Center announces participants for new farm to school program

Farm and Food

Cait Caughey, beginning farmer and market associate, 402.380.5192, caitc@cfra.orgTeresa Hoffman, senior communications associate, 402.687.2100, ext. 1012,

SOUTHWEST IOWA – The community school districts in Carroll, Fremont-Mills, Logan-Magnolia, East Mills, and Stanton have been chosen to begin and/or reinvigorate agriculture education in their communities as part of a new farm to school program offered by the Center for Rural Affairs.  

The schools were selected from applicants in the Monona, Crawford, Harrison, Shelby, Pottawattamie, Cass, Mills, Montgomery, Fremont, Carroll, Audubon, and Page counties. 

“We can’t wait to begin working on farm to school education activities with these districts, the students, and teachers,” said Cait Caughey, beginning farmer and market associate with the Center. “Our goals for this program are to increase access to agriculture and gardening skills for food production and to promote access to healthy, delicious locally grown foods for students and their families.” 

The Southwest Iowa Farm to School Program will provide technical assistance and support on food production through December 2023. In addition, the schools will receive farm to school curriculum resources; assistance with accessing Iowa local foods procurement programs; and grant writing assistance on school garden or greenhouse grants. 

Monetary awards include: 

  • $2,000 mini grant for food production, garden, greenhouse, aqua/hydroponics.
  • $200 for garden tools.
  • $150 stipend for one teacher to attend the Iowa Farm to School Conference in June 2023.
  • $150 stipend for one teacher to attend the Southwest Iowa Local Foods Summit in fall 2023.
  • $200 for one farmer speaker who grows fruits, vegetables, herbs, and/or livestock to visit the school and give a presentation. 

The Center began accepting applications for the farm to school program in March. Applications were evaluated on school demographics and plan for food production, student involvement, community involvement, sustainability, teacher engagement, food service director collaboration, and creativity.

For more information about the program, visit