Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey has introduced a new website designed to increase the size of the Iowa Farm-to-School program. He says the purpose of the program is to get farmers who’re producing fruits and vegetables locally to connect with schools to sell some of those products to schools. Northey says the website can help both sides in the program.
Northey says they’ll have some notes on producers and help in hooking people up with the products they need, including links to the "Choose Iowa Program" that helps local food producers. Northey says one of the big things the site provides is information on putting together a plan for selling to schools.
Northey says producers have to be able to produce enough for the schools, be able to process some of the food in certain ways to meet the needs of the schools. "So, it takes a lot more planning than just being able to take what you’re able to harvest this week and take it to the farmers market and sell it until it is gone," Northey explains. Northey says producers have to start slow with good plans that partner with schools.
He says those small plans can evolved into producing other foods for schools, but they have to start slow to be sure they can grow the right amount of food that meets the needs of the school. You can find out more about the program at the Agriculture Department’s website .