Golden Radish Award: Tift Schools Named Outstanding for Farm to School

Golden Radish Award: Tift Schools Named Outstanding for Farm to School

The Tift County School System has been given the “Outstanding District” Golden Radish Award, the highest level of recognition in the state for farm-to-school programs. Tift County’s School Nutrition Department’s mission is to expose, educate and elevate the quality of meals served to 7,600 students in the district’s 12 schools.  Its initiative is recognized as one of the state’s most innovative programs focused on agricultural and nutrition education, supporting local farmers and getting students excited to eat healthy and fresh local foods.  Tift County Schools was also recognized at the Platinum level for its accomplishments during the last school year, which include: (1) The School Nutrition Department purchased a cow from a student and had it processed by a local community partner. The meat provided meals for four days to more than 300 students at Omega Elementary, (2) The district supports a 15-acre farm where students learn how to plant, maintain and glean crops on a larger scale. Students also learn how to extend the life of their harvest at the county’s state of the art canning facility maintained by an FFA instructor ns (3) Local farmer Len Lastinger taught students how to harvest eggs from the schools’ laying hens. The corresponding omelet taste test was a big hit. Georgia’s agriculture, education and public health departments, along with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and Georgia Organics representatives joined at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot in Atlanta to celebrate more than 40 percent of Georgia school districts with farm to school programs. Pictured is Ga. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, from left, Georgia Organics Director Alice Rolls, Tift Superintendent Patrick Atwater, Tift School Nutrition Director Vanessa Hayes, Ga. Health Commissioner J. Patrick O’Neal, UGA Extension Dean Laura Perry Johnson and state School Superintendent Richard Woods at the Atlanta ceremony.
Source: Tifton Grapevine