Unique to Yolo County is the collaboration found among the county's agriculture and art communities. YoloArts, the county's arts council, has for the last several years worked with the Yolo County Agricultural Commissioner in promoting art, farms, and farming with the Art and Agriculture Project. Recognized by the James S. Irvine Foundation, ArtPlace, the national arts collaborative, and the National Endowment for the Arts, this project is raising community awareness of agriculture and art, serving as an example for community engagement and creative placemaking, bringing diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired by the land around us, while providing a spark in the county's economic development.YoloArts is dedicated to increasing awareness for the arts and works to convey the positive value the arts play in enriching the lives of all Yolo County residents.
Since 2008, YoloArts has partnered with the Yolo Land Trust and the Davis Farmers Market Foundation on the Art and Agriculture Project. Annually, the project culminates in an Art Harvest and fundraiser on the first Friday in November.
Embedded in this website is the story of community partnerships with various organizations who are a part of this unique food system. From non-profits doing the important work of Nutrition Education in the classroom to groups who gather together to learn more about food access and food security, we honor their work and encourage visitors to click on the links below for more information.
|2011 National Ag Week Art Contest Winner
Angelina Wedding, 3rd Grade Winner,
Whitehead Elementary School, Woodland
Farm to School Yolo is a public health and agricultural marketing initiative that has the potential to change the way students and young people eat, think about food, and improve health through development of life long healthy eating habits. It is a three-year program linking Yolo agriculture with the National School Lunch Program and 38,000 Yolo County preschool – grade 12 students. A majority, 65%, of these students are eligible for the national free and reduced lunch program.
The program is currently funded through a three-year California Department of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant. This program is staffed by the Yolo County Department of Agriculture. Please Click Here for information about John Young- Yolo County Agricultural Commissioner and Kristy Lyn Levings, Project Director for the Farm to School Yolo Program.
Farm to School Yolo works with all five Yolo County school districts and the Yolo County Office of Education’s Head Start Preschool Program to increase the amount of fresh, local produce offered in breakfasts, lunches and after school snacks. The program offers an opportunity to educate students and staff on food origins: how it was grown and how to prepare it for peak flavor and nutritional value.
Farm to School Yolo is a mandate contained in the Yolo County General Plan 2030 and builds upon the 3-year Yolo Agricultural Marketing initiative 1 and the successful Davis and Winters Farm to School Programs. A 60 member Advisory Task Force is guiding the project’s implementation that will include food service professional development; grower/farmer assessment, training and development; and menu and recipe templates. Also planned is a feasibility study of a Yolo County Food Bank food hub and private sector marketing and distribution linkages.
Public School District Food Service Directors in Yolo County
|From left to right: Dominic Machi (Davis JUSD), Cathleen Olsen (Winters JUSD), Nicole Sturzenberger (former grant Project Director), Spencer Springer (Woodland JUSD), John Young (Yolo County Agricultural Commissioner)|
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|John Young, Yolo County's Agricultural Commissioner, is a firm believer in local food sourcing and is a strong steward of the agricultural resources of Yolo County. Young seeks every opportunity to forward the interests of Yolo County and its diverse communities, while always striving to protect and promote Yolo County’s agriculture for future generations. This harvest hub has been created by Young to promote the diversity of farm production and its value in the county.
Yolo County is home to a large number of organic farms, large traditional farming operations, thriving olive oil and wine industries, seed research and production companies, agricultural processing plants, farmers markets in almost every community, and a major public agricultural research university, the University of California, Davis. The county hosts a diverse ecology, geography, culture and economy – all rooted in a significant agricultural heritage. To read more about the history of Yolo County click here.
Over 85% of the land in Yolo county is used for agriculture. Large-scale farms share the land with a growing number of diversified small farms (e.g. truck farms), as well as thriving livestock operations. All have a need for product distribution and marketing, and the market demand for locally produced food continues to grow. This website seeks to make the connection between farmers and consumers, and for the latter, will function as a ‘buyer’s guide’ for the harvests of Yolo County.
To find out more about the bounty harvested from the fields and farms of Yolo County, click here for the latest crop report.
Kristy Lyn Levings is the Project Director for Farm to School Yolo funded by the California Department of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant program. Kristy is a 3rd generation farmer in the Yolo County area and raises a selection of livestock on her farms outside of Woodland. Kristy has also spent nearly a decade working in social services and non-profits specializing in marketing and organizational development. She holds a Masters in Business Administration and is the facilitating chair for the Yolo Ag & Food Alliance in addition to serving on numerous food and agriculture centric boards and groups.
Evans & Brennan, LLC
Gail Feenstra & Jeri Ohmart, UC SAREP
Woodland Food Service Director
Winters Food Service Director
Esparto Food Service Director
West Sacramento Food Service Director
Davis Food Service Director
Yolo County Head Start