Michael Moran, 518-457-0752|
September 27, 2011
Commissioner Aubertine Announces Farm to You Fest! 2011
October 3 – October 9: Time to Celebrate Local Food and Agriculture
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine announced today that Farm to You Fest! 2011 will take place in schools and communities throughout New York State during the week of October 3 through October 9. 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 always a rewarding event for the entire agriculture community. But, this year it is even more important. In many parts of our state our farmers have borne the brunt of devastating storms,” the Commissioner said. “It is more important than ever for New Yorkers to support their farmers celebrating 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 community health fairs.
In recent years, 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: the very popular fruit and vegetable ‘Trading Cards,’ 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. Many items are produced in both English and Spanish languages. 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 October 3 through October 9; however, harvest events can and will occur throughout September and October. Farm to You Fest! 2011 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.
2011 Press Releases