Celebrating Washington Agricultural Diversity

Celebrating Washington Agricultural Diversity

Today several hundred schools and over thirty farms across the state are participating in Taste Washington Day, a WSNA and WSDA project that highlights the use of Washington agriculture products in schools around the state. WSDA’s Tricia Sexton Kovacs talks about the positive recognition and benefits Taste Washington Day brings to school food service programs and local farms.

KOVACS: For some districts it’s been a way to keep getting more local food into their schools, to build those relationships with farmers in a way that is ongoing. For others it’s something they come back to once a year to really highlight Washington agriculture and do a little education around what is grown in Washington, who’s growing it, and what are the nutritional affects and the health benefits of eating some of this fresh food in season.

Kovacs talks about what a few of the school districts involved in Taste Washington Day are doing this year.

KOVACS: Walla Walla is doing a great chicken meal, and lots of local produce this year. Riverview, which is in Carnation in the Snoqualmie Valley, that district is working with a couple of farmers, and they bring in some volunteers to do a really diverse local salad bar.

Kovacs says that the WSDA is doing quite a bit of work to help farms get into schools and other institutional markets.

KOVACS: We are currently doing all that with grant funding, so what kind of technical assistance we can offer varies at various times. So we’re able to help with Taste Washington Day in a pretty basic outreach kind of way - letting people know it’s happening and supporting them, and maybe making connections in their own areas that will help them succeed with this event.

I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network. 

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