Farm to School to White House:The First Lady invites 5 Milton students to garden

John L. Barone, Sr., Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Milton Town School District

802-893-3210 x1110 or [email protected]

First Lady Michelle Obama, has invited 30 students – five of them from Milton – to help garden at the White House next week, April 4, 2013.

Five Milton students will get the once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet First Lady Michelle Obama next week after being invited to help her plant vegetables in the White House garden.

Superintendent Dr. John Barone said Obama’s assistant called him last Friday, and he could barely keep the news quiet.

“Getting a call from the White House is not a daily occurrence,” he said.

Barone learned the first lady was aware of the school’s efforts in serving healthy, whole foods as called for in federal regulations Mrs. Obama champions.

Food Service Director Steve Marinelli’s blog post, “Five Simple Tips to Get Kids Excited about Fruits and Veggies, Vermont Style,” was recently featured on the Let’s Move blog, Obama’s initiative to get kids active and healthy.

Marinelli, five fifth-graders, two teachers (Mrs. Judy Brady and Mr. Christopher Schmid) and a handful of chaperones will fly to the nation’s capital on April 3, the day before the event, Barone said.

The five students – Sara Schmoll, Cassie Allen, Hannah Svenson, Nolan Deep and Will Muzzy – were selected by lottery after each homeroom picked three candidates at random. The finalists were selected by their homeroom teachers and their Principal, Mary Jane Stinson. In addition the students wrote essays about the Vermont farm-to-school movement.

Milton received a $7,500 grant to support our Farm to School Initiative. Vermont Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross told Marinelli his food service model – which makes use of local, fresh produce – is a model for the nation.

And now Milton kids will get a chance to show the nation what they’ve got. They’ll join 25 others at the garden, Barone said.

The superintendent estimates the trip will cost roughly $15,000 for airfare, lodging, in-city transportation and meals for the group of 13. The Milton Town School District would like to thanks the following businesses/organizations for their donations to help make this possible:

· The Vt. Community Foundation

· Common Roots

· Hunger Free Vermont

· Vt. Farm to Plate

· Husky (both the local affiliation and the corporate offices)

· Gardner’s Supply

· The Vermont Dairy Council

· The Vermont Education Health Initiative (VEHI)

· The Milton Community Youth Coalition

· The Milton Teachers’ Association

A special thanks to the Vermont Agency of Education for their encouragement and support.

Comments

  1. Jim Barrett :

    Are we sure Michelle Obama can entertain these children due to a shortage of money tours have been stopped at the whitehouse? I’m surprised the Obama’s will be home as they are going on another multi million dollar vacation……!

  2. Ernie Hotchkiss :

    I applaud the Milton school for it’s local food initiative for its students. It’s one more example of Vermont wagging the nation with forward thinking, progressive ideas that actually help local communities and economies. I’m sure the trip will be a fun and a great experience for the kids.

    But Michelle Obama’s White House garden and her ideas about food and children’s health feels like little more than window dressing and a smoke and mirrors show, in light of her husband’s stance and support of GMO’s. Only TWO DAYS before the above press release, the President signed what has come to be called the Monsanto Protection Act. It’s official (and Orwellian) name is the Farmer Assurance Provision. This new legislation includes a provision protecting genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health risks. It would strip federal courts of the authority to immediately halt the planting and sale of GMO seed crops regardless of any consumer health concerns. The provision, also decried as a “biotech rider,” should have gone through the Agricultural or Judiciary Committees for review. Instead, no hearings were held, and the piece was evidently unknown to most Democrats (who hold the majority in the Senate) prior to its approval as part of HR 993, the short-term funding bill that was approved to avoid a federal government shutdown (that Obama signed).

    Obama’s FDA has also recently approved GMO salmon that grow to twice the size of normal salmon, without any testing on the potential health and safety effects on humans or wild salmon. How long before untested GMO fish is served to kids in schools across the country?

    So when Michelle Obama talks about healthy food choices for children, it is utter hypocrisy when her husband’s administration is doing the total opposite, by protecting Monsanto at the expense of small organic farms and parents’ right to know (through GMO labeling) what is in the food they are feeding their children.

    More info at: http://www.fooddemocracynow.org

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