Kentucky Proud

Farm to School

farm to school

Farm to School

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is committed to bringing fresh, high-quality Kentucky Proud products to Kentucky’s school systems. This will enable students to grow in to strong, healthy young men and women who understand the importance of buying local while helping Kentucky farmers find new markets for their products.

Click here to sign up! Let’s show the Southeast region how many supporters Kentucky has!

2016 Farm to School Art Contest Winners

Art Contest Winner
1st Place: Peyton Bowers
Elizabethtown, KY
Grade 3 @ Hartland Elementary

Art Contest Winner
2nd Place: Noah Bowling
Elizabethtown, KY
Grade 3 @ Hartland Elementary

1st Place: FFA Garden Girls and Blake
Boyle County

2nd Place: Mary Kate Rakestraw
Webster County

Better Ways through Better Days Grant

Highlights of the 2nd Annual Taylor County Food for America Program held at Deener Farms.

Better Ways through Better Days Grant

TCHS FFA breaking ground at the new Taylor County Innovations High School farm complex.

Preliminary results of the 2015 Farm to School Census

Preliminary results of the 2015 Farm to School Census tell us that more than 1,700 school districts don’t yet have farm to school programs but are interested in starting one. We’re here to help!


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Success Stories

Read Farm to School Success Stories
Madison County

Each month the "Farm to School" task force will feature a Madison County farm in the school news. This month's featured farm is "Cooper Farms", a 93 acre farm, owned and operated by Chris & Patty Cooper for the last 15 years. With the help of their 4 sons: Blake, Chase, Logan, & Austin, they raise beef cattle, chickens (for the eggs), and hay. The latest premium product they raise is lettuce. The Coopers grow hydroponic lettuce. Hydroponic is a method of growing plants using water without soil. They are raising three types of lettuce in a greenhouse: Butterhead Bib, Romaine Leaf, and Red & Green Oak Leaf lettuces. Someone needs to transplant and reseed once every week.

The Coopers have taken lettuce to 15 different Madison County schools since the start of school this year! The Coopers sell their lettuce at the Madison County Farmers Market on Saturdays from 8-12am; they also sell to local groceries and restaurants. Many foods travel an average of 1500 miles to get to the schools or groceries in our community. Fresh local grown foods are much tastier and have more nutrition. Lettuce can be a good source of fiber and many essential vitamins and minerals. Try using lettuce in salads, sandwiches, hamburger, tacos, and other foods. In Chinese foods, the stem is used just as much as the leaf. Let's support our farmers by eating fresh healthy foods grown in Kentucky! Special thanks to Cooper Farms.

Written by Lisa Wheat, RD, LD
Madison County Health Department.

Fayette County
Courtesy of
Adventurous students at Lansdowne Elementary who sampled sweet potatoes with brown sugar and cinnamon got an animal sticker in return for trying a new food. The taste test was the first district-sponsored activity under the national Farm to School network, which Fayette County Public Schools is piloting at Lansdowne. Other possible avenues are school gardens, composting programs and farm tours ? all of which help youngsters understand where their food comes from and how their choices affect their health, environment and community.

The aim is to improve students' diets with fresh, appetizing foods picked at the peak of their flavor and to reinforce classroom lessons with tangible examples in the cafeteria. "We're just trying to get the kids to connect the progression with how food gets from the farm to the table and that there's a person behind this. There is food grown locally ? it doesn't just magically appear," said Marty Flynn, the district's Child Nutrition program coordinator. She, colleague Diane Seale and two dietitians from the county health department visited Lansdowne on Wednesday to encourage the children to try a new food, handing out small cups of sweet potatoes as classes filled the cafeteria tables.

The reaction among some of the youngest? "It's really sweet!" and "It tasted like pie." FCPS is receiving broad community support for Farm to School. The steering committee also includes representatives from the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, the University of Kentucky, the Fayette County Cooperative Extension, the Arboretum and the Lexington Farmers Market. As those resources filter down to the school level, teachers and students will benefit greatly. "With the Farm to School program, Lansdowne students are going to have a chance to connect their science curriculum (plant growth) and social studies curriculum (economics) to studies about healthy bodies," said first-grade teacher Jennifer Rodabaugh.

"In my classroom, we will be learning about how foods are grouped according to the nutrition pyramid and how the foods affect our bodies. We will also be working on making sure the students are aware of good food choices versus poor food choices. During lunchtime, we will begin to track how many healthy choices we are making daily. I hope this will raise nutritional awareness." Cafeteria manager Linda Stewart and her staff do their part, too. For instance, they displayed a basket of uncut sweet potatoes so the children could see the original produce. And in the spring, Lansdowne will kick off what Stewart called the "dot" program, which is all about putting a rainbow on every child's plate. Her staff will wear the colors of each food group to encourage students to ask questions about different choices.

"They'll be more informed on what it takes to make a balanced diet," Stewart said. Lansdowne was selected to pilot the Farm to School initiative in part because of such efforts. "Our excellent cafeteria staff does a great job of offering our students varied choices of fruits and vegetables. A point is made to ask the students not just what foods they want for lunch, but more specifically, what fruit or vegetable would you like to have," Rodabaugh said. "At Lansdowne we want our students to be the best that they can be, inside and out. Farm to School will just be another tool we will use to make that happen."

Boyle County
Hello Wyatt's,
Your lettuce was a hit! It not only looked and tasted good, we have had teachers especially comment and generate interest among themselves and with students. It has been one of the most positive things we have done this year. I am interested in continuing on with the product until the end of the school year. Now, that said, we have to work out a delivery schedule.

With the way my menus run, I use some weekly at the High School, Middle School level and every other week at the elementary level.

Also, please let me know when your tomatoes are ready. Thanks so much.

Judy Ellis, SNS
Food Service Director
Boyle County Schools

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​USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992.

Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement 2015 (Spanish)

For all other FNS nutrition assistance programs, State or local agencies, and their subrecipients, must post the following Nondiscrimination Statement:

Los demás programas de asistencia nutricional del FNS, las agencias estatales y locales, y sus beneficiarios secundarios, deben publicar el siguiente Aviso de No Discriminación:

De conformidad con la Ley Federal de Derechos Civiles y los reglamentos y políticas de derechos civiles del Departamento de Agricultura de los EE. UU. (USDA, por sus siglas en inglés), se prohíbe que el USDA, sus agencias, oficinas, empleados e instituciones que participan o administran programas del USDA discriminen sobre la base de raza, color, nacionalidad, sexo, discapacidad, edad, o en represalia o venganza por actividades previas de derechos civiles en algún programa o actividad realizados o financiados por el USDA.

Las personas con discapacidades que necesiten medios alternativos para la comunicación de la información del programa (por ejemplo, sistema Braille, letras grandes, cintas de audio, lenguaje de señas americano, etc.), deben ponerse en contacto con la agencia (estatal o local) en la que solicitaron los beneficios. Las personas sordas, con dificultades de audición o discapacidades del habla pueden comunicarse con el USDA por medio del Federal Relay Service [Servicio Federal de Retransmisión] al (800) 877-8339. Además, la información del programa se puede proporcionar en otros idiomas.

Para presentar una denuncia de discriminación, complete el Formulario de Denuncia de Discriminación del Programa del USDA, (AD-3027) que está disponible en línea en: y en cualquier oficina del USDA, o bien escriba una carta dirigida al USDA e incluya en la carta toda la información solicitada en el formulario. Para solicitar una copia del formulario de denuncia, llame al (866) 632-9992.

Haga llegar su formulario lleno o carta al USDA por:

(1) correo: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; o

(3) correo electrónico:

Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.