Grunes. 2008. "Linking the Land and the Lunchroom: Lessons from the Wisconsin Homegrown Lunch Project." Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition. 3 (4): 440-455.
    a906948287~frm=titlelink [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: The experience of the Wisconsin Homegrown Lunch project is used to frame an exploration of the challenges facing the nation's proliferating farm-to-school initiatives. Prospects for connecting the land and the lunchroom are found to be constrained by structural features that include the industrialization of many school food services, inadequate supply of local produce, and the need for processing facilities. A variety of tactical choices that can be made to enhance the prospects for success are described. The authors call for wider discussion of how farm-to-school programs are performing and what contributions they are making to development of a sustainable food system.
    Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group

  10. Kloppenburg, Jack, Doug Wubben, and Miriam Grunes. 2007. If You Serve It, Will They Come? Farm-to-School Lessons from the Wisconsin Homegrown Lunch Project. Madison, WI: Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.
    URL: [Accessed 6/9/2011]

    Abstract: We use the experience of the Wisconsin Homegrown Lunch Project, a farm-to-school project in Madison, Wisconsin, as a lens through which to identify structural challenges faced by all farm-to-school initiatives and examine a variety of key tactical issues that are likely to be confronted during their implementation. We confirm that these initiatives can facilitate the acceptance and consumption of fresh vegetables by elementary school children. However, we find that the possibilities for connecting the land and the lunchroom are seriously constrained by the structure of most existing school lunch programs. These constraints include the overarching food culture, the quasi-privatized character of most school food services, the degree of industrialization of many school food services, issues of price, procurement and supply, and the need for processing.

K-12 – Northeast

(Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.)

  1. Bagdonis, J. M. 2007. Perceptions and Organization of Emerging Farm-to-School Programming in Rural and Urban Pennsylvania Settings. Unpublished M.S. Thesis. Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.

  2. Bagdonis, J. M., C. C. Hinrichs, and K. A. Schafft. 2009. "The Emergence and Framing of Farm-to-School Initiatives: Civic Engagement, Health and Local Agriculture." Agriculture and Human Values. 26 (1-2): 107-119.
    NAL Call Number: HT401.A36
    URL: [Accessed 6/9/2011]

    Abstract: Interest in and initiation of farm-to-school (FTS) programs have increased in recent years, spurred on by converging public concerns about child obesity trends and risks associated with industrialization and distancing in the modern food system. A civic agriculture framework that more specifically considers civic engagement and problem solving offers insights about variations in the development and prospects for FTS programs. Drawing on comparative case studies of two emerging FTS initiatives in Pennsylvania, one in a rural setting and one in an urban setting, this article examines the role of internal and external champions in launching FTS programs and fostering civic engagement. Farm-to-school community stakeholders across the two cases framed FTS in broadly similar terms of (1) redressing poor food environments; (2) improving student nutrition, health and well-being; and (3) revitalizing rural community through support of local agriculture. However, specific concerns and emphases differed across the rural and urban cases, illustrating the significance of local context for such programs. The article concludes by discussing the importance of frame bridging and extension as strategies for expanding the FTS movement, and also ensuring programs that correspond to the specific circumstances and possibilities of their social and geographic settings.
    Copyright © Springer Science+Business Media

  3. Food Works, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, and Shelburne Farms. 2004. Analysis of School Food and Local Purchasing in Vermont Schools, 2003-2004.  Richmond, VT: Vermont FEED: Food Education Every Day.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: This report is a first attempt to quantify current, and potential, local food purchasing by schools in Vermont during the 2003-2004 school year. A literature review and situational analysis of other economic analyses of school food purchasing nationwide was undertaken in the beginning of this report. This will provide a context for this Vermont local purchasing analysis. The micro-analysis of the study group (ten schools and the largest Vermont school district with nine schools), offered an opportunity to, in detail, analyze the purchasing of fresh produce during the 2003-2004 school year. A macro-analysis was accomplished through interviewing distributors which currently deliver to Vermont schools.

  4. Geraci, A. 2009. "Good Food in the City." Educational Leadership. 67 (4): 12-16.
    Good-Food-in-the-City.aspx [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: The author discusses his efforts to bring nutritious food to the Baltimore, Maryland Public Schools' lunch program. He notes that when he started, some students had never eaten a fresh peach. He notes the brilliance of the McDonald's company food delivery system and says school programs adopted the methods in the 1970s but nutrition suffered. He says the program is not working for children and that he is moving the Baltimore schools to a vertically integrated model which sees good food as learning opportunities. Challenges include lack of full kitchens in many schools. He negotiated a contract to supply only locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, which will mean local taxpayer money will stay within the state. He has partnered with professional sports teams to promote healthy eating.
    Copyright © ASCD

  5. Grace, Christina. 2010. New York State Farm to School 2009 Food Service Director’s Survey Highlights. [Albany, NY]: New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Urban Food Systems Program.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: This presentation summarizes the results of the 2009 Food Service Director’s Survey to determine extent of New York’s farm to school activity, assess interest in farm to school, and identify opportunities, barriers and year-to-year changes.

  6. Hinrichs, Claire C. and Kai Schafft. 2008. Farm to School Programs in Pennsylvania.  Harrisburg, PA: Center for Rural Pennsylvania. 16 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: Farm to school (FTS) programs aim to increase the supply of fresh, locally grown farm products served for meals and snacks in K-12 school environments, and tend to incorporate educational and experiential components designed to increase students' understanding of and engagement with agriculture, nutrition, and health. The rising interest in and exploration of farm to school programs in the U.S., and Pennsylvania, is directly related to the convergence of recent trends facing agricultural producers and food consumers. Through quantitative and qualitative research and outreach efforts, this research documents the current forms, organization and policy needs of farm to school efforts in Pennsylvania. A primary goal of the research was to generate specific Pennsylvania-relevant information that can be incorporated into a "show-to guide" to support school administrators, agricultural producers and other stakeholders seeking either to initiate or enhance farm to school programs. This report summarizes research conducted in 2007, including a survey of food service directors at the 501 public school districts in Pennsylvania, and a follow-up set of mini case studies conducted in seven school districts in rural and urban regions of the state. Findings indicate that many food service directors engage in local food purchasing and support educational efforts focused on health and nutrition, agriculture and the food system. However, many were not aware that these activities are considered components of a farm to school program. Furthermore, there is evidence that food service directors are interested in expanding local food procurement and educational efforts. Case study data further show how school districts' FTS efforts reflect local needs, resources and constraints. This suggests that FTS may be better thought of, not as a relatively coherent and prescriptive set of activities, but as a broad and flexible portfolio of possible efforts from which school district and community stakeholders may draw to best meet local needs. This report concludes with specific policy considerations that may both directly and indirectly enhance institutional conditions favorable to local level procurement and educational FTS activity. Within these considerations, other states are identified, including Oklahoma, Connecticut and Maryland that have recently created statewide infrastructure support for FTS. This support, which could involve the establishment of a statewide coordinator, would assist individual schools and districts in learning about, initiating and sustaining successful FTS efforts.

  7. Hughes, L. J. 2007. "Creating a Farm and Food Learning Box Curriculum for Preschool-aged Children and Their Families." Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.  39 (3): 171-172.
    NAL Call Number: TX341 J6
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: The article focuses on Rutgers Cooperative Extension's "From Our Farms" agriculture and nutrition education program for preschool children and their families in New Jersey. According to the article, the program teaches participants about locally grown food and encourages participants to make healthier food choices. The curriculum includes activities such as family cooking classes and visits to farm stands. The article discusses "From Our Farms" learning boxes, health behavior changes in participants, and plans to expand the program statewide.
    Copyright © Elsevier, Inc.

  8. The Food Trust. 2007. Kindergarten Initiative Evaluation Report. Philadelphia, PA: The Food Trust. 38 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/6/2011]

    Abstract: The Kindergarten Initiative has proven to be an effective program for educating children and families about healthy eating and the source of our food. The success of the Initiative is captured in the 2006 Kindergarten Initiative Evaluation Report.

  9. Wheeler, E. 1996. Farm to School Food Education Project. SARE Research and Education Project: Northeast Region, Project LNE96-065. [College Park, MD]: U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.
    NAL Call Number: S441.S855 LNE96-065
    URL: [Accessed 6/3/2011]

    Abstract: The Hartford Food System coordinated a team-led program from September 1996 through December 1997 to expand the increased use of Connecticut-grown and low-input produced fruits and vegetables served in the lunch program in four City of Hartford Public Schools. The project was carried out in cooperation with the Hartford Board of Education Food Service Program to maximize the use of local produce and to increase the staff’s capacity to prepare the produce for school lunches. A food education curriculum linked to the CT-grown produce used in the cafeteria was developed with participating teachers. The project worked with area farmers, produce brokers and a produce fresh-cut processor to address supply and distribution issues. Team members include professionals from the Connecticut State Department of Agriculture and the Cooperative Extension Service, local farmers, culinary professionals, nutritionists, educators, and the Connecticut Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farmers’ Association (NOFA/CT).

  10. Wilkins, Jennifer, Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman, Meredith Graham, Betsey Bacelli, and Martha Goodsell. 2007. Farm to School in the Northeast: Making the Connection for Healthy Kids and Healthy Farms: A Toolkit for Extension Educators and other Community Leaders. Cornell Farm to School Program, NY Farms!, and the New York School Nutrition Association. 195 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: Farm-to-school initiatives are in development not only in New York State but also regionally and nationally as educators design long-term action plans for enhanced food systems literacy, agricultural vitality, and societal health. This guide supports these efforts and has been developed to assure success in beginning and continuing farm to cafeteria programs. One of the strengths of Farm to School in the Northeast is that the intended audience is Cooperative Extension Educators. These professionals are based in counties throughout the Northeast, with expertise in food and agriculture, nutrition, health, and education. With access to research-based information from the region’s Land Grant institutions and well-established regional and community-based partnerships, Cooperative Extension Educators are well-positioned to connect school districts and colleges with local and regional farmers, food processors, and distributors. This toolkit will increase the capacity of these educators to facilitate additional development of farm to cafeteria programs.

K-12 - Southern

(Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands)

  1. Brockhouse, B. and B. Pleasant. 2009. "Ripe Time Delivery: Carolina Growers Form Co-op to Supply Farm-to-School Market." Rural Cooperatives. 76 (4): 14-16.
    NAL Call Number: aHD1491.U6R87
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: North Carolina has 2,513 elementary and secondary schools with 1.44 million students. That's a lot of hungry mouths to feed. These schools are increasingly turning to North Carolina produce growers for a wide variety of nutritious, freshest-possible foods, such as watermelon, broccoli and cabbage. The farm-to-school program in North Carolina originated in 1997 through a partnership between the U.S. Department of Defense and the Markets and Food Distribution Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDAandCS). The first effort involved supplying apples to schools in western North Carolina. The initial success resulted in the program expanding throughout the state, with participation growing every year.

  2. Florida Department of Education. [2010?] Florida Farm-to-School: Shortening the Distance: Implementation Handbook. Florida Department of Education, Food and Nutrition Management Program. 69 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/6/2011]

    Abstract: This handbook is designed to be a reference and informational guide to assist in developing and implementing a farm-to-school program. It contains information, resources, and advice that will help start or expand an already existing program.

  3. Georgia Department of Education. 2009. Farm-to-School: Shortening the Distance: Implementation Handbook. [Atlanta, GA]: Georgia Department of Education, School Nutrition Program. Report.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: This handbook is designed to be a reference and informational guide to assist in developing and implementing a farm-to-school program. It contains information, resources, and advice that will help start or expand an already existing program.

  4. Georgia Organics. "Farm to School Program Film." Produced and directed by Anthony Masterson. Anthony Masterson Films. 2009. 14:30 mins. Video.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: The video captures images of the Georgia Organics Farm-to-School Program in action and includes interviews with program managers, school administrators, educators, food service professionals, parents, and students. It focuses on the impact of the program in the classroom, the cafeteria, cooking and the community.

  5. McDermott, Maura and Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture. 2006. The Oklahoma Food Connection 2006: A Directory of Agricultural Producers, Crops, and Institutional Buyers. Poteau, OK: Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture. vi, 53 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: Addressing a demand for local food in Oklahoma, this directory lists farmers, where they are located, and what they produce. Consumers and public institutions wanting to buy locally may wish to contact farmers in their area. This publication also lists schools that have expressed interest in buying local produce.

  6. Schofer, Daniel, Glyen Holmes, Vonda Richardson, Charles Connerly, and United States Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Marketing Service. 2000. Innovative Marketing Opportunities for Small Farmers: Local Schools as Customers. [Washington, D.C.]: United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service. ix, 51 p.
    NAL Call Number: aHD9005.T76 2000
    wdmgeninfo [Accessed 6/6/2011]

    Abstract: Describes the formation and marketing strategies of the New North Florida Cooperative and its development of a farm-to-school program.

  7. Vo, A. N. 2003. Oklahoma Farm-To-School Economic Viability and Efficiency. Unpublished Masters Thesis. Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO.

    Abstract: Farm-to-School (FTS), the nascent food program has several difficulties with its implementation. Two particular issues addressed in this thesis are program adoption and distribution of FTS commodities. Data from a survey sent to Oklahoma school districts are analyzed using a logistic model, predicting probability of program participation according to school district characteristics including district size, food budgets, food distributors, campus policy, and percentage of free and reduced meals available. As district size and food budget allocated to fresh fruits and vegetables increases, so does probability of program participation. Distributors used for produce is also linked to program adoption. A transportation cost template was created to calculate operation cost per mile, operation cost per trip, distribution cost per unit, and the farm gate margin. Template costs and the results of the logit model provide data to assist food service personnel and policy makers in finding school systems likely to adopt the program and determining an efficient distribution method.

K-12 – Western

(Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Micronesia, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Utah, Wyoming, American Samoa, Oregon, Washington)

  1. Abernethy Elementary, Portland Public Schools Nutrition Services, Injury Free Coalition for Kids, and Ecotrust. 2006. New on the Menu: Districtwide Changes to School Food Start in the Kitchen at Portland's Abernethy Elementary. Portland, OR: Ecotrust. 16 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: This report summarizes one year of growing and cooking meals on-site at Abernethy Elementary in Southeast Portland during the 2005-2006 school year. It also describes what happened beyond the cafeteria, for the cooking at Abernethy was supported by a broader, integrated approach to student wellness.

  2. Adair, Tonya, April Burris, Lacey Kleespie, Dan Moore, Mike Moran, Vena Rainwater, Anna Rossinoff, and Ethan Young. 2005. The Spork Report: Increasing the Supply and Consumption of Local Foods in Portland Schools. Portland, OR: Portland Multnomah Food Policy Council. 73 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: This report is the result of a research project conducted in support of the Portland Multnomah Food Policy Council (FPC) by a team of Portland State University students. The initial research goal was to look at the feasibility and strategies for Portland Public Schools to increase the level of local food purchasing by the nutrition services program, and making recommendations to the Food Policy Council. The research conducted examined both the logistics involved in increasing purchasing of locally produced foods, and an examination of existing program literature directed at increasing demand among students of locally produced and nutritionally dense foods.

  3. Brillinger, Renata, Jeri Ohmart, and Gail Feenstra. 2003. The Crunch Lunch Manual: A Case Study of the Davis Joint Unified School District Farmers Market Salad Bar Pilot Program and A Fiscal Analysis Model. Davis, CA: University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. 61 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: This manual provides an overview of the lessons learned during the operation of a "Farmers Market" salad bar program, featuring locally-sourced, seasonal fruits and vegetables, option, at selected schools in the Davis, CA Joint Unified School District over a two-year period. Designed to help school foodservice personnel and other key community stakeholders develop their own school-based "Farmers Market" salad bar programs, the manual focuses on the incremental steps involved in incorporating locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables into school foodservice menus. The first three chapters of the manual examine the 33 specific requirements of salad bar programs at each stage of development, including the start-up phase of program planning, fundraising and organization, the intermediate phase of program implementation, and the final phase of program expansion/institutionalization. Readers are also offered tools for assessing the "readiness" of school district participation in a farm-to-school program, and detailed guidance on how to assess the financial viability of a planned or ongoing salad bar program by generating profit/loss statements and calculating "breakeven" points for program operations. The manual concludes with a listing of resources for farm-to-school programs and food policy.

  4. California Department of Education. 2006. Taking Action for Healthy School Environments: Linking Education, Activity, and Food in California Secondary Schools. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Education, Nutrition Services Division. 78 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: Through case studies featuring 18 California school districts, particularly secondary schools, Taking Action for Healthy School Environments illustrates promising practices and provides recommendations for action in four areas that can improve student health, and thus academic potential, through policy and environmental change.

  5. Cooper, A. and L. M. Holmes. 2008. "Lunch Lessons." Mothering. (149): 68-74.

    Abstract: When Ann Cooper and Lisa Holmes did research for their 1999 book Bitter Harvest: A Chef's Perspective on the Hidden Danger in the Foods We Eat and What You Can Do About It, they were "shocked to learn" that agribusiness controls 90% of the nation's food supply and "how little most Americans know about how the food they consume is produced and processed." Children are the ones most strongly impacted by the chemicals used to produce and process food. They eat more food proportionately than adults, but they're also the ones most easily influenced to change their thinking about food ... if children could be educated from the start to make better food choices, they would carry these "lunch lessons" well into adulthood. Ann transformed the lunch program at the Ross School, by hiring professionally trained chefs, redesigning the dining area, and expanding the menu to include regional, seasonal food that is sustainably and organically grown. Alice Waters brought such changes to public schools with her Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, California. She and her staff produce and serve nutritious food and implement a hands-on cooking and gardening curricula to teach children to grow, prepare and eat nourishing sustainable grown food. Challenges to getting fresh, locally grown foods into schools include lack of food service training, inadequate kitchen facilities, and not enough funding. Another need is for marketing healthy foods to children.
    Copyright © Mothering Magazine

  6. Durfey, A. 2009. From Farms to Schools Fundraiser: 2009 Final Report. [Montana]: Hopa Mountain, Gallatin Valley Farm to School. 16 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: Elementary students peddling lentils and winter squash door to door? Third-graders advocating for the benefits of eating locally-produced food? Such scenes became reality as six area elementary schools participated in the 2009 From Farms to Schools Fundraising Program. Gallatin Valley Farm to School administered the second annual offering of this "alternative school fundraising program" and, while doing so, addressed the Gallatin Valley's desire to support Montana farmers, help local schools, and purchase beautiful holiday gifts for friends and family. The fundraising program was a great success with total sales of $37,700 - forty percent of which goes to support school programs. This report provides the resources, tools, and information used in the fundraiser. Gallatin Valley Farm to School along with Montana Team Nutrition, encourages others to use this model as a healthier alternative to school fundraising.

  7. Farm to Table, Inc. and New Mexico State University. "Farm to School: Our Children's Health, Our Community's Future." New Mexico State University: [Las Cruces, N.M.?] 2007. 24 min. 1 videodisc.
    NAL Call Number: DVD no. 289
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: Farm to School programs are popping up all over the country- there are now over 1,000 programs in 35 states. Perhaps there is one in your community. In this DVD we explore how school districts, parents, communities, and non-profit organizations are working for change in the health of our children by connecting them with the sources of their food. It is easy to feel alarmed by the increased incidence of overweight and nutrition-related diseases such as diabetes in children at younger and younger ages. As we follow the journey that an apple takes from a Northern New Mexico orchard into the mouth of a child in a city school, we can see that there is hope for a better diet, healthier food choices, and longer lives for children all around our country.

  8. Flock, Paul, Cheryl Petra, Vanessa Ruddy, and Joseph Peterangelo. 2003. A Salad Bar Featuring Organic Choices: Revitalizing the School Nutrition Program.  Olympia, WA: Olympis School District. 11 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: This case study of Olympia School District's Organic Choices Program reviews a pilot program with five elementary schools to add organic salad bars and locally grown produce to their menus.

  9. Haase, M. A., A. Azuma, R. Gottlieb, and M. Vallianatos. 2004. Fresh from the Farm and into the Classroom: A Los Angeles Unified School District Pilot Program. [Los Angeles, CA]: Occidental College, Center for Food and Justice, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: During the 2002-2003 school year, thousands of students in more than 990 classrooms at 41 different Los Angeles Unified School District school sites had the opportunity to taste and learn about farm fresh produce grown in Southern California and brought directly into the classroom. These activities were part of an educational program seeking to integrate health and nutrition, agriculture and the environment. Utilizing a model called Community Supported Agriculture that ties consumers directly to a local or regional farm, this LAUSD program, entitled the "Fresh From the Farm Pilot Project," has been able to establish a direct connection between the classroom and a Southern California organic farm. The result is a unique, hands-on learning experience for the students, as well as increased income for local, organic agriculture.

  10. Idaho State Department of Education and Idaho State Department of Agriculture. [2010]. The Idaho Farm to School Manual. [Boise, ID]: Idaho State Department of Education, Child Nutrition Programs; Idaho State Department of Agriculture, Idaho Preferred® Program. Report.
    URL: [Accessed 6/9/2011]

    Abstract: The goal of the Idaho Farm to School Program is to support healthy children, healthy schools, healthy farms, and healthy communities. Key components of the Idaho Farm to School Program include: fresh, locally grown and produced products served in school meals and snacks; educating students about nutrition and agriculture; teaching nutrition and other curriculum through school gardens; Idaho Healthy Foods Fundraiser; farmer visits/farm tours; Ag in the Classroom teacher trainings; and Healthy Harvest celebrations.

  11. Joshi, Anupama and Moira Beery. 2007. A Growing Movement: A Decade of Farm to School in California. Los Angeles, CA: Occidental College, The Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, Center for Food and Justice. vii, 33 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: This report tells the story of work undertaken by farm to school proponents in California to understand and address barriers to farm to school and of work within the system to promote and expand this exciting program statewide. The report also highlights tools and techniques employed to better understand and evaluate the model, as well as the most up-to-date information on farm to school programs in the state, including distribution strategies, impact evaluation data, innovative educational programs, and policy opportunities. Additionally, the report provides lessons and ideas for expanding the program to many more schools in California and will serve as a benchmark for the status of the California Farm to School Program in 2007.

  12. Kane, D. 2008. What's for Lunch? A Review of School Food and Garden-based Education in the United States using Portland as a Model for Change. [Portland, OR]: Ecotrust. ii, 16 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: On April 13, 2008 Ecotrust and the Portland Culinary Alliance hosted a community conversation about school food and garden-based learning opportunities in Oregon. On April 17, 2008 the Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington hosted a conversation on sustainable agriculture in general, which included the topic of school food. This document summarizes the presentation made by Deborah Kane at both events.

  13. Lappe, A. 2006. "Doing Lunch: Ann Cooper Serves Up a New Vision of School Food." The Nation. 283 (7): 35-36.
    URL: [Accessed 6/9/2011]

    Abstract: Part of a special section on food. In an interview, Ann Cooper, a chef who in October 2005 became director of nutrition services for the Berkeley, California, Unified School District, and whose book Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children is out in September 2006, discusses topics such as the changes that she has introduced as head of nutrition services for the City of Berkeley's public schools and what it will take to transform the entire school food program in the United States.
    Copyright © The Nation

  14. Mascarenhas, Michelle and Robert Gottlieb. 2001. The Farmer's Market Salad Bar: Assessing the First Three Years of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Program.  [Venice, CA]: Community Food Security Coalition. 24 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: The Occidental College for Food and Justice initiated the Farmers' Market Salad Bar, three year pilot program at the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District designed to increase student consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and to link the school lunch program to community food security, and nutrition education objectives. Over the three pilot years, the program was implemented in nine elementary schools and two middle schools in California. The program was successful in changing the school nutrition behavior of students, who, on average, were three times more likely to choose the salad bar option than in the previous year. This booklet has some preliminary data on cost of this program and describes the potential for such a program as well as problems encountered.

  15. Parker, Hester, Luis Miguel Sierra, and Keith Vandevere. 2003. Smart Food: An Assessment of Farm-to-School Opportunities for Schools and the Schoolchildren of Monterey County. Report No. WI-2003-10. Seaside, CA: Watershed Institute, California State University Monterey Bay. 40 pp.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: Recognizing the need to improve food and nutrition quality at local schools and the potential for directly linking local farmers and their produce to local school children, the Watershed Institute at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), has researched existing Farm-to-School programs in other parts of the state and nation and has conducted an assessment of the feasibility of implementing Farm-to-School programs in the school districts of Monterey County. This report presents the findings of that investigation and identifies strategies for implementing strong pilot programs in selected school districts.

  16. Purvis, Jimmy and Farm to Table (Program). 2007. New Mexico Farm to School Directory 2007: A Directory of Farmers, Crops and Food Service Directors. Santa Fe, NM: Farm to Table, New Mexico Dept. of Agriculture. 66 p.: ill., map; 28 cm.
    NAL Call Number: TX945.2.P87 2007
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: This New Mexico Farm to School Directory seeks to expand the ways in which New Mexico schools and farmers can partner together in order to mutually benefit each other, with local food supplying the needs of local citizens. Markets created by school feeding and nutrition programs, which will always exist, represent the most stable markets for New Mexico’s small and mid-sized farmers. Opening these markets to local farmers will lead to a healthier farm economy, while at the same time leading to healthier eating habits and healthier children. This directory also includes information about Farm to Table's 2007 Survey of New Mexico Food Service Directors.

  17. Purvis, Jimmy and New Mexico. Dept. of Agriculture. Farm to Table (Program). 2007. Healthy Kids, Healthy Economy: Farm to School Programs in New Mexico. Santa Fe, NM: Farm to Table: New Mexico Dept. of Agriculture. 34 p.
    NAL Call Number: TX945.2.P873 2007
    URL: [Accessed 6/9/2011]

    Abstract: This compilation is the result of a collaborative effort between the New Mexico Department of Agriculture, Farm to Table, the Congressional Hunger Center, and New Mexico farmers. This group has been involved in developing markets for New Mexico farmers with the public schools since 1997, first as a pilot program in the Santa Fe Public Schools, then expanding into the Taos and Albuquerque school districts. Since that time, sales of local produce to schools in the state have grown from $12,000 in 1997 to over $400,000 in 2006. Products have ranged from apples, peaches, and pears to mixed salad greens and other vegetables. It is expected that sales to the public schools will continue to increase, and provide an increasingly important market and sales opportunity for our local farms.

  18. San Francisco Food Systems. 2004. Farm-to-School: Resource Guide: A Guide for Teachers and Administrators in San Francisco Unified School District. [San Francisco, CA]: San Francisco Food Systems. 4 p.

    Abstract: This guide provides an introduction to Farm-to-School and the food system, and lists of food system curricula, regional field trip sites, local farmers’ markets, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs.

  19. San Francisco Food Systems, L. Rimkus, P. Jones, and F. Ona. 2004. San Francisco Farm-to-School Report: Results from the 2003 Feasibility Study. [San Francisco, CA]: San Francisco Food Systems.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: For the past two years, San Francisco Food Systems has examined pathways to improving regional self-sufficiency in agriculture by investigating and identifying opportunities that allow the City and County of San Francisco to buy and promote regional agriculture. In addition to this, San Francisco Food Systems has explored ways that the City and County can increase local residents’ utilization of government food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and the National School Lunch Program. Our farm-to-school project combines these goals and works to understand how we can open urban markets for small and medium sized local farmers and bolster the school meals programs through institutional purchasing of local agricultural products by San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD). These efforts reflect our commitment to promoting and reinforcing local food systems and regional agriculture by actively increasing the public’s understanding of food systems issues and making explicit the ways in which health, economics and a sustainable environment come together to support and maintain ecologically sound agricultural practices and improve the health and well being of communities. This report reflects San Francisco Food Systems’ work for the past year in understanding the feasibility of implementing a farm-to-school program within SFUSD.

  20. Sanger, Kelli and Leslie Zenz. 2003. Farm-to-cafeteria Connections: Marketing Opportunities for Small Farms in Washington State. Report No. 200-102. [Olympia, Wash.]: Washington State Dept. of Agriculture, Small Farm and Direct Marketing Program. vii, 87 p.
    NAL Call Number: HD9000.9.U6.W27 2003
    URL: [Accessed 6/9/2011]

    Abstract: Describes programs that promote and service locally produced foods in cafeterias of K-12 schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, nursing homes, business, and other institutions. Includes models, case studies and regulatory information.

  21. The California Endowment. "Thinking Outside the Lunchbox for Healthy School Food."  The California Endowment: Los Angeles, CA. 2008. 57:16 mins. Film.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: About 29 million children eat school lunches every day. The five foods those kids are most likely to see on their plates are pizza, chocolate chip cookies, corn, French fries or chicken nuggets, according to the American School Food Service Association. School food is a major part of many children's diets, and right now it's not doing their health many favors. A panel discussion (with Rodney Taylor, director of nutrition services at the Riverside Unified School District; Matt Sharp, director of the Los Angeles office of California Food Policy Advocates; Elizabeth Medrano, parent and community organizer for the Healthy School Food Coalition; and moderator Moira Berry, program manager of the Farm to Institution project at the Center for Food and Justice) examined innovative ways to transform the school food system.

  22. Vogt, R. A. and L. L. Kaiser. 2006. "Perceived Barriers and Proposed Solutions to Farm-to-School Programs in California." Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 38 (4, Supplement 1): S50.
    NAL Call Number: TX341 .J6
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: Using locally grown fruits and vegetables in school meals through Farm-to- School programs is an ideal and sustainable way to improve student health and support farmers. The purpose of this study was to examine the issues faced by farms and schools interested in this purchasing method. Interview and survey data were collected from Food Service Directors (FSDs) (n = 38) and farmers (n = 8) in 23 California counties. Approximately half of the FSDs surveyed purchased food directly from farms. Factors that motivate FSDs to buy locally were: access to fresher food (n = 18); support local economy/community (n = 18); help California farms/businesses (n = 18); good public relations (n = 15); and higher food quality (n = 12). Barriers in purchasing local produce were cost (n = 20); vendor and delivery considerations (n = 18); inconvenience of multiple invoicing (n = 15); knowledge of local producers (n = 14); produce seasonality (n = 13); and equipment/facilities needs (n = 12). Farmers who have supplied produce to schools report infrequent and low quantity orders and need more reliable patronage to participate in the program. Stakeholders proposed the following steps are needed for greater Farm-to-School program viability: start programs in districts with parental support; design simple menus with advanced commitment to buy local and seasonal produce; hire coordinators familiar with produce market and buyer and grower needs; forge agreements between growers and districts to build trust; fund equipment and educational aides; use student help to alleviate staffing burden; create a grower directory with product and delivery information; form local growers co-ops; facilitate conversations about cost, centralization, and distribution; and hold joint meetings with professional associations.
    Copyright © Elsevier, Inc.

  23. Wang, May, Suzanne Rauzon, Natalie Studer, and Pat Crawford. 2010. Changing Students’ Knowledge, Attitudes and Behavior in Relation to Food: An Evaluation of the School Lunch Initiative. Berkeley, CA: University of California at Berkeley, Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health and the Chez Panisse Foundation.
    URL: [Accessed 6/10/2011]

    Abstract: The dramatic rise of childhood obesity and food-related environmental concerns has led to a focus on school food both in terms of the quality of meals served and the state of teaching and learning about food systems, food choices, and their impact on health, the environment, and other issues. A growing number of schools around the country have installed school gardens and attempted to change the quality of school lunches, but many of these efforts have been poorly integrated with teaching and learning. This report examined the results of one of the first comprehensive programs in the nation, located in Berkeley, California. A collaboration among the Chez Panisse Foundation, Center for Ecoliteracy, and Berkeley Unified School District, the School Lunch Initiative was based on the hypothesis that if young people are involved in growing, cooking, and sharing fresh, healthy food while learning about it in the curriculum, they will be more likely to develop lifelong healthy eating habits and values consistent with sustainable living.

  24. Woodward-Lopez, Gail and Karen Webb. 2008. Evaluation of the California Fresh Start Program: Report of Findings. [Hayward, CA]: California Healthy Kids Resource Center. 58 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/9/2011]

    Abstract: In 2005, California enacted Senate Bill 281, which established the California Fresh Start Program (CFSP), in order to encourage and support schools to provide additional portions of fruit and vegetables in the School Breakfast Program (SBP). In 2006-07, an extensive evaluation of the implementation of the CFSP in 69 diverse schools was conducted, the findings of which are detailed in this report. Evaluation data collected from schools included demographics, school breakfast participation rates, breakfast menu production records and invoices, site observation data, and survey and interview data from students and school Child Nutrition Directors.

Back to Top

Farm to School at Other Institutions

Materials in this section focus on Farm to institution efforts (colleges/universities and hospitals) through the institutional cafeteria’s direct purchase from farmers, or bringing farmers markets or community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs to hospitals. Most of the publications in the section comprise popular media articles or informally published reports with a few articles from scientific peer-reviewed journals.

Farm to college reports typically focus on the opportunities and challenges to bringing local food on college campuses, and discuss the possible opportunities for educating college students, as the next generation of consumers, about the importance of purchasing and eating local food. Farm to hospital reports are more likely to highlight the direct link between food and health. A few of the pieces examine institutions as new markets for small farmers, hence highlighting the potential of using sales to local institutions as a rural development strategy (the most direct example is Hardesty, 2008).

More systematic and peer-reviewed publications are needed in Farm to institution research, focusing on the nutritional aspects of farm to college/hospitals, as well as whether selling to local institutions may be a viable rural development strategy.

  1. Beery, M. and K. Markley. "Farm to Hospital: Supporting Local Agriculture and Improving Health Care."  2007. Occidental College, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, Center for Food and Justice. 6 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This brochure introduces interested farmers and hospital food service departments to the ins and outs of developing partnerships between hospitals and local farms. Included are examples of ways hospitals can improve the food they offer, issues for farmers to consider if they are interested in selling products to area hospitals, and specific case studies of successful programs.

  2. Beery, Moira and Mark Vallianatos. 2004. Farm to Hospital: Promoting Health and Supporting Local Agriculture. Los Angeles, CA: Occidental College, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, Center for Food and Justice.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This working paper discusses the opportunities and challenges involved in creating and enhancing farm-hospital connections. Drawing lessons from existing farm to hospital programs and a burgeoning farm to school movement, it provides a snapshot of current hospital food conditions and a vision of a healthier hospital food environment based, in part, on local, farm-fresh food.

  3. Bellows, Barbara C., Rex Dufour, and Janet Bachmann. 2003. Bringing Local Food to Local Institutions: A Resource Guide for Farm-to-School and Farm-to-Institution Programs.  ATTRA Publication, #IP242. Fayetteville, AR: ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This publication provides farmers, school administrators, and institutional food-service planners with contact information and descriptions of existing programs that have made connections between local farmers and local school lunchrooms, college dining halls, or cafeterias in other institutions. To help communities initiate similar programs, this publication includes resource lists of: 1) Publications on how to initiate and manage farm-to-school and farm-to-institution programs; 2) Sources of funding and technical assistance from government and non-government programs; and 3) Provisions within the 2002 Farm Bill supporting implementation of farm-to-school and other community food programs.

  4. Biemiller, L. 2005. "Fresh From the Farm." Chronicle of Higher Education. 52 (14): 36-38.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: The article reports that Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, which operates its own food service, is one of a small but growing number of colleges working to buy more of their food from local farmers and manufacturers, rather than through regional or national distributors. Food can be purchased from farmers the chefs know and can visit - farmers who can be asked whether they use pesticides or growth hormones, and how they care for animals. Food can be transported without wasting energy, and it arrives in campus kitchens still fresh and flavorful.
    Copyright © The Chronicle of Higher Education

  5. Blesch, G. 2009. "Fresh Approach." Modern Healthcare. 39 (44): 28.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: The article reports on the practice of hospitals in Wisconsin to buy fresh produce at local co-operatives (co-ops). It relates how local farmer Darrel Lorch started supplying fresh produce to hospitals, nursing homes and schools in the state. Details of how Rick Beckler, director of Sacred Heart Hospitality Services, established a partnership with local growers in Wisconsin are given. The benefits of the practice to local growers and hospitals are noted.
    Copyright © Crain Communications, Inc.

  6. Buck, M. 2007. Guide to Developing a Sustainable Food Purchasing Policy. Portland, OR: Food Alliance. 16 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: The guide is intended to help universities, colleges, hospitals, and other institutions - as well as those advocating for food system change - create, promote and implement practical sustainable food purchasing policies.

  7. Carlson, S. 2008. "Colleges Chew on Local-Food Phenomenon." Chronicle of Higher Education. 55 (5): A14-A12.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

  8. Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. 2001. Dishing Up Local Food on Wisconsin Campuses. Research Brief, 55. [Madison, WI]: University of Wisconsin-Madison. College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. 4 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Report on interviews conducted with food service directors at 34 colleges and universities in Wisconsin to learn more about their potential as local food buyers.

  9. Chen, C. J., S. Arendt, and M. B. Gregoire. 2010. "What Sustainable Practices Exist in College and University Dining Services?" The Journal of Foodservice Management and Education. 4 (1).
    URL: [Accessed 6/6/2011]

    Abstract: College and university dining services administrators (CUDSAs) were surveyed using a web-based questionnaire to determine sustainable practices in their operations. Results from 138 CUDSAs (26.4% response) indicated that the most frequently used sustainable practices included: recycling of fats, oils, grease, cardboard, white paper, aluminum, and newspaper; and use of recycled products such as napkins. Adoption and serving locally grown food is one of the sustainability practices measured. CUDSAs reported that students, university administrators, and customers influenced their sustainable decisions, and they were satisfied with their sustainability decisions, but not with their resources. CUDSAs at private schools had implemented more practices and were more satisfied than were CUDSAs at public institutions. These results provide CUDSAs information about what other CUDSAs are currently doing, including local food purchasing, and suggest sustainable practice benchmarks for their operations in the future.
    Copyright © Foodservice Systems Management Education Council

  10. Cohen, Larry , Sherin Larijani, Manal Aboelata, and Leslie Mikkelsen. 2004. Cultivating Common Ground: Linking Health and Sustainable Agriculture. Oakland, CA: The Prevention Institute. 34 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: The goal of Cultivating Common Ground is to delineate opportunities for creating a synergistic movement between health and sustainable agriculture, in order to strengthen the momentum for a just, sustainable health-promoting food system. In particular, the project focused on how to engage health professionals as advocates for sustainable agriculture. A fundamental assumption of this project was that engaging the health sector as an advocacy force will make it possible to achieve far greater gains in transforming the food system. Cultivating Common Ground suggests a roadmap for collaboration by recommending strategies to build understanding and joint action between the fields. The authors hope that this analysis and these recommendations will help advance initiatives already underway and foster new efforts.

  11. Community Alliance With Family Farmers. 2008. Building Local Food Programs On College Campus: Tips for Dining Administrators, Family Farmers and Student Advocates. 20 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This guide provides tangible guidance on how to conceptualize, structure, and implement food programs that support local family farmers. It is designed for college administrators, food service directors, farmers, and student advocates. Insight on the broader array of sustainable food criteria – such as organic and humanely raised – are referenced in this guide, but content builds mostly on local sourcing.

  12. Hardesty, S. D. 2008. "The Growing Role of Local Food Markets." American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 90 (5): 1289-1295.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This paper assesses the prospects for marketing locally grown produce (LGP) to colleges, universities, and teaching hospitals in the USA. It examines the effects of transaction costs and institutional characteristics on the adoption of LGP buying programmes using survey data collected in 2007 from 99 foodservice managers at California colleges, universities, and teaching hospitals. The marginal effects indicated by a logit analysis reveal that colleges and teaching hospitals incur significant transaction costs and a price premium to have an LGP buying programme. They are less likely to consider year-round availability of key items and stable product prices to be important and more likely to have vendor approval requirements and more produce suppliers. These seemingly counterintuitive findings are attributable to attitudinal differences regarding environmental and social values among institutions. The paper concludes by considering some possible structural adjustments to facilitate the marketing of LGP to institutions.
    Copyright © Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

  13. Harvie, Jamie. 2008. Menu of Change: Healthy Food in Health Care: A Survey of Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge Hospitals. Arlington, VA: Health Care Without Harm. 36 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: The Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge is a framework that outlines steps to be taken by the health care industry to improve the health of patients, communities and the global environment. The pledge calls for an awareness that food production and distribution methods can have adverse impacts on public environmental health and a commitment to the goal of providing local, nutritious and sustainable food.

  14. Harvie, Jamie. 2006. Redefining Healthy Food: An Ecological Health Approach to Food Production, Distribution, and Procurement. Concord, CA: Arlington, VA: The Center for Health Design: Health Care Without Harm. ii, 25 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Discusses implication of food production on health and the need to include more locally produced food in healthcare systems.

  15. Health Care Without Harm. 2007. Farmers' Markets and CSAs on Hospital Grounds. Pub 8-04. Part of Going Green: A Resource Kit for Pollution Prevention in Health Care. Arlington, VA: Health Care Without Harm. 4 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Unhealthy diets and limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables adversely affect the health of many Americans. Precisely because they are important community and health institutions, hospitals and hospital systems are in a unique position to treat both diet-related illness and address their root causes. Increasingly, hospitals are demonstrating leadership in health promotion by hosting farmers’ markets, farm stands, and CSAs (community supported agriculture) on site as a way to make farm fresh, locally grown produce and other foods more readily available.

  16. Johnson, D. B. and G. W. Stevenson. 98. Something to Cheer About: National Trends and Prospects for Sustainable Agriculture Products in Food Service Operations of Colleges and Universities. Issue Brief. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. 38.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Anecdotal reports from producers, processors and marketers of sustainable agriculture products suggest that trade opportunities with college and university food services are difficult to establish and sustain. This study seeks to address the feasibility for sustained marketing relationships among sustainable farmers and institutions by investigating reports of successful trade relationships. The study provides market research information for producers, processors and marketers.

  17. Johnson, Douglas, Steve Stevenson, and Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. 99. New Markets for Producers: Selling To Colleges. Research Brief, 39. [Madison, WI]: University of Wisconsin-Madison, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This report, based on interviews with personnel from six U.S. colleges with significant local, sustainable food buying components, identifies opportunities and barriers facing producers who would like to market to colleges. While these institutions are trying to increase efficiency and meet budgetary and safety requirements, marketing opportunities do exist for producers of local, sustainably produced food, even within the largest and most structured food service departments. Institutional food buyers were more interested in buying locally produced foods that benefited their communities than they were in buying certified organic foods.

  18. Kulick, Marie. 2005. Healthy Food, Healthy Hospitals, Healthy Communities: Stories of Healthcare Leaders Bringing Fresher, Healthier Food Choices to their Patients, Staff and Communities. Minneapolis, MN: Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This report summarizes several farm-to-hospital case studies, highlighting hurdles to overcome and lessons learned. Many health care professionals, working at hospitals, nursing homes and cancer centers across the country, even the National Institutes of Health, were consulted. What we found were health care leaders passionate about bringing fresh, nutritious food to their patients, staff and surrounding communities, in large part by reconnecting with local foods systems and supporting healthier agricultural practices. Through leadership and the significant purchasing power of their facilities, they are bringing about change by hosting farmers markets and farm stands; by purchasing and serving food produced in ways that are healthier for humans and the environment; and by improving the quality of food in vending machines.

  19. Lappe, A. 2009. "Cafeteria Consciousness." The Nation. 289 (8): 27-29.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: In an article adapted from the book Diet for a Hot Planet,  the writer discusses the Real Food Challenge, a movement in which students who are concerned about global warming push for change in their dining halls. The idea is that students, some who pay as much as $100,000, or more, for four years at a private college, should have a voice in what food their schools serve, and that food should reflect shared values of fairness and sustainability. Schools that join the Real Food Challenge promise that by 2020, they will have shifted at least 20 percent of school food to "real food" meaning sustainably raised, grown with fairness, and from local and regional farms.
    Copyright © The Nation

  20. Markley, K. 2002. National Farm-to-College Research Report. Community Food Security Coalition.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This report compiles research in 2002 conducted by the Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC) on Farm-to-College programs. CFSC interviewed organizers (usually faculty members or students), college/university food service directors, and farmers and farmer owned cooperatives, involved with eighteen different farm to college projects around the country to determine the challenges, opportunities, and strategies for success of these projects. The report contains information on how these programs are started and operated, and recommendations for those interested in beginning their own programs.

  21. McDermott, Maura, Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and Food and Forestry Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. 2003. Oklahoma Farm-to-School Report: Including the Oklahoma Institutional Food Service Survey. Poteau, OK: Oklahoma Food Policy Council. v, 36 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: A survey of 638 public institutions (including colleges and universities, technology centers, prisons, state hospitals, and state resorts) indicated that food managers have a significant interest in using more locally-produced food in their food service programs. These managers also believe many perceived obstacles could be solved through education. The Oklahoma Food Policy Council outlines steps that may be used to increase the use of local foods by institutions while working to improve the access of people, especially school children, to healthy diets.

  22. Merrigan, K. A. and M. Bailey. 2008. "The Potential of Farm-To-College Programs." Nutrition Today. 43 (4): 160-165.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Colleges and universities across the United States are increasingly sourcing the food for their dining halls from local farms through farm-to-college (FTC) programs. Although participation in FTC programs may increase the visibility of the school to prospective students and parents, support the local economy, and introduce new options into campus eateries, FTC programs face a number of operational barriers. Inadequate student support, institutional procurement policies, and seasonality limit the reach of FTC efforts. This article discusses these barriers in detail through the perspective of New England higher education institutions and uses Tufts University as a case study in the challenges and potential for FTC programs to become mainstream in college and university food service.
    Copyright © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

  23. Murray, S. C. 2005. A Survey of Farm-to-College Programs: History, Characteristics and Student Involvement. Unpublished M.S. Thesis. University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Master’s thesis examining farm-to-college programs, with an emphasis on those at large public universities and on student involvement with programs, along with a discussion of how programs could become institutionalized. It includes case studies for five large public universities with farm-to-college programs, references, and survey and interview questions.

  24. Pirog, R. 2002. Institutional Buying Models and Local Food Markets: The Iowa Experience. [Ames, IA]: Iowa State University, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This paper provides a brief overview of several types of institutional food buying projects in Iowa, not all of which are farm to college. The author describes the most critical factors to make these systems work - both from the producer and food service director perspectives.

  25. Ross, N. J. 2005. "Bringing You Fresh Food from Local Farms and Our Garden: A College Class Designs a Program to Meet Peer and Institutional Needs." Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 37 (2): 102-103.
    NAL Call Number: TX341.J6
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: The efforts of students at Unity College, Maine, to ensure that more of the cafeteria food came from local farms and the college garden are described. A class in environmental advocacy used community-based social marketing to identify barriers to the serving of fresh, local food on campus and behaviors that needed to change to increase consumption. The class also looked at what specific goals should be set, how changes could be encouraged and maintained, and how accomplishments could be evaluated. As a result of their research, the job description for head student gardener was rewritten to focus on supplying the cafeteria, and a garden plan was organized around preferences of food service staff. The plan helped balance the budget and used food that would be easy to grow, handle, store, and prepare. The class also secured funding for a hothouse adequate to grow winter greens.
    Copyright © Elsevier, Inc.

  26. Ross, N. J., M. D. Anderson, J. P. Goldberg, R. Houser, and B. L. Rogers. 1999. "Trying and Buying Locally Grown Produce at the Workplace: Results of a Marketing Intervention." American Journal of Alternative Agriculture. 14: 171-179.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Although consumers have a high opinion of locally grown produce, they do not consider origin as important as other factors in produce selection. Inconvenience is a major barrier to purchasing local produce. In a rural community in Maine, the Farm Fresh Project tested an intervention designed to exploit consumers' high regard for locally grown produce and also overcome the inconvenience of buying it. Each week for six weeks in the summer of 1997, employees at three worksites were offered tastings of locally grown produce, information about the produce, and an opportunity to order it at their workplaces. Changes in purchases of locally grown produce were compared with changes among employees at three matched control worksites. More than a quarter of workers at intervention worksites ordered produce through the project. Significant numbers of employees at intervention worksites who had not bought locally grown produce earlier in the summer bought it at outlets in the community during the four weeks following the intervention. Visits to the community farmers' market, purchases at roadside stands, pick-your-own purchases, and purchases of locally grown produce, both overall and at locations other than at the farmers' market, increased significantly in the intervention group. Among workers at control sites, only roadside stand purchases increased significantly. It appears that the opportunity to taste and purchase locally grown produce at a convenient venue, the workplace, motivated consumers to overcome barriers to purchasing locally grown produce at less convenient venues outside of the workplace. Temporary farm stands at workplaces may offer a promising new direct market for farmers. This research is encouraging for possible farm-to-institution programs designed to introduce local foods into workplace cafeterias.
    Copyright© Cambridge University Press

  27. Sacks, H. L. 2008. "We Learn What We Eat: Putting Local Food on the Table and in the Curriculum." The Chronicle of Higher Education. 55 (13): A31-32 .
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Kenyon College has played a huge role in helping to preserve the viability of local farms in Knox County, Ohio. The college has done this partly by using locally produced foods in the college's dining facilities and partly by fostering demand for local food among Knox County residents.
    Copyright © The Chronicle of Higher Education

  28. Shufro, C. 2004. "Green Menus: College Campuses Opt for Sustainable Dining." E: The Environmental Magazine. 15 (4): 14-16.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Across the United States, college cafeterias are increasingly trying to bypass, at least in part, the corporate food industry. Sometimes in response to student demand and sometimes in keeping with institutional philosophies, a growing number of schools are reducing their use of pre-made foods and cooking whole, from scratch, incorporating local, organic, and seasonal foods into their menus. According to advocates of sustainable dining, the ripple effects from this trend can be far-reaching and transformative. They hope that re-creating local networks of food production and distribution will revive local economies, encourage farmers to grow foods responsibly, save farms and in the process reduce sprawl, enrich the curriculum, reduce the consumption of oil used for fertilizers and trucking, combat obesity, and restore meal time as the center of social life.
    Copyright © E/The Environmental Magazine

  29. Strohbehn, C. H. and M. B. Gregoire. 2005. "Applied Solutions: Local foods: From Farm to College and University Foodservice." The Journal of Foodservice Management and Education. 1.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Reasons college and university foodservice directors are considering purchasing food from local sources include declining numbers of family farms and increasing concerns about food safety as well as providing education to students about food production while providing nutritious meals. Results from a survey of college and university foodservice directors in an agriculture-based Midwestern state show support for purchasing from local sources, primarily to support regional economies, provide fresher and higher quality food, good public relations, availability of safer food and the ability to purchase smaller quantities. Obstacles identified were adequacy, seasonality and reliability of supply, cost, dealing with more vendors, and getting approval for new suppliers. An overview of farm to college and university foodservice projects around the country and a profile of this state’s college and university foodservice operations are presented.
    Copyright © Foodservice Systems Management Education Council

  30. Valen, G. 1992. "Hendrix College Local Food Project." New Directions for Higher Education. (77): 77-87.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Before the Hendrix Local Food Project started, over 90 percent of the food served on campus came from outside the state. Today, 30 percent comes from Arkansas and there are plans to reach 50 percent in three  years.
    Copyright © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  31. Wilkins, J. L., E. Bowdish, and J. Sobal. 2000. "University Student Perceptions of Seasonal and Local Foods." Journal of Nutrition Education. 32 (5): 261-268.
    NAL Call Number: TX341.J6
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: University students' conceptualization of "seasonal" and "local" in relation to food was investigated. A questionnaire was used to survey 166 undergraduate students from a nutrition and an economics class. Seventy-five percent of the students had heard of the terms, but only about 25 percent reported using them. Many meanings were attached to the concepts. Meanings concerned with food availability or production were the most common for seasonal food. Fewer meanings were identified for local food, with those having to do with where food is produced being the most common. Nearly all of the students could give an example of each food type, and nutrition students were more familiar with the concepts than were economics students. The results suggest that assessing and understanding how people define concepts such as these may be beneficial in developing and implementing effective food and nutrition education.
    Copyright © Elsevier, Inc.

  32. Yale Sustainable Food Project. 2008. Sustainable Food Purchasing Guide. New Haven, CT: Yale University. 40 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: In 2007, the Sustainable Food Project at Yale University received a SARE grant to write an expanded set of definitions for dining halls to use across the Northeast. They were published in the summer of 2008, and are a great tool for institutions considering making the transition to sustainable purchasing.

Back to Top

Farm to School How-To and other Resource Guides

Resources selected for this section are specifically written as guides for Farm to School stakeholders, including parents, farmers, school administrators and food services directors. The guides provide strategies for building the networks that can link local farms with schools, colleges and other institutions. Some documents (for example, Luedeman and Hamilton 2003) also highlight the potential legal issues farmers and institutions need to be aware of when developing local Farm to School contracts.

The guides are typically written by experienced Farm to School stakeholders or developed by local non-profit organizations. Much of the content is region- or state- specific, but might be used as a model for other areas.

  1. Bylander, A. and A. FitzSimons. 2008. Fresh from the Farm: Using Local Foods in the Afterschool and Summer Nutrition Programs. Washington, DC: Food Research and Action Center.
    URL: [Accessed 6/9/2011]

    Abstract: Food is an important part of any quality afterschool or summer program. It helps attract children to the program and ensures that they have the energy to fully participate in all of the educational and enrichment activities. The nutrition quality and appeal of the meals and snacks is crucial. One creative strategy to improve quality and appeal is to make local produce part of the meals and snacks, and Farm to School programs are one key strategy to do that. This guide outlines strategies and approaches for accessing local products such as working with an organization that is already using local produce, collaborating with the area food service director or operating the Farm to School program independently.

  2. Community Alliance With Family Farmers. 2009. Farm to School Field Guide for Food Service.   [Davis, California]: Community Alliance With Family Farmers. 8 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This "how-to" guide to Farm to School programs for food service professionals provides information, resources, and a step by step guide on initiating a Farm to School program or plugging into existing ones.

  3. Community Alliance With Family Farmers. 2009. Farm to School Field Guide for Parents and Community Members. [Davis, California]: Community Alliance With Family Farmers. 8 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This "how-to" guide to Farm to School programs for parents and community members provides information, resources, and a step by step guide on advocating for Farm to School programs.

  4. Community Food Security Coalition and Center for Food and Justice. Occidental College. 2004. Farmer Resource Guide: Managing Risk Through Sales to Educational Institutions. [Portland, OR]: Community Food Security Coalition.

    Abstract: An extensive compilation of resources that addresses the many different issues within farm to institutional purchasing projects, including how to approach food service directors, how to organize supply and distribution of the products, characteristics of different institutions, pricing issues, and several case studies of different types of farm to institution projects.

  5. Cotler, A. 2007. Fresh from the Farm: The Massachusetts Farm to School Cookbook. Boston, MA: Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. 127 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This guide for school service professionals includes new recipes and helpful tips for serving locally grown foods to students. Topics covered include farm-direct food purchasing, using farm-fresh ingredients, preparation tips, when to buy local produce, food safety, and classroom activities.

  6. D.C. Farm to School Network. 2010. A Guide to Purchasing and Serving Local Foods in Schools: Getting Started: Farm to School in Washington, DC. [Washington, DC]: D.C. Farm to School Network.
    URL: [Accessed 6/9/2011]

    Abstract: This guide is designed to help schools, and particularly food service providers, find cost-effective ways to serve healthy, local foods in school meals. It introduces the Farm to School concept, provides models of success, and delivers tips for how to start and maintain Farm to School programs.

  7. Dufour, Rex. 2007. Nuevos Mercados para Su Cosecha. (New Ways to Sell What You Grow). 8 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This Spanish-language publication details strategies for farmers interested in marketing their products to local institutions such as schools, colleges, hospitals, retirement homes and day care centers. Included is a resource list of organizations around the country that work with Latino farmers looking for ways to market their products.

  8. Feenstra, Gail W. and M. Kalb. 2006. Farm to School: Institutional Marketing. Agriculture of the Middle National Initiative. 7 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This case study focuses on 'Agriculture of the Middle' from the perspective of potential institutional buyers (schools/colleges) on a national basis instead of a particular farm or agricultural operation. Although these institutions currently represent a small portion of most mid-scale producers' sales volume, they offer a number of other strategic advantages: (1) they are another market growers can use to diversify; (2) they directly address the Nation's concern about childhood obesity by acting as a conduit for offering fresh, locally grown produce in school meals; (3) national coalitions of food security, health and sustainable agriculture advocates are crafting national legislation which would make this marketing strategy easier for midscale producers.

  9. Food Works, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, and Shelburne Farms. 2007. Connecting Farms to Schools and Communities. [Shelburne, VT]: Vermont FEED:Food Education Every Day. ii,110 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Designed to help farmers, teachers, and others interested in how to use farms for education, and connect them to the community. Includes strategies to market local food to schools, and 45 hands-on, farm-based, educational activities.

  10. Food Works, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, and Shelburne Farms. n.d. Farm to School Primer: How Do We Feed Vermont’s School Children?: Insider’s Guide to Vermont School Meals and How to Improve Them. [Shelburne, VT]: Vermont FEED: Food Education Every Day.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Every day, schools in Vermont serve breakfast and/or lunch to more than 50,000 Vermont students, an annual business of $30 million. According to the Center for Disease Control, more than a quarter of Vermont high school students are overweight or at risk of being overweight. The national average is 20%. At the same time, Vermont agriculture is in decline. By working within Vermont’s current school food programs, we can provide children with more fresh and healthy foods straight from Vermont farms. This can improve children’s health and performance, and at the same time expand opportunities for local farmers. The purpose of this primer is to outline how Vermont schools currently provide meals to their children. and show how the Farm to School initiative is working with schools to encourage greater use of fresh local foods and helping Vermont children make wiser, healthier choices about the food they eat.

  11. Food Works, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, and Shelburne Farms. 2010. A Guide for Farm to School Community Action Planning. [Shelburne, VT]: Vermont FEED: Food Education Every Day. iv, 76 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This resource is a starter "how to" for organizing a school committee to develop a Farm to School program. It’s perfect for any school food service staff, parent, teacher, principal, student, or community member seeking to make changes in their school food environment. It’s filled with templates and examples for planning, running meetings, checklists, and other resources.

  12. Food Works, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, and Shelburne Farms. 2007. A Guide for Using Local Food in Schools. [Shelburne, VT]: Vermont FEED: Food Education Every Day.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Designed to help schools, and particularly food service, reconnect with local food systems through their school food programs. Known as the "Farm to Cafeteria" or "Farm to School" movement, this nationwide trend in school food purchasing is directly changing the way children eat at school while supporting and strengthening local agriculture.

  13. Food Works, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, and Shelburne Farms. 2010. A Guide to Taste Testing Local Foods in Schools. [Shelburne, VT]: Vermont FEED: Food Education Every Day.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This guide will give you the tools and resources to help implement a taste testing program in your school in order to broaden student experiences with a variety of foods, introduce foods that are locally grown and available, integrate into school meals new, local foods that students will accept, and involve students and staff in school food change. In this guide is a small sampling of school taste test case studies that represent what is happening all over Vermont to introduce new flavors in the cafeteria and classroom. These schools have created healthier food environments by encouraging children to try new and different foods, many of which are grown and produced locally.

  14. Holcomb, Rodney, Lynn Brandenberger, William McGlynn, Anh Vo, and Chris Kirby. 2010. Tips, Tools and Guidelines for Food Distribution and Food Safety. [Oklahoma City, OK]: Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Since Farm to School is not a "one size fits all" program, this manual was developed from surveys, research and experience to include tips and tools for successful Farm to School distribution and simple food safety protocol for farms, schools and school gardens. Two new downloadable calculators have been developed. The Distribution Cost Calculator will help producers understand the true costs of produce delivery and assist in determining a "farm gate" value for their crops and the Produce Calculator will help farmers and schools determine the amount of produce needed for the schools based on number of servings and the per serving cost.

  15. Holmes, G., V. Richardson, and D. Schofer. 2002. "Taking it to the Next Level: Success of Small Florida Vegetable Co-op Leads to a Network of Similar Cooperatives." Rural Cooperatives. 69 (5): 18-23.
    NAL Call Number: aHD1491.U6R87
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: From its initial success helping members sell collard greens and other crops to a local school district, this Florida cooperative has now expanded its scope of operations to 15 school districts in three states, added product lines and increased the level of value-added preparation and packaging. It has also created a network of similar cooperatives in its region which are working together to expand value-added processing and marketing opportunities for small-scale farmers.

  16. Izumi, B. and C. Matts. 2008. Purchasing Michigan Products: A Step By Step Guide. Michigan Farm to School.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Developed with input from an advisory committee and school food service directors, this publication includes useful information and practical tools on incorporating Michigan foods into school meals program.

  17. Jewett, Jane Grimsbo, Beth Nelson, Derrick Braaten, and Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture. 2007. Marketing Local Food. Saint Paul, MN: Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture. 118 p.
    NAL Call Number: HD9007.M6.J48 2007
    URL: [Accessed 6/9/2011]

    Abstract: A guide to the overall concept of marketing locally, this document includes a section on institutional food service marketing.

  18. Kraus, S. 2002. Kids Cook Farm-fresh Food. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Education, Nutrition Services Division. xxvii, 219 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: The intent of this activity guide is to introduce children through direct experience to the pleasures of fresh, seasonal, locally grown produce. By exploring local produce and by cooking seasonal foods in class, students learn about the ecological, economical, and social benefits of sustainable agriculture and the diverse farm-fresh produce available in California. The guide contains ideas for activities, recipes, profiles of farmers practicing sustainable agriculture, and correlations to academic standards. Growing food and eating are central human experiences through which many aspects of life may be revealed and examined. The guide helps schoolchildren understand the connections between their own health, healthful food, and a thriving regional, sustainable agriculture.

  19. Luedeman, Robert and Neil D. Hamilton. 2003. Selling to Institutions: An Iowa Farmer's Guide.  [Des Moines, IA]: Drake University Agricultural Law Center. 24 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/6/2011]

    Abstract: This guide lists helpful information on insurance and legal issues for producers who want to enter institutional food markets.

  20. Malloy, C., J. Johanson, and M. Wootan. 2003. School Foods Tool Kit: A Guide to Improving School Foods and Beverages. Washington, DC: Center for Science in the Public Interest.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Parents, teachers, school administrators, elected officials and others in small and large communities across the country have been successful at improving the nutritional quality of foods and beverages in their local schools. Whatever your situation, we all share the common goals of improving the nutritional quality of the foods and beverages that our kids eat and drink at school and of protecting our children's health. The School Foods Tool Kit is designed to help you realize those goals. While the themes addressed in the toolkit encompass a far broader range of nutritional issues than farm-to-school activities, it contains an abundant quantity of reference material of interest to individuals looking to establish farm-to-school programs in their communities.

  21. Massachusetts Farm to School Project. 2011. Grow, Cook, Teach!: A Resource Guide for Farm to School Activities. Amherst, MA: Massachusetts Farm to School Project.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This booklet contains basic information about many programs and organizations that are defining and expanding the farm to school concept. Whether you are interested in learning about funding sources for school gardens, after-school cooking classes showcasing local produce, or ways to teach students about what's growing on the farm in May, you'll find useful references here.

  22. Matts, C. [2010]. Marketing Michigan Products to Schools: A Step-By-Step Guide. East Lansing, MI: Michigan Farm to School. Report.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This guide outlines steps to market Michigan agricultural products to school food service for school meals programs, special events, and/or fundraisers. Several assessment tools and sample document are included and of broad use beyond Michigan.

  23. Ohio Department of Agriculture. 2009. Farm-to-School in Ohio: An Introductory Guide for School Staff, Teachers, and Farmers to Start Farm-to-School Programs in your District. [Reynoldsburg, OH]: Ohio Department of Agriculture. 28 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Farm to school initiatives connect schools with local farms by bringing fresh, nutritious foods from local farms into school cafeterias and by offering students experiential learning opportunities through farm visits, and food and nutrition education activities. Such initiatives support local farmers, keep food dollars in local economies, and nurture a generation of informed food consumers. Farm-to-school efforts are taking place in over 2035 school districts in at least 39 states, including Ohio. You can do it too! By taking it one step at a time and forging partnerships with those in your community, your school can integrate farm-to-school into your school food program and farmers can market directly to local schools.

  24. Ohmart, Jeri L. 2002. Direct Marketing to Schools: A New Opportunity for Family Farmers. [Davis, CA]: University of California.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This report presents case studies of six farmers who have participated in the farm-to-school farmers’ market salad bar projects of selected school districts in California. Five have participated only on the supply end of the program, while one farmer from Ventura County has played the roles of producer, supplier, salad bar facilitator and liaison among parents, teachers, school district personnel and administration.

  25. Patel, A. I., L. M. Bogart, K. E. Uyeda, H. Martinez, R. Knizewski, G. W. Ryan, and M. A. Schuster. 2009. "School Site Visits for Community-Based Participatory Research on Healthy Eating: Bridging Clinical Scholarship and Community Scholarship - New Directions for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Clinical Scholars Program." American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 37 (6, Supplement 1): S300-S306.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: School nutrition policies are gaining support as a means of addressing childhood obesity. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) offers an approach for academic and community partners to collaborate to translate obesity-related school policies into practice. Site visits, in which trained observers visit settings to collect multilevel data (e.g., observation, qualitative interviews), may complement other methods that inform health promotion efforts. This paper demonstrates the utility of site visits in the development of an intervention to implement obesity-related policies in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) middle schools. Methods presented in this article may potentially be used for future farm-to-school evaluation and research suitable for peer-reviewed journals.
    Copyright © Elsevier Inc.

  26. Slusser, Wendy, Charlotte Neumann, and Linda Lange. 97. How to Develop a Salad Bar for School Lunch Menu Programs. Los Angeles, CA: University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health.
    URL: [Accessed 6/6/2011]

    Abstract: This guide presents a general overview on how to implement a salad bar program in an elementary school cafeteria. It can help schools, cafeteria personnel, parents or any other community member implement a salad bar as part of the lunch menu option in school. Food purchasing through both at farmers’ markets and centralized suppliers is discussed.

  27. Tropp, Debra, Surajudeen Olowolayemo, and Agricultural Marketing Service. United States Department of Agriculture. 2000. How Local Farmers and School Food Service Buyers are Building Alliances. [Washington, D.C.]: United States Departme nt of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service. iv, 30 p.
    NAL Call Number: aHD9005.T76 2000
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Provides an overview of lessons learned from the USDA Small Farm/School Meals Workshop. Topics covered include food service preferences, potential barriers for small farmers to enter into food service contracts, strategies for small farmers approaching school meal services, government programs, a marketing checklist for small farmers, and a marketing checklist for school food service directors.

  28. United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. 2000. Eat Smart - Farm Fresh!: A Guide to Buying and Serving Locally-Grown Produce in School Meals. [Washington, D.C.]: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. 39 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This handbook is written for school food service personnel. Rather than cover all areas of farm-to-school issues, we have chosen to focus on those areas we believe are of most interest to schools: procurement, types and examples of farm-to-school distribution models, how to find locally-grown food and farmers, menu planning considerations, and strategies for success. The handbook also contains a comprehensive, annotated bibliography of additional farm to school resources that may be accessed online or by contacting the organization.

  29. United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. 2000. Small Farms/School Meals Initiative Town Hall Meetings: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Bring Small Farms and Local Schools Together. FNS-316. [Washington, D.C.]: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service.
    iv, 16 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: In partnership with FNS and USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) began buying and delivering fresh fruits and vegetables to schools in eight States in the 1994-95 school year; by the 1996-97 school year the project had expanded to 32 States. Schools ordered most of the produce for their salad bars. DoD provided quality items at the most favorable market prices, delivered on time to meet State agency and school requirements. In the North Carolina project referred to later in this manual, DoD officials attended the town hall meeting and were particularly helpful in working with small farmer cooperatives to obtain fresh, local produce for the schools. The manual provides a step-by-step guide of activities for groups to plan, conduct, and publicize a professional town hall meeting that encourages small farmers and local school food officials to begin a "farm to school" project. Each section of the manual contains a narrative on an aspect of how to hold a meeting. Based on USDA’s experiences with the North Carolina Town Hall Meeting in January 1998 and the Virginia Town Hall Meeting in April 1998, this guide is the first step towards successful, positive events across the Nation.

Back to Top

Farm to School Policy

This section consists of reports (some prepared for state legislature), hearings, legislation, and articles for policy makers focused on using Farm to School activities to support local economies and improve nutritional outcomes. Many of the documents frame Farm to School activities in terms of larger food system programs and policies.

  1. Alaska State Legislature. Establishing the Farm-to-School Program in the Department of Natural Resources, and Relating to School Gardens, Greenhouses, and Farms. 2010. House Bill 70: Chapter 11 SLA 10.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Summary and background information about the law is available at

  2. Brockwell, Paul. 2007. Virginia Farm-to-School Task Force Report: To the Governor and The General Assembly of Virginia. SJR 347; Senate Document No. 18. Richmond, VA: Commonwealth of Virginia, Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry and The Secretary of Education. 20 p.
    URL:$file/SD18.pdf [Accessed 6/6/2011]

    Abstract: At the request of the General Assembly in Senate Joint Resolution 347 (2007), the Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry and The Secretary of Education jointly convened a task force to study farm-to-school concepts and develop a plan for implementation in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This report of the State Senate task force discusses the challenges, and communication and educational needs of potential farm-to-school activities, and concludes with four policy recommendations.

  3. Center for Food and Justice/Healthy School Food Coalition. 2009. The Transformation of the School Food Environment in Los Angeles: The Link Between Grassroots Organizing and Policy Development and Implementation. Research Brief. Los Angeles, CA: Occidental College, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, Center for Food and Justice/Healthy School Food Coalition.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This is a review of the changes that have been made to the school food environment in Los Angeles Unified School District. General farm to school and the Farmers' Market Salad Bar programs are both included. Other policy changes, such as a soda ban, are also discussed in the report.

  4. Community Alliance for Family Farmers. 2010. What the Farm to School Movement Needs to Succeed - Memo. Davis, CA: Community Alliance for Family Farmers. 4 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/6/2011]

  5. Community Food Security Coalition, National Farm to School Network, and School Food FOCUS. 2010. Nourishing the Nation One Tray at a Time: Farm to School Initiatives in the Child Nutrition Reauthorization. [Los Angeles, CA]: Community Food Security Coalition. 16 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: The 2009 Child Nutrition Reauthorization platform of the Community Food Security Coalition, the National Farm to School Network and School Food FOCUS.

  6. Community Food Security Coalition, National Farm to School Network, and School Food FOCUS. [2009]. What Can USDA Do?  [Los Angeles, CA]: Community Food Security Coalition.
    URL: [Accessed 6/6/2011]

    Abstract: This document is a ten-point roadmap for national coordination between all levels of government and partners promoting Farm to School and sustainable procurement practices. It is intended to guide shared learning and collaborative implementation of new policies and programs that support more direct connections between agriculture and federal nutrition programs at local and regional levels across the United States with positive support of USDA, the Administration and Congress.

  7. Curtis, J., N. Creamer, and T. E. Thraves. 2010. From Farm to Fork: A Guide to Building North Carolina's Sustainable Local Food Economy. Raleigh, NC: North Carolina State University, Center for Environmental Farming Systems. 100 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This action guide is the product of a yearlong "Farm to Fork" initiative, involving well over 1,000 North Carolinians interested in becoming actively engaged in food and farming issues. Participants in this process included people and organizations working in the fields of agriculture, commercial fishing, community organizing, education, faith, finance, local government, nutrition, philanthropy, planning, public health, public policy, and youth outreach. The intent of this guide is to provide key action ideas for building a sustainable food economy in North Carolina at the state and local levels. We hope that implementation of these action steps will lead to significant economic development, stewardship of natural and agricultural resources, and better health and nutrition for all North Carolina residents.

  8. Harper, Alethea, Annie Shattuck, Eric Holt-Giménez, Alison Alkon, and Frances Lambrick. 2009. Food Policy Councils: Lessons Learned. [Los Angeles, CA]: Institute for Food and Development Policy. 66 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: What lessons can be taken from North America’s three-decade experiment in formulating local food policy? Food Policy Councils: Lessons Learned is an assessment based on an extensive literature review and testimony from 48 individual interviews with the people most involved in Food Policy Councils. Improvement of school food and farm-to-school activities as a strategy to meet that goal are some of the topics covered in relation to food policy council work.

  9. Jackson, R. J., R. Minjaresa, K. S. Naumoffa, B. Patel Shrimalia, and L. K. Martin. 2009. "Agriculture Policy Is Health Policy." Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition. 4 (3): 393-408.
    URL:  [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: The Farm Bill is meant to supplement and secure farm incomes, ensure a stable food supply, and support the American farm economy. Over time, however, it has evolved into a system that creates substantial health impacts, both directly and indirectly. By generating more profit for food producers and less for family farmers; by effectively subsidizing the production of lower-cost fats, sugars, and oils that intensify the health-destroying obesity epidemic; by amplifying environmentally destructive agricultural practices that impact air, water, and other resources, the Farm Bill influences the health of Americans more than is immediately apparent. In this article, we outline three major public health issues influenced by American farm policy. These are (1) rising obesity; (2) food safety; and (3) environmental health impacts, especially exposure to toxic substances and pesticides.
    Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group

  10. Lauer Washuk, Josephine. 2007. Have Illinois Children Been Left Behind?: Model Farm-to-School Programs Correlated with Illinois. [Springfield, IL]: State of Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Local and Organic Food and Farm Task Force.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: From locally purchased salad bar ingredients in California, to field trips to dairy farms in Vermont, farm-to-school programs are gaining credibility and earning well-deserved attention. Congressmen in both the House of Representatives and Senate have sponsored bills to provide funds of up to $100,000 per school district to create farm-to-school programs, further propagating that educating the nation’s youth on where their food comes from, and providing locally-sourced products as part of regular school meals, are national responsibilities related to concerns of health, justice, the economy and education. By examining multiple case studies from various states, one can identify common variables amongst successful programs. The variables examined in this report and correlated with Illinois’ efforts include policy/legislation, start-up funding, government support, marketing and communications, such as "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" campaigns, and partnerships with universities. In addition, the mechanisms for purchasing locally (wholesale distributor, direct purchasing, cooperative, and contract growing), are also considered. Lastly, a variable labeled "Curricular," classifying programs that offer educational-based initiatives such as gardening, nutrition education in the classroom and/or farm field trips, amongst other offerings, is considered. An extensive list of case studies and variables for benchmarking state and local efforts to support farm to school activities are featured.

  11. Lott, Megan. 2010. State Farm to School Legislation. Washington, DC: National Farm to School Network.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: A review of state legislation categorized by type of support policies: state/local-supported programs, task forces, pilot programs, budget/funding appropriations, grant allocations, reimbursements, local preference rules, promotional programs, directories wellness/food security policies, working groups, resolutions or other types of support.

  12. McDermott, Maura, Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and Food and Forestry Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. 2003. Oklahoma Farm-to-School Report: Including the Oklahoma Institutional Food Service Survey. Poteau, OK: Oklahoma Food Policy Council. v, 36 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: A survey of 638 public institutions (including colleges and universities, technology centers, prisons, state hospitals, and state resorts) indicated that food managers have a significant interest in using more locally-produced food in their food service programs. These managers also believe many perceived obstacles could be solved through education. The Oklahoma Food Policy Council outlines steps that may be used to increase the use of local foods by institutions while working to improve the access of people, especially school children, to healthy diets.

  13. Michigan Farm to School. [2008]. Michigan Farm to School Regulatory Environment. East Lansing, MI: Michigan Farm to School. 6 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: A review of Federal and Michigan state regulations that govern farm-to-school activities. The regulations cited by the document may have been superseded as new laws have been passed.

  14. Plath, Pernell and Roger Blobaum. 2003. Bringing Kentucky's Food and Farm Economy Home. Frankfort, KY: Community Farm Alliance.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This Community Farm Alliance (CFA) report, Bringing Kentucky's Food and Farm Economy Home, is an attempt to establish where Kentucky agriculture is now, what important changes have taken place over the last 20 years, and a vision of potential economic revitalization for Kentucky's rural and urban areas. Documenting the nature of Kentucky's present food economy and suggesting areas for improvement is essential to the statewide food system planning now underway.

  15. Robbins, L. T. and National Conference of State Legislatures. 2005. Evolution of Increased Access to Local, Fresh Produce in New Mexico. Healthy Community Design: Innovations in State Policy. Denver, CO: National Conference of State Legislatures. 4 p.
    NAL Call Number: LB3479.U6.R59 2005
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: A fact sheet that discusses the New Mexico, "Farm to School" educational program that aims to expose children to agriculture, farm life and the source of local food.

  16. Ryan, J. 2006. Impact Assessment of Vermont Farm2School Program. Richmond, VT: Vermont FEED: Food Education Every Day. iv, 36 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: The analysis begins by asking a number of questions: How much Vermont farm produce and dairy product does the Vermont school food program currently purchase? What key challenges stand in the way of increasing Vermont food purchases and local Farm2School Partnerships? What actions would increase the likelihood of overcoming the challenges to reaching increased levels of activity? What represents a realistic increase in the level of Vermont farm purchases over the next five years? What represents a realistic increase in the number of local Farm2School partnerships over the next several years? What impacts would those actions have on key participants in the school food system, including farmers, school food workers, food distributors, local and state governments, parents and children?

  17. Schafft, K., C. C. Hinrichs, and J. D. Bloom. 2010. "Pennsylvania Farm-to-School Programs and the Articulation of Local Context." Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition. 5 (1): 23-40.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: The proliferation of farm to school (FTS) programming in US schools emerges out of a convergence of recent trends facing agricultural producers and food consumers and as such represents part of a broader effort to relocalize food systems and build new connections between schools, producers, and communities. This mixed method study examines the current forms, organization, and policy needs of FTS programming in the state of Pennsylvania. We find that rather than representing a more or less uniform set of practices, in both scale and content, FTS programming varies widely across school districts depending on district needs, resources, and the salient local issues that act as catalysts for FTS (e.g., nutrition, obesity prevention, strong community identification with local agriculture, and/or local economic development). Our findings suggest that FTS might therefore best be understood and promoted as a flexible range of locally embedded strategies that schools might use to address specific community and school needs.
    Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group

  18. State of Wisconsin Assembly. 2009 Wisconsin Act 293: An Act to create of the statutes; relating to: promoting the use of locally grown food in school meals and snacks and granting rule-making authority. 2010. 2009 Assembly Bill 746. (May 12, 2010)
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This legislation creates a farm-to-school council and grants program to support the use of locally grown food in schools.

  19. Trainor, J. K. 2006. "Stakeholder Roles and Perceptions in the Creation and Success of Farm to School Programs." Appetite. 47 (3): 401.
    NAL Call Number: QP141.A1A64
    URL:  [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: There are over 400 Farm to School programs in 22 states and the movement is growing each year. Farm to School programs consist of many stakeholders (including schools, farms, processors, distributors, governments and non-profit agencies) who collaborate to bring locally produced, fresh food into the hands of children, often with a healthy dose of nutrition and agriculture education. Within the larger Farm to School movement, non-profit organizations and food policy councils can be important to the success of Farm to School programs. Using the Willamette Valley of Oregon as a case study, this paper examines the roles of various stakeholder groups in the creation and maintenance of Farm to School programs. The success of Farm to School programs is often closely tied to social, political, and economic issues in a given region, and this paper closely examines the perceptions of stakeholders and how they can affect the implementation of Farm to School programs. Of particular interest in this study is the shift and struggle between two terms - Farm to School and Farm to Cafeteria. Beyond the basic distinction between school and other cafeterias, there seems to be strategic use of these terms when confronting different obstacles and agendas. Using the Willamette Valley case study and the Southern California movement as a reference, this paper emphasizes the role non-profit organizations and food policy councils play in the success of Farm to School programs.
    Copyright © Elsevier B.V.

  20. U.S. Congress. House. Committee on Education And Labor. Subcommittee on Healthy Families And Communities. Examining Innovative Practices to Improve Child Nutrition. 111th Congress, 1st Session, Serial No. 111-35, October 8, 2009.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Testimony covers model activities that include farm-to-school, student run farms, community celebrations, and participation of community groups.

  21. U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry. Benefits of Farm-to-School Projects, Healthy Eating and Physical Activity for School Children:  Hearing Before the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. 111th Congress, 1st Session, May 15, 2009.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Testimony covers activities that include farm-to-school. Statements made by: David Satcher, Director, Center of Excellence on Health Disparities, Morehouse School of Medicine; William Dietz, Director, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control; Cindy Long, Director, Child Nutrition Programs Division, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA; and Glyen Holmes, New North Florida Cooperative Association, Inc.

  22. Vallianatos, Mark and Urban and Environmental Policy Institute. Center for Food and Justice. 2005. Healthy School Food Policies: A Checklist: A Working Paper of the Center for Food and Justice, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute. [Los Angeles, CA]: Occidental College, Center for Food and Justice, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute. 12 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This working paper collects many of the innovative policies that have been adopted or proposed to improve school food. It provides a checklist of approximately 65 such policies. Tips to "Better Integrate Food Service with School Educational, Health, and Environmental Missions" and "Purchase and Serve Food in Manner that Supports Community Economic Development and Local Farm Livelihoods" include making farm-to-school connections.

  23. Vincent, Douglas L. 2009. Report to the 2010 Legislature: Report on the Feasibility of Establishing a Farm to School Program in Hawaii's Public Schools: A Report to the Twenty-Sixth Legislature In Response to SCR 121, S.D.1, H.D.1, SLH 2009. [Honolulu, HI]: University of Hawaii. 26 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This report is divided into three sections: the current status of farm-to-school programs in Hawaii; the feasibility of farm-to-school programs; and concluding remarks and opportunities for change. Appended to the report are the stakeholder inputs on the feasibility of farm-to-school programs in Hawaii and a listing of existing state-wide farm-to-school programs nationally.

  24. Watts Hull, Jonathan R. 2006. Farm to School Programs. [Atlanta, GA]: Southern Legislative Conference of the Council of State Governments. Report.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: A very concise report from the Southern Legislative Conference detailing the history of school lunch, school nutrition, the rise of obesity, small farms, models for connecting schools to farms, and many case studies and resources with contacts for more information. This short document is a good introduction to the farm-to-school issue for policy makers.

  25. Welson, T. 2009. "From Field to Plate." State News (Council of State Governments).   52 (4): 29.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: The article focuses on farm to school programs which are implemented in various U.S. states to provide schools with a source for healthful foods to serve students, as well as providing benefits to farmers. The program also provides school children a learning experience on the importance of farming through a linkage between farmers and school districts. An overview of a bill creating comprehensive farm to school programs in Washington is presented.
    Copyright © The Council of State Governments

  26. Williams, Stacey S. and Michelle M. Ratcliffe. 2010. A Working History of Farm to School Legislation in Oregon. Portland, OR: Ecotrust Farm to School Program.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: A review of legislative activities from 2007 through 2010 that support farm to school activities in Oregon.

Back to Top

Farm to School - Miscellaneous

The reports and articles in this section comprise socio-economic considerations of Farm to School from some historical efforts to bring local food into schools to the role of Farm to School activities in local foods systems models and the greater community. Some of the items do not focus specifically on Farm to School, but rather the role of Farm to School in the greater food system and society.

  1. Anon. 1977. "Farm Fresh Products from Field to Plate." School Foodservice Journal.   31 (4): 42-43.

    Abstract: Public Schools in Hazen, North Dakota call upon local farmers for donations of small amounts of wheat which are then cleaned, packed and milled for free by local grain firms. The flour is used to produce homemade breads for noon lunches. Students are now eating a more nutritious bread product and the school is realizing economical savings. Similar "field to plate" processing plans are in effect and more will be tried in the future. The model featured might be particularly of interest to small, rural school districts.
    Copyright © School Nutrition Association

  2. Ayers, L. J. 1987. "Chalk up Profits with Back-to-school Sales." New Farm.   9 (2): 27-30.
    NAL Call Number: S1.N32

    Abstract: This article relates the experience of Joe Crawford, a school superintendent from Minnesota in buying food directly from farmers. Farmers who worked with Crawford are also interviewed.

  3. Coolman, R. M. 2003. Green House Project: Sustainable Agriculture in Urban Areas. SARE Research and Education Project: Northeast Region, Project LNE99-128. [College Park, MD]: U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.
    NAL Call Number: S441.S855 LNE99-128
    URL: [Accessed 6/3/2011]

    Abstract: The Green House Project believes that participatory education is a key to keeping a healthy agricultural presence within our urban and suburban communities. Our efforts focused on three fronts. Over the past three years we developed a model year-round production system on Rutgers University Cook College campus targeted at local, urban markets that had 86 people contribute to construction, management and harvesting. We integrated this effort with local elementary, university and adult educators reaching an estimated 597 students in formal class settings. Our year-round food production efforts resulted in a contribution of over 25,000 pounds of fresh organic produce to local feeding programs that affected over 1000 families. Our community outreach program worked with 642 families on a diversity of local issues from community gardens to emergency health care to nutrition education. A total of 15 farmers contributed to the overall intellectual development of this effort. In addition, an estimated 343 farmers, consumers, and business people attended our workshops on localization of the food system.

  4. Diamond, Adam, James Barham, and Debra Tropp. 2009. Emerging Market Opportunities for Small-scale Producers: Proceedings of a Special Session at the 2008 USDA Partners Meeting. [Washington, D.C.]: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service, Marketing Services Program. x, 24 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/3/2011]

    Abstract: This report summarizes one of the panel discussions, "Emerging Market Opportunities for Small-scale Producers," held as part of the August 2008 USDA Fifth Annual Partners Meeting. The purpose of the annual event is to support a dialogue between USDA and community-based organizations that work with socially disadvantaged farmers. The panels and discussions provide information and serve as forums for attendees to share experiences and learn from food and agriculture experts. This session, organized by the AMS Marketing Services Division, offered an opportunity for farmers and farmer organizations to learn directly from industry insiders what it takes to work successfully with wholesale produce buyers. The panel featured food industry experts from across the food industry spectrum, from institutional food service to retail, who currently purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables. The audience included more than 80 farmers and representatives of organizations that work with minority and socially disadvantaged farmers.

  5. French, S. A. and H. Wechsler. 2004 . "School-based Research and Initiatives: Fruit and Vegetable Environment, Policy, and Pricing Workshop." Preventive Medicine. 39 (Supplement 2): S101-S107.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Foods sold outside the school meals program are widely available and comprise an increasing share of the foods students purchase and consume at school. Federal policies provide little regulation of foods sold outside the school meals program. State and district policies are also limited, and few specifically address fruit and vegetable availability. School-based interventions to promote consumption of fruit and vegetables among students in school settings have primarily consisted of multicomponent interventions that sometimes included an environmental intervention component. Results of these interventions have been positive, especially in their effects on fruit intake. The results of shorter term environmental interventions that used lower prices or increased availability as strategies to increase fruit and vegetable intake have been positive. Several new approaches currently being piloted in schools include school gardening programs, salad bars using fresh produce from local Farmer's Markets, and in-school, free fruit and vegetable distribution programs. Better information is needed on the economics of competitive foods and the role that financial profitability plays in decisions about food availability and sales in the school setting. Although no model programs were identified at the workshop, several promising strategies were identified to promote fruit and vegetable intake among students in school settings.
    Copyright © Elsevier Inc.

  6. Kalb, M. 2008. "National Farm to School Network Takes Root." Community Food Security News. 1: 1,12.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Farm to school programs are expanding rapidly, with over 1,100 active programs in 34 states. This makes it an excellent time to launch a network to coordinate, promote, and expand this movement. The Community Food Security Coalition and the Center for Food and Justice at Occidental College have done just that, launching the National Farm to School Network in September of 2007.

  7. Kantor, L. S. 2001. "Community Food Security Programs Improve Food Access." FoodReview.   24 (1): 20-26.
    NAL Call Number: aHD9001.N275
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This paper briefly describes the concept of community food security. It then examines a variety of community food security programmes (food stamp outreach programmes, farmers markets, community gardens, food buying cooperatives, community-supported agriculture programmes, farm-to-school initiatives, and food recovery programmes) in the USA, looking at their scope, their limitations, and their successes.

  8. Kim Jong-Duk. 2008. "Study on the Farm to School Programs in the U.S.A." Journal of Rural Development-Seoul. 31 (3): 107-130.
    [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This research introduces the reality of Farm to School (FTS) programmes in the USA and offers some guidance for Korea's school lunch programmes. In the FTS programmes, schools use local agricultural products for school food with the aim of providing farmers with the opportunity to market the products and the students with the opportunity to consume fresh and nutritious food. The FTS programmes, which connect the local farms with schools, are spreading at a rapid pace in the USA despite their limiting factors. Unlike the conventional school food programmes, the FTS programmes that use local food not only promote local farming but also help to increase the income of local farmers by promoting the consumption of local agricultural products. Furthermore, they contribute to children's health and nutrition. The FTS programmes are actively involved in food education as well. This research shows that the importance of central and local governments' support, the need for participation of NGOs and universities, and the answer to the limiting factors borne by schools and farmers. The FTS programmes can be used as guiding rules that are adoptable when schools use local food in Korea. In Korean with an English a summary.
    Copyright © Korea Rural Economic Institute

  9. King, R. P., M. S. Hand, G. DiGiacomo, K. Clancy, M. I. Gómez, S. D. Hardesty, L. Lev, and E. W. McLaughlin. 2010. Comparing the Structure, Size, and Performance of Local and Mainstream Food Supply Chains. Economic Research Report, no. 99. [Washington, D.C.]: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. v, 73 p.
    NAL Call Number: aHD9005.C59 2010
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: A series of coordinated case studies compares the structure, size, and performance of local food supply chains with those of mainstream supply chains. Interviews and site visits with farms and businesses, supplemented with secondary data, describe how food moves from farms to consumers in 15 food supply chains. Key comparisons between supply chains include the degree of product differentiation, diversification of marketing outlets, and information conveyed to consumers about product origin. The cases highlight differences in prices and the distribution of revenues among supply chain participants, local retention of wages and proprietor income, transportation fuel use, and social capital creation. One case study features farm-to-school activity as a supply chain facilitated by an intermediary.

  10. MacLeod, Marla and Jennifer Scott. 2007. Local Food Procurement Policies: A Literature Review.  [Halifax, Nova Scotia]: Ecology Action Centre.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This report examines the environmental, economic and social benefits of local food, showcases existing procurement policies in Italy, Britain, the United States, and Canada, and examines lessons learned in other jurisdictions. It is a preliminary review of some literature on local food initiatives.

  11. Rudy, A. P. 2006. "Neoliberalism, Neoconservatism, and Spaces of and for Coalition." Agriculture and Human Values. 23 (4): 423-425.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: This is a commentary on an article that argues that farm-to-school programmes resonate with federalist, localist and devolutionary trends embodied within contemporatry neoliberalism [Allen, P. and Guthman, J. Agriculture and Human Values (2006) 23 (4)]. It briefly comments on neoliberalism and neoconservatism, and their potential impacts on the agrifood sector, the environment and consumer-driven agendas.
    Copyright © Springer Science+Business Media

  12. Shimkoski, D. 1980. "Schools Buy Farm Fresh Produce." Food and Nutrition. 10 (1): 14-17.
    NAL Call Number: aTX341.F615

    Abstract: The San Juan, California, School District contracted with a local farmer to provide fresh produce during the summer of 1979 to test the feasibility of direct purchase for a large-scale food service operation. Savings averaged 38 percent; quality remained the same or was better. The program benefits the family-owned farm by providing another market. The Concord, New Hampshire, School District buys fruits and vegetables from local farmers and stores them in a community-donated root cellar. There is little cost savings, but the schools have the freshest product available and money is spent within the state. The local farmers' cooperative has helped to create a curriculum covering many facets of food and nutrition education.

  13. Sonnino, R. 2010. "Escaping the Local Trap: Insights on Re-localization from School Food Reform." Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning. 12 (1): 23-40.
    URL: [Accessed 6/6/2011]

    Abstract: Building on the stimulating critique of normative views of scale provided by the literature on the 'local trap', some agri-food researchers have recently argued that local food initiatives (including, for example, American Farm-to-School programs) reproduce neo-liberal values and forms of governance. By focusing on school food reform in two devolved sites of the UK, this paper aims to show that, even when embedded in the power dynamics and values of neo-liberalism, the local can produce sustainable development outcomes. This raises the need for an inductive research approach that assesses the merits (or lack of) of localism in the concrete-while also taking into account the role of the State as a new powerful actor on the agri-food scene.
    Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group

  14. Timmons, D., Q. Wang, and D. Lass. 2008. "Local Foods: Estimating Capacity." Journal of Extension. 46 (5).
    NAL Call Number: LC45.4.J682
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: While local food is enjoying new interest in much of the country, data revealing the extent of local food production and consumption are typically lacking. This lack of data has made it difficult to set local food goals and assess progress toward such goals. This article describes two methods for quantifying local food consumption and presents estimation results using national and state data. The local food indicators presented in this article can be easily estimated with publicly available data and represent low cost indicators of local food use that Extension professionals can use to assist clientele.
    Copyright © Extension Journal, Inc.

  15. Vogt, R. A. and L. L. Kaiser. 2008. "Still a Time to Act: A Review of Institutional Marketing of Regionally-grown Food." Agriculture and Human Values.   25 (2): 241-255.
    NAL Call Number: HT401 .A36
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: Regional institutional marketing supports sustainable farming by bringing wholesome, nutritious food to members of the community. Schools, in particular, can benefit greatly from this arrangement in comprehensive efforts to address childhood obesity. Nineteen previous publications examined issues around supply of and/or demand for regional food procurement by institutions across the United States, including levels of interest, perceived benefits, and barriers to this arrangement. Food service directors, farmers, and/or distributors participated in surveys, interviews, workshops/forums, case studies, and one evaluation about regional food procurement. Accounts of seven farmer cooperatives or networks indicate that institutional customers are more often restaurants (n=5), health care facilities (n=2), colleges/universities (n=2), and other facilities (n=2), than public schools (n=1) or food retailers (n=1). The studies agree that the main benefits offered by regional food procurement are support of the local economy and increased access to fresh and nutritious food. Barriers consistently faced by food services and farmers have to do with lack of infrastructure and financial support for processing and central distribution. Though obstacles vary by district and/or geographic characteristics, results indicate that across groups there is a clear need for better support mechanisms by which farms can connect with regional markets. The practice of farm-to-institution marketing holds the potential to improve nutritional status of community members and financial stability of farmers, though institutional support is needed for systemic transition to this purchasing method.
    Copyright © Springer Science+Business Media

  16. Winne, M. 2005. "Education for Change." Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics. 18 (3): 305-310.
    URL: [Accessed 6/6/2011]

    Abstract: The author uses two publications, Fighting Poverty in the US and Europe (Alesina and Glaeser) and Poetry magazine, to underscore the important role that educational institutions play in developing a person’s political philosophy and imagination. European nations, for instance, have better funded social welfare programs than the US because their system of public education incorporates more liberal or left-leaning teachings into their standard curricula. The author sees implications for a more intentional approach to education in the US for those who are interested in changing the food system. If American educational institutions viewed their role as producing food competent citizens, he argues, then we would be more successful in addressing obesity, promoting a more sustainable food system, and even reducing poverty. Food system activists, dieticians and nutritionists, parents, and elected officials should take a more aggressive position with educational institutions to develop programs, services, and curricula capable of achieving these ends.
    Copyright © Springer Science+Business Media

  17. Zajfen, Vanessa. 2008. Fresh Food Distribution Models for the Greater Los Angeles Region: Barriers and Opportunities to Facilitate and Scale up the Distribution of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. [Los Angeles, CA]: Occidental College, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, Center for Food and Justice. 23 p.
    URL: [Accessed 6/13/2011]

    Abstract: The Center for Food and Justice (CFJ) has just released the findings from a year-long planning grant titled Fresh Food Distribution Models for the Greater Los Angeles Region: Barriers and Opportunities to Facilitate and Scale Up the Distribution of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. The California Endowment funded CFJ for a year long planning grant to explore the most effective strategies and opportunities to scale up the distribution of locally grown fruits and vegetables in Southern California. Our work sought to identify solutions to the barriers to accessing locally grown foods that have prevented more institutions from supporting local agriculture. This report lays the groundwork for farm to institution distribution efforts that will be undertaken by CFJ over the coming years.

Back to Top

Farm to School Organizations and Additional Resources

National Organizations

A select group of organizations known for their support of Farm to School, community food systems, school nutrition and sustainable agriculture, that provide numerous resources for schools and/or farmers in beginning or sustaining Farm to School related activities are listed below.

Americorps Farm to School Program
University of Wisconsin-Madison, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). [Accessed 6/8/2011]
The goal of the AmeriCorps Farm to School program is to provide an innovative approach to decreasing childhood obesity by promoting healthy eating habits in students and increasing access to local foods in schools. The program provides two half-time AmeriCorps members per site; a local food procurement member and a nutrition education member. The food procurement member is focused on identifying and addressing hurdles facing local food procurement in school districts including: distribution, processing, and pricing while building relationships with farmers. The nutrition education member works to develop and implement curriculum and wellness plans that teach students about healthier eating habits.

Center for Ecoliteracy [Accessed 6/7/2011]
The Center for Ecoliteracy is best known for its pioneering work with school gardens, school lunches, and integrating ecological principles and sustainability into school curricula. This organization offers hundreds of downloadable resource materials, including practical guides, essays by leading writers and experts, and inspiring stories of school communities and organizations across the country.

Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC) [Accessed 6/7/2011]
The Community Food Security Coalition is a leader in the Farm to School movement and has a wide variety of information on Farm to School funding, case studies, policy, resources and publications.

Cornell Farm to School Extension and Research Program
Cornell University. [Accessed 6/7/2011]
Cornell has Farm to School resources specifically targeted for educators, food service directors, parents, community members and farmers.
Sustain. [Accessed 6/7/2011] works directly with family farmers as well as with local and national organizations that serve farmers and are working to build local food systems.

Farmers’ Legal Action Group (FLAG) [Accessed 6/7/2011]
FLAG is a nonprofit law center that provides legal services to family farmers and their rural communities in order to help keep family farmers on the land.

Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) [Accessed 6/7/2011]
The Food Research and Action Center provides information on policy related to school lunch and other nutrition programs and obtaining USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program grants.

FoodCorps [Accessed 6/9/2011]
FoodCorps members build Farm to School supply chains, expand food system and nutrition education programs, and build and tend school food gardens. The ultimate goal of the organization is to increase the health and prosperity of vulnerable children while investing in the next generation of farmers and public health leaders.

FoodRoutes Network
Tides Center. [Accessed 6/7/2011]
FoodRoutes is a national non-profit organization focused on reintroducing Americans to their food, the seeds it grows from, the farmers who produce it, and the routes that carry it from the fields to our tables. Materials provided include resources for Farm to College and Farm to School (K-12) programs.

Growing Power [Accessed 6/7/2011]
Growing Power, Inc. is a national nonprofit organization and land trust that helps to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities.

Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) [Accessed 6/7/2011] Healthy Schools Campaign is an independent not-for-profit organization that works to provide healthy school environments and a voice for people who care about our environment, our children, and education.

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) [Accessed 6/7/2011]
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems. IATP hosts, for farmers, schools, students, and other stakeholders to learn about and participate in Farm to School activities.

Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) [Accessed 6/7/2011]
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) facilitates training for farmers on Farm to School market opportunities.

National Farm to School Network
Community Food Security Coalition; Occidental College, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute. [Accessed 6/7/2011]
The National Farm to School Network connects schools and local farms with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing agriculture, health and nutrition education opportunities, and supporting local and regional farmers. The Web site is a one stop shop for all things Farm to School, as well as a valuable database of Farm to School programs across the U.S.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) [Accessed 6/7/2011]
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for Federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. NSAC policy recommendations are aligned with the goals of Farm to School, which include ensuring opportunities for small and medium-sized farms and promoting and sustaining local food economies.

School Food FOCUS [Accessed 6/7/2011]
School Food FOCUS is a national initiative that helps large school districts (those with 40,000 or more students) procure more healthful, more sustainably produced and regionally sourced food, so that children may perform better in school and be healthier in life. Projects include a School Food Learning Lab, school food policy advocacy, developing a school food Leadership Council, and communicating information and success stories to support a healthier school food environment.

School Nutrition Association (SNA) [Accessed 6/7/2011]
The School Nutrition Association membership is comprised of school nutrition services directors across the country and is a valuable tool for spreading the word on Farm to School.

Seven Generations Ahead [Accessed 6/7/2011]
Seven Generations Ahead is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote ecologically sustainable and healthy communities. SGA aims to grow a culture of healthy eating and environmental awareness among kids.

State Organizations

State agencies and local school districts often lead Farm to School efforts in their area. Many of these organizations have begun to capture their Farm to School efforts on Web sites or in publications.  The National Farm to School Network compiles a listing of programs, policies, local organizations, farmers, publication, events, funding opportunities, and local contacts for each state and the District of Columbia in Farm to School across the Nation. A listing of Regional Lead Agencies with highlights from each is also included.

Farm to School across the Nation

Federal Government

Several Federal government agencies provide Farm to School related resources or programs that might be used to support Farm to School programs.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS)
  Fruit and Vegetable Programs. [Accessed 6/9/2011]

Marketing Services Division
  Farmers Markets and Local Food Marketing. [Accessed 6/9/2011]

Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP)
  MyPlate. [Accessed 6/9/2011]

Economic Research Service (ERS)
  Food Environment Atlas. [Accessed 6/9/2011]

Farm Service Agency (FSA)
  Farm Storage Facility Loan Program. [Accessed 6/9/2011]

  Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)
  Farm to School Initiative. [Accessed 6/9/2011]

  Team Nutrition. [Accessed 6/9/2011]

National Agricultural Library (NAL)
  Chefs Move to Schools. [Accessed 6/9/2011]

  Nutrition Education: Farm to School. [Accessed 6/9/2011]

National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
  Agriculture in the Classroom. [Accessed 6/9/2011]

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE). [Accessed 6/7/2011]

Rural Development (RD)
  Community Facility Grants. [Accessed 6/9/2011]

United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  Childhood Overweight and Obesity: Strategies and Solutions. [Accessed 6/9/2011]

  Healthy Youth!: Local Wellness Policy Tools & Resources. [Accessed 6/9/2011]

Department of Defense (DoD)
  Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)
  Troop Support Produce Division. [Accessed 6/9/2011]