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WSDA Farm to School: our programs, our history, and our team

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Farm-to-School Yakima Bus Tour, 2010

In this section, learn about:

Farm to School at WSDA
The Washington State Department of Agriculture is dedicated to fostering relationships between schools and agricultural producers in Washington State. Our goal is to support expanding economic opportunities for farmers while educating students about the connections between food, farming, health, and the environment. WSDA provides information, inspiration, assistance, and policy solutions for those working to supply healthy Washington-grown food and related education to youth in our State.

WSDA Farm to School Program History
In 2008, Washington advocates for children’s health, agricultural vitality, farmland preservation, environmental protection, and poverty alleviation identified local agriculture and child nutrition programs as a key intersection of these issues and a leverage point for change.  This coalition of advocates created the Local Farms - Healthy Kids Act, which was passed almost unanimously by the legislature and signed by the Governor in 2008.  This legislation created the Farm to School Program within the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

The Farm to School Program worked closely with the WSDA Small Farm & Direct Marketing Program, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, WSU Small Farms Team and other partners around the state to facilitate and improve farm to school connections for health and learning.

In 2011, funding was eliminated for all Domestic Marketing and Economic Development programs at WSDA, including the Small Farm & Direct Marketing and Farm to School Programs. WSDA support of farm to school and other farm to institution markets continued on a limited basis with grant funds.  Between 2013-2018, state funding was partially reinstated, with enough funds for 1 FTE to operate both the Small Farm Direct Marketing Program and the Farm to School Program. With that limited capacity and dependence on grant funding, WSDA continues to support farms, schools and other partners through grants and partnerships.

WSDA Farm to School programming and services have included:

 

The WSDA Farm to School Team

Chris Iberle, Farm to School Specialist
WSDA Regional Markets Program
ciberle@agr.wa.gov
(206) 256-1874

Laura Raymond, Regional Markets Program Lead
WSDA Regional Markets Program
lraymond@agr.wa.gov
(206) 256-6157

 

 



Last Updated: 3/12/2019