In 2010, Congress designated October as National Farm-to-School Month to encourage local foods in schools, support the local agriculture economy and to educate students about the foods they consume. Throughout the month, Idaho celebrated connections between schools and local food.
To assist schools in their efforts, a farm-to-school newsletter was distributed to teachers and food service personal throughout the state that included fact sheets, posters and coloring pages related to eating local. Schools across the state participated in many different ways.
At Capital High School horticulture students celebrated farm-to-school month harvesting potatoes they had planted in March. Throughout the spring and summer, students watered and maintained the potatoes that were grown in large pots. The students also planted a herb box with a variety of culinary herbs used in different recipes through the year. The potatoes harvested were cooked and served to nearly 130 students. The class also took a field trip to a local farm where they harvested carrots, pulled weeds and took a farm tour.
Marsing Health teacher, Miss. Eubanks invited Idaho Preferred into her classroom to introduce the My Idaho Plate to her students. My Idaho Plate provides students with information on how they can eat according to the dietary guidelines, – and eat Idaho foods at the same time! Over 80 students learned about the five foods groups, the nutritional importance of each, and about the foods in each food group that are produced in Idaho. After the lesson, the students were split into three groups. One group learned where in Idaho the foods are grown by placing food models on a big map of Idaho. At another station the students learned about nine different apple varieties grown in Idaho and taste-tested three popular varieties. At the third station students completed a fun worksheet finding hidden facts in Incredible Edible Idaho posters that highlight nutritional and production facts about 24 different foods grown in Idaho.