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The McMinn Central Farm-To-School program was highlighted in the March 2019 issue of the Tennessee Cattle Business magazine.
Thanks to a new program, students in McMinn County schools received
a special holiday beef lunch proudly produced by its own animal science students. Annette Bryant, McMinn Central High School agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, began raising animals with her classes on the school’s 10- acre farm with the goal of providing show animals for her students. Five years later, they are also providing nutritious beef and pork to school lunches.
At the lunch-and-learn events, FFA & 4-H students and local cattle producers were in attendance at all 9 county schools to talk with students about beef and answer their questions. Prior to the lunches, FFA & 4-H student attended a three-hour beef course taught by Mrs. Bryant, with educational materials provided by the Tennessee Beef Industry Council, to prepare them for answering questions. The lunch events were a success, serving beef roast with potatoes and carrots to approximately 4,000 students across the county.
Farm to school is taking root across the state of Tennessee, where there are close to 340 school gardens, over 60% of school districts participating in farm to school, and about 20% of the state’s high school agriculture programs growing fresh produce that’s served in school cafeterias.