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.
- 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.
Food Safety Requirements to Sell to Schools
Farm to School Equipment and Infrastructure Grant Program
ODA has selected six awardees for the Farm to School Equipment and Infrastructure Grant Program. The goal of this competitive program is to help Oregon farmers, ranchers, seafood harvesters, and food processors get more of their local products into more of Oregon’s participating National School Lunch Programs, Child and Adult Care Food Programs, and approved Summer Food Service Programs.
House Bill (HB) 2579 expanded the Farm to School Grant Program to include assistance with equipment and infrastructure necessary for producers and processors to scale into school markets. Grant funds helped support farm and food business improvements such as: a new well to irrigate crops and extend the growing season; a commercial mixer to scale up production; and cold storage to improve the quality and freshness of storage crops. HB 2579 originally included $500,000 in grant funds, but due to the state’s economic downturn the grant program was reduced to $250,000.
Farm to School Producer Equipment and Infrastructure Grantees