The Louisiana Department of Education, in partnership with the LSU AgCenter, debuted a new website to educate students about the importance of food and agriculture. Seedstosuccess.com houses information to grow fruits and vegetables in Louisiana, how to apply those skills to learning and how to turn those interests into a budding career.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded a nearly $100,000 Farm to School Grant to the LDOE in 2019. The LDOE is utilizing the funds to enhance existing Louisiana Farm to School activities and to develop Seeds to Success. This program guides schools in curriculum planning and the promotion of lifetime involvement in agriculture. The website includes the following sections:
- Seeds to Grow: Start here with gardening basics that provide a comprehensive background for a successful growing season.
- Seeds to Sow: Dig into fruit and vegetable guides containing information on the crop’s history, when, how, and where to plant, and which varieties grow best in Louisiana.
- Seeds to Know: Explore lessons, activities and videos related to agriculture, organized by age group. The Department worked closely with Louisiana educators to identify lessons for teachers and link them to Louisiana State Curriculum Standards.
- Career Paths: Turn a passion for gardening and fresh food into a lifelong career.
- Resources: A shared space to advertise Louisiana farm to school activities by region, helping to connect those who would like to be more involved in gardens or other farm to school activities with organizations and individuals that are doing great work.
USDA’s Farm to School Grants fund school systems, state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers and non-profit organizations in their efforts to increase local foods served through child nutrition programs, teach children about food and agriculture through garden and classroom education and develop schools’ and farmers’ capacities to participate in farm to school activities.
For the 2019-2020 school year, 126 grants – totaling more than $9 million – served more than 5,400 schools and 3.2 million students, 63 percent of whom are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.