Remember when you were a child and kids would sit around memorizing baseball stats and trading cards or perhaps you’re a bit younger and the big thing was trading Pokémon cards? Well, I’m predicting the next big thing will be Farmer Trading Cards!
In November, I attended the Virginia Farm to Table Conference and on the first day David Sours, a farmer from Luray, VA shyly handed me what I thought was a business card until I took a closer look. In fact, it was a Farmer Trading Card featuring David himself! The card also lists Farmer Stats including contact information, months in operation, farm size, where to buy, and most importantly, type of tractor.
With support from a USDA Farm to School Planning Grant, Orange, Page and Rappahannock Counties printed the Farmer Trading Cards. David works closely with Diane Dovel, the School Nutrition Director in Page County and together they host taste tests and feature David’s products on the lunch line. Whenever David’s products are served, Diane places a stack of Trading Cards in the lunch room and kids get so excited when they realize they are eating food from the farmer on the card.
The cards are meant to bring the farm to the lunchroom and teach students about where their food comes from; they illustrate to children that our farmers are important to the community and to their nourishment. Promotional materials like these cards are such a fantastic way to get buy in from students and parents alike.
Over the course of the conference, I was able to collect seven Farmer Trading Cards and I’m already scheming how to get my hands on the rest!
Editor’s Note: The request for applications for FY15 Farm to School grants is now available and webinars that provide detailed information on how to apply will be offered during the week of March 10th (and recorded and posted online thereafter for future viewing). To receive information and updates about USDA’s Farm to School Program, please sign up for our Farm to School E-letter.