Barre, Vt – Some Vermont students got an education in where food comes from. They didn’t take a field trip to a farm, instead the farm came to the school.

Farm to school programs connect classrooms and communities in the hopes of creating better, more sustainable food systems. Students and faculty at Spaulding Alternative School showcased just how they’re putting the farm to school plan into action.

The lessons are part of a grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Students built cedar growing boxes, a greenhouse, and started their own garden to harvest and use while creating their own meals.

Vermont Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Market Anson Tebbets was in attendance, saying that, “We’re here to celebrate Ag. literacy, food systems education, nutritious local food, and connecting farms to their local communities.”

During it’s first year, the program provided almost $500,000 to 23 school districts to help increase the amount of local food purchased. Purchasing data from the 2022-2023 school year will be available this winter.

Interim Secretary of Education Heather Bouchey says “The local food incentive program not only ensures students are receiving high quality meals at school, but it also connects them with the states rich agricultural history.”