Sourcing local produce to educate and nourish Ventura County students
Connecting growers to cafeterias and classrooms since 2012
Welcome to Ventura County Farm to School
Ventura County Farm to School is committed to supporting schools develop healthy, local food procurement practices, and implement agricultural, nutrition, whole food cooking, and garden and farm-based education. We strive to build a connection between students, the farmers who grow their food, and the food that they eat.
We send a special thank you to all the Ventura Unified School District student artists who are featured throughout the website.
Our Student Artists:
Avocado (Home page) – Dakota N.
Tomato (About page)- Mariah G.
Kale (Programs page)- Analysia B.
Orange (Harvest of the Month page)- Brooke W.
Farmer (Local Farmers page)- Amelia G.
Bird (Resources page)- Merry C.
Broccoli (Events page)- Alex H.
Watermelon (Contact page)- Sean S.
What is Farm to School?
Farm to School enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food farmers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools.
Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips. Farm to school empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities. (Source: National Farm to School.)
Farm to School implementation differs by location but always includes one or more of the following:
- Procurement: Local foods are purchased, promoted and served in the cafeteria or as a snack or taste test;
- Education: Students participate in education activities related to agriculture, food, health or nutrition; and
- School gardens and farms: Students engage in hands-on learning through gardening and farming.
Farm to School Programming
VCF2S efforts focus on establishing healthy food procurement and implementing education across school districts in Ventura County. VCF2S consists of a collaborative of stakeholders such as food service directors, administrators, educators, farmers, and community leaders, who work together in participating school districts to evaluate the needs and opportunities, and develop goals, strategies, and programs.
Examples of Farm to School programs include monthly Harvest of the Month taste tests in classrooms, nutrition education, whole food cooking classes, Farmer in the Classroom, school and farm-based education, local food sourcing for school cafeterias and whole food, and scratch cooking in school kitchens
Building and strengthening the Farm to School movement and training champions in the school setting is key to implementing successful, sustainable programs. Training and resources are provided to teachers, nutrition and garden educators, parent volunteers and food service staff, which equip these leaders with the skills necessary to successfully implement Farm to School programs. VCF2S works with individual school sites throughout the county, and connects with Farm to School leaders in the region, to develop a network of farms and supportive community members
Our Local Farmers and Growers
Fresh fruits and vegetables are sourced from a wide range of Ventura County farmers and growers who are committed to producing for school cafeterias. Participating school districts are currently procuring foods from local farmers and growers for use in school meals and cafeteria salad bars such as carrots, salad greens, citrus, peppers and persimmons.
Learn how you can get involved with our programs!