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Connecting Farm to School and Career and Technical Education

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Students prep locally grown potatoes at Orcas Island

Farm to School is an ideal match with richly interactive career & technical educational programs focused on agriculture and food production, nutrition, and culinary skills. There are numerous ways Farm to School activites can foster skill development for students considering future careers in agriculture, food production, food services, or even just the benefits of growing food for their families and community.

OSPI Career & Technical Education Clusters offer various paths that connect with Farm to School:

Washington State FFA Association also provides educational, leadership, and career development opportunities for students enrolled in agricultural education across Washington state.

Washington Family & Consumer Sciences Educators is a professional organization for teachers in the family & consumer sciences field

OSPI Education for Environment & Sustainability is a program that also integrates natural resource management, gardening, farming, nutrition, and other topics. The goal of the program is to support academic success and life-long learning, and to develop a responsible citizenry capable of applying knowledge of ecological, economic, and socio-cultural systems to meet current and future needs.

The OSPI CTE Agriculture, Food, & Natural Resources program says "students in agriculture, food and natural resources learn and practice skills that prepare them for diverse post-high school education and training opportunities, from apprenticeships and two-year college programs to four-year college and graduate programs. Through school-based programs focused on developing agricultural, culinary, health, and nutrition skills, students can:

  • Learn how to grow and produce food and agricultural products
  • Understand land and resource management
  • Develop agriculture business management skills
  • Create and develop recipes for school meals using local food products.
  • Work with local growers to produce a value-added food product that meets school food nutritional guidelines.
  • Learn about their school food service program and help create a marketing and public health campaign around fresh, Washington grown fruits and vegetables in their school.
  • Conduct consumer surveys to see if offering taste-tests of new fruit and vegetable items increases consumption of new products.
  • Host taste tests and work with their school food service director to create marketing campaigns around school food.
  • Visit local food processing center to learn about manufacturing food products.

This map of school gardens throughout Washington, launched by students in collaboration with the OSPI Environmental and Sustainability Program tracks many of the outdoor classrooms and gardens where students across the state are learning about career pathways in food & agriculture.

Last Updated: 1/11/2019