Welcome to Nebraska Farm to Preschool

What's New

We are pleased to announce that Nebraska won the competition again this year, retaining the title as Mountain Plains Region Crunch Off Champion 2020!

There were 154,222 people registered in the Mountain Plains Region Crunch Off and 79,854 were from Nebraska, securing the coveted apple trophy and banner. Nebraska successfully registered 4.13% of their state population to participate in the Crunch.

The Nebraska Department of Education Nutrition Services is excited that our early childhood participation increased this year and hope to increase even more next year. The NDE wants to thank everyone for the hard work contributed to the Mountain Plains Region Crunch Off Team Nebraska.  Please consider participating in 2021 Crunch.


Farm to Preschool (also referred to as Farm to Early Childhood Education) is an extension of the national Farm to School movement that started with school gardening and connecting farms/farming to schools.

Farm to Preschool includes early childhood programs encompassing preschools, Head Starts, child care centers, and day care homes serving garden or local foods, and providing hands-on nutrition educational activities such as:

  • Field trips to farms, local markets, community gardens, and food co-ops
  • Inviting guest to your facility – farmers, gardeners, chefs, etc.
  • Food sensory exploration activities such as taste-testing, food art, or blind smelling tests
  • Cooking with children
  • Farm and garden toys and books
  • Gardening with children

There are many benefits for children when they are involved in the gardening process.  They learn about gardening, agriculture, and life skills.  Children can be included with planning, planting, watering/weeding, and harvesting the garden. Fresh garden produce tastes better and data supports increased fruit and vegetable consumption in children who participate in gardening activities.  Gardening also supports social and emotional growth.

Why Farm to Preschool?

  • Supports development of healthy food patterns
  • Early obesity prevention
  • Better nutrition which is critical for development
  • Children rely on caregivers for healthy food and active environment
  • Hands-on activities can increase children’s willingness to try healthy foods
  • Supports success local farmers and economies
  • Young children behaviors can change family behaviors

Win, Win, Win!

Photo credit: usdagov

Win for Children
Children benefit from educational activities and eating healthier foods. Locally grown foods are generally fresher and riper when harvested so they taste better.

Farmer showing school children an applePhoto credit: usdagov

Win for farmers
Local agriculture is supported.  The more nearby farm products are consumed, the more money in the pockets of farmers.

Collection of Fruits and Vegetables for salePhoto credit: Flicker -djjewelz

Win for Communities Purchasing nearby agricultural products keeps more money in the communities and builds stronger local economies.

2017 Nebraska Farm Early Care and Education Survey

Survey Results

Survey Results

Survey Fact Sheet

Farm to Preschool Toolkit










Updated February 4, 2021 3:52pm