KDA visits Eudora's Farm to School facilities on Kansas Food Day
Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman was joined by Douglas County officials and representatives from the Kansas State Department of Education on Oct. 24 to celebrate Kansas Food Day and recognize Eudora School District's farm to school program and facilities.
The visit included a tour of the school's garden, greenhouse and orchard program, a presentation by school food administration about the new USDA school meal pattern and farm to school initiatives, a Kansas Food Day meal in the school cafeteria and a tour of the school's state-of-the-art culinary arts program featuring student cooking demonstrations and sampling. Tours were led by students enrolled in the agricultural education and culinary arts programs.
"KDA commends Eudora School District for their exceptional commitment to vocational education, including agriculture and culinary arts," Rodman said. "Teaching students the connection between planting and producing food and then preparing that food in their culinary arts facility is a lesson we need to teach in more schools."
One of the more memorable parts of the tour, for students and visitors alike, was the Kansas Food Day meal. Rodman, Douglas County officials, the Eudora School Board and other tour participants joined Eudora High School students for the official Kansas Food Day meal, promoted by KSDE, which was 45 percent locally sourced. The meal included a 100 percent local savory burrito, corn and apples as well as 50 percent locally sourced salad and non-local peaches. For meal purposes, local was defined as any produce grown or processed in Kansas. Several schools across the state also served this meal in an effort to promote Kansas Food Day and support local producers.
Superintendent of the Eudora School District Don Grosdidier said that the Farm to School programs in the school district will only continue to grow.
"The most powerful thing about Farm to School programs in our district is their ability to reach every Eudora student," Grosdidier said. "Our food and nutrition services team is committed to finding sustainable ways to bring local food products into the school cafeteria. Farm to School programs allows us to have a positive effect on education, nutrition and our local economy."
KDA, KSDE and the Eudora School District are committed to the Kansas Food Day priorities, including: promoting well-balanced, nutrient rich eating habits; support all Kansas farmers and ranchers; continuously improving agricultural production; and reducing hunger in Kansas communities.
For more information about Kansas Food Day and Farm to School Month, visit http://www.ksda.gov/marketing/content/446.