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Market Access

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Farm to School Program works to connect Oregon farmers, ranchers, seafood harvesters, and food processors with school cafeterias, early child care centers, and summer meal sites. This enables more Oregon agricultural products to be served in the lunch line. It also helps connect youth to food production through school gardens, field trips to farms and ranches, and grower visits to the classroom.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the National Farm to School Network recognize the core elements of Farm to School.

  1. Education 
  2. Procurement 
  3. School gardens 

Farm to School programs: 

  • serve locally grown, raised, harvested or processed foods in school cafeterias, 
  • improve student nutrition,
  • provide agriculture, health, and nutrition education opportunities; and 
  • support Oregon’s agricultural economy.  

ODA partners with the Oregon Department of Education to implement the Oregon Farm to School and School Garden Program.

Oregon Farm to School Equipment and Infrastructure Grant Program (2023-2025)

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) is pleased to announce a new grant opportunity to help Oregon producers and processors access the school marketplace. Application materials are now available at ODA's Farm to School webpage: The deadline to apply is April 10, 2024, by 5:00pm.

While the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is responsible for allocating most of the Farm to School funds in Oregon, ODA oversees $500,000 for the 2023-2025 biennium in equipment and infrastructure grants for producers who intend to expand sales or start selling to schools and other eligible entities described below. 

The goal of this competitive grant program is to provide financial resources for Oregon farmers, ranchers, seafood harvesters, fishermen, and processors with specific equipment and infrastructure needs, and who intend to sell food produced (grown, harvested, gathered, raised, caught or processed) in Oregon to any of the following ODE Child Nutrition Program (CNP) food sponsors and Tribal entities:

  • A school district participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP);
  • A provider of center-based programs for children in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP);
  • An entity that provides meals through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP); and
  • Tribal schools, Tribal Early Learning/Childhood Education sites, and other Tribal youth meal programs.

Eligible equipment and infrastructure costs include, but are not limited to:

  • Grading, packing, labeling, packaging, or sorting equipment for raw agricultural products
  • Equipment that helps to maintain the identity and traceability of products
  • Processing equipment or physical improvements for production and/or value-added processing facility to reduce produce and food safety risks
  • Cooler walls and refrigeration units
  • Contractor costs and materials for installation of approved equipment, including, for example, plumbing, drainage, venting, and electrical work
  • Renewable energy production equipment
  • Produce and food safety certification and licensing fees
  • Equipment and infrastructure for production and season extension​

In April 2024, an evaluation committee will review proposals and recommend to the ODA Director on selecting the top-ranked applications. Projects chosen to receive funding will be announced in May 2024.  Awarded funds are estimated to be available June 2024 to begin project work.

To review the grant details, information about webinars, and to access the application, please go to ODA's Farm to CNP webpage:

For questions, please send an email to the general grant inbox:


Request for Applications (RFA) OpensMarch 1, 2024
Grant Informational Webinar

March 8, 2024  10:00 – 11:30

A recotding of the training is available at:

Grant Office Hours (virtual)

March 22, 2024 10:00 – 11:30
April 5, 2024 10:00 – 11:30

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RFA ClosesApril 10, 2024 @ 5:00pm
Screen Applications for Qualifying ProposalsApril 12, 2024
Proposals reviewed by Grant Evaluation CommitteeEarly May 2024
Recommended Proposals reviewed by Directors OfficeMid May 2024
Awards announcedJune 2024


Application materials in English​

Material de solicitud en español

El ODA está aceptando solicitudes para el Programa de Subvenciones para el Equipamiento y la Infraestructura de los Productores del Programa de Farm to School de Oregón para el período 2023 – 2025.​

Nyenzo za maombi kwa Kiswahili

ODA sasa inakubali maombi ya kilimo cha 2023 - 2025 Oregon kwa vifaa vya wazalishaji wa shule na mpango wa ruzuku ya miundombinu.​

Farm to School Producer and Processor Toolbox

The Farm to School Toolbox is designed to help producers and processors that are new to the farm to school program and need assistance understanding the school markets, food safety requirements and how to get started developing business relationships with schools.  

Getting started​

  • The School Market Readiness Assessment will help you self-evaluate your business and identify steps to become ready to sell to schools under the Farm to School Program.  
  • Successful business relationships with schools begin with school nutrition directors. This school nutrition director tip sheet provides useful information to help make your conversations with school nutrition directors productive and help you secure sales with schools. 
  • It is important to know the food safety requirements for the products you grow, raise, harvest or process for school markets. In most cases, the requirements your business needs to meet will depend on the form (e.g., frozen, fresh, processed) and type (e.g., meat, seafood or cut vegetables). 
  • For very small farms, schools may have their own food safety requirements and may ask to visit your farm to review your on farm food safety plan to safeguard the production, harvesting, handling, packaging and storage of the products you intend to sell to schools. The On-Farm Food Safety Plan and Checklist for Child Nutrition Programs​ will assist you with conversations and visits from school administrators.

Growing your school sales

  • There are several economic advantages to working with distributors that have school accounts. This distributor tip sheet​ will help you weigh the pros and cons. 


Communicating with School Nutrition Directors

The school nutrition director is often responsible for making procurement decisions and are the key people to contact when selling to schools. Communicating with School Nutrition Directors

Food Safety Requirements for Oregon Producers Selling into Child Nutrition Programs

Ensure you have the proper food safety licensure to sell to schools, early childcare centers, and organizations serving summer meals in Oregon. Food safety requirements

School Market Readiness Assessment

This worksheet is intended to help you determine what steps you need to take as a producer or food business to become ready to sell to schools, early childcare centers, or summer food sites. School Market Readiness Assessment PDF
School Market Readiness Assessment Word

Working with Distributors

Considerations for working with distributors as a farm to school producer. Working with Distributors


Amy Gilroy
Farm to School Program Manager
Phone: 503-709-5360