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Farm To School

General Farm to School Resources

Last Modified: 03/24/2014
  • National Agricultural Library’s Farm to School Bibliography
    The USDA’s National Agricultural Library bibliography provides a comprehensive list of publications ranging from academic papers to State resource guides on farm to school. 
  • USDA Farm to School Team: 2010 Summary Report  
    This summary report provides information on the common challenges, solutions and best practices that the USDA Farm to School Team observed during 15 site visits conducted in 2010. The report also highlights what USDA has done to promote farm to school initiatives and provides recommendations for future USDA support. 
  • Food Environment Atlas Tool
    A part of the “The Economics of Local Foods” project, USDA’s Economic Research Service has developed a map of farm to school initiatives, using a registry from the National Farm to School Network, as part of a Food Environment Atlas web tool. The purpose of this tool is to assemble statistics on food environment indicators to stimulate research on the determinants of food choices and diet quality, and to provide an overview of a community’s ability to access healthy food and its success in doing so. 
  • Eat Smart - Farm Fresh!: A Guide to Buying and Serving Locally-Grown Produce in School Meals
    This 2005 handbook was published by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service for school food service personnel. Although the procurement information within this handbook is outdated please see our policy webpage for the most recent requirements and policies, it offers information on distribution models, finding producers, and strategies for success. 
  • Going Local: Paths to Success for Farm to School Programs
    Through Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College, this report showcases innovative farm to school initiatives 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. 
  • Small Farms/School Meals Initiative Town Hall Meetings: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Bring Small Farms and Local Schools Together
    Published by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, this 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. 
  • Oklahoma Farm to School: Tips, Tools and Guidelines for Food Distribution and Food Safety
    This manual from Oklahoma’s Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry’s Farm to School Programs provides information on food safety protocols and distribution models, as well as several examples and ideas for successful farm to school initiatives. The manual also includes two tools, a distribution cost template and a produce calculator, to help school food service director and farmers. 
  • National Food Service Management Institute (NFSMI): Farm to School and Farm to Child Care Resources
    Through USDA funding, NFSMI developed “Cooks for Kids: Cooking Green Across America” to encourage Farm to School connections with kids. 
  • University of Minnesota Extension Office’s Farm to School Videos – Advice for Schools
    The University of Minnesota Extension Program has developed a series of videos featuring several Minnesota schools, farmers and distributors. Each share their own tips for building successful Farm to School connections. Advice for schools include topics Why Local, Finding Local Farmers, Making it Easy – Tips for School Foodservice, and Building a Farm to School Team.