Farm to Institution

Young boy holding basket of picked strawberries. (Copyright IStock)
Farm to Institution programs give farmers and ranchers the opportunity to develop new markets and sell to local K-12 schools, hospitals, colleges, cafeterias or government agencies.

UEPI. Center for Food and Justice.

Highlights U.S. state farm-to-school programs; discusses related national policies; describes case studies, surveys and evaluation tools; and identifies funding opportunities.

ATTRA - A National Sustainable Agriculture Assistance Program.

A guide to information and resources that farmers, school administrators, food-service managers, and community members can use to start or expand a farm to institution venture. Updated in 2013, the guide covers models of Farm to Institution programs, program implementation and considerations, existing supportive policies, and more.

Ecotrust. Local Food Promotion Program Grant Recipent, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.

In an effort to reduce the cost of family-farm-sized locally produced animal protein to institutional markets, Ecotrust and The Northwest Food Buyers Alliance explored mixing animal and plant based proteins in traditionally all-meat menu favorites. This report details the results of a Mushroom Blended Burger Sensory Tasting Event (2016-2018), which showed that consumers preferred burgers mixed with a 25% raw mushroom blend, compared to other ratios of blended plant and animal proteins. (Local Food Promotion Program Grant Recipent)

Ecotrust. Local Food Promotion Program Grant Recipient, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.

As the number one protein served by most institutions, chicken holds incredible potential for large local market impact. This report, produced by Ecotrust and the Northwest Food Buyers Alliance, summarizes two years of research (2014-2016) from three synergistic projects; all focused on answering the question of how to get regionally sourced chicken, raised without antibiotics, to institutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Missouri Coalition for the Environment. Local Food Promotion Program Grant Recipient, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment’s (MCE) “St. Louis Farm to Institution Feasibility Study” aimed to identify the level of interest demonstrated by St. Louis regional institutional buyers for sourcing ingredients targeted to their dining facilities from the MCE’s farmer network of 200 farms.

Farm to Institution New England.

Learn about regional projects, including the development of meaningful metrics and farm to campus programs. Find case studies, guides and toolkits, and reports. Includes farm to healthcare, farm to school, and farm to campus resources.

A 2019 report from the New England Farm to Institution Policy Project compiles the findings of state-by-state research into local food procurement policies, plus policy snapshots for each of the six New England states included in the study. Report include regional initiatives, challenges, recommendations, and future research questions. 

USDA. NAL. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.

This bibliography documents existing research and resources on Farm to School and Farm to Institution efforts around the Nation. Our knowledge about Farm to School may foster future research that will eventually facilitate the growth of sustainable food production and local food consumption.