On Air
Open In Popup
MPR News

Study shows farm-to-school benefits in Minnesota

Share story

New research suggests filling school lunch trays with locally grown foods isn't just good for students' health. It's also good for the local economy.

      A new study from the University of Minnesota examined the potential economic impact of farm-to-school programs, focusing on a five-county area of central Minnesota.

      It found the potential economic benefit to the region ranged from about $20,000 if each school served one locally grown meal a month to up to $430,000 if they bought large amounts from farmers.

      Ryan Pesch, who co-wrote the report, says in that part of Minnesota, $400,000 could support two or three full-time farms.

      The analysis focused on foods easily added to school menus, including apples, beef hot dogs, cabbage, carrots, oatmeal, potatoes, sweet corn and wild rice.


      University of Minnesota Extension's Farm-to-School

             (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)