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

October 01, 2009

Commissioner Hooker Announces Farm to You Fest 2009!

October 5 – 11: Local Food & Agriculture Celebration by Youth across NYS

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today announced Farm to You Fest 2009! will take place in schools and communities throughout New York State during the week of October 5 -11.  Officially known as New York Harvest for New York Kids Week, this annual event is a weeklong celebration of local food and agriculture.

“Farm to You Fest 2009! provides an exciting opportunity for schools and their communities to learn about New York State agriculture, enjoy locally-grown foods, and inspire healthy food choices in students,” the Commissioner said.  “We are pleased to once again sponsor this event and provide schools and supporting organizations with an assortment of materials that aid in filling their student’s stomachs and brains with nutritional goodness.”


During the weeklong promotion, school food service directors, teachers, principals, parents, nutritionists, 4-H clubs, librarians, farmers and others are encouraged to organize fun and educational activities for students in pre-school, elementary, high school and even college.  Many schools will celebrate local, healthy foods by featuring New York farm products on their school lunch menus.  Other examples of celebrations include: classes having guest speakers such as a farmer or nutritionist, students taking a field trip to a local farm or farmers’ market, libraries suggesting a farm or food related reading list, or a variety of school-wide or community events that incorporate fun-filled activities for all ages. 


This year’s Fest will be officially celebrated from October 5 through October 11; however harvest events are continuing to be planned throughout the entire month of October.  A list of local Farm to You Fest activities taking place across the State can be found at


To support the harvest festivities, the Department’s Farm to School Program has made a variety of promotional and educational materials available at no cost to participating schools and organizations.  New this year is classroom lesson plans that are accompanied by fruit and vegetable “trading cards.” The plans and associated cards are designed to help inspire conversations about some of New York’s most popular fruits and vegetables as well as the many benefits of developing healthy eating habits.  Others materials offered free to teachers are: posters, coloring books about New York agriculture, a colorful harvest chart that indicate times of fresh produce availability and a ‘Fascinating Food and Farming Facts’ brochure that stimulates “food for thought” for all ages.


Although materials have been requested by and distributed to over 50 school districts throughout the State already, many are still available. Those interested in ordering supplies should fill out an order form available on the Department’s Farm to School website at  The website also includes many creative ideas and other resources available to support Farm to You Fest 2009! and farm to school efforts throughout the year.


Farm to You Fest 2009! is 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. 


2009 Press Releases