Floyd County Schools won Gold level recognition at the 2018 Golden Radish Awards held at the Georgia Freight Depot. The Golden Radish Award publicly recognizes Georgia school districts for best practices in farm to school programs, such as local food procurement, exposing students to new foods through taste tests and incorporating gardening and cooking activities in curriculum.
Floyd County Schools received kudos for their work including:
● Elementary school students visited various farms during the school year including the Pumpkin Patch Farm, Cooper Creek Farm, LCCL Strawberry Farm, and Grace Farms. Students learned how pumpkins grow, visited chickens and cows, and picked strawberries.
● Students taking the Food and Nutrition course at Armuchee High School prepared a monthly lunch for the staff. Menu items included collard greens, coleslaw, pinto beans, cornbread, and desserts.
● The District conducted over 100 farm to school promotions! Johnson Elementary posted a photo of their salad plate on the school’s morning show announcements. The salad was made up mostly of local vegetables.
Floyd County Schools was one of 84 Georgia School Districts recognized at the awards. Collectively, these districts served more than 1.3 million students a whopping 109 million school meals with locally grown food items during the 2017-18 school year!
“We’re excited to support local agriculture and provide the healthiest and best meals possible to the children of Floyd County,” said Floyd County Child Nutrition Director Donna Carver. “We also really appreciate our teachers supporting the initiative in their classrooms daily through STEM and STEAM projects.”
“School gardens introduce new generations to the world of agriculture. They build a broader understanding of where our food comes from and what it takes to get it to the table, and they prepare future farmers to produce food innovatively, in ways that maximize resources and nurture our environment,” said Associate Dean for UGA Extension at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Dr. Laura Perry Johnson.
“At the Georgia Department of Education we’re focused on expanding opportunities for Georgia’s kids, and farm to school is a perfect example of that,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “When students have access to fresh, local foods they’re better prepared to learn – and they can connect with Georgia agriculture, one of our state’s largest industries.”
“Feed My School For a Week, Georgia Grown Test Kitchen and the Golden Radish Awards are all great examples of success thanks to the strong partnership that has been cultivated between our Georgia producers and our school nutrition directors. We are proud of the accomplishments of Georgia’s farm to school efforts and excited to see what current and future award winners will further achieve as we work toward our 2020 Vision for School Nutrition in Georgia,” said Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black
“Farm to school teaches our children the importance of food that helps bodies grow healthy and strong and food that promotes learning,” said J. Patrick O’Neal, M.D., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “When children learn as early as possible where their food comes from, they are more likely to eat fresh, nutritious foods that will sustain healthy choices that spread to families and communities.”
“Georgia Organics is delighted to recognize the innovative Farm to School initiatives that prepare our future farmers for economic prosperity. We are proudly celebrating certified organic food procurement, the teaching of organic growing methods and the involvement of Certified Organic farmers in programs throughout the state. We know that Farm to School and organic education is a great way to increase access to good food for all,” said Alice Rolls, President and CEO of Georgia Organics.
“We believe that Farm to Early Care and Education activities enhance early childhood education and build a foundation for learning and development across all domains. As we continue to work with our partners to create more support for these initiatives, we applaud the 53 school districts that submitted entries for this first-ever Baby Golden Radish Award competition. Together, their Farm to Preschool Programs reach over 23,000 children in Pre-K and 11,000 in Head Start and Early Head Start,” said DECAL Commissioner Amy M. Jacobs.
The 2017-18 school year was a record breaking year of farm to school growth in Georgia, and Floyd County Schools was thrilled and honored to celebrate at the Golden Radish Awards.