St. Ignatius chosen for Farm to School program
St. Ignatius School District is one of three districts across Montana selected to participate in a one-year program offered by the Montana Farm to School Institute, which is intended to ignite, grow and sustain farm to school action within Montana schools and communities by providing training and support and by facilitating team building and action planning.
The Montana Farm to School Institute is hosted by the Montana Team Nutrition Program at Montana State University, the Montana Office of Public Instruction and other program partners.
Power Public Schools and the Hamilton School District also were chosen to participate.
The program will kick off with a three-day summer retreat, where the three school district teams will develop one-year farm to school action plans to be implemented during the 2022-2023 school year. Action plans will encompass goals, activities, roles and timelines focused on the three core elements of farm to school: local procurement, education and school gardens/farms. Each team, ranging from four to eight members of the school community, will be assigned a Farm to School coach who will support the team with development and implementation of the action plan.
“The Montana Farm to School Institute is a great opportunity for our Montana school districts to grow their farm to school programs,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen said. “The continued partnership between MSU, my office and Montana school districts, with focus on our Montana agriculture producers, provides our students with a unique learning experience. Utilizing pathways to fresh locally grown foods benefits our Montana schools, students, farmers and ranchers.”
The Farm to School Institute model was developed by Vermont FEED using evidence-based best practices in professional learning. The Montana Farm to School Institute is supported by the Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm to School Grant. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.
For more information about the Montana Farm to School Institute, visit www.montana.edu/mtfarmtoschool/institute.html.