FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2023
Commissioners Issue Proclamation for Farm to School Month
(Douglas County, Ore.) Douglas County Commissioners Tom Kress, Chris Boice, and Tim Freeman issued a proclamation today at the Weekly Business Meeting calling upon all citizens of Douglas County to observe the month of October as National Farm to School Month. The Commissioners honored the work being done to enrich the lives of our children by local farm to school educators, volunteers, participating schools, community supporters, and local farms.
Board Chair, Commissioner Kress kicked off the proclamation presentation with an introductory statement. “October is National Farm to School Month. Thousands of schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities, and organizations across the country are celebrating food education, school gardens, and lunch trays filled with healthy, local ingredients. We are here this morning to issue a proclamation calling our citizens to recognize Farm to School Month in Douglas County, at the request of Erin Maidlow, Executive Director of Umpqua Valley Farm to School – a school garden and farm to school education organization serving Douglas County.”
Commissioner Boice read the proclamation on behalf of the Board and acknowledged that “Farm to School programs enrich the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by helping to change food purchasing and education practices in schools. These programs also support student access to healthy local foods, as well as educational opportunities, including school gardens, cooking lessons, and farm field trips.” A copy of the video presentation can be found on the Douglas County Government Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DouglasCountyeGovernment.
Commissioner Boice presented Farm to School Month proclamation certificates to: Umpqua Valley Farm to School program staff & board members (in attendance): Erin Maidlow, Executive Director; Clover Wier; Meghan Pirtle, Sarah Pytalski, Tiana Oaks, and Teddy Fromdahl (farmer and former director). Participating Schools (in attendance): Roseburg Public Schools: Chelsea Duncan, Communications Coordinator; Tammy Rasmussen (Green Elementary Principal); Meghan Pirtle (Winchester Elementary Principal); Victoria Hill (Jo Lane Middle School Teacher); Gina Stiffler (Jo Lane Middle School IA); McKaela Shepherd (Jo Lane Middle School IA); Darci Folsom (Jo Lane Middle School IA); Rianna Grubbs (Jo Lane Middle School IA); Erin Maidlow (Phoenix School of Roseburg Instructor); Ben Erickson (Phoenix School of Roseburg OCC Coordinator); Tiana Oaks (Phoenix School of Roseburg Youth Employment Services Manager); Dakota Carter (Glide Elementary School Garden Coordinator); Mary Brown (Glide Elementary School Garden Volunteer); Jo Lane Middle School Students (in attendance): Bella Brockelmeyer, Jayden Colton, Simone Hughes, Joshua Sorrell, Donnie McCollum, Clayton Hatton, Jayde Apodaca, Lilly Willser, and Emma Zornow. Service Groups & Support Agencies (in attendance): Sarah McGregor (Feeding Umpqua/UCAN) and Elena Leninger (HealTerra). Participating Local Farms (in attendance): Paula Estill (Estill Farms) and Keri Roid (Growing Miracles Lavender Garden).
“I love our garden at school, but best of all I like getting to working in it. Our class has been able to visit different farms and learn about the things that are grown in our area. We visited Lehne’s Farm last year. Miss Erin (Maidlow) comes and teaches us how to make food and helps us with our garden. This week we visited Bare Hill Farms. It was fun to try to find the most outrageous pumpkin in the patch. I found it funny that the cows ate watermelon. I wonder if I can buy watermelon milk,” commented Emma Zornow, Jolane Middle School Student.
“Thank you for declaring this farm to school month. It is pretty exciting, and this year has been really huge for us with a lot of growth in the program. My heart is so full with all of you (program participants) here!” remarked Erin Maidlow, Executive Director of Umpqua Valley Farm to School.
Umpqua Valley Farm to School is a school garden and farm to school education organization serving Douglas County. Their mission states: “We believe food security begins with a strong community connection to the land and its food. By supporting local food systems and providing education to Douglas County youth, UVF2S cultivates skills and passion to build food-community connections. UVF2S aims to achieve an equitable and sustainable food system that nurtures and strengthens Douglas County’s people and economy.” They are the Education & Procurement Coordinator for our region. For more information about the Umpqua Valley Farm to School program check out their website at https://uvf2s.org/ or contact Erin Maidlow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“My heart is also pretty full right now. I was a Principal at Melrose Elementary for seven years before I moved to Green Elementary. I was able to start a garden at Melrose in the midst of all the chaos our world was experiencing with COVID. That garden brought life, love, and hope to our kids and to our families. We planted those first seeds in March of 2020, and it turned into this beautiful space. Our kids learned social skills, emotional skills and they learned about their community. And these farmers who invest in our kids have really provided our students with the roots of Douglas County. We know more about what’s important to our community ~ what we care about and what we love ~ we work on our farms, we work in our gardens, and we can have our kids do that every day. We get to explore learning in so many different ways all because of the work that Erin has put into this project. We are really proud to be a part of it,” stated Tammy Rasmussen, Green Elementary School Principal, Roseburg Public Schools.
Media Contact: Tamara Howell, Douglas County Emergency Communications & Community Engagement Specialist,
Douglas County Public Affairs Office | Office: (541) 957-4896 | Cell: (541) 670-2804 | Email: email@example.com
Proclamation and Photo Collage Attached. © K Trenkle/Douglas County.