GRAY: Do your kids know where their food comes from? Research has shown that farm-to-school programs work for students. They provide kids with healthy food options and teach them about nutrition and food production.
MARTIN: Farm-To-School programs are also good for ag producers as well since the schools source locally grown produce and many times locally grown meat as well. The research shows that students who attend schools with farm-to-school programs are 28 percent more likely to choose healthy meal options. Students who attend schools that serve local fruits and vegetables have a 14 percent lower chance of being overweight or obese.
GRAY: Rep. Faith Winter from Westminster has sponsored House Bill 1088 that effectively addresses this childhood obesity problem and uneven economic recovery by providing grants to help farmers produce healthy, nutritious food for public school kids. Colorado created a privately funded Farm to School Task Force in 2010 and producers have told the task force that the cost of participating in farm-to-school programs prohibits them from getting into the market.
MARTIN: It's expensive for producers to provide fresh foods to schools with transportation, cooling and infrastructure needed to lengthen the growing season and with the fact that large vendors sell less healthy, processed food and/or ship in their food from afar cheaper and have a big advantage over local farmers.
And that's Colorado Ag Today. I'm Greg Martin, thanks for listening on the Ag Information Network of the West.