Ohio schools have been working with farmers, collaborating with community leaders and connecting students with local food and nutrition education for decades. Formally, the Ohio Farm to School effort began with steering committee members guiding development of a national program.
In 2005, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation provided a planning grant for development of the National Farm to School Network, and the 2nd National Farm to Cafeteria Conference was held at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH with over 350 attendees. By 2011, a national network was established with Farm to School representation in all 50 states.
There was so much interest in the Farm to School program in Ohio that more than 300 food producers, school food service personnel, educators and community leaders attended the Ohio Farm to School Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. State leadership was initially provided through the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and transitioned to the Ohio State University (OSU) Extension in September 2011. The national and state program continues to develop through the guidance of local, state, regional and national collaboration.