Implementing Farm to School Activities
School Food Service Professionals Working with Farmers
Create a Farm to School Plan or Vision
Establishing a plan or vision for your Farm to School efforts
will help ensure success. There are many
resources available to assist you in developing a Farm to School
plan/vision, but here are a few key ideas to keep in mind:
||What will your Farm to School activities encompass?
a) Will your efforts go beyond purchasing local food items?
b) Will your efforts include agriculture and nutrition
education, taste-testings, local
harvest events, field trips to
nearby farms, etc.?
Create a Farm to School team in your community. This team may
include school food service managers and employees, school
administrators, farmers, distributors, teachers, students,
parents, community members, etc.
a) Be creative and inclusive when forming your team.
b) Review the Farm to school
Implementation and Promotion
section of the USDA Farm
to School Team 2010 Summary Report for
a list of key stakeholders identified during
the 2010 Farm to
School site visits.
c) Review the
Supporting Farm to School
webpage which provides ideas for engaging
personnel and connecting with the community.
Set achievable goals.
a) Goals in the cafeteria could focus on number and frequency
local food items are
b) Goals in the classroom may be geared toward physical
activity, or agriculture and
Start small. It is important not to feel overwhelmed with all
that you would like to accomplish. Starting small increases your
chances of success and gives you a foundation to build on.
a) Choose one or two local food items that you can easily
incorporate into your existing
recipes or menu.
b) If you have a larger school district, consider testing the
local food item(s) at a few
school sites rather than the entire
c) Begin with school sites that is willing to make the shift to
incorporating local food
items and grow from there.
Develop a back-up plan. If the local food items you intend to
purchase are unavailable for some reason, be prepared with a
a) For example, ordering a secondary choice through a contracted
distributor or have
frozen or canned options on hand.
While creating your Farm to School plan or vision, think about
including evaluative measures to ensure success. For more
information on Farm to School evaluation, as well as example
evaluation tools, please visit
Farm to School Evaluation Tools
Impact and Evaluation section of the USDA Farm to School Team 2010 Summary Report.
After creating your Farm to School plan or vision, your next
step may be to
contact farmers within your community.