A unique twist on the Farm to School program in Minnesota now has students taking a lead role in getting fresh and local produce out of the fields and onto the menu. The program has been in place for five years at Morris Area High School and ag teacher Natasha Mortenson has put her students in charge of evaluating the menu and partnering with the food service staff, “and actually talking to farmers on the telephone and securing some foods that will come into our cafeteria. It’s a great experience for te students to develop their leadership skills and communication skills, as well as a great learin tool learning about farm to school, in how to secure food for that.”
The activities that Mortenson created for her own classroom have been incorporated into the latest curriculum to be offered with the Farm to School program. At last count in 2012, about 240 districts in Minnesota were taking part in Farm to School with more coming on board each year.