Gov. Hutchinson declares October Farm to School month
By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture
- Gov. Hutchinson declares October Farm to School Month
- Farm to School brings fresh produce into cafeterias while boosting local economies
LITTLE ROCK -- A program that teams local farms with nearby schools to provide fresh produce for students and income for farmers is being recognized with Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s proclamation of October as Arkansas Farm to School Month.
Farm to School is in 27 Arkansas school districts encompassing 169 schools and almost 87,000 students, according to the Census of Farm to School by the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Food and Nutrition Service.
The governor signed the proclamation in a ceremony Monday at the state Capitol.
The Arkansas Farm to School Month proclamation was co-sponsored by the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute Childhood Obesity Prevention Research Program, Access to Healthy Foods Workgroup of the Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention, the Arkansas Department of Education, Child Nutrition Unit; Arkansas MarketMaker and the Arkansas Agriculture Department.
The mission of the Arkansas MarketMaker program is to connect growers with customers. It is housed and staffed within the Cooperative Extension Service, part of the U of A System Division of Agriculture.
“We love supporting Farm To School because it’s a remarkably simple means to benefit the entire community -- students, schools and local farmers,” said Ron Rainey, director of the Arkansas MarketMaker program and an extension economist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
“Research done by Division of Agriculture scientists shows the value of fresh produce in schools and its ability to reduce childhood obesity in a very economical way,” he said. And “these partnerships also help local economies by boosting sales for local farmers. Everybody wins.”
(See: “School fresh fruit, vegetable program cuts childhood obesity rates, study finds,” http://bit.ly/1J2Qm2E)
To learn more about Arkansas MarketMaker, visit https://ar.foodmarketmaker.com/.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service