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Friday, May 25, 2018

Dustin Vande Hoef       
515/281-3375 or 515/326-1616 (cell)


Program part of the lead up to Iowa Local Food Day on Oct. 11, 2018

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today highlighted exciting Farm to School opportunities planned for 2018 starting with “Root for Radishes,” the Iowa Farm to School program’s summer campaign.

“Radishes are one of the first fresh vegetables available each summer and this program is a great way to let students learn about and enjoy locally grown produce,” Naig said. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s consumers and giving them the opportunity to try fresh fruits and vegetables can help shape their food choices and future food purchases.”

The Summer Food Service Program, administered by the Iowa Department of Education, provides nutritious meals and snacks to children in low-income areas during the summer months. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is partnering with the Iowa Department of Education, Food Corps and summer feeding sites across the state as part of the initiative.

Mini-grants of up to $150 are available to support sites by offering them assistance to purchase things like local produce, cooking supplies, and educational resources. Assistance in identifying local farmers, planning activities, help leading education activities and more is also available. You can find a map of participating sites here.

Summer feeding site sponsors, community partners, local food advocates, farmers, volunteers and teachers will all be involved in this campaign and will offer kids the opportunity to focus on local produce through educational activities such as gardening, taste tests, cooking and nutrition education.

“From school gardens and farm field trips to local food on school lunch trays, farm to school activities help students learn more about where their food comes from and how to make healthier choices, while also creating new markets for local and regional farmers and food producers,” Naig said.

2018 Iowa Farm to School Conference
The 2018 Iowa Farm to School Conference, to be held June 28-29 at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny and will highlight opportunities to better connect local farms with school lunch programs.

The conference will begin with appetizers created from locally sourced items and networking on the evening of June 28th and continue all day June 29th. 

Leaders in Iowa’s Farm to School movement will present and highlight momentum that has been built around Farm to School and facilitate connections between partners. Everyone is invited to participate, including local farmers, food service staff, educators, food hub operators and students.  To learn more about this opportunity or register go to:

October 11, 2018 is Iowa Local Food Day!  Learn more about this exciting Farm to School opportunity by visiting the new website


Mailing Address: IDALS,  Wallace State Office Building,   502 E. 9th Street,  Des Moines, IA 50319:     PH: 515-281-5321
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