Welcome to Nebraska Farm to Preschool


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

What's New

Make sure to check out our Produce Pick Spotlight for September!

Save the Date! CRUNCH OFF 2021 is October 21st

or October date of your choice


Your Crunch event to be counted!

For more information contact: Marla Kurtenbach at marla.kurtenbach@nebraska.gov or Sarah Smith at sarah.e.smith@nebraska.gov

Come on Nebraska Let's CRUNCH OFF!

Join Team Nebraska to celebrate October Farm to School month, promoting local seasonally available produce by biting into a local apple, or other crunchy fruit/vegetable October 21st, 2021 (or October date of your choice).  Nebraska is participating in the Mountain Plains Crunch Off, an eight state competition (CO, KS, MO, MT, ND, SD, and WY). The state with the most crunches per capita is crowned the champion. Nebraska was the 2019 and the 2020 Mountain Plains Region Crunch Off champion and is looking to defend the title again.

The Crunch Off event encourages healthy eating, supports local agriculture, and helps students and community members gain a deeper understanding of the food system.

Create a Crunch Team and register as an individual or as many as you can get involved.  Crunch Off with schools, early childhood institutions, farmers, community members, businesses and local food enthusiasts to celebrate Farm to School Month

Visit the Nebraska Crunch Off webpage and Farm to School Month webpage for tons of resources to celebrate the Crunch Off and Farm to School Month.

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 August 24, 2021 4:14pm