Pea sprouts on a table, each sprout its own circle of dirt, plus a trellis to climb

Southwest Iowa Farm to School

Carroll, Fremont-Mills, Logan-Magnolia, East Mills, and Stanton school districts in southwest Iowa have been selected to begin and/or reinvigorate agriculture education in a new farm to school agriculture education program hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs.

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

The goals of 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.

Selected schools receive the following:

  • Technical assistance and support on food production and agriculture education through December 2023;
  • Farm to school curriculum resources, online and in print;
  • $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;
  • $150 stipend for one teacher to attend the Southwest Iowa Local Foods Summit;
  • $200 for one farmer speaker who grows fruits, vegetables, herbs, and/or livestock to visit the school and give a presentation;
  • Assistance with accessing Iowa local foods procurement programs; and
  • Grant writing assistance on school garden or greenhouse grants.

Applications were evaluated on school demographics and plan for food production, student involvement, community involvement, sustainability, teacher engagement, food service director collaboration, and creativity.