Weld County School District 6 Farm to School Program
What is Farm to School?
Farm to School is a national movement that connects schools and local farms in order to serve healthy meals in school cafeterias; provide agricultural, health and nutrition education opportunities, and support local and regional farmers.
Farm to school is a three-pillared system built on school gardens, education, and procurement. The D6 Farm to School program integrates the three pillars into classrooms, cafeterias, and the Greeley-Evans community.
By the numbers
Farm to School began in Weld County School District 6 (WCSD6) in 2008, when the District purchased one crop of cherry tomatoes for $239. Since then, with the assistance of numerous grants, including the USDA's Farm to School Grant, the program has expanded to other fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat and poultry items.
Today, almost 100% of our meals are prepared from scratch in our Central Production Kitchen (CPK), and about 25% of our food purchases are local, with the rate of local food purchases increasing each year.
The year Farm to School started in WCSD6
The percent of food purchased from local producers including fruits, vegetables, dairy, and meat.
The number of current school gardens in WCSD6 teaching students and equipping teachers
Currently, WCSD6 supports 12 school gardens at the following sites:
- Ann K. Heiman Elementary School
- Bella Romero Academy of Applied Technology K-3 Campus
- Billie Martinez Elementary School
- Centennial Elementary School
- Dos Rios Elementary School
- Fred Tjardes School of Innovation
- Greeley West High School
- Madison Elementary School
- Maplewood Elementary School
- Monfort Elementary School
- Northridge High School
- Jefferson Senior High School
Are you interested in starting a garden or growing your already established garden? Visit our School Gardens resource page.
Continuously expanding local produce offerings during breakfast and lunch and in Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program sites
Expanding, increasing, and improving school garden, Farmer in the Classroom, and Culinary Classroom programs
Collaborating with the Colorado Farm to School Task Force to gain knowledge, share successes and encourage growth of Farm to School programming.
Sourcing milk from local dairies
Integrating locally-raised beef and chicken into meals
Partnering with other Northern Colorado school districts to develop efficient and effective systems to work with local producers
The District 6 Food Hub
In 2012, WCSD6 Nutrition Services was awarded its first grant from the USDA to develop and implement a Food Hub. The Food Hub, based out of our Central Production Kitchen, focuses on aggregating as much local produce as possible during the Colorado harvest months and minimally processing and redistributing this produce to other school districts in Weld County. The produce is either (1) utilized immediately, or (2) washed, chopped, blanched and frozen for later use throughout the school year. Currently, WCSD6 Nutrition Services serves as a produce hub for the Windsor (Weld RE-4) School District and Denver Public Schools, and shares producer information with districts across Weld County.