Fighting Obesity in Schools By Changing Eating Habits of Students

Project Overview

Project Type: Sustainable Community Innovation
Funds awarded in 2012: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2014
Region: Southern
State: South Carolina
Principal Investigator:
Robert Behr
Ashley Ridge High School

Annual Reports

Information Products


  • Fruits: melons
  • Vegetables: beans, broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, cucurbits, eggplant, greens (leafy), onions, peas (culinary), peppers, radishes (culinary), rutabagas, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips
  • Additional Plants: herbs
  • Animals: bees


  • Crop Production: food product quality/safety
  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, mentoring, networking, on-farm/ranch research, youth education
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, community-supported agriculture, farm-to-institution
  • Natural Resources/Environment: soil stabilization, wildlife
  • Pest Management: biological control, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management, mulching - plastic, soil solarization, weather monitoring
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture, transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil analysis, soil quality/health

    Proposal abstract:

    The goal is to change the eating habits of the students in our school district. In order to accomplish this task the our school district has watched our horticulture class growing produce, strawberries, sweet corn, Romain and iceburg lettuce, collards, turnips, broccolli, radish, cucumbers, mustard greens, bell pepper, watermelon, cantalope, squash, and other vegetables that it sells to the school cafeteria for the past two years. The cafeteria cooks and serves the produce to the student body of 2,000. We obtained GAP certification last year by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture and were told, by them, that we were the only school in the state to hold this certification. Our cafeteria manager places food tags at each vegetable displayed on line that came out of the garden so the students can see and order those vegies. We have sold out of our vevetables at every lunch! If we can duplicate our model at each of our 22 district schools, then we can start to change the cultural eating habits of the kids.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Insure the five schools in my district that recieved $5,000 grants from DHEC are succesful in building and miantaing a school garden.
    2. Collaberate with Clemson University vegetable research center to provide assistance in finding local farmers to mentor these five schools.
    3. Coordinate with Dr. Karen Hall and Amy Dabbs, our local Master Gardener instructors, who will teach 22 selected teachers, one from each school, in the Master Gardener curriculum. The schools will pay the $300 tuition for each teacher to complete this training which will insure all schools have a "Buy In" to the garden program.
    4. I will help guide each school through the GAP certification process since I have already completed this step.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.