Below is the link to the Georgia Agriculture Education Celebration of Farm
to School photos and video clips were provided by our *Farm to School pilot
teachers *in North Georgia.

A special thanks to *Joe Green* for video construction and editing.

Ga Ag Ed Farm to School Video <>

Georgia FFA students, Baylee Brock and Megan Parker from Northwest
Whitfield, Hunter Titus and Victoria Lopez representing Gladden Middle and
Taylor Sills and Ben Gibson of Sonoraville High School celebrated national
Farm to School month by setting up a Farmers Market in Atlanta’s Twin
Towers state government building, passing out student-grown cool season
vegetables and sharing with the public their farm to school experiences.

Congress approved a resolution officially designating October as National
Farm to School Month in November 2010. Farm to school programs now exist in
many school districts in Georgia with more coming on board each month
thanks to an effort being led by Georgia Organics, the Georgia Department
of Education, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension,
Agriculture Education, Georgia Department of Public Health and others. This
collaborative initiative resulted in more than 3 million school meals
served last year featuring locally grown produce.

The “Farm to School” movement seeks to improve student nutrition, support
small farms and local economies, and help students understand where their
food comes from. School food service directors, teachers, farmers, parents,
students and advocates are banding together to increase the presence of
healthy, local foods in school lunchrooms and lesson plans.

Farm to School is getting a boost this year from the new USDA nutrition
guidelines for school meal programs. Beginning this school year, the nearly
32 million children who participate in school meal programs will be served
nearly twice the previous amount of fruits and vegetables each day. While
schools operating Child Nutrition programs are not required to purchase
locally grown and locally raised foods, they are allowed to use geographic
preferences in the procurement bidding process for school meal programs.

Agriculture Education currently has 18 middle and high school farm to
school pilot programs throughout North Georgia. The programs have been
established with the goal of developing educational models and preparing
lead teachers to serve as mentors in growing additional programs.  The
pilot programs include school gardens, lesson plans and labs that integrate
academics with garden and vegetable produce activities, development of
educational partnerships with local farmers and chefs, and community action
greet and meet to link local farmers with school administrators and
nutrition directors. If you would like to learn more about farm to school
programs, please contact Area Horticulture Teacher and Erin Croom Georgia’s
Farm to School Director, [log in to unmask]

*More Food For Thought!*

• Healthy kids = smarter kids:  Students with decreased overall diet
quality are significantly more likely to perform poorly on assessments.
Also, overweight students miss more than 20% more school days than their
normal-weight peers.

• Students participating in farm to school consume more fruits and
vegetables (+.99 to +1.3 servings/day).

• Demand is growing: 43 GA school nutrition directors stated they would be
interested in a farm to school program – 2011 Farm to School Survey, UGA
Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.

• Multiplier effect: For every dollar spent on local food for schools, $1-
$3 circulates in the economy.

• Increase in school lunch participation: Data shows between a 3-16%
increase on days when fresh farm products are featured

Dr. Teri Hamlin
North Region Agriculture Education
Georgia Department of Education
204C Four Towers University of Georgia
Athens, Ga 30602
706-552-4461 / 706-540-0032
[log in to unmask]