Green Teens from Beacon, NY having fun at a Hudson Valley apple orchard

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1 NEW YORK STATE PAGE UPDATES: Front page banner of the below students Green Teens from Beacon, NY having fun at a Hudson Valley apple orchard PROFILE: New York State is an agriculture hot bed that grows a vast array of fruits, vegetables and raises both dairy & beef cows. The state s diverse topography has created a multitude of growing conditions that have evolved into a leading agricultural producer for many products. From the farm fields of Long Island where potatoes are still harvested up through the fertile Hudson Valley then across the center of the state where diversified farms flourish, dairy herds produce some of the best tasting milk and along Lake Ontario where fruit trees are plentiful, New York State has plenty to offer! There are numerous groups across New York State that work both independently and collaboratively on Farm to School efforts. Public groups such as the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, The NYS Department of Health and the Governor s Anti- Hunger Task Force often join hands with private groups such as America s Farmland Trust sector, Farm to Institution (FINYS), The NYS Farm to School Coordinating Committee, Grow NYC, Cornell Cooperative Extension and others to keep the grass roots efforts moving forward. Many school districts have instituted school garden programs and Agriculture in the Classroom curriculum in an effort to connect children to where and how their food is grown. These efforts have had much success in helping develop healthy eating habits in our students. Wellness committees at

2 districts have added Farm to School as one of their priorities to further support for healthy eating in schools. New York has a network of dedicated people who coordinate efforts statewide. This network connects farmers and agricultural aggregators with institutions like schools, pre- schools, colleges and hospitals. Many private groups work tirelessly on projects both small and large to help educate students and adults on the positive value of supporting Farm to School efforts in our state. I invite you to reach out and see what you can do to help! RESOURCES: Cornell Cooperative Extension & Division of Nutrition Services New York State Department Of Agriculture New York Agriculture in the Classroom New York Farm to School Facebook Page Like us! Farm to Institution New York State - FINYS "Scaling Up: Strategies for Expanding Sales of Local Food to Public and Private Institutions in New York" Poughkeepsie Farm Project Hudson Valley Farm to School Cornell Garden- Based Learning Grow to Learn NYC Stone Barns

3 Wellness in the Schools The Silvia Center Hudson Valley Seed Sprout Creek Farm Just Food education Wood s Earth Living Classroom FINYS Farm to Institution New York State Farm to Institution New York State (FINYS) is a statewide partnership of agricultural, public health and economic development partners who have come together to strengthen New York s regional food economy and improve the health of its citizens. FINYS goal is to tackle systemic barriers to increasing the volume of food produced in New York that is served in public and private institutions, including colleges, schools, hospitals, emergency food providers and senior centers. FINYS was launched in 2013 by American Farmland Trust ( as the outgrowth of a 9- month stakeholder engagement process. The FINYS Leadership Team comprises representatives from agricultural, public health and economic development organizations, including the NY School Nutrition Association, NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets, Cornell Cooperative Extension and the NY Academy of Medicine. Learn more about FINYS at Americas Farmland Trust New York New York State is home to the largest metropolitan area in the nation. At the same time, farmers working land from the sweet corn fields of Long Island to the dairy farms outside Buffalo have made the state one of the nation s top agricultural producers. Yet many New Yorkers are unaware that farmland throughout the state is lost every day to poorly planned development. While concern about food security, access to local foods, and public health issues such as childhood obesity is on the rise, farmland loss in New York continues. New York s remaining farmland can only produce enough food to feed 6 million of the state s 19 million residents. That s just 30 percent of the population.

4 We are leading efforts in New York at the state and local level to draw attention to the loss of farmland and its implication for the state s food security while highlighting the economic opportunity represented by a food system that more closely connects New York farmers and consumers. USDA grants New York has been fortunate to have received multiple USDA Farm to School grants for all types of great ideas. All done in an effort to provide our students with fresh, locally grown and processed products from New York State. Here are the recipients to date: New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets In response to the new Healthy Hunger- Free Kids Act, as well as the increased need to serve fresh, safe, local fruit and vegetable products at a reasonable cost to schools, we are proposing to pilot a food safety education and fresh produce meal preparation training program. The pilot will be implemented in the Southern Tier of New York, targeting the Binghamton City School District using Broome- Tioga school districts foodservice program ( Rock on Cafe"). The pilot will also coordinate with GAP workshops that will be offered to produce growers/handlers. Further education components include student taste testing of foods in schools. For elementary grades, the "Rock on Cafe" would use the "Rex and Roxy" characters for healthy eating tips. Rex and Roxy are cartoon characters representing the Rock on Café, whose focus is to offer healthier versions of foods that children like while being affordable and convenient. Mid Hudson Pattern for Progress, Inc. The Hudson Valley Farm to School Initiative is a unique collaboration between Pattern for Progress, the Poughkeepsie City School District, Poughkeepsie Farm Project, and Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation. The initiative aims to meet two goals: to develop routine procurement of local foods; and, to create a culture of food systems learning and engagement for the Poughkeepsie City School District. The project will take a whole systems approach to meeting these two goals and the USDA s objectives by collaborating with Hudson Valley farmers, value- added processors, distributors, school administration staff, families, students, and other community stakeholders at each phase of the project. Our project will engage in collaborative procurement changes that strive for incremental, longer term and lasting systemic change and intends to provide a model for other school districts. Rochester City School District The Rochester City School District (RCSD) seeks to improve the quality of student food services by incorporating regionally produced foods in the school meals served at all schools. The proposed farm to school program will support planning activities that will prepare the District to implement a robust farm to school program during the school year. The goal of RCSD s program is to provide ongoing opportunities for students to eat fresh foods, learn about the nutritional advantages of these foods, and improve their lifelong eating habits. During the planning period, a farm to school planning committee will be initiated, regional suppliers will be identified, food service staff will be trained, kitchens will be upgraded, instructional lessons for students will be developed, and informational programs for families will be delivered. The New York Botanical Garden The New York Botanical Garden, in collaboration with Leave It Better, proposes an education and procurement project to benefit 12 public and charter schools in New York City. The project

5 will test a holistic school gardening model that integrates school gardening activities with hands- on workshops in the New York Botanical Garden s Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden and Greenmarket. Gardening activities will be complemented by nutrition education, standards- based curricula, and farmer s market exercises, as well as professional development for teachers and workshops for parents/administrators. The model will also incorporate a summer program to evaluate the impact of school- year food education vs. year- round food education on children s attitudes toward food. Additionally, the project will pilot test and evaluate a procurement program for three Bronx charter schools. It will identify barriers that prevent schools from using food service providers that source locally grown food and implement proposed solutions to connect participating schools with these providers. Exploratory discussions with stakeholders will also look at ways non- profits and farmers can collaborate with New York City and its food service provider to increase procurement in public schools. A garden coordinator will work part- time in the school gardens to provide technical support, and will oversee implementation of the procurement component. Orange County Department of Health The Orange County Department of Health in New York State will partner with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County to implement a support services farm to school program for local farmers and schools throughout the county. Called, Healthy Orange Farm to School, the program will create healthful and positive policy, system, and environmental changes for schools and our local community through various farm to school initiatives. Taking a three- pronged approach, Healthy Orange will work to connect schools with local farmers by assisting in streamlining the bidding and procurement process, as well as creating a committee to expand and strengthen community partnerships; increase the skills and knowledge of school food service personnel through hands- on trainings; and create an integrated approach that includes educational and promotional activities, including agriculture and nutrition based education programs. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County will partner with the New York Agriculture in the Classroom Program and New York State Farm Bureau to train 100 K- 12 educators across New York State on successful integration of the Food, Land & People curriculum with Common Core Standards. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County will implement three- day regional trainings across the state equipping educators with the skills and resources to implement an agriculturally- based curriculum into existing educational standards with support from both the agricultural community and education. A comprehensive approach to the trainings will feature farm tours, an introduction to the curriculum and associated resources, educator and farmer panels, and connections with potential partners and outside resources, culminating with the opportunity to craft lessons to use in the classroom the following school year. Watertown City School District The Watertown City School District s Growing Our Own Farm to School Planning project will build on the strong commitment of the Farm to School Committee and the established partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County to fulfill the mission of incorporating locally grown foods into a healthy meal program to improve student health and link nutrition to lifelong learning while simultaneously benefiting the community and local farmers.

6 Saranac Lake Central School District The Saranac Lake Central School District, in partnership with Lake Placid Central School District, proposes a farm to school planning project with the following objectives: develop the capacity to design the program and complete the implementation plan; implement new procurement policies that reflect the goal of having 15% of cafeteria produce come from local sources; acquire needed equipment for preserving produce so it is available year- round; and to develop a plan to integrate educational curriculum, school gardens, nutrition, and school cafeteria offerings. Activities will be conducted within the Adirondack Farm to School Initiative, which includes community participation from Paul Smith s College, the North Country Healthy Heart Network, the Adirondack North Country Association, the Wild Center, and garden club and food service representatives from area school districts. This planning project will build a strong and informed foundation for a sustainable farm to school program that is replicable in other school districts. New York City Department of Education, Office of School Food The New York City Student Farmer's Program involves increasing the knowledge, understanding and enthusiasm about fresh produce and other foods for school age children in New York City public schools. We plan to accomplish this by: training students in gardening, farming, aquaponics, the culinary arts, and providing education on healthy eating; developing relationships between farmers and students and developing partnerships between farmers and schools; supporting schools, educators and children in how to make healthy food choices; and increasing the percentage of local and regional food products available to New York City public school students. Buffalo Public Schools, Board of Education The Buffalo City School District serves over 34,000 students in 56 schools, with 100% participation in the free and reduced meal program through the Community Eligibility Option. The City of Buffalo is nested in a region rich in agricultural production and is supported by a community dedicated to increasing access to healthy foods by its children while simultaneously strengthening the regional food system. This planning grant will be used to identify systems and procedures for procurement of locally grown farm goods while encouraging the consumption of these local foods by Buffalo Public School students. Youth leaders, students, parents, teachers, food service staff, farmers, and food distributors will have an active role in developing the farm to school plan in collaboration with the project partners: the Buffalo City School District, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County, the Massachusetts Avenue Project, and Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities. New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets ~ New York Farm to School Census New York mimics similar trends for Farm to School nationally. Many of the same products and challenges run true in many states of the country. Here is the link to the 2012 Survey of School Food Service Directors across New York State. Present Commissioner, Richard Ball, a native New Yorker, has made a living in agriculture his entire life. His inspiration to become a farmer came from his grandparents, who were lifelong dairy farmers. At 18 years old, Mr. Ball began his career in agriculture as a farm worker at a vegetable farm in Rhode Island.

7 He later became operations manager of that same farm. After 20 years in Rhode Island, Mr. Ball moved back to the Empire State with an opportunity to become a farm owner. For the past 20 years, he has been the owner and operator of Schoharie Valley Farms in Schoharie, NY, which consists of 200 acres and produces a wide range of vegetable crops, small fruits and greenhouse crops. The farm serves both retail and wholesale consumers through an onsite farm market known as The Carrot Barn and ships to brokers and restaurants in the local area as well as New York City. Farm to School Coordinating Committee This committee is comprised of various stakeholders from many different segments and organizations who meet 2-3 times a year to share and collaborate on various Farm to School initiatives. Stakeholders from Ag & Markets, School Nutrition professional, The Farm Bureau, Northeast Livestock Processors, Dept. of Health, State Education Dept., and other groups make up this grassroots group to support efforts in their areas around New York State. NY School Nutrition Association The New York School Nutrition Association is the professional organization for school foodservice workers. This Albany, NY based association represents its members in a variety of ways. One such way is the formation of its Farm to School Committee as an integral part of their Executive Board. Outreach and effective strategies are offered to its members who are interested in starting a Farm to School Program or expanding an additional one. Local grants from numerous private organizations have been made available to help support these efforts. New York Governor s Office Governor Andrew M. Cuomo highlighted results from the first- ever Farm to Table Upstate- Downstate Agriculture Summit, held in NYC on December 11 th, 2014 which was introduced in the Governor s 2014 State of the State address. The purpose of the Summit was to explore ways of increasing access to fresh food for underserved populations and growing New York City markets access to upstate agricultural producers as a means of boosting in- state production and consumption. Lieutenant Governor Robert J. Duffy presided over the first- of- its- kind summit, which took place today in New York City. One of New York s strongest economic drivers is the connection between the multi- billion dollar upstate agricultural industry and the many world- class restaurants and marketplaces in the New York City area. Today we laid out our plan to strengthen that relationship and take the State s agriculture and tourism sectors to the next level, Governor Cuomo said. By keeping the revenue generated from our farms and tables right here in New York, we can create more jobs and opportunities in communities across the State, and I am proud to be joining with our business and community partners to grow this vital part of our State s economy. A number of ideas and next steps were brought forth as a result of the summit, including: Regional Food Wholesale Farmers Market The Governor is committed to developing a Regional Food Wholesale Farmers Market, and state government will work with local and private partners to identify the resources and appropriate site. This market will enable the upstate agricultural industry to increase access to metropolitan markets for producers, while providing an array of healthy, affordable food for communities. It will also serve as an aggregation hub and processing facility to assist upstate producers and processors in targeting institutional and private sector procurement.

8 Development of a Regional Food Hub Task Force and Action Plan - This new Task Force will consist of a balanced membership of stakeholders from upstate and downstate New York, including members of New York City government named by Mayor Bill de Blasio, along with members of New York State government named by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Working together, they will develop a plan to expand the distribution of regional foods to the New York City marketplace. A report will be presented to Governor Cuomo on how to expand regional food hubs across New York State within the next 90 days. Food Box Expansion Program This Program fulfills Governor Cuomo s commitment to increase local food access to underserved communities by dramatically expanding the already- successful food box model to upstate and downstate neighborhoods. This program will enable underserved, low income communities to purchase New York State fresh and locally sourced fruits and vegetables. Consumers can use their SNAP benefits to pay for food boxes on a weekly or bi- weekly basis. This program will bridge the gap between farmers and consumers; farmers will benefit by selling more produce; and consumers will benefit by having access to fresh, healthy food. State funding will cover administrative costs associated with qualified and competitively chosen organizations plus procurement, transportation, distribution and nutrition education. New York State is committing $500,000 for this initiative. Buy NY - Governor Cuomo announced the formation of a new initiative called Buy NY, a joint effort by the State Department of Agriculture & Markets, Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Office of Mental Health, Department of Health, Office of General Services and Cornell Cooperative Extension, the purpose of which is to leverage existing centralized contracts regarding the purchase of State food products, including produce and dairy products. One of the initiative s goals is to help state and local governments increase the purchase of local agriculture products in government- run institutions such as hospitals, colleges, prisons and other facilities. A new Buy NY website will be launched by the Office of General Services in January to provide a portal for state and local governments to learn more about purchasing New York State- produced products. It will also help educate New York agricultural producers and distributors about the state contracting system, which is available to all 62 counties and hundreds of municipalities across the state. SUNY Farmers Market Certification Course The State, in cooperation with the Farmers Market Federation of New York and six SUNY campuses, will develop a curriculum to improve the quality and performance of farmers markets across the state. These courses will help market managers improve their promotion of farmers markets and any market- based incentive programs offered at the farmers markets. Taste NY Culinary Tour This initiative will provide tours for downstate restaurateurs at upstate farms to cultivate stronger business- to- business relationships between the two entities. Increased Outreach by the Taste NY Office in Brooklyn At the Governor s direction, the newly- formed Taste NY Office in Brooklyn will increase outreach to highly- trafficked tourist attractions in New York City with the goal of expanding economic opportunities for New York State agricultural producers

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