CDA: Today, Colorado Proud School Meal Day Brings Agriculture to the Table and Classroom
Broomfield, Colo. – Today, children across the state celebrated Colorado Proud School Meal Day. Hosted annually by the Colorado Departments of Agriculture and Education, it’s been a day to educate youth about Colorado agriculture and healthy eating. More than 150,000 students statewide learned about agriculture in classrooms and ate local meals. They talked about healthy eating, innovation, farmers and ranchers, and even their own young roles in the local food movement.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis joined Cory Elementary students in Denver for lunch made from locally-grown ingredients – including vegetables harvested from the school’s own garden. Cory Elementary also has added a chicken program with first through fifth graders taking care of chickens, selling eggs at the school’s farmers’ market and collaborating with the community.
Please click here for photos of Governor Polis with Cory Elementary students, taken today during lunchtime in the school’s cafeteria, chicken coop and garden. Photo credits: Colorado Proud.
“Not only does this school celebration encourage conversations with students about food and agriculture, it also exposes kids to new tastes and a wide variety of local products,” said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. “It’s important for them to develop healthy relationships with food, while learning about how and where their food is grown here in Colorado”
Governor Polis proclaimed Sept. 18, 2019, as Colorado Proud School Meal Day, which inspired more than 300 schools to participate from every corner of Colorado. School districts also embraced agriculture in the classrooms with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education-focused materials, guest speakers and locally sourced items.
“This year’s School Meal Day also coincided with Colorado Proud’s Next Generation of Ag campaign, which addresses the next generation of all aspects of agriculture, from technology to the economy, buy especially the next generation of consumers – our school-age students. More than ever, it’s important for our young students to understand agriculture’s value, heritage and history, as our future consumers and influencers,” said Wendy White, spokesperson for Colorado Proud.
Colorado farmers and ranchers produce food items that provide the nutrients children and adults need to thrive, with more than 38,000 farms encompassing nearly 32 million acres. Agriculture contributes more than $40 billion to the state economy annually and provides more than 170,000 jobs.
“Agriculture and local buying will continue to improve Colorado business and lifestyle, playing an important role in our culture and in our future. It’s an important subject for every age and generation,” added White.
About Colorado Proud
The Colorado Proud Program was created by the Colorado Department of Agriculture in 1999, to promote food and agricultural products that are grown, raised or made in Colorado. One of the goals of Colorado Proud is to make it easier for consumers to identify and purchase Colorado products by labeling them with the Colorado Proud logo. In 1999, Colorado Proud started with 65 companies; and in 2019, its 20th anniversary year, the program has more than 2,700 members, including farmers, ranchers, food manufacturers, restaurants, retailers, schools and associations statewide. Additional media materials are available in the Colorado Proud newsroom.
Agriculture Materials for Colorado Students
- Colorado Proud Newsroom
- Map of Schools Participating in 2019 Colorado Proud School Meal Day
- Colorado Proud School Meal Day Proclamation
- Procuring Local Foods for Child Nutrition Programs
- Find Colorado Proud Products
- Using Colorado Market Maker for Farm to School Success Tip Sheet
- Colorado Agriculture Map for Kids
- Colorado Proud Fun Facts
- Learn About Colorado Agriculture
- Colorado Produce Calendar
- Colorado Farm Fresh Directory