“Farm to School” outreach education earns public health students community collaboration award

“Farm to School” outreach education earns public health students community collaboration award

Public health majors introducing students to fresh produce

Farm to School, an effort to engage students in learning about the pathway of food from farm to table, has earned public health majors at the University of Northern Iowa the 2022 Iowa and Minnesota Engaged Campus Award for Community Collaboration. 

For seven years, public health majors in the “Implementing Public Health Programs” course led by College of Education Professor Susan Roberts-Dobie have worked with Jodie Huegerich, UNI Local Food Program manager at the Center for Energy and Environmental Education on this initiative. This past year, the center coordinated the delivery of produce from local farmers to four Cedar Falls elementary schools. The public health students then shared the story of how healthy foods travel from “farm to fork” with the school children. This past year, these sessions occurred via Zoom, though in prior years, they were face-to-face in classrooms. 

Through the discussion, the grade school students learned more about the importance of local foods and had a chance to taste foods they might otherwise not try. 

"Students who plan a career in public health will spend a lifetime working in and with community health organizations. Programs like Farm to School that require community collaboration give them practice building those connections," said Roberts-Dobie. 

The award was presented during an online program by the Iowa & Minnesota Campus Compact, an organization that supports universities in providing service-learning and community engagement. The Engaged Campus Awards recognize great projects, partnerships and programs related to civic and community engagement.

Also awarded were President’s Awards by each member institution. For UNI, additional awards included:

  • President’s Student Leadership Award: Black Student Union
  • Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award: John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center
  • Presidents’ Community Partner Award: Veridian Credit Union


Stacy McGauvran-Hruby, Marketing & Communications Manager, UNI College of Education, 319-273-7615, mcgauvrs@uni.edu