Farm to School

​​​​​​What is Farm to School?

The term "farm to school" encompasses efforts that bring local or regionally produced foods into school cafeterias and classrooms; hands on learning activities such as school gardening, farm visits, and culinary classes; and the integration of food-related education into classroom curriculum. Farm to School promotes the health of children, farms and communities by connecting schools to local farms that supply nutritious, fresh, and minimally processed foods.

Goals of Wisconsin Farm to School​

  • Strengthen local economies by expanding markets for Wisconsin agricultural producers and food entrepreneurs.

  • Promote children’s health by providing fresh and minimally processed foods in schools and supporting the development of healthy eating habits.

  • Increase children’s and communities’ knowledge about agriculture, food, nutrition and the environment.

Farm to Early Care and Education

Farm to Early Care and Education (Farm to ECE) is a natural extension of Farm to School that offers increased access to healthy, local foods, gardening opportunities and food-based activities to enhance the quality of the educational experience in all types of ECE settings (e.g., preschools, child care centers, family child care homes, Head Start/Early Head Start, programs in K-12 school districts).

Farm to ECE activities are a natural fit for the 0-5 age group and offer extensive benefits in these young years. Children are developing taste preferences and eating habits that will impact their health for a lifetime. Farm to ECE activities not only integrate seamlessly with the learning style of young children, but are also an evidenced-based approach to meeting educational standards and improving the quality of ECE environments.

For information, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and National Farm to School Network

Wisconsin Farm to School Advisory Council

Wisconsin ​​Farm to School Advisory Council members serve as ambassadors for Farm to School efforts across the state; help the Farm to School Leadership Group and Steering Committee prioritize statewide Farm to School goals and programming; and advise future state-level policy and strategy related to Farm to School.

​​2020 Farm to School Advisory Council members​​

Wisconsin Farm to School Leadership Group

The Wisconsin Farm to School Leadership Group is comprised of community, county, and state leaders from across Wisconsin who are actively engaged in growing farm to school efforts around the state.  The group meets monthly via teleconference, with two in-person meetings per year.

Wisconsin Farm to School Steering Committee

Farm to school is made possible through strong inter-agency partnerships.  The WI Farm to School Steering Committee is comprised of employees from the WI Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection; the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems; the WI Department of Public Instruction; and the Wisconsin School Garden Initiative at Community Groundworks. 

WI Act 293

Act 293 established a Farm to School program to connect schools with nearby farms to provide locally produced fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and other nutritious, locally produced foods in school breakfasts, lunches, and snacks; help children develop healthy eating habits; provide nutritional and agricultural education; and improve farmers' incomes and direct access to markets.​

Farm to School Map​

To see if your area is involved, view an interactive map of school district participation in the Wisconsin Farm to School program.

2018-19 Wisconsin Farm to School Annual Report​​

April Yancer
WI Farm to School coordinator
(608) 224-5017​ or

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Note: Questions related to the 2020-2021 Service Year should be directed to: