On June 2-4, 2016, the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference will take place in Madison, Wisconsin. More than 1000 farmers, food producers, policy makers, educators, public health professionals, representatives from nonprofit and government agencies, and others dedicated to the “farm to cafeteria” movement will be there. The conference will include a variety of workshops, addresses, and networking opportunities, all for the purpose of educating attendees in bringing local food to cafeterias and spreading a culture of food and agriculture education across their communities.
The term “farm to cafeteria” refers to the efforts made to bring healthy, locally grown foods and agriculture education to cafeteria settings, whether it is in K-12 schools, colleges/universities, hospitals, or prisons. Mirroring FarmRaiser’s philosophy, the movement works to support local food economies while simultaneously bringing fresh, healthy foods to the public. Cafeterias feed more than 40 million Americans every day during the school year. Many of those fed are children in public school districts. As the consequences of unhealthy eating become more apparent every day, it is crucial to make active efforts to bring nutritious options to our schools and beyond.