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Resources

Marketing

Missouri Farm to School Resource Guide β€” This guide from MoFTS outlines the steps and best practices involved with starting a farm to school program.

Michigan Farm to School developed an extensive set of resources for growers interested in selling to schools. Their marketing guide contains a number of worksheets and other tools to help farmers evaluate their farm business and plan for institutional sales.

Farmer Self Assessment

Local Food Connections

Tips on how to evaluate a school food service customer

Food Safety

It’s never too late to start thinking about food safety. Information about Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) can help. The GAPs Program publication, Food Safety Begins on the Farm, is a good place to start.

Additional materials, including information about the USDA auditing process, can be found on the USDA website.

Food Safety and Liability Insurance brochure

Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Good Handling Practices β€” Bill McKelvey, University of Missouri

Grading, Packaging and Handling Fresh Produce β€” Patrick Byers, Regional Horticulture Specialist, University of Missouri

Find Customers

While many farmers already know who is interested buying their produce, others may not be sure where to start. DESE has a complete listing of all the schools across the state, broken out by county and region.

Tips on how to evaluate a school food service customer.

Technical Assistance and Grants

Farmers can also tap into a number of resources across the state on developing a business plan.

University of Missouri offers many Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension programs and services for family farmers.

Lincoln University in Missouri offers an Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program to help small farmers and ranchers.

USDA has a number of loan and grant programs that may be the right fit for many family farmers in Missouri. Check out the USDA Rural Development Missouri Office.