Ohio State to Hold Farm to School Workshop Oct. 24


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Call it speed dating for food producers and school districts.

Farmers looking for school districts to provide with fresh local foods and school districts looking for farmers to source local foods for their school lunch programs can attend a regional Farm to School workshop Oct. 24 that organizers liken to speed dating for its ability to try to help connect producers and school districts looking to start or expand Farm to School programs.  

The workshop is targeted toward educators, farmers, food producers, businesses and anyone else interested in beginning or expanding a Farm to School program or other related activities, said Mike Hogan, an Ohio State University Extension educator and sustainable agriculture coordinator.

OSU Extension is the outreach arm of Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

The Columbus workshop is the last of five regional Farm to School workshops OSU Extension held throughout Ohio this year as part of its efforts to expand the successful program, which works to increase students’ access to healthy foods and to help them learn more about food, health, nutrition and agriculture, Hogan said.

Farm to School is a national program, which in Ohio is led by OSU Extension and is supported by numerous agencies, foundations and industry organizations.

Ohio’s Farm to School Program has projects and partnerships in many of Ohio’s 88 counties. Leadership of the program transitioned from the Ohio Department of Agriculture to OSU Extension in 2011. The Program works to ensure that students pre-K through college have increased access to locally produced nutritious food.

“This workshop is designed to inform participants about the benefits of and opportunities for buying and serving local foods,” Hogan said. “Farm to School programs are growing as more schools look to add more fresh, locally produced foods to their school lunch menus and as more people are recognizing the benefits of the local economy, by supporting local foods and local producers.”

Topics to be discussed during the event include:

  • Starting a Farm to School Program.
  • What’s Happening with Farm to School.
  • Local Foods and Meal Planning.
  • Food Safety.
  • Making Connections: Distributors, Cooperatives, Producers and Schools.
  • Students Grow: Hands-on Education.
  • Finding Local Foods in Your Community.
  • Local Foods Cooking Demonstration for Schools.

The workshop is from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 24 at the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, 3960 Brookham Drive, in Columbus. Registration is $30 and includes admission, all materials, continental breakfast and lunch.

The deadline to register is Oct. 17. To register or for more information, go to regonline.com/farmtoschool2014. More information about the Farm to School Program can be found at farmtoschool.osu.edu.


Tracy Turner
For more information, contact: 


Mike Hogan