Semester of Graduation

Summer 2022

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The farm to school (F2S) program is an initiative participated in by schools with the intent to promote healthy lifestyle choices among children and introduce agricultural lessons into school curriculums. F2S programs have gained popularity since their introduction in 1996. In Louisiana, there were 59 programs in 13 public school districts implemented throughout the state in 2013. A large increase was seen in 2015, as there were 152 programs in 13 public school districts in 2015, and again in 2019 with 606 programs in 37 public school districts. The program has been active for over 20 years, however, there has been little research done on the economic impacts of F2S programs and most of the literature is policy based.

The overall goal of this thesis is to examine the F2S program economic effects on public school districts, producers, and the local economy in Louisiana. This thesis is separated into four chapters. The first chapter presents information about F2S programs and political support, as well as lays the groundwork for the remainder of the thesis. The second chapter examines trends in F2S participation from public school districts. Data from three USDA F2S Censuses are analyzed presenting information on program participation, activities, and challenges from public school districts in Louisiana. Relationships between F2S participation, challenges, school district location and agricultural production are examined using exact binary logistic regression models and descriptive analysis methods. The third chapter conducts an economic impact analysis of F2S programs in Louisiana. The purpose of this chapter is to determine the economic impacts and contributions of increased levels of local procurement as a part of farm to school programs in Louisiana. To accomplish this, I conduct an economic impact analysis using the input-output method using the IMPLAN software. The fourth chapter provides conclusions and closing remarks.

Date

7-11-2022

Committee Chair

Maria Bampasidou

Available for download on Thursday, July 10, 2025

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