Georgia’s departments of agriculture, education and public health, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and Georgia Organics came together at the historic Georgia Railroad Freight Depot to celebrate more than 40 percent of Georgia school districts with outstanding farm to school programs.
Seventy-five school districts, serving more than 1 million students in Georgia participate in farm to school programs. The districts served more than 97 million school meals with local food items during the 2016-17 school year, according to a state press release.
Lowndes County School District was recognized at the honorary level for its accomplishments during the 2016-17 school year, including:
– Serving more than 1.8 million meals that included local food. Georgia Grown apples are served daily.
– Partnering with Tommy Biles Farm to serve fresh strawberries and "Farmer Fredo” to feature his collards in observance of Georgia Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Awareness Week.
– Including Farmer Brown’s Produce tomatoes in a side salad every Friday during the school year.
The Golden Radish Award publicly recognizes school districts for all aspects of farm to school, from local food procurement to hosting taste tests and gardening with students, according to the state press release.
The 2016-17 school year was a record-breaking year of farm to school growth in Georgia. The Golden Radish school districts collectively:
– Served more than 97 million meals that featured locally grown and raised foods.
– Conducted 8,204 taste tests.
– Taught 7,263 standards-based lessons.
– Tended 885 school gardens.
– Engaged students in 3,794 hands-on cooking activities.
– Involved parents and community members in 1,339 farm to school activities.