Where and how our public money is allocated by the Minnesota Legislature reflects the values that our lawmakers are acting on and determines how impactful the policies and programs that we enact can be. Right now, we have an opportunity to increase the funding and impact of Minnesota's Farm to School program, but we need your help.
During the 2019 Minnesota legislative session, Land Stewardship Project members, supporters, and allies pulled together to help create Minnesota's Farm to School program and supported local foods infrastructure by connecting local farmers with schools in their area. This program had been a win for all parts of our communities. It won local and stable markets for farmers, it helps steward a healthier local economy, and it provides healthy food for students in Minnesota.
While testifying earlier in this legislative session, LSP member Becca Carlson shared why she supports and participates in the program:
"When I think of planting a crop — say, of broccoli — I aim to grow the best broccoli I can. So I give that broccoli the best conditions where they can thrive — rich with nutrients, water, and sunlight. When I think of what our students need to thrive, our next generation, I think in similar terms. I’m sure we can all agree that if we want our students to succeed, we need to create a similar environment where they can thrive."
Now, as part of the omnibus bill for agriculture, the Minnesota state Legislature has the potential to double the amount of funding this program receives via the ag budget, increasing the beneficial impacts this program has had for farmers and communities alike. But if we are going to get the maximum amount of money for this program to the finish line, decision makers need to hear from you!
Stewarding healthy land and healthy communities takes partnerships — partnership with rural and urban community members, with farmers, with organizations, and with institutions. If we are going to foster communities and economies that are built around the values of stewardship, justice, democracy, health, and community that we as LSP members share, we need to help foster these partnerships. Contact your elected officials now, and tell them to fund those values through farm to school.