Farm to School Tips, Tools & Guidelines

Posted by on February 01, 2010

The new Farm to School Tips, Tools & Guidelines for Food Distribution & Food Safety manual is intended to provide information, insight and useful tools for farmers and school food service directors interested in FTS program participation, distribution and food safety.    The manual includes a brief overview of the FTS program in the U.S. and Oklahoma, gives guidance for meeting food safety protocols, discusses results from surveys of Oklahoma schools and food service distributors regarding FTS participation and perception, and provides a summary of tips and suggestions from FTS program coordinators and participants.  The manual also includes information on two new tools for use by farmers and school food service directors that are currently being used in Oklahoma: a distribution cost template which will help producers understand the true costs of produce delivery and assists in the determination of “farm gate” values for their crops, helping them to make determinations regarding the optimal delivery methods for their FTS produce and a produce calculator which will help farmers determine the amount of produce to be delivered to meet the demands of a school nutrition program and figure cost per serving of produce.  Both calculators are downloadable at

This project and manual was made possible with grant funds provided through the USDA-AMS Federal State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) with matching funds provided through state partnerships.  State partners included Oklahoma State University Food and Agricultural Products Center and Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Oklahoma State Department of Education and Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food & Forestry.  We hope that you will find this manual helpful and it is available on-line with the downloadable calculators.

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