What Shop Kansas Farms does best is connect people with local growers. This story from Sheree Jones, the Food Service Director at Haven Schools, illustrates this perfectly. Please check out our website for the Farm 2 School tab to learn more to help your local school kids connect with your local farmers! – Rick McNary
I wanted to share some pictures with you of our Farm to Table event. This year we paired the event with the field day for the grade school. All events were farm themed with the exception of the Run The Block obstacle course. We opened up the event to parents and were amazed when over 300 parents, grandparents and siblings sent reservations.
A local family that are cattle farmers donated enough beef to cover the event. We hand formed 639 burger patties. (We still arent sure how we got an odd number.)
I put out an all call on Shop Kansas Farms looking for someone willing to make burger buns for us. Dana Miller from Yoder who operates Rising Wild Sourdough contacted me and agreed to make the buns using local Hudson flour (Stafford). She baked them at our high school kitchen and, let me tell you, the aroma was pure heaven and the taste was even better!
We used a large amount of lettuce from the greenhouse here at Haven High. The Milk was from our local Hiland Dairy and was put on ice which made it that much more delish!!
Our local Mid Kansas Coop (MKC) furnished a huge gas grill and a few of their staff (one is the husband of head cook Mckyla Powers) to do all the grilling. They were joined by our local EMT’s, volunteer Firefighters, and Police department. They are an amazing group!
Our cooks wrapped all the burgers and put the meals in brown paper bags. After families came through the line and grabbed a bag they then moved on to the topping station. There they were met by Ben Johnson, of the Kansas State Board of Education. He came to visit and jumped right in to help. Ben stayed and served veggies the entire two hours and didnt stop until the very last person came through the line! He is a good young man!
After the meal, the families were able to line up for some frozen rolled ice cream from Freezing Moo. One of our local families has a connection to the company and wanted to give back to the community. What a sweet way to do it!
Our Haven High AG students and FFA team taught all the educational booths. They had a tractor and grain cart to show the kids what wheat looks like before being planted. At that same station, they also talked about farm safety. One student brought a few bucket calves and told the kiddos how the farmers raise the calves by bottle feeding them until they can graze. They also talk about how the cattle get special grain and corn diets to help them grow until they are brought to a sale barn where they are sold for beef to put on to dinner tables.
A lesson on how farmers are responsible for cheeseburgers used a giant stuffed cheeseburger that came apart in pieces. The students went through how every item in a cheeseburger came from a farm…right down to the pickles and onions. Our local Reno County Farm Bureau let the AG kids borrow the burger. It was great!
The FFA kids that run the greenhouse at Haven High did a lesson in planting, growing, and harvesting romaine lettuce. The kiddos were then able to use what they had learned by planting their own lettuce seeds that they were able to take home.
The rest of the day was filled with water games, relay races and at the end of the day, snow cones(from a local business) and a hay rack ride.
Not only was it a fun event, but to be able to share with families about the impact of our Kansas farmers and local small businesses was priceless! – Sheree Jones
Food Service Director
USD 312 Haven
620-465-2585, ext 1226