Release Date: September 25, 2013
MADISON – The weather is becoming cooler, and the leaves are starting to change color. These signs of fall are also signs of October as National Farm to School Month. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) encourages schools and communities to plan National Farm to School Month events now.
“Farm to School expands local markets for Wisconsin farmers and strengthens children’s and communities’ knowledge about agriculture and nutrition,” said Sarah Elliott, DATCP’s Agriculture Program Supervisor. “October is the time to recognize National Farm to School Month and all the great work that Farm to School does all year long.”
National Farm to School Month activities could be planned by a food service professional, farmer, teacher or community member. Examples of previous celebrations include participating in food tastings, harvesting, tours or demonstrations.
Vilas County is preparing for National Farm to School Month in a big way. As a first year AmeriCorps Farm to School site, Vilas County is using National Farm to School Month activities as a way to introduce the program to the community.
“Using eggs and apples from local farms, the Northland Pines High School Family and Consumer Education classes are making apple cake that will be distributed at Friday night’s homecoming football game,” explained Amanda McAtee, the AmeriCorps Farm to School Community Outreach Member in Vilas County. “Football fans will have a chance to enjoy the local treats and learn more about the Farm to School Program.”
Students at Eagle River, St. Germain and Land O’Lakes Elementary Schools will also participate in a tasting activity during the first week of National Farm to School Month. About 500 students will have the opportunity to try the local apples during lunchtime.
Later in October, McAtee is planning more ways to celebrate National Farm to School Month by bringing the local apple growers into the schools. She wants to generate more excitement by connecting the students to the source of their tasty food.
“There are so many different ways you can prepare local foods, and it is exciting to see how much kids enjoy eating them,” added McAtee. “Our community has been really welcoming and very excited about Farm to School. I hope more schools take advantage of all there is to offer.”
October was designated as National Farm to School Month in 2010. For more ideas on how to get involved in National Farm to School Month, contact DATCP’s Sarah Elliott at 608-224-5046 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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