Boy eating carrot

What is Farm to School?

Farm to School may be known as farm-to-fork, farm-to-table, farm-to-institution or many other names. Whichever name it is given, the goal is the same: to get more locally grown products into the cafeterias of schools, day care centers, colleges, hospitals, businesses and other institutions.

Farm to School programs can be as big as serving up locally grown foods in every meal or as simple as offering a locally grown product once. Large or small, each program is important and supports the health and well-being of students and family farmers.

Farm to School in Missouri

Missouri families and schools know that some of the best things to eat are grown close to home. From pre-K to college, at least 78 school districts in Missouri are serving up locally grown produce, fruit and other products in their cafeteria meals and snacks.


We depend on our partners!

  • National Farm to School Network: Farm to school – Information, advocacy and networking hub for communities working to bring local food sourcing and food and agriculture education into school systems and early care and education environments.
  • Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education: Farm to School – Goal is to get more locally grown products into school cafeterias.
  • Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services: Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) – Missouri farm to preschool program that offers resources and training for all types of early care and education settings.
  • Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services: Missouri Culinary Skills Institute – Mission is to support nutrition environments in schools by advancing the culinary skills and abilities of food service staff.
  • Missouri Department of Agriculture: Missouri Grown – Database of Missouri-grown products so users can locate the best products in Missouri, for Missouri.
  • Missouri Department of Agriculture: Missouri Farm to School Program – Provides support for Farm to School programs.

School staff

Hear from local school staff who are making their farm to school programs work:

Voices from the field: Laina Fullum, Director of Nutrition Services at Columbia Public Schools, talks about the many benefits of farm to school programs.

Farm to school works for...

Students! FTS programs can result in: Students consuming more fruits and vegetables and having greater knowledge of agriculture and healthy eating.

Schools! FTS programs can result in: School food service operations increasing both the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables served and increasing their revenues from adult and student participation in school meal programs.

Farmers! FTS programs can result in: Farmers diversifying their markets, securing contracts for their products and establishing grower collaboratives and cooperatives.