Centre receives Farm to School grant

Centre High School is one of eight schools in Kansas that will receive a two-year $12,500 Farm to School Pilot Sub-Grant beginning in 2014-15.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture funding is to be used to implement a local food and agriculture education program in school cafeterias.

Centre plans to expand its school garden, start an orchard and integrate hydroponics and aquaponics systems into its existing green?house.

Sub-grants are derived from the grant KDA received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture last fall to support efforts to connect school cafeterias with local farmers and ranchers through the Farm to School program.

Schools receiving the grants will establish or expand a student-managed food production system to service a minimum of two locally produced food items in the school cafeteria any five months during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.

In addition, they will create and implement a farm-to-school educational kit and campaign for elementary and middle school students. Each grantee will host a Good Agricultural Practices workshop in their community.

?Bringing an awareness of food production into schools and making the connection between agriculture and the food we eat is important,? Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey said.

?We believe that these Farm to School programs will not only enrich the school lunches served, but also give children the opportunity to learn more about what agriculture looks like and how food really arrives from farms to our homes and schools.?

In addition to Centre, grants were awarded to Doniphan West USD 111, Ell-Saline USD 307, Eudora USD 491, Maize USD 266, Pike Valley USD 426 , Rawlins County USD 105 and St. Francis USD 297.

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