West Virginia’s education and agriculture leaders have unveiled a new logo for the state’s Farm to School program. Officials say the new image is all about connection between local agriculture and schools.
The state’s Farm to School initiative worked with students from 199 schools across the state to create the newest image to represent the program. The program brings together schools and local farmers. According to its website, its goal is to “grow the next generation of farmers in West Virginia” and “increase the amount of local foods served in our schools.”
The new logo is in the shape of an apple. It features red, green and yellow colors. In the center, a farmhouse is on top of a hill, and there are clouds and sunshine circling the building with the program’s name underneath. The new logo is more colorful than the older one, which only featured the name of the program.
West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch said the logo puts a greater focus on the importance of farm-to-school education and resources. He said the program helps to ensure schools have nutritional options that come from local farmers, and in turn, it helps support those farmers.
“Child nutrition is one of the foundational supports for healthy learning. It is difficult for hungry children to learn, and the mission of this important program is to provide sustainable nutritional options to our schools while also supporting the important agricultural contributions to our economy,” Burch said. “We look forward to the next phase of farm-to-school in West Virginia, which allows us to use broad strokes to increase outreach so more people know of the work and are involved in its success.”
West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt said ensuring children eat well when they’re young will translate into good habits by the time they start working.
“In West Virginia, overall health continues to be a hinderance [sic] to entering the workforce. Instilling healthy eating habits into our school age children is one of the best investments we can make for our state’s future,” said Leonhardt. “Expanding farm to schools’ reach not only helps our economy now but better equips our workforce for decades to come.”
The voting process on the logo started on Oct. 14 and ended last week as National Farm to School month came to a close.
Students chose from three contestants, and the winning logo garnered 57 percent of the vote.
Farm to school education and outreach is a joint effort through the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA), the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) and the Farm to School Alliance.
The three agencies say the new student-led logo represents a greater commitment from the WVDA, WVDE and the Farm to School Alliance to expand branding, educational and other outreach efforts in the state.