Kids dig farmers! Do you?
Farmers are at the core of our food system—producing healthy food for our homes, schools and communities; providing jobs and boosting local economies; and protecting natural resources through innovative conservation practices. Yet the future of farming is at risk. The average age of the American farmer is now 57, and the fastest-growing group of farmers are those 65 years and older.
We need to “grow” new farmers to ensure a healthy future for America’s children. So today, we raise our carrots to celebrate our nation’s farmers, the dedicated people who are entering the field for the first time, and the children who dream of growing up to start a farm of their own—will you join us?
Not only are Farm to School programs a win for kids, they are a win for farmers too! Here’s a quote from a recent survey conducted by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy:
The top reasons that respondents [agricultural producers] gave for their interest in Farm to School were: “Educate children about the food system and where food comes from,” “Increase access to healthy, locally grown food,” “Build relationships within my community,” and “Diversify my markets.”
What Can You Do?
Farmer-to-School! Invite a local farmer to the classroom to talk with students about life on the farm. Ask the farmer to bring sample products and plants from the field for the children to see, touch, and taste. (It’s a great way to encourage children to eat similar healthy products from the school lunch line!)
Read-a-thon: all about farmers! Have a special reading day featuring books about farmers and agriculture. Ask for local volunteers—parents, farmers, non-profits, etc.—to read to students and classes throughout the school.
Trace your school lunch! Are there local products in the lunch line today? If so, help students trace where their food is from—the location of the farm, what is grown and who grows it. It’s a fun and interactive way for students to learn how food reaches their lunch tray!
FARM! There’s no better way for students to get excited about farmers than to get their own hands dirty. Take a field trip to a local farm to learn how food is grown and what it takes to be a farmer or work in your school garden to plant seeds and pick fruits and vegetables.
Parents and Community Members:
Advocate! Looking for ways to support the future of farming? Advocate for policies that support beginning farmers, Farm to School, and sustainable agriculture: http://sustainableagriculture.net/take-action/
Sign on and Share! Join thousands of Americans in telling Congress we need a 2012 Farm Bill that invests in the future of healthy farms, food, and people: http://bit.ly/betterfarmbill. Share the petition with your friends, colleagues, and family, and sign on TODAY!
Here are some social media posts you can use to spread the word about today’s theme and Farm to School Month:
It’s #F2SMonth month! Celebrate farmers & kids dreaming of starting their own farms. Happy Kids Dig Farmers Day! http://ow.ly/eA6qV
Happy Kids Dig Farmers Day! @FarmtoSchool is a win for kids & farmers. Support the future of farming: http://ow.ly/eA6qV
Let’s raise our carrots to the farmers in our life as we celebrate #F2SMonth and Kids Dig Farmers Day! http://ow.ly/eA6qV
NSAC is celebrating Farm to School Month with Kids Dig Farmers Day! Farm to School programs not only increase access to healthy food and educate children about food systems and where food comes from, they also support local farmers and build community relationships. Learn how you can support the future of food and farming in your community! http://www.farmtoschoolmonth.org/october-25-kids-dig-farmers-day/
Today’s theme partner is The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.
NSAC’s vision of agriculture is one where a safe, nutritious, ample, and affordable food supply is produced by a legion of family farmers who make a decent living pursuing their trade, while protecting the environment, and contributing to the strength and stability of their communities.