Buffalo Farm-to-School Project

Cheryl Bilinski, Local Food Systems Specialist, Farm to School Lead
Harvest New York

July 7, 2016
Buffalo Farm-to-School Project

As part of the Harvest New York Buffalo Farm-to-School (F2S) initiative, 50 or so fourth and fifth grade students from Hillery Park Elementary School visited Burley Berries and East Hill Farms in Warsaw, New York to learn about where their food comes from.

The F2S initiative connects schools, farms and community partners to improve student nutrition through agriculture, health and nutrition education; and to strengthen the economy by supporting local farmers and food producers.

As students at an inner-city school, most of the Hillery Park students had not before set foot on a farm. And for many, the visit to East Hill farms was their first encounter with large animals.

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Specialty Grains for Local and Regional Food Systems

Cornell University, led by Dr. Mark Sorrells, CALS Professor of Plant Breeding, and in partnership with other states and community-based partners, received a second Organic Research Extension Initiative (OREI) grant, in the amount of $3,347,535, titled Value Added Grains for Local and Regional Food Systems. This project will develop new varieties and add value and knowledge in the production and marketing of specialty food grain crops to improve organic farm economics with the goals of increasing their utilization and enhancing biodiversity and sustainability. 

Harvest NY will be supporting Objective 3: Assess and increase opportunities for local and regional organic grain market demand, aggregation, and distribution. Specifically focused on New York institutions, Harvest NY will provide education to food service providers about these grains, how to menu them, and where to find them. Other activities include conducting a demand side analysis of public institution's current use of grain-based products and cultivating business-to-business relationships in the New York grain supply chain.