Cafeterias Offer Taste of County Farm Sausage

Young Food Critics Offer Thumbs Up to Farm to School Sausage
Posted on 10/13/2019
This is the image for the news article titled Young Food Critics Offer Thumbs Up to Farm to School SausageThe Farm to School emphasis in October took the form of taste tests in all ten school cafeterias last week.

Sausage was on the tasting menu and, in a landside vote by students, was overwhelmingly approved. Trista Snider, supervisor of school nutrition, reports that the sausage, produced from hogs from the Weakley County Schools Production Farm at Dresden High School and processed by Yoder Brothers, received more than 1350 “yes” votes and only 77 “no’s.”

thumbs up sign from studentThe new initiative to serve Weakley County students products from the schools’ farm has been in the works for several months.

Working with Jason Kemp, a DHS ag teacher and the manager of the farm, Snider determined that the launch of farm to school sausage could begin at Dresden High School when classes resume after fall break. The expansion to all county school cafeterias will begin in January.

The taste tests were to help students begin to learn of the program.

Based on past usage of sausage purchased from other suppliers, Snider anticipates needing approximately 2,750 pounds to finish the year, serving patties approximately one time per week for either breakfast or lunch. That translates into 20 to 22 hogs from the farm, depending on their size at harvest for January through May 2020.

And those numbers double when the 2020-2021 year begins.

“We will consider increasing the number of times we serve sausage to allow students the opportunity to enjoy this delicious local product more often,” Snider added.

Girls approveKemp and his students are excited about the days ahead. “I think that by allowing our school-based product to be added to the menu of our Weakley County Schools cafeterias as their sole source of sausage product for the remainder of this fiscal school year and school years to come is groundbreaking within itself. When students connect the product to what we do on the farm, they are better able to see the relevance for themselves of our program,” noted Kemp.

Snider agrees. "I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to integrate the pork sausage that comes from animals the students have raised into the cafeterias. Not only is the sausage better quality as it is local and fresh, but there is also a sense of pride that comes from being able to eat something that you've had a hand in. Because of this I think we will see an increase in participation in our School Nutrition Program. Furthermore, we are excited about other Farm to School initiatives that we are anticipating across the county. Great things are in store for our students!" she concluded.