Fresno County Farm and Nutrition Day
About Fresno County Farm and Nutrition Day
“Planting a seed for the future…while growing a healthy community one at a time”
This event allows students to participate in activities that showcase both the agricultural industry, as well as focusing on the benefits of making healthy eating choices.
Farm and Nutrition Day provides basic and current facts about food and fiber production in Fresno County, with a focus on good nutrition and healthy eating. Farm Day 2016 provided third grade classes from 36 schools in 16 school districts; almost 3,500 students and 600 teachers and chaperones -- with the opportunity to become familiar with food, fiber and animal production, meeting one-on-one with farmers and ranchers, resource managers, and food and agricultural industry representatives. More than 50 presenters conducted hands-on activities, presentations and demonstrations with students and teachers.
Some of the demonstrations include sheepdog herding, sheep shearing, cow milking, and horse care and management. A Tasting Center provides students with the opportunity to sample healthy foods, such as oranges, fresh frozen peach cups, raisins, milk, nuts and olives.
With the increasing need to educate our young people about healthy eating and the importance of good nutrition, a big focus of this special event is the importance of making healthy food choices, much of which is provided on a daily basis by the bounty of diversified “food pyramid” crops and products produced in Fresno County. With increasing childhood diabetes and obesity diseases, this important outreach effort focused on helping increase student awareness about eating fresh fruits and vegetables and to open students’ eyes to where their food is produced.
Moreover, the day’s activities showcase the diversity of the county’s agriculture and emphasize the importance of agriculture to our region’s economy. Agriculture is Fresno County’s leading industry, worth more than $7.04 billion in gross farm receipts with more than 400 crops produced commercially. Every $1 produced on-farm generates $3.50 in the local economy. Third grade curriculum directs education about the students’ county where they live.
The 2016 event had extensive local media coverage. A special VIP tour of the event for elected officials, educators, and industry leaders was conducted with a good turnout and favorable responses.
Transportation costs for schools are reimbursed through donations from the community. Many schools do not have adequate funding for field trips. These donations are used to help offset costs.
The Farm and Nutrition Day is successful in helping students form a connection between the food on a child’s plate to the crops in the ground. The day succeeds in highlighting the diversity of Fresno County agriculture from the crops to farm types, from ethnic groups to the variety of businesses dependent on a viable agriculture. Likewise, the event exposes students to the career opportunities in agriculture that surround them in their local community. Information provided gives students the knowledge they need to make healthier choices when selecting food.