University of Nevada, Reno-Grown Vegetables Feed Local Students

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Bill Payne, dean of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, left, Jennifer Ott, program director of the Desert Farming Initiative and Rick Lattin of Lattin Farms in Fallon observe students at Bernice Matthews Elementary School sample vegetables as part of the Fresh Fruits and Vegetables program. Photo by Mike Wolterbeek.

The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and Lattin Farms have produced enough vegetables to feed more than 15,000 students at 32 primary Washoe County schools.

These vegetables were produced as part of the university’s Desert Farming Initiative and the Nevada Department of Agriculture’s Child Nutrition Program’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.

Last Wednesday at Bernice Matthews Elementary School, students took a break from their regular schedule to learn about Nevada agriculture and to sample some lunch peppers and Roma and cherry tomatoes.

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program offers children the chance to try a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

“Going forward, we intend to gradually expand our program to engage with more schools across the state in close cooperation with the Nevada Department of Agriculture and its Farm to School and Fresh Fruits and Vegetable programs,” said Bill Payne, dean of the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources.

“The Fruit and Vegetable Program in Nevada schools is a good example of the ways our community can support one another,” said Jennifer Ott, program director of the DFI. “This event was a big step in finding a way that Nevada farmers can regularly provide locally grown, healthy food to our school children — benefiting both Nevada agriculture and the children in our state.”

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