Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics

Committee Chair

Rhonda Phillips

Committee Member 1

Brigitte Waldorf

Committee Member 2

Maria Marshall


Despite the passage of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010, Farm to School participation rates remains low or unequally distributed in states across the US. This study takes on the task of identifying strong state-sponsored programs that incentivize participation rates across various demographics. Using a series of logits (N=9,004), the study analyzes Farm to School policy effects on program participation across key demographic variables, such as the percent of students who receive free or reduced lunch, locale, and racial demographics. In the model, higher income and more urban school districts likelihood of participating in Farm to School drastically improve, by as much as 30 percent and 17 percent respectively, if they reside in a state with a grant and program logistics coordinators, or office. However, the study finds that high poverty, rural, and majority Black or Hispanic (high minority) school districts have a lower likelihood of participating in Farm to School regardless if they reside in a state with any form of Farm to School policy. These traditionally limited resource schools do not respond to state sponsored incentives compared to their wealthier, sufficiently funded peer districts. This paper provides a new perspective in analyzing the effects of state level policy on Farm to School program participation and suggests a need for improvements in state policies to address lower levels of participation in limited resource schools.