Farm to School Program Participation: An Emerging Market for Small or Limited-Resource Farmers?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Michael Hemphill, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: We sought to examine the benefits and barriers of farm to school participation among small or limited-resource farmers in the Charleston tricounty area within South Carolina and to discuss food policy factors that contribute to both the scalability and sustainability of farm to school programs in South Carolina and nationwide. To achieve these objectives, we administered a modified version of the Farmer Survey developed by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and conducted qualitative research with area farmers. Study findings suggest that, before small or limited-resource farmers will be able to truly consider entering “school” markets, appropriate state- and local-level agriculture infrastructure supports (eg, food safety and good agriculture practice training, market-ready workshops, accessible value-add processing centers, and contract-grow procurement options) should be put in place. Moreover, farm to school trainings and networking events that include school foodservice directors, food distributers, and the farmers themselves should be sponsored by state and local organizations and conducted on a routine basis. Future research should be conducted at the state level (in South Carolina as well as in other states) to better understand farm to school participation benefits and barriers from the perspective of both the farmer and the school foodservice director.

Additional Information

Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, 9(1), 33–47
Language: English
Date: 2014
obesity, nutrition, fruits and vegetables, farm to school, good agriculture practice certification, policy

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