Seeds to Success program hosts first Louisiana Farm to School Institute

(05/10/23) BATON ROUGE, La. — Seeds to Success: The Louisiana Farm to School Program hosted the first Louisiana Farm to School Institute at the Wesley Center in Woodworth from April 30 to May 3.

Four teams selected from across Louisiana convened to kick off a unique, yearlong professional learning opportunity that helps school teams take their farm to school activities to the next level.

The four teams represent the school districts of Calcasieu, Concordia, East Baton Rouge and Iberville parishes and are composed of educational leaders and farm to school innovators from each district. The retreat allowed participants the space, time and inspiration to work together to create goals and action plans for a more sustainable farm to school program at their schools and districts.

One attendee said, “The retreat was amazing! The peace, collaboration and bonding were just what I needed.”

The four inaugural teams worked throughout the week to develop a farm to school action plan to be implemented during the 2024-25 school year. Action plans encompass goals, activities, roles and timelines focused on the three core elements of farm to school: sourcing local food, incorporating agricultural and nutrition education, and growing food in the classroom and school gardens. Each team was assisted by a farm to school coach who will support the team over the upcoming school year as they implement their action plan. The programs resulting from the Louisiana Farm to School Institute seek to create a culture of wellness, improve food quality and access, engage students in agriculture and nutrition education, and strengthen local food systems.

The Louisiana Farm to School Institute is supported by the LSU AgCenter Seeds to Success program and funded by the Louisiana Department of Education through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Farm to School Institute model was developed by the Vermont FEED (Food Education Every Day) project using evidence-based best practices in professional learning.

“Louisiana did a tremendous job supporting schools to develop an action plan for creating a school culture of wellness,” said Betsy Rosenbluth, the Vermont FEED co-director, who attended the Louisiana Farm to School Institute retreat.

The Seeds to Success team is delighted to work alongside such committed district teams at the Farm to School Institute.

“This has been such a rewarding experience, to see school teams come together and bring their own experience and expertise to grow their programs at the local level,” said Celeste Finney, Seeds to Success school nutrition and procurement program manager. “These plans in turn will serve as a pilot for other areas of the state. I am excited to see how these teams will continue to thrive over the next year.”

To learn more about Seeds to Success: The Louisiana Farm to School Program, visit seedstosuccess.com.

A group of people poses in front of a building.

Four teams representing the school districts of Calcasieu, Concordia, East Baton Rouge and Iberville parishes joined the Seeds to Success: The Louisiana Farm to School Program at the first Louisiana Farm to School Institute at the Wesley Center in Woodworth from April 30 to May 3. Photo by Jacey Wesley/LSU AgCenter

5/10/2024 3:55:33 PM
Rate This Article:

Have a question or comment about the information on this page?

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture

Top