Delaware is planning to expand its Farm to School Program, which is designed to help connect farmers and their products with local schools and communities. The program was begun last year by Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee. Kee, who has been a longtime champion of Delaware agriculture, claimed that the Farm to School Program was an opportunity for farmers to expand their markets and do more business in the community, which would help improve the economy of the state as a whole.
The program connects farmer with schools and offers incentives for farmers to sell their products to local schools. Earlier this week, for example, members of the Fifer Orchards dropped off fresh asparagus and strawberries to a Camden high schools. The Farm to School Program is beneficial to both farmers and the local community. In addition to expanding farm markets, improving the quality of food in schools in an important part of the program. Farm officials and politicians have been pushing for efforts to improve food quality, particularly for schoolchildren. The latest efforts on this front have been Michelle Obama’s and the USDA’s efforts to combat childhood obesity.
As well as improving the quality of food in schools, the Farm to School Program increases interactions between farmers and the local community. It is this relationship that is crucial to the health of the agricultural sector. Delaware in particular has suffered from a gradually declining farm population. Hopefully establishing firm connections between farmers and the rest of the population early on will help encourage Delawareans to remain active in agricultural jobs.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer