SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Missouri Farm to School program has a goal of getting locally grown fruits and vegetables into schools for students to enjoy.
The program can’t operate without the help of local farmers supplying their produce.
For a district like Springfield Public Schools, officials are on the hunt for farmers to partner with.
Farm to School Specialist for SPS, Kendall Slaughter, said they don’t have any farmers currently selling to the district.
He said this is probably because many farmers aren’t GAP certified.
“Which is good agricultural practices through the USDA,” Slaughter said.
Slaughter said the certification is needed to get the food into the cafeteria.
“We want to get as much local, healthy produce into the district as we possibly can, and we can’t do that without local farmers,” Slaughter said.
Those with the Springfield Community Gardens are looking to possibly help.
Lead Farmer, Kevin Prather, said they’re currently doing test runs to see about supplying food to SPS.
“These conversations are just beginning between SPS and SCG,” Prather said.
Prather said he encourages more farmers to get involved.
Any interested farmer, Slaughter said, is welcome to reach out to SPS about collaborating.
Slaughter said he has information to provide about getting a GAP certification.