EVESHAM, N.J. — The New Jersey Department of Agriculture today recognized Cheyenne’s Road Market in Burlington County as the winning farm for the Jersey Fresh Farm to School Farmer Recognition Award. The presentation took place during the celebration of the 12th annual Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week being held September 26-30.
The program is an opportunity for farmers to highlight their Farm to School efforts and to help feature Jersey Fresh produce in local school meals.
“Cheyenne’s Road Market has an enthusiastic commitment to educating students about farms and how they work, and even made arrangements to do so during the pandemic by providing outdoor classroom settings for schools,” NJDA Secretary Douglas Fisher said. “Farms like this one allow the opportunity for schools to connect their students and staff to agricultural operations that can demonstrate how food is grown and the importance of having fresh fruits and vegetables as a regular part of their diet.”
Over the last 15 years, Cheyenne’s Road Market has set up displays in the hallways of local schools, libraries, and gymnasiums to promote eating healthy and how agriculture relates to them. It has also shown how the turf on the Eagles football fields is grown in New Jersey, and how eating yellow fruits and vegetables help protect their eyes from all the screen time on computers, games, and phones. Cheyenne’s Road Market has gifted plants, seeds, and time to teach students how to grow food in their school gardens, including virtual and outdoor lessons during the pandemic.
“I have a passion for teaching students about farming, agriculture, healthy eating, and produce,” said Cheyenne’s Road Market co-owner and operator Shannon Higginbotham. “They are our next customers, our future farmers, and the next generation. We promote eating Jersey Fresh and show how it helps them by relating it to their interests, so it is fun and memorable.”
Other farms across the state nominated for the honor will receive a Farm to School materials kit which includes a Jersey Fresh Farm to School banner, hats, and seasonality charts. Those farms are:
- Alstede Farms, LLC: Chester, Morris County
- Fernbrook Farms: Chesterfield, Burlington County
- Robbinsville Hydroponic Farm, Mercer County
- Coombs Barnyard, Salem County
Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week celebrates the partnerships being built between state farmers and schools which encourage schools to purchase produce from local farmers to incorporate into meals.
The influence of the Farm to School Program has led to almost 500 schools purchasing local, more than 300 of the districts buying local have implemented cafeteria programs using Harvest of the Month promotional material to highlight the nutritional value of local items, and nearly 200 districts use a curriculum that ties cafeteria meals to healthy eating education and/or field trips to farms.
Jersey Fresh Farm to School Week was established by law in 2010 to bring attention to the Farm to School Program, which connects schools to local farmers to increase the amount of local fresh produce available for consumption by students during the school day.
To learn more, visit www.farmtoschool.nj.gov.
Jeff Wolfe, NJDA