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MDARD Director Statement on School Nutrition, Meals for Michigan Students

LANSING – Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Tim Boring today applauded the Governor’s recently signed education budget which includes funding for all Michigan students’ breakfast and lunch served in their local school, which includes 10 cents a meal and Farm to School programs.

“Nutrition is the building block for student success and the first step begins with agriculture. Increasing access to locally grown and processed foods provides Michigan’s students with delicious food grown right here at home from apples to milk to carrots and beef, our farmers offer a cornucopia of items to add to school menus,” said Boring. “When schools participate in programs like Farm to School, it creates new markets for our farmers. It’s a win-win for all. Programs which focus on teaching healthy habits and highlighting Michigan-grown fresh fruits and vegetables, combined with supplying healthy, fresh and nutritious meals to kids, will ensure a bright future for Michigan’s food and agricultural industry.”

Michigan is one of the most agriculturally diverse states in the U.S., leading the nation in the production of dry black beans, dry cranberry beans, tart cherries, asparagus, cucumbers, dry navy beans, squash, and dry small red beans, and ranking high in the production of blueberries, summer squash, bell peppers, peaches, carrots, celery, sweet cherries, apples, fresh sweet corn, and many other specialty crops. The state has more than 46,000 farms producing a wide variety of crops on nearly 10 million acres of farmland. Michigan’s food and agriculture system employs over 805,000 people, about 17.2 percent of the state’s workforce. This contributes more than $104.7 billion to the state's economy annually.