Farm-to-school programs consist of sourcing local farm products for school cafeterias. Often the purchases are combined with learning activities for the students, centered around nutrition and farm education. Programs are cropping up across America as a means to improve both student health and knowledge about food and farming. One oft-quoted reason for supporting farm-to-school programs is the economic impact programs will have on local communities as dollars previously used to purchase food from outside the local area are directed toward local purchases. Very little research, however, has been done to measure the economic impact of farm-to-school programs on local communities.
- Authors: Ryan Pesch, Extension Educator, Community Economics
- Published: April 2010, MISA, Univ of Minnesota
- Intended audience: school foodservice directors (final section addresses them as "you"), but really it seems appropriate for academics, policymakers/economists, & very motivated foodservice directors, growers, & the public (although a nice, attractive summary it's still quite technical)
- Goals / purpose: To investigate the impact Farm-to-School programs have on a local economy.
- Methods - How would someone know they could trust this?
- Summarizes key findings on the first page.
- Includes input directly from farmers and schools
- From 1 (not very well)–4 (very well), how well does this source of food knowledge:
- Engage an adequate range of perspectives and types of knowledge? (3)
- Translate between diverse perspectives? (3)
- Address conflicts across perspectives? (2)
- Generate useful information for those affected by the issues addressed? (3)
- Include an adequate range of relevant stakeholders throughout the knowledge-creation process? (3)
- Help users of this knowledge source learn from each other? (2)
- Allow users of this knowledge source to put what they learn into action? (3)
- Consider the larger context as necessary? (2)
- What is useful, meaningful, surprising, or a problem? Questions?
- It seems too technical for the audience it's aimed at even though it's simplified from the full report. On the other hand, it could be helpful middle ground for less technical people to use when trying to convince those who require more in-depth information of the value of Farm-to-School.
- What do you think could or should be done with this source of knowledge?
- What has already been done?
- How should we keep track of what this knowledge does as it circulates in the world?
- What connections would you like to see made to other information / people / organizations?
See http://www.misa.umn.edu/Publications/ for this and other resources from MISA.ID#: 4006