Project: Research project

Project Details


Enhancing Consumer Orientation Of Farm To School Program Despite significant supply-side efforts, the number of schools participating in Farm to School (F2S) programs is disproportionately low. F2S programs have become one of the pillars of promoting healthy eating in schools. We argue that low participation rates nationally in USDA and state sponsored F2S programs are due, in part, to an under-emphasis on the needs of the core stakeholders, students and parents. We therefore propose to develop validated consumer orientation model and research based extension materials that will result in a sustainable higher demand for local foods in schools by focusing on consumer needs. The primary stakeholders benefitting from increased sales of fruits and vegetables in schools are students who gain access to healthier foods from known sources, and local farmers who will be able to tap into stable local markets. Enhancing the consumer orientation of Farm to School programs with our model used by school districts nationwide will increase the amount of locally grown foods purchased for students. Once our model has been implemented, a level of sustainability will emerge. We will interview farmers, school officials, parents and students to obtain in-depth field observations. We will assess costs-benefits of the consumer orientation model and develop decision-making metrics for farms and schools. We will observe student responses to specific consumer oriented product characteristics at the time of food purchase. Parents preferences will be investigated using scenario-based surveys. Research findings will lead to farm and school extension and outreach, as well as equivalent 4-H information materials for farms.

Effective start/end date2/1/121/31/17


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $407,444.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.