School staff and administrative support is essential to the process of developing successful Farm to School programs. You might need to make the case for implementing or expanding a Farm to School program. The results often speak for themselves.
Benefits for Administration
- Enhanced overall academic achievement in K-12 settings
- Demonstrated willingness to try new foods and healthier options
- Increases meal participation (3%-16%)
- Provides children with an understanding of agriculture and the environment
- Improves life skills, self-esteem, social skills and behavior
How to gain Administrative support
There are many ways to gain administrative support but you need to know what information is of value to your leaders. Below are a few questions to ask yourself as you build your case for Farm to School.
- Does Administration believe in your vision/mission statement?
- What part of your vision/mission could be directly related to FTS?
- Do they know what FTS is?
- Have you sent any communications about FTS to Administration?
- Have you shared success stories (internal/external) about FTS with Administration?
- Have you shared how Nutrition Services can/does benefit from FTS with Administration?
- Have you shared how students can/do benefit from FTS? (Data)
To build the business case, keep in mind you will need to Inform & Educate
- Show the data (internal & external)
- Emphasize the benefits
- Stress improvements in culture
- Use industry standards & benchmarks
And then you will need to provide feedback to Administration:
- Data collection results
- Program deliverables
- Program outcomes
- Budget update
Marketing Resources, Tools, and Examples
Colorado Farm to School Evaluation Toolkit (gather the evidence and report out to key stakeholders)
D11 Good Food Project (Colorado Springs D11 school district)
- Education 2012 and Beyond (video of D11 presentation to Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce_
The Benefits of Farm to School (PDF NFSN)
Colorado Case Studies
- How does food system education promote healthy eating?
- How can food and nutrition education be integrated into school curriculum?
- How can school wellness policies support farm to school programs?
- How can wellness policies be used to increase the use of local foods in school meals?
Colorado FTS Champions
- Meg Caley, Sprout City Farms. Learn how one district is farming their own land and the nutritional and educational value it brings to the students.
- Andrew Nowak, Slow Food Denver. Learn how community organizations can partner with school districts to develop and support school gardens.
- Ian Chamerlain, Farm-I and Sunnyside Meats. Learn how local agricultural producers and school districts develop mutually beneficial partnerships.