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Farm to School Survey: How Does Idaho Compare?

Farm to School LogoThe preliminary Farm to School Census results are in!  The USDA has released some of the results for their recent Farm to School Census.  The census was sent out to school districts across the nation to ask specific questions about participation, items served, benefits and challenges to serving local foods, and other important considerations for the program.  So how does Idaho compare when it comes to Farm to School participation?  By some metrics, Idaho is ahead of the curve.  In other measurements, Idaho has some opportunities for improvement.  Let’s review the facts.

IMG_6127As the facts above show, Idaho can be proud of the overall commitment to the Farm to School movement.  Of course, there is certainly room for improvement.  It is encouraging to see schools interested and ready to participate in Farm to School activities.

Schools often wonder why they should participate in Farm to School activities.  As we hope our Learning Lunchroom newsletter will communicate, there are many benefits to Farm to School participation.  One quantifiable benefit touched on in the Farm to School Census is the impact on local communities.

According to the USDA, “Several studies estimate that buying local food has a multiplier effect of 1.4-2.6 throughout the local economy; for every dollar spent locally, another 40 cents to $1.60 of economic activity is generated.” 

This multiplier effect means that our neighbors and communities are better off financially than they would otherwise be.

Additional information from the Farm to School Census is available at  Also, be sure to check out our June Farm to School newsletter (the last one of the school year) for more census information.  The USDA plans to release the full census data set later this month.


Citation:  USDA.  May, 2016.

If you would like to receive our Farm to School Learning Lunchroom Newsletter or would like us to add additional members of your food service staff to our mailing list, please contact Emily Klodowski.