Grayson County Schools Participating in Farm to School Program
Breanna Baxter Reporting
Farm to School is one way for USDA to continue improving school meals through implementation of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. According to Director of Food Services, Kristy Bratcher, “Yes, we are participating in USDA’s Farm to School Program. We have purchased fresh produce from Van Meter Family Farm (tomatoes, green peppers, onions, watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, and strawberries). We purchased 1000 lbs. of blueberries from the Kentucky Blueberry Association this summer and are using them in fruit & yogurt parfaits at breakfast…and the kids love them. Last year was the first year that we worked with GCHS’s AG classes/FFA to grow tomatoes and lettuces for just the high school. They plan to expand that this school year.”
Janey Thornton visited Fayette County and Jefferson County Public Schools, winners of USDA Farm to School Grants in School Year 2013, before participating as a guest judge in Kentucky’s first Farm to School Junior Chef Competition Cook-off. The Farm to School Program helps provide local food producers more economic opportunities on top of teaching students more about agriculture. Thornton said, “Some schools have even developed school-run enterprises, preparing students for careers in agriculture.” As part of her visit, she toured FCPS’ Locust Trace AgriScience Farm where students learn about agriculture, equine studies and veterinary science. The Farm to School team is working with school administrators to develop programs where students grow farm products that can be used in school meals and develop Farm to School marketing materials. She also visited Jacob Elementary in Louisville where Farm to School products were served for lunch. Jefferson County Public Schools are using their Farm to School Grant to incorporate them into the school breakfast and lunch.
Kristy Bratcher is in charge of this program in our county. She teams up with the High School FFA green house and Van Meter’s Family Farm to buy fresh fruits and vegetables that are served at our school lunches. The state of Kentucky is trying to expand the program and make school breakfast healthier as well.