DATCP: Create a Farm to School site in your community

Contact: Ashley Andre (Huibregtse), 608-224-5002, ashley.andre@wisconsin.gov
Jim Dick, Communications Director, 608-224-5020, jim.dick@wi.gov

MADISON – Promoting healthy eating habits and increasing access to local foods in schools are two goals of the AmeriCorps Farm to School program in Wisconsin. The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is now accepting applications to be an AmeriCorps Farm to School site for the 2013-2014 school year to help make that happen.

Host sites for the AmeriCorps Farm to School Program can be a non-profit organization, state agency, university, school, school district or group of schools. Each site must have a letter of support from the schools it will serve. New sites would begin August 15.

Each site receives at least two half-time AmeriCorps members. One will focus on community outreach, connecting schools to farmers and the community. A nutrition education member will implement educational activities within the school.

Sites must be able to provide support to their AmeriCorps members, help create a local Farm to School task force in their community as well as complete pre and post evaluations of the program. Site must also contribute $5,500 for each full-time member and $2,000 for each half-time member to be used as a cash match for operating expenses of the program.

The seven current sites include: Ashland and Bayfield Counties, Growing Power of Milwaukee County, Live54218 of Brown County, REAP Food Group of Dane County, UW-Extension Crawford County and Vernon County. These sites serve many school districts and about 15,000 students.

Wisconsin is soliciting new AmeriCorps Farm to School sites in anticipation of receiving funding from the Corporation of National and Community Service. The statewide program is possible with partnerships between DATCP, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Wisconsin Rural Partners and the UW-Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems.

The application is due to DATCP by 4:30 p.m. on April 26. Applicants are highly encouraged to complete a notice of intent to apply by 4:30 p.m. on March 17 to assist with program planning.

To receive an application, visit http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/Farm_to_School_Program. For more information, contact DATCP’s Camilla Vargas at 608-224-5017 or camilla.vargas@wi.gov.