Over 40% of school districts in New York State have embraced Farm to School and the numbers are growing!¹
New York State rewards schools who incorporate New York State ingredients into their menus. Learn more about funding opportunities on the Child Nutrition Knowledge Center.
¹ Based on USDA Farm to School Census Estimations.
Starting a Farm to School program comes with many considerations:
- Creating bid language favorable to sourcing from local producers
- Planning your menus to match with when products are in season
- Preparing taste tests for students to gauge what they like
- Speaking with your supplier to see what local product they can get
- Reviewing pricing for locally-grown products and budgeting for this
- Coordinating with educators on promoting the new foods used in menus
- Finding local farmers to work with
Please visit our Resources page to access information about procurement, where to find farmers, Harvest of the Month toolkits and posters, educating children about Farm to School, and more!
What constitutes a Farm to School program in New York State?
Finding local sources of food to use in school meals. Use these lists as a starting point for finding ingredients to use in school meals, ingredients originating in New York State.
Many resources are available to help you locate New York State grown or processed foods.
*Please visit this page often for updates.*
New York State Grown and Certified
New York State Department of Agriculture publishes a list of producers participating in the New York State Grown & Certified program, which indicates food items were grown or harvested under commodity-specific safe food handling and environmental stewardship practices. The label lets you know your food was grown to the highest standards, right here in New York State.
GAP or GHP Certified Farms
USDA publishes a national database of producers adhering to Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Handling Practices (GHP), voluntary audits that verify fruits and vegetables are produced, packed, handled, and stored as safely as possible to minimize risks of microbial food safety hazards.
USDA Organic Integrity Database
USDA publishes a national database of businesses and farms that are certified organic according to an approved certifying agency.
Farm Product Dealers License List
New York State Department of Agriculture publishes a list of licensed businesses who buy or receive an excess of $10,000 of New York farm products from New York State producers for resale. Dealers are licensed annually on May 1st of every year until April 30th of the next year.
Sources of New York State Dairy Supply
NYS Department of Agriculture and Marketsí Division of Milk Control developed a list of three types of licensed dairy producers: dairy plants, dairy distributors and wholesale frozen dessert manufacturers.
Dairy Plants: Any person who operates any single location or mobile unit which pasteurizes fluid milk or manufactures milk into other dairy products.
Dairy Distributors: Any person who receives, purchases, handles, or sells fluid cows' milk. By definition the law defines a person as any individual, firm, corporation, partnership, limited partnership, association, limited liability company, cooperative cooperation, unincorporated cooperative.
Frozen Dessert Manufacturers: Includes ice cream, frozen custard, French Ice cream-French custard ice cream, artificially sweetened ice cream, ice milk, freezer made shakes, fruit sherbet, water ice, quiescently frozen confection, quiescently frozen dairy confection, manufactured desserts mix, frozen confection, mellorine frozen dessert, frozen dessert mix, or any other product wits similar in appearance, odor, or taste to such products or are prepared or frozen as frozen desserts are customarily prepared or frozen, whether made with dairy products or non-dairy products.
Click on the blue markers to read regional stories on the impact of Farm to School across the state: