Superintendent Cooper, Educational Farm to School Leader – March 2014
We celebrate our farm to school educational leader Habersham County School Superintendent. Superintendent Cooper is an instructional leader that knows the most important job of the school district is to make sure students are learning and achieving at high levels. He is knowledgeable of the best practices for maximizing student achievement and supports the growth of farm to school in Habersham County.
Superintendent Cooper grew up on a small farm, so he also understands the realities of producing food. “We raised some chickens, goats, and cattle. We always had a garden, so I have a lot of experience pulling weeds and much gratitude for our farmers who grow our food. I think it is very important that our students have a deep appreciation for agriculture and for our farmers. I do not believe that most people stop and think about where our food actually comes from. Much too often we take our food supply for granted. We are blessed in America with a safe stable food supply. We are blessed with the best farmers in the world.”
Habersham County’s Farm to School Program has created a strong partnership between the school system and local farmers in the community. “It is an example of how we can all work together to benefit our students. I believe that our parents like the idea of our students eating food that is locally grown,” said Cooper.
When asked about the student impact the superintendent has seen as a result of the farm to school program he commented, “There is now much excitement about food among our students. In particular, our students have enjoyed the opportunity to grow their own food, meet the farmers, and taste tests products from local farms. The taste tests are always a big hit at Wilbanks Middle School. I have had the privilege of being there on a number of occasions when the taste tests were being conducted. The taste tests have become a valuable part of our students’ education. It is good to see our students willing to try new foods and to have fun while doing it. I think our students have been pleasantly surprised at how much they actually like certain foods. On a personal note, I can say that I have liked all the food offered in the taste tests and would try them again!”
“This is a wonderful program that supports both the nutrition and education of our students and the economic prosperity of our local farmers,” said the superintendent. “I want to thank the all the different leaders in our school and the community for their interest and time in our pilot program, and I look forward to seeing the innovative programs and partnerships that our schools, farmers, and producers will build in the coming months and years.”