The national conference is expected to draw more than 1,000 farmers, producers, educators, school food service professionals, parents, business leaders and OSU Extension experts. It is part of an effort to get more fresh, locally grown and produced foods into more school cafeterias and increase farmers’ economic opportunities, said Carol Smathers, an OSU Extension field specialist and director of Ohio Farm to School.
“The national conference highlights innovative Farm to School approaches,” she said. “We expect participants will become aware of many ways their own work fits within Farm to School efforts. Attendees will leave motivated to forge new procurement channels, plant school gardens, and offer more Ohio-grown foods in their communities’ cafeterias.”
The conference will include speakers, workshops, poster presentations, field trips and several short courses. There are 10 field trips planned to sites such as: school gardens, a food hub, local farms, colleges growing and procuring local food and Ohio’s largest school district procurement center where an apple slicer will be demonstrated.
Registration for the conference is $250 due by March 9, with additional costs for field trips and short courses. After April 9, the registration fee goes up to $300, plus any additional costs for field trips and short courses. For more information about the Ohio focused preconference, contact Amy Fovargue at 740-398-8397 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone interested in Farm to School and living in the central Ohio area can take advantage of a low cost charter bus traveling from Columbus to the convention center on April 25 and 26. Contact Amy Fovargue at email@example.com to reserve your spot now! OSU faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend!