Farm to School Producer Mentoring Program
This unique producer peer-to-peer program pairs producers new to the school food institutional marketplace with a seasoned FTS producer. This program’s mission is to increase the number of Colorado’s fruit and vegetable producers who are willing and able to sell to Colorado schools and bolster the FTS marketplace. The program is funded by a 2016 USDA Farm to School grant. Interested in becoming a mentor? Do know producers who would be a great farm to school mentors? Nominate them! See the FTS Mentor Program flyer for more information.
NOMINATE a Mentor: Complete this short ONLINE FORM.
Farm to School Markets – Is it for you?
Selling to local schools is not just good for the kids – it can be very good for your farm or ranch. Did you know that collectively K-12 schools are the largest institutional buyer in the state? And schools are a stable, year-round market. Yes, even in the summer, many schools are participating in the Summer Meal Program and feeding kids daily.
Schools have specific needs, like any buyer. Sometimes navigating a new market, especially one that has rules and regulations governing food safety, procurement, and budget limitations can be daunting. But that’s where Colorado Farm to School and its partners step in. With over 50 school districts buying locally, from small rural districts of fewer than 1000 students to metropolitan districts with tens of thousands of students, there are many ways to sell to schools and more and more producers who are finding farm to school a great way to expand their business and make Colorado’s children healthier.
Next Steps to Take
- Sign up to be a mentee in the Producer Mentoring Program (see above).
- Check out the resources on the Producer pages.
- Contact us if you need more information.
- Please do take the Producer Survey, described below:
Colorado Farm to School Producer Survey
Many exciting direct marketing opportunities are opening up in Colorado, including selling directly to schools. The CO-FTS is ramping up its technical assistance to producers. If you are a producer selling to schools or might be interested in selling to schools, please take a few minutes to complete the online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ftsproducer.