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Farm To School


USDA Farm to School Census

The third Farm to School Census is open until the end of November.  In 2014, Nebraska had a 68% response rate, and the goal is to have more than 80% of Nebraska districts respond to the 2019 Census.  Thanks in advance for your cooperation!  The Census surveys all School Food Authorities (SFAs) participating in the USDA National School Lunch Program in all 50 states.  All SFAs should complete the Census, even if that district has not participated in ANY farm to school activities.  Prepare to submit your response to the survey by reviewing the optional Census Preparation Worksheet.

Crunch Off

Stay tuned for the announcement on the winning state from the Mountain Plains Crunch Off Competition, held in October 2019 to celebrate National Farm to School Month!

NFSN Scholarships for the 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

Scholarship applications for the 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference are now open! National Farm to School Network makes it a priority to keep their conferences affordable and to offer scholarships to make these important gatherings more accessible. All interested attendees are invited to apply for scholarships. NFSN will prioritize applications from persons with greater barriers to participation and those who have been impacted by racial and social inequities in the food system. Additional preference will be given to first-time conference attendees and presenters. The deadline to apply for a scholarship is Friday, Nov. 1, 2019 at 6pm ET. Learn more and apply at Farm to School Cafeteria Conference Scholarships

Congratulations to the following schools who have been selected to receive a Nebraska Thursdays 2019 Mini-Grants!

The purpose of this funding is to expand Nebraska Thursdays, a program which supports serving Nebraska-sourced meals in schools the first Thursday of each month. A total of $5,265 in mini-grant funds have been awarded and will assist schools with implementation and promotion of Nebraska Thursdays, and provide expansion of local food, agriculture, and/or garden-based education. Mini-grants have been funded by the Nebraska Dry Bean Commission.

ANNOUNCE FY20 NT Mini Grant Awarded Sites

Nebraska Beef in Schools

America’s cattle producers are committed to providing a highly nutritious protein to families across the world and their local communities. The Nebraska producers and the Nebraska Beef Council are working to put nutritious beef on school lunch trays.

NDE Good Newsletter

The Northeast Nebraska Cattlemen and the Wayne County Farm Bureau cooked up fresh hamburgers for students in Wayne Community Schools to kick off this year’s Nebraska Thursdays.

Grants and Funding

North Central Region-SARE recognizes that youth programs are a way to introduce new and exciting farming and ranching options to youth, parents, and community members. Youth Educator grants support projects by youth educators which encourage youth to try sustainable practices and explore sustainable agriculture as a viable career option. Applicants can request up to $4,000 for youth education projects.  Applications and more information are available on the NCR-SARE website

The National One Earth Award, sponsored in part by the Salamander Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation, provides four students whose creative works address the pressing issue of human-caused climate change with $1,000 scholarships. Additional state scholarships of $500 are available to two students from each of the following states: Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. This award is part of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens. The Awards encourage, publish, and grant scholarships to creative teens. Learn more about the One Earth Award.

Any nonprofit organization, public or private school, or youth program in the United States or US Territories planning a new garden program or expanding an established one that serves at least 15 youth between the ages of 3 and 18 is eligible to apply. The selection of winners is based on demonstrated program impact and sustainability. Previous Youth Garden Grant winners who wish to reapply must wait one year after receiving the award and must prove that their garden programs have been significantly expanded. Learn more and apply for the 2020 Youth Gardening Grant.

Slow Food believes biodiversity is key to a sustainable, adaptable — and delicious — future. The Plant a Seed kit features six seed packets: three from the Ark of Taste, and three from Row 7. There is a limited number of free kits available for school gardens, request your free kit.

The Salad Bars To Schools program is focused on donating salad bars to school districts so every child across our nation has daily access to fresh fruits and vegetables.  Learn everything you need to know about salad bars to schools grants.

The National Farm to School Network has additional 2019 Fall Funding Opportunities on their website.

Webinars & Events

The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference is coming to Albuquerque, NM, April 21-23, 2020! Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event will convene nearly 1,000 diverse stakeholders who are working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. The  Farm to School Cafeteria Conference Scholarship Application is open through Nov. 1.

Join FINE and the New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network (FSCN) for a one-hour webinar to learn more about regional grain production and how it can be a cost effective choice for your institution. Across the state of Maine, allies are working to transform the grain economy by increasing production and reducing procurement bottlenecks while serving and educating customers. Registration for the webinar is currently open..

Nebraska schools are getting involved in farm to school.


Farm to school is a win across the board for students, school staff, parents, communities, farmers and food producers. Learn more about the many benefits of farm to school at; and additional economic benefits in the Economic Impacts of Farm to School report.

USDA Greenhouse

Photo courtesy of the USDA

Farm to school enriches the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education settings. Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips. Farm to school empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities.

Contact us at:

NDE – Nutrition Services
(402) 471-2488

Updated November 12, 2019 2:36pm