Great Lakes Region Farm to School Network
Posted February 2009
CIAS serves as the Great Lakes Regional Lead Agency for the National Farm to School Network. There are eight Regional Lead Agencies across the country, working to strengthen and expand existing farm to school programs and provide assistance for beginning programs.
The National Farm to School Network envisions a nation in which farm to school programs are an essential component of strong and just local and regional food systems, ensuring the health of all school children, farms, the environment, economies and communities. The network’s priorities for achieving this vision include networking, policy, research, training and technical assistance, media and marketing, and information dissemination and development.
The National Farm to School Network sprouted from the desire to support community-based food systems, strengthen family farms, and improve student health by reducing childhood obesity. National staff and partners at eight regional lead agencies provide free training and technical assistance, information services, networking and support for policy, media and marketing activities. The National Farm to School Network began in 2005 as a collaborative project of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College and the Community Food Security Coalition, funded through the Kellogg Foundation. In 2011, the National Farm to School Network evolved into an independent organization fiscally sponsored by the Tides Center.
The Great Lakes Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Diverse farm to school efforts in the region include local food in school lunch lines, school gardens, nutrition education, farm tours, local food school fundraisers and much more. At least 244 farm to school projects involving at least 1,155 different schools operate in the region. You can join the movement by adding your school or project at www.farmtoschool.org.
Whether you are brand-new to farm to school, looking to boost an existing program or interested in selling food from your farm to schools, there are many ways to connect with the resources you need:
- Visit www.farmtoschool.org to find state and national resources, list the details of your farm to school program and find out more about farm to school in your state.
- Contact your National Farm to School Network state lead listed below.
- Follow the Great Lakes community on Facebook to get the latest updates and to share your story.
- Learn more about Farm to School Month in October at www.farmtoschoolmonth.org.
- Join the Farm to School and School Garden Research Consortium online at www.datadorksunite.ning.com
For more information, contact regional coordinator Vanessa Herald or your National Farm to School Network State Lead listed below.
Great Lakes Farm Region to School Network Coordinator:
Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
University of Wisconsin, Madison
1535 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1215
Phone: (608) 263-6064
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Phone: (612) 870-3410