Title 17. Education

Chapter 1. General School Law

Part III. Public Schools and School Children

Subpart B. Nutrition Programs


17:195.1        Louisiana Farm to School Program


A. The legislature finds that: 


(1) Farm to school programs increase student access to healthy, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and other agricultural products. 


(2) A state farm to school program will link Louisiana schools and farmers in order to provide school children with fresh and minimally processed agricultural products for inclusion in school meals and snacks, promote healthy eating habits, and increase the market for locally produced fruits, vegetables, and other agricultural products. 


(3) Farm to school programs increase student awareness of the importance of agricultural activities through active learning opportunities such as farm visits, cooking demonstrations, tasting demonstrations, and school gardening and composting programs, and integrate nutrition and agricultural education into the school curriculum. 


B. (1) The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, shall develop and implement a farm to school program, to be administered by the state Department of Education, for the purpose of assisting schools and school food service personnel to identify and utilize all available resources to support and increase the use of locally grown or raised agricultural products in school nutrition programs. 


(2) The Department of Education and the Department of Agriculture and Forestry shall collaboratively: 


(a) Provide an inventory of farming operations throughout the state by region that links schools and school districts with farmers through the use of the LSU AgCenter’s membership in the MarketMaker network. 


(b) Provide guidance to local schools to develop relationships with local farmers to support requests that specific crops be produced for use in school nutrition programs. 


(c) Encourage schools and school districts to include local farmers, food processors, and suppliers when procuring food products that fall under the Federal Small Purchase Threshold set by 41 U.S.C. 403(11). 


(d) Disseminate specific farm to school procurement guidelines for farmers and schools regarding contracting with schools and school districts and school food safety and liability insurance requirements. 


(e) Disseminate information to schools and school districts regarding the proper equipment required to prepare and process fresh food onsite. 


(f) Create a plan to integrate classroom and hands-on activities related to agriculture, food, health, and nutrition into the school curricula. 


(g) Develop a Louisiana Farm to School Handbook to provide guidance and resources to schools and farmers and other producers of agricultural products to promote the use of local and regionally produced foods in school nutrition programs and to develop and implement a successful farm to school program. 


C. The state Department of Education and the state Department of Agriculture and Forestry shall consult with the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, the Southern University Agricultural Center, the Louisiana Farm to School Alliance, and any other appropriate resource or stakeholder group in implementing the provisions of this Section. 


D. Implementation of the provisions of this Section shall be subject to the appropriation of funds by the legislature or the availability of any other federal funding, grants, gifts, or public or private donations which may be used for coordination of resources for the farm to school program. 


Added by Acts 2016, No. 404, § 1, eff. June 8, 2016.