Sharing photos and updates on your farm to school activities and events through social media, an email newsletter for parents and staff, or your local newspaper or other online publications is one of the best ways to create a school-wide farm to school culture. The more that people see and hear about farm to school activities and events, the better the chances those will be more widely shared and could result in more community connections or collaborations to help support and sustain farm to school activities at your school, child care center, or alternative learning environment.
Any time is a good time to promote and celebrate your farm to school activities, but if you’re looking for a more targeted time to kick off a campaign, October would be an ideal time. Every year in October, we celebrate Arkansas Farm to School Month across the state. This recognition is part of nationwide efforts to connect schools, early childhood education sites, alternative learning environments, and other organizations with farms to bring local, healthy food to children. The National Farm to School Network first started this trend in 2010 by having National Farm to School Month designated by Congress. Since then, more and more states have joined in with celebrations.
Arkansas has been formally recognizing October as Arkansas Farm to School Month since 2014. The Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program Team at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture works to develop a theme and assist schools, child care centers, and alternative learning environments in promoting and celebrating their activities with resources. Check out the 2021 media and promotion toolkit. It contains graphics, social media and press release language, and other examples to help promote Arkansas Farm to School activities during the month of October.