Farm to School and Early Care programs support local farmers, children and local economic growth.
Good for Farmers
Direct access to institutions, like schools and child care settings, gives farmers a stable and diversified income.
Schools and early care settings increase demand for more diverse crops, promoting soil health through crop rotation.
Access to local markets is critical for farmers. This bill provides technical assistance to help farmers successfully navigate selling to schools and early care settings.
Good for Kids
Farm to School and early care programs provide access to fresh, nutritious local foods children need to learn and grow.
Hands-on classroom activities educate kids about where food comes from and build an understanding of agriculture, farming and nutrition.
Young children are developing their lifelong taste preferences and eating habits. Children who participate in Farm to School activities are more likely to eat a wide variety of foods and are more willing to try new foods.
Good for Local Economies
Local food supply chains create opportunities for farmers and businesses like processors and distributors. But, the current lack of infrastructure often means supply cannot meet the high demand of local food.
Finding stable local buyers creates a price floor for farmers, processors and distributors, driving the revitalization of rural communities.
Selling to schools has allowed Ben and Erin to triple their own business
Farmers Ben Doherty and Erin Johnson of Open Hands Farm in Northfield report that selling to schools has allowed them to triple their own business, hire more employees and support other local businesses in their community. Instead of going out the door to California, money spent on carrots from our neighbor farmers like Ben and Erin recirculates in Minnesota communities.