Last updated January 22, 2019
What does local mean within the Farm to School Program?
According to the Department of Agriculture & Markets, “local” refers to anything produced in NYS. More specifically, “local” is considered as a direct or intermediated marketing of food to consumers that is produced and distributed in a limited geographic area.
What school districts are participating in this project?
As of now, 17 school districts within Steuben County are participating in the project through GST-BOCES Food Service. Addison, Arkport, Avoca, Bath, Bradford, Campbell-Savona, Canisteo-Greenwood, Corning-Painted Post, Elmira, Elmira Heights, Hammondsport, Hornell, Horseheads, Jasper-Troupsburg, Oddessa-Montour, Prattsburgh, and Watkins-Glen.
Is my farm big enough for this project?
Not every farm can fulfill the consumption needs of all 17 school districts, but even small schools want to connect with farmers. Therefore, know how much you can produce and we will find other local farmers to raise the rest of the needed product. This way various agribusinesses will benefit from the program and more community members will be involved.
What kinds of products are you looking for? And how much?
For the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years, cafeterias are looking to provide the students with various specialty crops such as apples, peppers, potatoes, and carrots; along with specialty dairy and meat products.
Are the schools willing to hit my price point?
Maybe! Price points vary. As of right now, the schools don’t have the financial resources to purchase substantially more expensive produce, dairy, and meat products on a regular basis, but can make smaller one-time purchases. However, there is a possibility that they will have more flexibility in several years.
Do I need to be Certified Organic, GAP certified, or have other certifications to be eligible?
Food safety standards are a priority to all cafeteria managers, although you do not need any particular certification in order to sell your products to these institutions. There will be upcoming GAP trainings if you are interested in becoming GAP certified.
What if I know of another farmer who is interested in selling to schools?
New local farmers are always welcome to the Farm to School Program. For those interested, please have them contact CCE Steuben’s Farm to School Coordinator, Ainsley Robbins at 607-664-2574 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Recent Information Session
For farmers who missed the October F2C Info Session or would like to learn more about Farm to Cafeteria please visit this link for more information.
You are invited to a Farmer & Buyer Speed Networking Event (Mix-Mingle-Network) on February 4, 2019 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Silver Spoon Café, 323 Owego St., Montour Falls, New York.
Producers & Farmers: Are you looking to meet local restaurant owners, bed and breakfast owners or other potential partners? Investigate growth and sales opportunities.
Buyers: Are you looking for the opportunity to talk to farmers about what they currently or could grow? Source what you need.
The event is free to attend. RSVP by January 30. Call 607-535-4300 or email email@example.com.