Implementing Farm to School Activities
Evaluating Farm to School Efforts
Evaluating the impact of your Farm to School initiatives is
an important element to include in your
Farm to School plan or vision.
Two elements to consider with regard to your Farm to School
- Determining the desired impacts. How do you ultimately
want your Farm to School efforts to impact students,
foodservice staff, farmers and the community?
It is helpful to answer these questions early, and then work
backward to identify the steps needed for success. If
possible, establish baseline data for student knowledge,
preferences, dietary behaviors, cafeteria sales and any
other areas you wish to benefit from Farm to School efforts.
- Measuring your successes. Keep track of your activities
throughout the process to assess best practices as well as
difficulties. Monitor local purchases, items offered and how
they were received. Work with school administrators and
teachers to determine what impact nutrition, agricultural,
garden-based and/or physical education has on student
knowledge and behaviors. Communicate regularly with the
farmers or distributors you buy from to determine how Farm
to School working for them? Look at the impact in your
community. Can your efforts be identified beyond the school?
Monitoring these areas can help evaluate, improve and expand
your Farm to School activities. It can also help support your
efforts to school administrators, parents, community members,
and State or local policies.
For example evaluation tools, please visit our
Resources webpage and the
Impact and Evaluation
section of the USDA Farm to School Team 2010 Summary Report.