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Extension home > Extension news > Messages From The Dean > Learn why farm to school programs are good for kids and communities

Learn why farm to school programs are good for kids and communities

Radio Transcript from Minnesota Farm Network, On the Farm radio show with Tom Rothman

ST. PAUL, Minn. (3/9/2012) —This is Bev Durgan on the Farm. There are teenage boys growing up in this state who have no idea what a potato looks like. They have seen plenty of french fries and potato chips, but they have never seen a raw potato. I saw this example in a recent video about Farm to School programs in Minnesota.

The phrase "farm to school" refers to programs that share the goal of encouraging schools to use more local foods in their cafeterias and encouraging teachers to include food and agriculture in their lesson plans.

Farm to school programs are good for our farmers and rural communities because food is purchased locally. Farm to school programs can contribute as much as $400,000 annually to a regional economy, according to a University of Minnesota Extension study.

Farm to school programs are also good for our kids. Research shows that students in schools with a farm to school program increase their daily consumption of fruits and vegetables.

The educational impact of farm to school programs is good for agriculture. An increasing number of Minnesota youth have no connection to a farm and that is why we end up with kids who do not know what a raw potato is. Farm to school programs help students connect to agriculture.

University of Minnesota Extension is committed to providing the research-based information that will help both farmers grow food and help consumers make informed decisions on the food they consume. You can find out more about farm to school programs on our website www.extension.umn.edu/farm-to-school.
This is Bev Durgan on the Minnesota Farm Network.

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