[montanafood_ag] USDA Farm to School Census Results Now Available!

Roth, Aubree aubree.roth at montana.edu
Wed Mar 16 08:30:21 MDT 2016

Final results from the 2015 USDA Farm to School Census are now available online at: farmtoschoolcensus.fns.usda.gov<http://farmtoschoolcensus.fns.usda.gov>!

The 2015 USDA Farm to School Census shows that an investment in the health of America's students through farm to school programs is also an investment in local economies.

Healthy habits are taking root all across the country. At the national level, 42 percent of school districts that responded to the Census are operating farm to school programs as of the 2014-2015 school year and another 16 percent have plans to start in the future. Farm to school programs exist in every state in the country.

An investment in the health of America's students through farm to school programming is also an investment in the health of local economies. In school year 2013-2014, school districts purchased nearly $800 MILLION in local food from farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and food processors and manufacturers. That's a 105 percent increase over the $386 million of local food purchased in the 2011-2012 school year when the first Census was conducted. 46 percent of school districts report that they will buy even more local foods in future school years.

Montana is doing awesome work! Montana farm to school programs have been growing steadily as well! In the school year 2013-2014 40% of Montana school districts reported engaging in farm to school practices including purchasing local foods, tending school gardens, and conducting nutrition, agriculture, and food education! An additional 14% of schools reported planning to start a program. Schools reported purchasing over $1.6 million in local foods which supports Montana farmers, ranchers, businesses, and economies. School gardens are rapidly taking root with an astounding 55 school gardens reported. Check out more of Montana's results (or a specific school district) at: https://farmtoschoolcensus.fns.usda.gov/find-your-school-district/montana

Vote for your favorite farm to school program in Montana with the "One in a Melon" award<http://%20farmtoschoolcensus.fns.usda.gov>. Nominations will be accepted through April 15th, and winners will be announced before school lets out.

Aubree Roth

Farm to School Coordinator | Montana Team Nutrition Program

Montana State Lead | National Farm to School Network

324 Reid Hall

Montana State University

Bozeman, MT 59717-3370

Ph: 406.994.5996 | www.opi.mt.gov/Farm2School
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