Under the direction of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), Division of Food, Nutrition, and Wellness (FNW), Florida is administering Child Nutrition programs.  This is great news for school age children in Florida and good news for Florida’s many agriculture producers.  We know good nutrition is extremely important to a child’s growth, development and learning. The program’s mission is to ensure that every child in Florida has access to a nutritious meal full of fresh fruits and vegetables and will be educated on making healthy choices and the importance of those choices on their life.

The Florida Farm Bureau offers many youth-centered programs that will support the mission of Florida’s new Child Nutrition programs.  The Florida Farm Bureau offers support such as their Teacher Mini-Grants.  The Mini-Grant program is open to educators during the school year. This FFB-AITC grant is a public/private partnership serving K-12th grade education with a goal of helping to increase the understanding of agriculture among students and educators.

The Florida Farm Bureau also runs a successful program called the Young Farmers and Ranchers. While this program is geared toward active members between the ages of 18 and 35, it will still indirectly affect initiatives like the nutrition program in years to come. Each year, active members in the Young Farmers and Ranchers program have the opportunity to compete in the Achievement in Agriculture Award Program and participate in the state Discussion Meet. With a goal to engage youth in Florida’s agricultural industry, the program will hopefully help maintain our state’s current level of agriculture production.

The cooperative partnership between the Department of Agriculture and Florida’s many agricultural producers is just another example of how valuable our agricultural assets truly are to our communities and families.