October 20, 2010

Teresa Roark, Community Organizer, Oregon Rural Action
541-975-2411 or

Upcoming Farm to School Workshop Highlights Local Successes

Farm to School Programs are growing in popularity around the country.  These programs serve to improve student health and support local agriculture by connecting students with the food they eat. To highlight the successes and challenges of the local Powder Valley Farm to School Program, Oregon Rural Action is sponsoring a workshop on October 29th at Powder Valley School, located at 333 G St in North Powder.

The workshop will run from 9am to 3pm. It will include presentations and a panel discussion with key members of the Powder Valley Farm to School Committee, networking opportunities for producers and school representatives, and breakout sessions covering topics such as legal requirements for selling to schools and the basics of organizing a Farm to School Program.  Robin Maille of Oregon State University Extension will give a presentation on techniques for using fresh fruits and vegetables.

Wendy Bingham, a motivated Powder Valley parent and local producer, attended a similar workshop last March, organized by Oregon Rural Action and UC Fit Kids, which highlighted Farm to School Programs around Oregon. This workshop gave her the inspiration to organize a program at her own school in North Powder.

Wendy and the rest of the Powder Valley Farm to School Committee have been working closely with Oregon Rural Action staff for almost a year to develop and implement one of the first Farm to School Programs in Eastern Oregon.  In that year they have made many important changes, including transitioning to a school lunch program featuring more whole foods, involving elementary students in a garden that grows food for the cafeteria, and taking students on tours of nearby farms and ranches. These changes have come about through the efforts of many dedicated community members.

The October 29th Farm to School workshop will be an opportunity for community members interested in developing a Farm to School Program at their school to learn from Powder Valley and to connect with local producers. Lunch will be available for purchase for $6 and will benefit the Powder Valley Farm to School Program.

Those planning to attend should contact Teresa Roark at 541-975-2411 or in order to RSVP.