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Throughout the United States, farm to school initiatives are taking root and thriving at the local, state, and regional levels. Many state agencies are at the forefront of this work, leading state farm to school planning and goal setting initiatives. State agencies, such as state Departments of Education, Departments of Agriculture, and Departments of Health, can play unique roles in establishing and supporting vibrant community food system efforts. The USDA FNS Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) provides grants, resources, and technical assistance to state agencies in order to support expanding farm to school efforts across the country.

Resources
  • Effective Strategies State Agencies Can Use to Support Community Food Systems: This fact sheet has information and examples of active state agencies doing innovative farm to school work. More useful fact sheets on other farm to school topics can be found on our OCFS fact sheet page.
  • USDA FNS State Contact Page: Find state agency farm to school contacts in relevant state agencies.
  • USDA-FNS Regional Contact Page: Each USDA FNS region has a dedicated farm to school lead, assigned to work with USDA Farm to School grantees, state agencies and partner organizations to deepen farm to school efforts nationwide. Find the contact information for each of USDA's seven regional offices.
  • The Dirt - the OCFS Farm to School Electronic Newsletter: OCFS publishes a monthly electronic newsletter, The Dirt, to get the latest announcements on USDA farm to school resources, insight into farm to school operators, and more.
  • Farm to School Census: USDA is responsible for monitoring the extent of farm to school activity nationwide. The Farm to School Census utilizes survey data from all School Food Authorities (SFAs) participating in USDA's national school feeding programs. The Farm to School Census shares information regarding various farm to school activities, procurement practices, and education efforts done by schools utilizing locally raised food and engaging with local food producers.
Grant Program
  • Farm to School Grant Program: USDA annually awards hundreds of competitive grants to support State, local, and regional organizations establish, or enhance, their own farm to school initiatives.
  • USDA Farm to School Grant Awards: Here, you can find a list of all prior Farm to School grant recipients. This information includes the awardee organization, the amount of funding awarded, and a brief description of the grantee's project.
Training
  • Bringing the Farm to School: A Training for Agricultural Producers: Developed in cooperation with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and the National Farm to School Network (NFSN), this farm to school training program is designed to help agricultural producers make connections and sell their products to schools participating in the National School Lunch Program.
  • Bringing the Farm to School - Overview: This one page fact sheet provides a brief overview of the Bringing the Farm to School training program, the program's goals, and how the program is structured.
  • Seeding Success Webinar Series: This webinar series, hosted by OCFS, provides technical assistance supporting Farm to School grantees, including state agencies, as they develop, expand, and maintain, robust Farm to School programs, projects, or initiatives.
05/18/2021