UNH Initiates Program to
Link Schools and Farms
Contact: Sharon Keeler
UNH Media Relations
March 15, 2004
DURHAM, N.H. --To what extent do school meals programs represent
viable market opportunities for New Hampshire farms, as well as
nutritional and educational opportunities for children?
The University of New Hampshire's Office of Sustainability Programs
(OSP), in partnership with the N.H. Coalition for Sustaining Agriculture,
is responding to that question with the development of the first
New Hampshire Farm to School Program. This project is supported
by a three-year $76,000 USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research Education
grant. The remaining 24% of the budget is covered by university
funds.It is supported by a three-year USDA Sustainable Agriculture
Research Education grant.
The Farm to School Program is an initial step toward creating a
sustainable, community-based food system example that can be expanded
to support additional , expandable business and educational programs
that that connects New Hampshire farms and farm products to K-12
classrooms and cafeterias throughout the state, according to Julie
Newman, OSP education program director.
"By connecting schools with farms, we hope to achieve two goals,"
she says. "First, we want to help fruit, vegetable and dairy
farmers develop a source of local income for their produce."
Second, we want to help students become more familiar with the source
of their food and recognize the choices they have in supporting
the local food economy.
In the first year, 72 New Hampshire schools are participating in
the Farm to School
program. It was launched with the distribution of locally grown
apples, which are being supplied by R.C. Hetnar Orchards, Inc. in
Epping. The ultimate goal of the program is to expand to other products,
with input from participating food service directors and in collaboration
with local farmers.
An interactive, hands-on teacher workshop for K-12 educators from
all disciplines will be held at the UNH Manchester campus, Saturday,
March 27, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m The workshop titled, "Developing
a Farm to School Curriculum for Your Classroom," is offered
through the UNH Department of Continuing Education. It will draw
from a broad range of materials and resources to help educators
develop their own place-based curriculum, explore approaches to
linking classroom activities with cafeteria and lunch room experiences,
and learn about the impact of food choices for health and community
For more information about the teacher workshop and/or the New Hampshire
Farm to School Program, contact Julie Newman, at the Office of Sustainability
Programs at 862-4088 or go to www.nhfarmtoschool.org.