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Getting Started

Do Your Homework

Homework isn’t always fun, but your Farm to School homework will be! Carrie Frank, Food and Nutrition Director of Dover-Eyota Public Schools, says “find inspiration, dream big and keep asking questions.” Carrie credits Annette Derouin, Food Service Director of Willmar Public Schools, for her pioneering and inspirational role in Minnesota’s Farm to School movement. Take time to explore the resources and tools below and learn what other schools in Minnesota are doing.

Know Where You Stand

Is your Farm to School initiative starting up, cruising, or breaking barriers? Take this self-assessment to find out.

Get an Overview

Watch this excellent introductory video from the Vermont Farm to School initiative.

Learn From Others

Getting Started with Farm to SchoolNational Farm to School Network — Use these five steps to get going in Farm to School

Farm to School Start-Up KitWashington State Department of Agriculture — considerations for starting Farm to School.

Barb Mechura, Director of Operations for the Royal Cuisine department of Hopkins Public Schools finds no need to re-invent the wheel. Barb does her research and adapts tools to suit her district’s needs and we’d encourage you to do the same.

To learn what other schools in Minnesota are doing to bring fresh, local food to their students check out Minnesota’s profile on the National Farm to School Network and take some time to review the resources below:

Farm to School PrimerMinnesota Department of Education — Provides basic information to get you started and links to a variety of other resources.

National Farm to School Network — The website has a wealth of information about Farm to School initiative across the country.

Farm2School — This website serves as an entry point, networking tool, and news service. A map of the state shows Minnesota schools that currently have Farm to School initiatives.

Wisconsin Farm to School: Toolkit for School Nutrition Directors and ProducersCenter for Integrated Agricultural Systems UW Madison — These interactive toolkits serve as a resource for both food service staff and producers and offer valuable tools from getting started to evaluation.

Farm to School Resource ManualCountryside Public Health — This resource manual contains newsletters, public service announcements, recipes, and more.

Getting Started: Farm to School 101Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – This factsheet provides good information on how to start a farm to school program.

Farm to School Field Guide for Food Service DirectorsCommunity Alliance with Family Farmers' Farm to School Initiative — This guide gives foodservice directors a place to start and answers basic questions about Farm to School initiatives.

The Lunch Box: Healthy Tools to Help All Schools — Provides a variety of resources for school lunch programs.

Vermont Farm to School: A Guide for Using Local Foods in SchoolsVermont Feed — A manual designed for school foodservice directors or staff who are interested in making changes to the food students eat at school.

Kent School District’s Farm to School website — Example of a school district Farm to School program website. Includes an interactive farm locater map, photos of producers and staff in action, and shows the district’s path in planting a Farm to School Program in Washington.

Explore other sections:
Assemble a Team | Get Staff on Board | Determine Your Goals | Ask for Help | Meet the Challenges

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