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University of Minnesota Extension

Minnesota Harvest of the Month

Minnesota Harvest of the Month (MN HOTM) celebrates an in-season, locally-grown food item each month in K-12 schools. It’s a free marketing program designed to promote the use of seasonally available, locally grown, raised and harvested products. It features marketing materials, local food items, and recipes to help food service staff use those products. Accompanying academic standards-based educational resources extend the program into K-12 classrooms.

Who is it for?

This free program is for K-12 schools, with a goal of connecting students to local foods through the cafeteria, classroom and community. Participants are encouraged to create a team made up of a school nutrition professional, an educator, an administrator and a community member.  

Why join?

This program is an easy-to-use support model for schools new to farm to school or those looking to build their momentum, and contribute to statewide learning and development.

Harvest of the month is a great opportunity to:

  • Celebrate local, seasonal foods.
  • Encourage students to try new foods.
  • Increase student consumption of fruits and vegetables.
  • Educate students about nutrition, agriculture and the food system.
  • Support local farmers and our MN economy.

Learn more and get free resources for your school.

Learn more about Minnesota Harvest of the Month!

Foods we celebrate!

Each month you will get to try, cook and share the following items from local Minnesota farmers:
Apples, squash, wild rice, beans, poultry, dairy, greens, melon, peppers, beef, sweet corn and potatoes.

How does it work?

We provide promotional and educational materials that set you up to successfully implement Harvest of the Month with the needs of your school in mind. Participation is flexible and there are three core ways to engage.

A group of school nutrition professionals show off healthy local foods for MN Thurday.
Lunch plate with chicken, greens, kohlrabi slaw, apples and milk.
A group of four students eat an apple outside of their school building.


Schools and partners share info with families and community members through newsletters, social media and community events. 


Each month, school cafeterias can locally procure and serve the featured HOTM food in at least one meal, snack or taste test. 


Students learn from HOTM standards-aligned curriculum and fun activities created for each food and age group. 

What do you get?

When you participate in harvest of the month, you get:

  • Free printed materials sent to your school like recipe cards, posters and signs for your cafeteria.
  • Access to a hub of educational resources, marketing materials and culinary procurement support.
  • Connected to the Minnesota Harvest of the Month community.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Department of Education and the University of Minnesota Extension created a Minnesota-branded Harvest of the Month program as a viable strategy to help successfully implement farm to school. We invite school districts to participate in Minnesota HOTM program during the 2022-23 school year. 

Reviewed in 2022

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