Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Oklahoma Farm-to-School economic viability and efficiency
by Vo, Anh Ngoc, M.S., Oklahoma State University, 2009, 107; 1474109
Abstract (Summary)

Farm-to-School (FTS), a school food program encouraging marketing and consumption of locally grown fruits and vegetables, began a decade ago and has since gained national recognition. The nascent food program has several difficulties with its implementation. Two particular issues addressed in this thesis are program adoption and distribution of FTS commodities. This research serves as a tool to assist food service personnel and policy makers in finding school systems likely to adopt the program and determining an efficient distribution method.

Addressing the first issue, data from a survey sent to Oklahoma school districts are analyzed using a logistic model, predicting probability of program participation according to school district characteristics. Example characteristics considered in the logit model are district size, food budgets, food distributors, campus policy, and percentage of free and reduced meals available. As district size and food budget allocated to fresh fruits and vegetables increases, so does probability of program participation. Distributors used for produce is also linked to program adoption.

Addressing the second issue, a transportation cost template was created to calculate operation cost per mile, operation cost per trip, distribution cost per unit, and the farm gate margin1. This template along with the results of the logit model provides information for food service personnel, farmers, and policy makers interested in FTS programs. This research can also serve as a tool to evaluate past, current, and future FTS programs nationwide.

Key words: Farm-to-School, locally grown food, logistic model, program participation, distribution systems, and transportation cost

1Farm gate margin represents the net profit for the producer at the farm.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Holcomb, Rodney B.
Commitee: Epplin, Francis M., Sanders, Larry D.
School: Oklahoma State University
Department: Agricultural Economics
School Location: United States -- Oklahoma
Source: MAI 48/04M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Agricultural economics, School administration, Public health
Keywords: Distribution system, Farm to School, Local food, Logistic model, Program participation, Transportation cost
Publication Number: 1474109
ISBN: 9781109620702
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