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Farm to School Month Success in Idaho

What Happened During Farm to School Month?

A lot! Thanks to all of our outstanding schools who took “One Small Step” and added local products to their cafeteria menus, classroom curriculum and activities!

October was National Farm to School Month and this year the Idaho State Department of Agriculture’s Idaho Preferred® Program launched a statewide Farm to School Month initiative that supported the 2016 National Farm to School Month theme, One Small Step, which highlighted the simple things anyone can do to get informed, get involved and take action to incorporate local agriculture in schools and communities. Idaho Preferred® provided all schools with resources such as suggested menu applications, classroom posters, teacher curriculum and fun physical activities that advance a food theme. These weekly themes also represented some of Idaho’s major agricultural industries – including dairy, potatoes, apples and trout – and focused on easily accessible local foods.

Idaho Preferred® also had the opportunity to witness some of the amazing Farm to School efforts first hand and was invited to school lunchrooms across the state including Whittier Elementary (Boise), Midvale Jr/Sr High School (Midvale), Hagerman Schools (Hagerman), Wilder School District (Wilder) and Marsing School District (Marsing), which also included a special visit from USDA Under Secretary Concannon.

A big THANK YOU goes out to the dedicated food service and child nutrition professionals who made Farm to School a success in Idaho!

F2S Month Highlights:

Whittier Elementary_Boy+Girl_EatingApplesWhittier Elementary School, Boise
Monday, October 3 –

This year, Idaho Preferred kicked off National Farm to School Month at Whittier Elementary School in Boise on Whittier Elementary_Larry_SymmsFruitRanchMonday, October 3. Whittier Elementary participated in “Crunch” week and served local apples from Symms Fruit Ranch in Caldwell on their lunch buffet all week long. In gym class, the students did “crunch” themed activities including group crunches and talked about the importance of eating healthy and being active. During lunch, the students were served apples by growers from Symms Fruit Ranch and learned about the importance of Idaho agriculture and Farm to School from the Principal, Dr. Fernanda Brendefur and guest speaker, Celia Gould, the Director of the Idaho State Department of Agriculture.

Thanks, Whittier Elementary, for welcoming us into your school to kick-off National Farm to School Month and for your outstanding job at taking “One Small Step” in Farm to School!

Midvale Jr/Sr High School, Midvale
Wednesday, October 5 –

IMG_20161005_143216660_TOPMidvale School extended an invitation to everyone in the community including farmers and ranchers to attend an afternoon assembly at their school on Wednesday, October 5, filled with fun and informational Farm to School activities. The half-day of Farm to School event began with local lunch featuring hamburger patties supplied by AgriBeef and homemade potato salad and beans grown in Idaho! Lunch was followed by presentations by AgriBeef and University of Idaho Extension on the beef industry and beef by-products.The day ended with fun-filled beef-themed activities including roping, pole bending, and a beef quiz bowl.

Midvale promoted the event on school billboards, in local newspapers, online and in the school halls in a great effort to generate awareness and advocate for Farm to School in their community. Before and after the event, each student was given an assessment test to see what they already knew or learned about the beef industry. Way to go Midvale! Thanks for the fun and educational Farm to School celebration!

hagerman_30298664142_ohagerman-f2s_30154339700_oHagerman School, Hagerman
Monday, October 17 – 

Hagerman 8th and 9th graders had a special treat during their regularly scheduled agriculture class on Monday, October 17. The students, who are in Daniel Knapp’s class, learn about agriculture, hydroponics and aquaculture in the school’s impressive greenhouse and ag shop. On this day, however, they received a cooking lesson using the trout they raise and fresh vegetables and herbs they grow in their greenhouse. Four cooking stations were set for the class so each student had a hands-on experience. Chef Kirt Martin of Snake River Grill in Hagerman, lead the cooking demonstration and taught the students how to filet a trout, pan fry the fish and make a garden fresh marinara sauce using school-grown ingredients. He also prepared a spaghetti squash as a healthy alternative to pasta, and topped it with the marinara and the trout.

Chef Kirt Martin, is an advocate for Farm to School Science, Parent/Child Interaction and Healthy Eating. Chef Kirt has a passion for teaching children and young adults how to choose healthy foods and incorporate fresh, local ingredients in delicious recipes every day. Thanks Chef Kirt, Daniel Knapp and Hagerman School for your dedication to nutrition, education and Farm to School!

Wilder School District, Wilder
Friday, October 21 –IMG_20161021_111649549

Wilder Schools participated in the potato “Smash” Farm to School theme on Friday, October 21, which also coincided with their annual homecoming celebration. The football themed lunch included twice baked potato skins with local cheese, Idaho apples from Henggeler Packing Co., and an authentic Mexican soup called pozole, made with hominy and pork and garnished with cabbage, onion and radish. As an extra special treat, the amazing food service workers made football shaped rice krispie treats for all of the students grades K-12. FFA students helped to serve the lunch and set-up display tables with their agriculture projects.

Thank you, Wilder, for your Farm to School enthusiasm and community wide initiative!

Marsing School District, Marsing

Thursday, October 27 –

20161027_112628United Stated Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Concannon visited Marsing Schools at lunch on Thursday, October 27 during National Farm to School Month. At Marsing, over 700 students from grades K-12 cycle through the cafeteria daily and are fed a local and nutritious lunch including a salad bar with local vegetables and fruits. Marsing participated in all four of the Idaho Preferred Farm to School month themes and included apples, potatoes, dairy and trout into their school lunch and classroom curriculum throughout the month of October. The school dining hall is lined with Incredible Edible Posters and Farm to School classroom art featuring apples and trout done by the students. In addition, they have a great electronic menu board that features the item being served for the day, as well as a special Farm to School section that showcases which farms provided the ingredients for their meal. Child Nutrition Director, Theresa sources local ingredients whenever possible, including fresh berries from Franko Farm, which are quite a treat!

Thank you Marsing, for incorporating Farm to School in your lunchroom and classroom and for providing a healthy, local lunch to students!

Idaho Farm to School Champions:

These schools reported Farm to School activities in our weekly survey:

Week 1 – Apple Crunch

Idaho potato bitesWeek 2 – Potato Smash

farm-to-school-month---marsing_30656644796_oWeek 3- Dairy Dunk

IMG_4700Week 4 – Trout Splash