Farm to School Core Elements
Get to Know How Farm to School Works
These are the three main elements of a Farm to School initiative:
- Procurement: Local foods are purchased, promoted and served in the cafeteria, as a snack or in classroom taste-tests.
Rippleside Elementary School in Aitkin County purchases fruits, vegetables and other products from various nearby farms for the school's Farm to School lunch. The school uses this as an opportunity to educate students on where their food comes from, who the farmers are and why it's important to eat well.
- Education: Students participate in education activities related to agriculture, food, health and nutrition.
The Little Falls School district implemented an agriculture class and family and consumer science class as part of its Farm to School initiative. Students learn about the food system from start to finish and participate in planting, preparing food and consuming produce. Additionally, at the Little Falls School district Farm to School program, 100+ elementary students eat on a given day from the salad bar supplemented with farm fresh produce.
- School-based agriculture: Students engage in hands-on, experiential learning.
Students at the Rochester Alternative Learning Center have a hand in planting and harvesting produce grown on school grounds. The school-based agriculture project is an extension of the classroom, where students learn entrepreneurial skills, food production and food preparation. Students also apply math and problem solving skills while learning about Minnesota-grown fruits and vegetables.