Anamoose-Drake students welcome farm-to-school lifestyle

Anamoose-Drake students welcome farm-to-school lifestyle
Published: May. 11, 2023 at 5:35 PM CDT
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ANAMOOSE, N.D. (KMOT) – The farm to school program has been ongoing for decades across the country with the intention to bring locally produced foods to the school lunch table.

There are several ways one elementary school brings information about food production to students.

North Dakota is one of several states with more cows than people, said Ashley Bruner, a rancher with Bruner Angus Ranch.

“I kind of expected it, but I didn’t know it,” said Greyson Becker, student.

Bruner said while their operations are involved in the community, they’d like to help educate kids on where beef comes from.

“The tacos that they’re eating [Thursday] actually came from a steer that was raised just 10 miles from here,” said Bruner.

Some of the kids went back in line to get seconds from cafeteria workers. The school’s food curriculum expands beyond beef, chicken and other meats.

Melissa Buckmier, principal at Anamoose-Drake Elementary, said during their summer gardening program, students get to put their fingers in the dirt and grow their own tomatoes.

“We have busloads of kids that have gone out some years to participate in the garden,” said Buckmier.

They can grow peas, beets, beans, multiple varieties of cucumbers and about 30 other options.

Amanda Olsen, farm to school specialist with North Dakota Department of Public Instruction said the farm to school program has exploded in the last two years because of supply chain issues and shortages.

“If shortages are happening on the truck, there’s another way for them to procure the food,” said Olson.

Buckmier said once the kids harvest from the garden, it supplements their fresh fruits and vegetable program.

“In the afternoon for their snacks; it goes into the salad bar for lunchtime,” said Buckmier.

The garden is loaned to the school by Reinowski Farms about three miles away from the school.

Thursday morning’s cattle presentation was sponsored by Dakota Angus, LLC.