Farm to School is a program to encourage K-12 schools and early childcare facilities to source as much food from local producers as possible.  Local foods usually are higher in nutrients because nutritional loss due to shipping is lessened. For the same reason, they may be of higher quality as well. Purchasing from local sources usually keeps the money circulating in the local economy. Opportunities for education, like field trips and presentations with the local producers, make a stronger connection for children between the food they eat and the land it was grown on.

We use "Farm to Child Nutrition" to encompass all information, resources, training, and organizations available to every school, early childcare facility (like daycares or pre-schools), and community to develop successful programs. Every school district, early childcare facility, and community is unique, as are their needs for Farm to Child Nutrition. Please use these resources to help guide your program to success.

North Dakota Department of Public Instruction Farm to School Webinar Series 2024

This Farm to School webinar series is hosted by Amanda Olson, Farm to School Specialist in the Child Nutrition and Food Distribution office, along with featured speakers from NDDPI and the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. This is a 5-part series that focuses on various topics in Farm to School, including procurement, ND Local Foods Directory, Local Wellness Policy, grants, resources, and idea sharing. If you have any questions about Farm to School, please reach out to Amanda Olson,

Harvest of the Month's Calendar

Harvest of the Month's goal is to feature recipes with the food items listed during that month. The program intends to promote local foods (foods either grown or made in North Dakota). We understand that’s not always feasible, and it’s not expected for every meal. This is a fun program to educate children about nutrition. Don’t hesitate to be creative; the kids will love it. Don’t forget to hang up the poster each month. If you have any questions about Harvest of the Month, you can contact Amanda Olson at or 701-328-0817

North Dakota Farm-to-School Toolkit

  • DPI and NDDA partnered to develop this toolkit for North Dakota School Nutrition Programs. This toolkit incorporates resources and ideas to bring a successful farm-to-school program to your district.

Guide for Buying and Selling Local Food | NDSU Agriculture and Extension

  • This NDSU Agriculture and Extension document focuses on local food purchasing and selling with guidance from the North Dakota Department of Health and the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. This quick guide is helpful for questions about guidelines and restrictions regarding local food procurement.

Local Foods | North Dakota Department of Agriculture (

  • NDDA has resources available to support local food initiatives. This website includes the Online Local Food Directory map to view local producers in your area for procurement.

ND Farmers Market & Growers Association (

  • Farmers' markets are a great way to source local foods. NDFMGA is a marketing organization that exists to help promote North Dakota-grown, produced, and processed products. Their website includes a link to a directory and maps to find your nearest source for local foods.

USDA Farm to School Planning Toolkit | Food and Nutrition Service (

  • The Farm to School Planning Toolkit guides you through helpful resources to reference when starting or growing a farm-to-school program. It is designed for schools, school districts, and community partners. The toolkit is filled with tips and examples, insights from others, and resources for further research. The toolkit is over 50 pages. The website also showcases sections you can search without downloading the whole toolkit, like "Menu Planning." 

The Patrick Leahy Farm to School Program | Food and Nutrition Service (

  • The Patrick Leahy Farm to School Program helps child nutrition program operators incorporate local foods in the National School Lunch Program, the Summer Food Service Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and all associated programs.

Procuring Local Foods | Food and Nutrition Service (

  • The resources on this page will help ensure child nutrition program operators have the necessary resources and knowledge to incorporate local foods into their daily operations. While many of the resources featured here were developed with K-12 schools in mind, much of the information is equally relevant to early childcare institutions, facilities, and summer feeding sites.

SNP Procurement | North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (

  • School kitchens must use proper procurement practices for all food, but they can give extra points when awarding contracts for local food items. Please see the information above for information on ways to properly procure local foods.