BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Fannin County School System was recognized for outstanding achievement in its farm-to-school program.
Over 40 percent of school districts in Georgia participate in this program. Combined, these districts served more than 97 million school meals with local food items during the 2016-17 school year.
Georgia Organics founded the state’s first farm-to-school program in 2007. “It’s astounding that over 40 percent of our school districts are actively involved in The Golden Radish Awards after only four years of establishing the program,” Georgia Organics Executive Director Alice Rolls stated.
The farm-to-school program gives students an opportunity to learn the basics of gardening and helps support local economies through local food purchases for school meals.
Fannin County School Nutrition Director Candice Sisson was present to present the Board of Education with the Golden Radish Award received for our district.
The Fannin County School System was recognized at the Gold Level for their accomplishments during the 2016-17 school year. Some of the areas for which Fannin County was recognized include:
– Students incubated, hatched, raised chickens and harvested their eggs. The eggs are just one of the many locally produced items featured in taste tests;
-Every school in Fannin County has a school garden and two elementary schools have greenhouses; and
-Twenty farm-to-school standard-based lessons were taught throughout the school year, including Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) lessons on plant growth in the school garden.
Discussion among board members began about this type of curriculum having not always been taught in schools, except in specific agricultural classes or clubs.
Fannin County School Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney pointed out, “It was something that the children came to school knowing this. The way we (society) has changed through the years, it’s wonderful that school can respond to that need, and school can now provide these experiences for them to in turn take back home.”
Board Member Terry Bramlett agreed and added, “Not only does it increase their knowledge and appreciation of where food comes from, but agriculture remains the number one industry in the state of Georgia.”
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