SkillBites has recently published Chef Budd Cohen’s book, Farm to Table for Schools ( Chef Cohen has worked in a number of academic institutions where he has implemented Farm to Table programs, and shares his wealth of knowledge to help more schools implement such a vital program. Cohen lays out why schools should be interested in implementing a Farm to Table (F2T) program, as well as nine general points of focus for sustainability and five steps to install such a program at an academic institution. 

Schools that have implemented F2T programs have experienced a number of benefits, from providing tastier and more nutritious products for students to supporting the local community. In some cases, purchasing local products is also less expensive, and the institution gains greater marketability, as prospective applicants favor such programs.

Cohen provides a wealth of helpful advice for those considering implementing an F2T program. For example, he discusses the value of developing quality partnerships with farmers, producers and other institutions. He recommends developing a checklist of questions to find out the information that you seek, such as what pesticides a farmer is using. Cohen provides several ways to reduce an institution’s carbon footprint. 

In Chapter 5, Cohen lays out a simple 5 step process for bringing F2T to an institution, and provides numerous insights for each step: 

  1. Evaluate the food service program and the school.
  2. Start small and plan for the future.
  3. Get through the first year.
  4. Expand your scope.
  5. Take it to the next level.

Chef Budd’s book is a great example of the SkillBites model. It’s short, easy to follow and has already gained the author significant visibility. In fact, he obtained 3 speaking engagements while he was writing his book, which he attributes to the impending publication of his book. For more information about how you can become a SkillBites author, click here.