A full-time Farm-to-School coordinator is a rarity, but the position pays big dividends in furthering a healthy food culture, as seen at Traverse Cay Area Intermediate School District.
If you are a northwest Michigan farmer who grows fruits or vegetables and you like the idea of local school children eating the food you grow-or you just want more sales-now is the time to explore those new markets. The Michigan Land Use Institute and Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District are launching an expanded two-year pilot project that could mean up to $200,000 in sales of local agricultural products to schools in eight districts in four counties.
A plastic dishpan of potting soil, a cup of seeds and some small plastic baggies made their way around a conference room at the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District. These simple materials evolved into tiny greenhouses and a mini-science lesson for teachers to engage their students on local food and agriculture. The Michigan Land Use Institute, TBAISD and FoodCorps teamed up to plant this seed-literally and figuratively-that local food and agriculture can be an integral part of the classroom.