The Newton County School System (NCSS) earned the Golden Radish Award for the 10th consecutive year. This statewide farm-to-school distinction acknowledges school districts that facilitate the integration of comprehensive farm-to-school initiatives outlined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Forty-seven school districts received this recognition during the state of Georgia’s School Nutrition Director’s Conference held at the University of Georgia Continuing Education Conference Center on Oct. 17-18, 2023. The award was presented to Mr. Abdul Lindsay, school nutrition director, and chef Tanesha Baker of Newton County School System (NCSS). The Golden Radish Award is administered by Georgia’s Departments of Education, Agriculture, and Public Health in partnership with the University of Georgia. State Superintendent Richard Woods personally congratulated the school district representatives in attendance.
Over recent years, the Georgia Department of Education has realigned the Golden Radish Award recognition criteria to reflect strategic farm-to-school objectives outlined by the USDA. The Golden Radish Award recognizes school districts incorporating locally grown food items into school meals, facilitating farm-to-school promotions and marketing throughout the school year, facilitating the planting and access to edible school community gardens, and adopting and maintaining farm-to-school language into district wellness policies and procedures. Districts receiving recognition are those that not only meet but surpass all farm-to-school objectives.
“Our school system’s involvement with the farm-to-school movement goes beyond serving locally grown nutritious food and beverage products; it’s also about engaging with stakeholders and facilitating agricultural-based learning,” Abdul Lindsay said. “We also have a strong relationship with key partners like the Georgia Farm Bureau and our school system’s CTAE programs to help ensure that students make the connection between sustainable environments, nutritious foods offered in our cafés targeting comprehensive development of the whole child including as it relates to their well-being and learning.”
“Receiving the Golden Radish Award for the 10th consecutive year demonstrates our commitment to student well-being, which extends beyond serving nutritious food. It also includes students learning about where our food comes from through agricultural education,” said Michael Barr, Chief Operations Officer for NCSS.
Newton County School System superintendent, Dr. Duke Bradley III commended the school nutrition department on a job well done.
“Congratulations to the NCSS school nutrition team on achieving the prestigious Golden Radish Award for the tenth consecutive year,” Bradley said. “This remarkable accomplishment reflects the unwavering dedication of our school nutrition team. Their commitment to integrating comprehensive farm-to-school initiatives, as outlined by the USDA, not only meets but surpasses all objectives, making NCSS a beacon of excellence.”
“This award is a testament to our school system’s holistic approach, going beyond serving locally grown nutritious food to actively engaging stakeholders and fostering agricultural-based learning,” said Shakila Henderson-Baker, chair of the Newton County Board of Education. “Through partnerships with key organizations like the Georgia Farm Bureau and the school system’s CTAE programs, we ensure that our students develop a profound connection between sustainable environments, nutritious foods in our cafés, and comprehensive development. Congratulations to the entire NCSS school nutrition team for their tireless efforts in promoting student well-being and enhancing the educational experience. Your dedication to the farm-to-school movement exemplifies the essence of our commitment to cultivating a healthier, more informed, and empowered student body.”