Fresh Ideas and the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture (CCUA) have kicked off the K-12 Initiative, a farm to table child-learning program that aims to teach Columbia Independent School students the basics in farming, growing and preparing organic foods. The Director of Dining Services Samantha Lambeth, is confident that this initiative could have a lasting impact on Columbia Independent School. “A year ago, I connected with the program directors for CCUA and together we developed this initiative in hopes that it would benefit the students, the lunchroom and beyond,” says Samantha. “In the events we’ve already done, the kids loved it and wanted to know more.” The Initiative is broken into four programs that began in early April. The first program was called “Tastes of The Globe,” which educated students on how to locate, taste, pick and combine spices from all corners of the world. “Our programs will teach students everything from spices, to seed matching, to food recycling and composting and more,” notes Samantha. “We’re hoping students take what they learn here and bring it to their families.” So far, the program operates at Columbia Independent School, but Samantha believes that it could spread to more schools in and around Mid-Missouri. In fact, she’s counting on it. “Depending on the success, we project it can spread around the state,” assures Samantha. “The next stage of the program plans to be more interactive and will allow students to plant gardens and take ownership of their lunchrooms.” With a bright future and a great partnership between Fresh Ideas and CCUA, it appears that the K-12 program is a welcome plan for surrounding Columbia schools.