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Interest in farm to school builds as documentary is shown across Minnesota

Media contacts: Andrea Cournoyer,; Catherine Dehdashti, U of M Extension, (612) 625-0237,;

Media Note: Media members interested in attending the events RSVP to Andrea Cournoyer, (651) 343-8220,

ST. PAUL, Minn. (4/9/2012) —A new documentary titled "Farm to School: Growing Our Future" showcases Minnesota success stories, as well as challenges that stunt the growth of farm to school. The documentary is sparking new conversations about growing farm to school partnerships. People who attended screenings last week described it as an important educational tool, and are helping to boost attendance at future screenings across Minnesota this spring.

Farm to school connects schools with nearby farmers so that schools can buy fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods directly from local farmers. Such initiatives have been shown to increase young people's consumption of fresh produce while also boosting local economies. During the last four years, these types of partnerships have increased more than 10-fold, but some fear that obstacles are making it difficult to expand these partnerships to new communities.

The 30-minute television documentary was produced as a partnership among University of Minnesota Extension, the Minnesota Department of Health and Twin Cities Public Television (TPT), with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Interested members of the public are invited to attend one of the 10 additional regional screenings and discussions scheduled around Minnesota this spring in:

Bemidji, Minn., April 10
Fargo, N.D., April 12
Baudette, Minn., April 18
Thief River Falls, Minn., April 18
Fergus Falls, Minn., April 18
Waite Park, Minn., April 23
Olivia, Minn., April 24
St. Paul, Minn., April 25
Duluth, Minn., May 1
Minnetonka, Minn., May 14
Waseca, Minn., May 24

The documentary project and scheduled screenings are part of a statewide effort to expand farm to school partnerships. Those who are unable to attend the scheduled screenings may order a DVD copy of the documentary from Extension and organize smaller screening in their communities. The documentary is available for less than $10 and comes with printed resources to assist in facilitating discussions and getting more involved with farm to school.

For more information, to order a copy of the documentary, and for a complete list of regional screenings, visit

University of Minnesota Extension is a 100-year-old partnership between the university and federal, state and county governments to provide scientific knowledge and expertise to the public. Through Extension, the University of Minnesota "extends" its resources to address critical public issues in priority areas, including food and agriculture, communities, environment, youth and families. For more information, visit

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