March 19, 2008

Bringing the Farm to Cornell

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If you’re interested in the local foods movement and want do more than just eat locally, you might be interested in the work of the Farm to Cornell student group. After all, informed consumerism can do a lot for a movement, but it can’t do everything. In order to ensure that Cornell continues to increase its purchase and use of local foods, we as students need to collaborate with the decision makers in Cornell Dining and Campus Life. Farm to Cornell plays an integral role in connecting students to administrative officials on local foods issues and also is currently working on developing a fund for a sustainability scholarship.
Members of Farm to Cornell attend the regular meetings of the Cornell Dining Local Foods Advisory Council (CDFLAC), which is comprised of Cornell Dining chefs and staff, Ithaca Produce (a distributor), students, faculty and Tompkins County Cooperative Extension agents. Because of the wide representation and the involvement of high-up officials in Cornell Dining, the council has been able to take great strides in increasing the incorporation of local foods into the meals prepared by Cornell Dining, as I mentioned in an < earlier entry. Most recently, Farm to Cornell has been working with the CDFLAC to include a commitment to local foods as part of the job description for the hiring of the new Cornell Dining Director. A Dining Director who is committed to local foods will help maintain the momentum Farm to Cornell, the CDFLAC and Cornell Dining have been building. Farm to Cornell’s connection with the CDFLAC provides an inspiring avenue for students to have a direct impact on Cornell Dining policy with respect to local foods.
If you want to join the local foods movement on a level beyond just “speaking with your dollar,” check out Farm to Cornell. The organization makes a vital connection between students, farms, and Cornell Dining.