MICKLETON, N.J. — New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher presented the owners of Cecil Creek Farm in Mickleton with the Jersey Fresh Farm to School Farmer Recognition Award at the Ninth Annual Jersey Fresh Farm to School Farmer Recognition event on Thursday, September 24.
The program is an opportunity for farmers to promote their Farm to School efforts and to provide agricultural products to school food service departments throughout the growing season. According to the Department of Agriculture, “the object of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias is to improve student nutrition, provide healthy options and nutrition education opportunities that will last a lifetime, as well as support local farmers.”
“Cecil Creek and the many other farms that are active in the Farm to School Program allow the opportunity for schools and their students and staff to experience the farm life,” Secretary Fisher said. “The Farmer Recognition Award is a way to highlight farmers who can teach about how food is grown and the importance of having fresh fruits and vegetables as a regular part of a diet.”
Cecil Creek Farm, a 42 acre farm founded in 2014, features an environmental education program, and the farm also engages students with on the farm and in the school field trips and day camps in the summer.
“Our primary mission is to educate the next generation about the process of growing healthy food and the importance of making good nutritional choices,” Cecil Creek Farm co-owner Rose Moffa said. “It’s an honor to win the award and we plan to continue making Farm to School an integral part of what we do at Cecil Creek.”
Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger said the recognition helps show the connection between schools and local farms.
“During the Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week the New Jersey Department of Agriculture showcases the connection between local farmers and the schools that purchase produce from New Jersey farmers for school meals to promote including fresh fruits and vegetables in students’ daily meals,” Damminger said. “Each year one farm is chosen from New Jersey to receive the Recognition Award and we are honored that this year’s farm is from Gloucester County.”
Freeholder Deputy Director Frank J. DiMarco explained how the farm provides schools with more than just seasonal produce.
“Cecil Creek Farm features a large environmental education program and sets out to actively engage with students through on-the-farm and in-the-school field trips and day camps throughout the summer,” DiMarco said. “We are proud of the work our local farms do, and happy to see Cecil Creek Farm recognized for their commitment to our community.”
To learn more about the farm to school initiative, visit www.farmtoschool.nj.gov.