The emergence and framing of farm-to-school initiatives: civic engagement, health and local agriculture
- 1.9k Downloads
Interest in and initiation of farm-to-school (FTS) programs have increased in recent years, spurred on by converging public concerns about child obesity trends and risks associated with industrialization and distancing in the modern food system. A civic agriculture framework that more specifically considers civic engagement and problem solving offers insights about variations in the development and prospects for FTS programs. Drawing on comparative case studies of two emerging FTS initiatives in Pennsylvania—one in a rural setting and one in an urban setting—this article examines the role of internal and external “champions” in launching FTS programs and fostering civic engagement. Farm-to-school community stakeholders across the two cases framed FTS in broadly similar terms of (1) redressing poor food environments; (2) improving student nutrition, health and well-being; and (3) revitalizing rural community through support of local agriculture. However, specific concerns and emphases differed across the rural and urban cases, illustrating the significance of local context for such programs. The article concludes by discussing the importance of frame bridging and frame extension as strategies for expanding the FTS movement, and also ensuring programs that correspond to the specific circumstances and possibilities of their social and geographic settings.
KeywordsChild nutrition Civic agriculture Farm-to-school programs Food environments Rural community revitalization
This research was supported by a Health Thematic Initiative grant from the Pennsylvania State University Office for Outreach.
- Bagdonis, J.M. 2007. Perceptions and organization of emerging farm-to-school programming in rural and urban Pennsylvania settings. Unpublished M.S. Thesis. Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.Google Scholar
- Blay-Palmer, A. 2008. Food fears: From industrial to sustainable food systems. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Brint, S., and C.S. Levy. 1999. Professions and civic engagement: Trends in rhetoric and practice, 1875–1995. In Civic engagement in American democracy, ed. T. Skocpol and M.P. Fiorina, 163–210. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
- Center for Rural Pennsylvania. 2005. Overweight children in Pennsylvania. http://www.ruralpa.org/Overweight_child.pdf. Accessed 1 June 2008.
- Delind, L.B. 2002. Place, work, and civic agriculture: Common fields for cultivation from the ground up. Agriculture and Human Values 23 (4): 401–415.Google Scholar
- Gillespie, A.H., and G.W. Gillespie Jr. 2000. Community food systems: Toward a common language for building productive partnerships. http://www.foodroutes.org/doclib/28/foodsystemdefs.pdf. Accessed 1 June 2008.
- Goffman, E. 1974. Frame analysis: An essay on the organization of experience. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Hirshey, G. 2007. Local foods 101, with a school as his lab. New York Times, May 13.Google Scholar
- Kalb, M. 2008. National farm to school network takes root. Community Food Security News (winter): 1, 12.Google Scholar
- Lyson, T.A. 2000. Moving toward civic agriculture. Choices (third quarter): 42–45.Google Scholar
- Lyson, T.A. 2004. Civic agriculture: Reconnecting farm, food and community. Medford, MA: Tufts University Press.Google Scholar
- Nestle, M. 2002. Food politics: How the food industry influences nutrition and health. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Oliver, P., and H. Johnston. 2000. What a good idea! Ideologies and frames in social movement research. Mobilization 5 (1): 37–54.Google Scholar
- Patel, R. 2007. Stuffed and starved: Markets, power and the hidden battle for the world’s food system. London, UK: Portabello Books.Google Scholar
- Pollan, M. 2006. The omnivore’s dilemma. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
- Satcher, D. 2001. The surgeon general’s call to action to prevent and decrease overweight and obesity 2001. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
- Schafft, K.A., E.B. Jensen, and C.C. Hinrichs. 2009. Food deserts and overweight schoolchildren: Evidence from Pennsylvania. Rural Sociology. Forthcoming.Google Scholar
- Schlosser, E. 2001. Fast food nation: The dark side of the all-American meal. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
- Skocpol, T. 1999. Advocates without members: The recent transformation of American civic life. In Civic engagement in American democracy, ed. T. Skocpol and M.P. Fiorina, 461–509. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
- Snyder, S. 2005. Elementary eating. The Philadelphia Inquirer, p. F1, November 23.Google Scholar
- United States Census Bureau. 2001. Metropolitan areas ranked by population: 2000. http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t3/tables/tab03.pdf.
- Vogt, R.A., and L.L. Kaiser. 2006. Perceived barriers and proposed solutions to farm-to-school programs in California. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 38 (4): S51.Google Scholar
- Wright, W., M. Score, and D.S. Conner. 2007. Food system makers: Motivational frames for catalyzing agri-food development through multi-stakeholder collaboration. Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society 38 (3): 39–59.Google Scholar
- Yin, R.K. 2003. Case study research: Design and methods, 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar