Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica A. Chittenden

September 29, 2008

Commissioner Hooker Announces “Farm To You Fest 2008!”

New York Harvest for New York Kids Week – Sept. 29 – Oct. 5

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker announced "Farm to You Fest 2008!" that will be taking place in schools and communities throughout New York State the week of September 29 through October 5. This annual celebration, held in recognition of New York Harvest for New York Kids Week, will encourage nutritious food choices among children, while promoting and supporting New York’s agricultural harvest.

"With kids back in school and New York’s harvest in full swing, it’s a great time to focus on the importance of eating right, supporting local farmers and encouraging healthy food choices," the Commissioner said. "It is proven that a good diet and foods rich in nutrients can help children focus and learn in school. Farm to You Fest will host an assortment of fun and educational activities for children that will not only put great local items on their lunch trays, but will also fill their brains with important stuff. Many schools will be serving and highlighting New York food items on their menus, and I encourage parents to do the same at home."

Farm to You Fest is an opportunity for schools and communities to support New York agriculture, enjoy locally-grown foods, and inspire healthy food choices. During the week, school food service directors, teachers, nutritionists, farmers and community members have organized fun and educational activities for their students.

Many schools will celebrate local, healthy foods by featuring New York farm products on their school lunch menus throughout the month of October and beyond. Others will hold food-tastings with local food items, schedule class visits to a local farm or farmers’ market, invite a guest speaker to talk about local foods or organize demonstrations like a cider press or corn roasting. A list of local Farm to You Fest activities taking place across the State can be found at

Farm to You Fest 2008! celebrations are supported by the New York Farm to School Coordinating Committee. The goal of the Committee is to increase the consumption of nutritious New York grown and produced foods in schools in order to strengthen local agriculture, improve student health, and promote regional food systems awareness.

To assist in the promotion of Farm to You Fest 2008!, the Department, in coordination with the Farm to School Coordinating Committee, has developed a website devoted to helping schools organize events in their area, including a list of resources and tips. In addition, the Department has distributed 1,000 colorful, newly designed posters to participating schools. For more information on Farm to School efforts in New York State or a list of local Farm to You fest 2008! activities taking place, please visit

2008 Press Releases