Cooperative farm-to-school pilot program

2012 Annual Report for ONE12-170

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2012: $4,697.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2012
Region: Northeast
State: West Virginia
Project Leader:
Jennifer Poling
West Virginia University Extension

Cooperative farm-to-school pilot program


The Farm to School Project in Tucker County has progressed very well to this point. This project sought to connect farmers with schools to get more local food used locally and to offer farmers a profitable market for their fresh produce.

The SARE Partnership Grant has enabled us to pay mileage to farmers for transporting produce to the schools, and the School Foods Director and support staff have been extremely supportive in helping encourage farmers to participate. Since the start of the project we have 6 farmers who are registered vendors with the Tucker County Schools, and have had some sort of local produce offered in the schools for 18 consecutive weeks.

Items that have been sold to the schools are: lettuce, onions, arugula, raspberries, honey, apples, radishes, and tomatoes. We have held 4 organizational meetings, one of which included school cooks, and another which provided pricing training to the farmer-cooperators. We have also applied for a credit card through WVU that will allow us to make purchases such as produce boxes and signs to promote the program.

Objectives/Performance Targets

The satisfaction surveys will be administered to school staff, farmers, and school children in March of 2013, after the maximum number of deliveries has been completed before the end of the project period. Early informal surveys indicate a very high rate of satisfaction on behalf of the farmers and school personnel. School personnel have expressed much appreciation for the project and would love to have more farmer vendors in the future. Farmers have said that they are making plans for using school velocity reports to help target crops specifically for schools next year.


• 4 informational/ educational meetings have been held to introduce farmers and school personnel to the Farm to School program
• One informational meeting provided pricing training and profit/loss analysis training for farmers
• 6 farmers have become registered vendors with the Tucker County School system and with WVU in order to receive travel reimbursement
• Fresh, locally grown produce has been available to students in Tucker County for 18 consecutive weeks.
• Follow up training for GHP/GAP is being planned for late spring of 2013

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Full impacts of the project will be determined in April, 2013, but preliminary results indicate this has been a very beneficial and worthwhile project. Impacts are expected to be three-fold: producers are receiving competitive prices for their produce in an accessible year-round market, school foods staff are interacting with local farmers and have traceability for many of the items on the salad bar, and school children are eating more fresh, healthy, locally grown products and are learning more about where their food comes from.


Matt Hinkle

343 Mystic Hollow Cove
Dry Fork, WV 26263
Office Phone: 3048668735
Sarah Litzau

HC 60 Box 185
Thomas, WV 26292
Office Phone: 3044634884
Anne Jones

Canaan Valley Enterprises
PO Box 35
Thomas, WV 26292
Office Phone: 3046148839
Joe Shaffer

620 Luzadder St.
Grafton, WV 26354
Office Phone: 3044573026
Lynda Bennett

Rt. 1 Box 54
Montrose, WV 26283
Office Phone: 3044782949
Mary Beth Lind

RR3 Box 241-B
Philippi, WV 26416
Office Phone: 3044573026