Farm to School efforts ramp up in North Dakota
BISMARCK – Students at Fargo Public Schools will be dining on North Dakota raised and processed beef tomorrow after a coordinated effort between the Independent Beef Association of North Dakota (I-BAND), the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) and the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) through the state’s Farm to School program.
I-BAND worked with NDDA and NDDPI to start a coordinated effort through the Farm to School program to encourage North Dakota beef producers to sell to schools. After details were worked out, Fargo Public Schools purchased an initial order of 900 pounds of North Dakota beef from South 40 Beef in Mott, a local beef processor, and plan to serve tacos to all grade levels tomorrow.
“We are hoping more producers will participate in Farm to School procurement opportunities,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “School lunch programs can help local economies and the state’s economy by buying locally produced and processed foods such as beef. Serving North Dakota food products grown and raised by our farmers and ranchers and processed by local businesses helps students learn where their food comes from.”
Producers and schools interested in participating in the Farm to School program may contact Deb Egeland, assistant director of child nutrition programs at NDDPI, at 701-391-2884 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Farm to School is a national program established by the United States Department of Agriculture to connect students to local food. The program allows schools to purchase farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs and honey from farmers for their school meal programs and to partner with local producers for agriculture education opportunities, such as on-farm visits.