Farm to School program provides healthy meals, ag education

Fruit is sweeter close to home.

That’s what school officials hear from students when they buy watermelon and other fruit from nearby farms.

Officials and students from several districts praised the “Farm to School” initiative in a presentation Tuesday to the State Board of Education.

The program connects schools with local farms in order to serve nutritious meals and give students hands-on opportunities to grow gardens, raise farm animals and learn how to cook.

“These are truly living, breathing classrooms,” said Jenny Lazarus, outdoor education coordinator of Lawrence USD 497. Students are learning where their food comes from and to eat healthy, she said.

Khylee Massey and Kylee Sull, who will be seniors at North Lyon County USD 251, said that with their agriculture science instructor Jacob Lang, the school raised a steer for slaughter, chickens and put in six six-foot-by-12-foot beds to grow vegetables. They also are growing vegetables hydroponically.

Similar programs are under way at Pike Valley USD 426, according to Katie Carlgren, agriculture education instructor, and student Brailyn Carlgren, and Gardner Edgerton USD 231, according to Amy Droegenmeier, nutrition services director

“We have a great community that has backed us,” said Katie Carlgren.

Droegenmeier said the school has established relationships with nearby farmers and producers.

Share this post