The Benton county economic development Board (BDG) announced it will hold an informational meeting on the Farm to School Program June 24th, 7: 00pm at the US Bank meeting Room in Vinton.

Tammy Stotts the state director for the Farm to School program will be on hand to explain the program and lead the discussion between growers and education personnel to show how each might benefit from the program. The Farm to School program’s mission is to encourage and promote the purchase of locally produced food in our schools, strengthen the farm economy and offer educational opportunities to improve child nutrition and health.

Initiatives are in place to unite growers and educators, providing many benefits to all. These initiatives g give school food services the chance to 1. Work with local growers, 2.Work with fresh fruits and vegetables, 3. Serve students fresh, locally grown produce. Other benefits allow growers the chance to, 1.Expand their market, 2. Plant different items for their schools 3. Feed the students in their community. At the same time students benefit by having, 1. The opportunity to try new fruits and vegetables, 2 Understand where their food comes from, 3. Learn skills and knowledge to be able to grow fruits and vegetables at the same time they are helping to support their community

BDG president Marlyn Jorgensen stressed that this is an informational meeting and is open to the public and there are no costs involved. Anyone who has any interest in learning more about this program is welcome particularly we want growers who might benefit from this program as well as school service people, school board members and students. Jorgensen said BDG is happy to be involved in hosting such educational opportunities for all members of the county and will continue to support any activities that arise from such programs. Other activities might include co-op marketing and distribution, student food chapters and other activities that might be proposed.

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