Proposed by: David L.Marrison

Presenters: Marrison, D. L., Associate Professor, The Ohio State University, Jefferson, OH 44047
Economos, M., Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, The Ohio State University, Cortland, OH 44410

Farm to School initiatives are being developed across the country to encourage local school systems to utilize local foods in their school lunch programs as well as for special meal events. Since 2011, OSU Extension in Trumbull County has been helping to make this community connection a reality in Northeast Ohio through a local foods initiative. During the past three years, a major program has been held to encourage school systems to utilize local foods in their school lunch and special meals programs. In 2011, a day conference was held to teach the benefits of using local foods and how schools can connect to local producers. In both 2012 & 2013, a day bus trip was held to help connect schools to local fruits, produce and food. During these day long trips, attendees were able to visit local farms, make connections for purchases, and taste what is available. These road trips were attended by teachers, food service personnel, administrators, and school board members. The attendees of all the programs reported a large increase (over 2.00 gain on 5 point scale) in their knowledge of the benefits of using local foods in the school lunch program, how to access and purchase local foods, and are better able to make the connection to local farms. This presentation will help Extension professionals learn how they can design programs to connect local school systems to agricultural food producers.

All Accepted Proposals