a national information resource for value-added agriculture
Agricultural Marketing Resource Center

Farm to School Initiative

The Farm to School initiative is an effort to connect schools (K - 12) with regional or local farms in order to serve healthy meals using locally produced foods. Farm to School activities may vary from community to community depending upon demographics; however, the basic goals remain the same:

  • To meet the diverse needs of school nutrition programs in an efficient manner
  • To support regional and local farmers and thereby strengthen local food systems
  • To provide support for health and nutrition education.

The USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is focusing on Farm to School efforts that incorporate regional and local farm products into school meal programs. Schools and communities may initiate and support a variety of Farm to School activities, including nutrition education, agriculture-related lessons and curriculum, school or community gardens, farm tours, taste testing, and parent/community educational sessions.
USDA recognizes the growing interest among school districts and communities to incorporate regionally and locally produced farm foods into the school nutrition programs. USDA is supporting Farm to School efforts through a number of initiatives, and continues to look for ways to help facilitate this important connection.

The USDA established "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food," an initiative which focuses on the importance of understanding where our food comes from and how it gets to our plate. In response to the growing demand for Farm to School activities, the "USDA Farm to School Team" was developed out of the "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" Initiative. Learn more about USDA's Farm to School Team.

Tell us your thoughts on this program and efforts to bring local food to school children.


I found a large variety of education grants on www.grantsalert.com. They specialize in locating grants specifically to fund curricula and school projects.

Hi, I am trying to launch my Beekeeping workshop for students k-12 this spring. Are there any grants available to assist with a project such as this? Thank you.

Post Your Comments

Indicates a Required Field
Email Address:
Verification Code: Please enter the letters and numbers you
see on the image into the text box below.

All comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

USDA Rural DevelopmentPartially Funded by USDA Rural Development
...and justice for all.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Many materials can be made available in alternative formats for ADA clients. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 202-720-5964.

Iowa State University

The names, words, symbols, and graphics representing Iowa State University are trademarks and copyrights of the university, protected by trademark and copyright laws of the U.S. and other countries.