September 09, 2010
Commissioner Hooker Announces Farm to You Fest 2010!
September 27- October 3: Time to Celebrate Local Food and Agriculture
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker announced today that Farm to You Fest 2010! will take place in schools and communities throughout New York State during the week of September 27 through October 3. 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! is such a rewarding event for the entire agriculture community,” the Commissioner said. “At the Department, we are committed to helping New York State farmers preserve and enhance their operations; events like this let us showcase some of our 36,600 farm families in the classroom and in the cafeteria! We encourage everyone to take part in your local Farm to You Fest! and learn about the significant contribution agriculture makes to our health, environment and economy.”
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 a farmer as a guest speaker, students taking a field trip to a local farm or farmers market, recipe contests, and health fairs.
In 2009, approximately 80 school districts around New York State participated in Farm to You Fest! reaching more than 82,000 children. Descriptions of activities that took place across the State can be found at http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/f2s/news.html.
The Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Farm to School Program provides participating schools and organizations with assistance in sourcing New York foods and an assortment of promotional and educational materials to aid in the celebration. A limited supply of materials are available at no cost to organizers, and include: posters, coloring books about New York agriculture, harvest charts indicating the times when fresh produce is available and ‘Fascinating Food and Farming Facts’ brochures that stimulate “food for thought” for all ages. Those interested in ordering supplies should fill out an order form available on the Department’s Farm to School website at http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/f2s/news.html.
This year’s Fest will be officially celebrated from September 27th through October 3rd; however harvest events can and will occur throughout September and October. Farm to You Fest 2010! is supported by the New York Farm to School Coordinating Committee, a statewide coalition of school food service directors, farmers, health professionals, researchers, educators, parents, government program representatives and others working together to increase the use of local foods in schools, colleges, and other educational institutions. 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.
ATTACHMENT: PDF of the Farm to You Fest Poster
2010 Press Releases