University of Vermont

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The Center for Rural Studies Measures Success in Farm to School

At the UVM Food Systems Summit, Erin Roche had the opportunity to share highlights from several research projects conducted by the Center for Rural Studies. The presentation was part of the Behavior and Culture Considerations panel and offered a synthesis of evaluations of Vermont farm to school programming, a nationwide school garden curriculum, a pilot implementation of the USDA Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program, as well as a census of Vermont’s public schools’ farm to school efforts. The results of this body of research was presented through the lens of the Social Ecological Model and suggest that this school-based programming may have some measurable impact at the school level, though individual student level impact is less certain. The presentation concluded that a longitudinal approach is needed to understand the far reaching potential impacts of Farm to School programming. Erin was privileged to represent a number of co-authors and collaborators, including: Andrew Powers of PEER Associates, Linda Berlin of the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Rachel Johnson of UVM, Jane Kolodinsky of UVM, Erin Buckwalter of NOFA-VT, Meagan Pharis of UVM. The work presented was directly supported by the USDA, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, VT FEED, and the American Heart Association.

To see any of the Food Systems Summit presentations, go to the Food Systems Youtube channel.

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