Nebraska Farm To School

USDA FARM TO SCHOOL GRANT- NOW OPEN!
Deadline: January 6, 2023

The United States Department of Agriculture will award up to $12 million in competitive grants to eligible entities through the Farm to School Grant Program in FY 2023. Each grant helps implement farm to school programs that increase access to local food in eligible schools, connect children with agriculture for better health, and inspire youth to consider careers in agriculture. The Request for applications (RFA) includes three tracks- Implementation, State Agency, and Turnkey- to support a variety of projects and implementation stages.

Eligible Applicants:

Nonprofit private and charter schools which operate the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and/or School Breakfast Program (SBP); Eligible Summer Institutions which operate the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP); Indian Tribal organizations (ITOs); Agricultural producers; and Non-profit entities.

The Secretary of Agriculture will award competitive grants designed to improve access to local foods in eligible schools, for activities such as:

  • training;
  • supporting f2s operations;
  • planning;
  • purchasing equipment;
  • developing school gardens;
  • developing Partnerships; and
  • implementing farm to school programs.

USDA is offering the following recorded webinars to further understand how to develop, expand, and sustain robust farm to school programs, projects, or initiatives:

Learn more about the USDA Farm to School Grant here, and apply on grants.gov.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

The Nebraska Department of Education was awarded a Team Nutrition grant that will expand our Harvest of the Month program to include four new items: beef, bison, rhubarb, and aronia berries. The NDE will be rolling out *new* standardized recipes for school use that feature these local Nebraska items, as well as existing Harvest of the Month items like apples, turnips, and dry beans.

Producers interested in supporting the LIFT project, and connecting schools with locally grown Nebraska products, are encouraged to make a profile on Market Maker.

Photo Courtesy of 2021 Nebraska Farm to School Institute Team, Banner County Public Schools. Featured is Kelly Rundell, School Food Service Director and student winners of featured farm to school books.

WEBINARS AND EVENTS

Receive the most up-to-date information on national farm to school webinars, resources, best practices and funding opportunities.
Newsletter Sign Up

Save the Date
February 3-4, 2023 | Aurora, Nebraska

At the Nebraska Local Food & Healthy Farms Conference, you will take an active role in securing our community’s food future. Whether you are farming, ranching, running a food service operation, conducting research or education, or advocating for local food, your place is at our table. Or rather, at one of many round table conversations, forums, and educational sessions. Join us as we learn, innovate, connect, and collaborate for a resilient food future.

 

RESEARCH AND RESOURCES

  • This report examines the three interconnected components essential to taking farm to school to the next level statewide, both economically and educationally. It examines procurement in school meal programs, education within the school system as well as the community, and policy recommendations.

https://www.nebraskalegislature.gov/pdf/reports/committee/agriculture/LR337_2020.pdf

  • The Nebraska Department of Education Nutrition Services conducted a survey in fall of 2017 of early care and education providers across the state. The survey gathered baseline data about types and levels of farm to preschool activity in Nebraska, and identified the priorities required for growing farm to preschool activities at centers and family day care homes.
  • Access the results Nebraska Farm to Early Care and Education Survey.

The University of Nebraska Science Literacy Initiative, in collaboration with the Nebraska Department of Education Nutrition Services, the Center for Rural Affairs, and Nebraska’s 21st-Century Community Learning Centers, conducted a survey of Nebraska schools in fall of 2018 to gain an understanding of the status and features of school- or community-based growing spaces across the state and to identify programmatic and educational needs and opportunities.

The National Farm to School Network and Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems are proud to release a series of briefs detailing the findings from our 2021 National Farm to Early Care and Education Survey and the resultant recommendations. The series of briefs will be released over a period of weeks and explores the background and methods of the survey, farm to ECE reach, participation and practices, motivations and barriers, local purchasing practices, and COVID-19. You can view the state-level data and the first two focusing on background and methods and farm to ECE reach here.

Student engagement is the degree of attention, interest, curiosity, and positive emotional connections students experience while learning. It is what we build from to understand instruction. Acknowledging the ways that your students engage in your classrooms and focusing on how to access student attention, interest, and curiosity sets you up with a strong base to build out your instructional practices. This workbook offers a collection of texts and activities to deepen your understanding of student engagement, as well as tools you can bring into your classroom. You will reflect on your own experiences, interact with texts on student engagement, practice recognizing student engagement, and develop a personalized plan to increase student engagement. Find the workbook here.

GRANTS AND FUNDING

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.

Kidsgardening.org Grant Opportunities

https://kidsgardening.org/grant-opportunities/

KidsGardening offers a variety of grants to new and existing youth garden programs across the nation. Each funding opportunity has its own timeline, defining features, eligibility requirements, and reporting expectations. Explore the open grant programs at this site and see which one might be the best fit for your particular situation. If something catches your eye, you can find more details on each grant’s homepage.

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Farm to School Grant Program Request for Applications (RFA) is now open!

USDA will award up to $12 million in competitive grants to eligible entities through the Farm to School Grant Program in FY 2023. Each grant helps implement farm to school programs that increase access to local food in eligible schools, connect children with agriculture for better health, and inspire youth to consider careers in agriculture. Learn more here and then apply on grants.gov. The application deadline is January 6, 2023.

CELEBRATING Nebraska Thursdays 2019 Mini-Grants, awarded to these schools thanks to support and funds from the Nebraska Dry Bean Commission.

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.

NEBRASKA FARM TO SCHOOL INFORMATION

Nebraska schools are getting involved in farm to school.

Benefits

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 farmtoschool.org; 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
NDE.F2S@nebraska.gov
(402) 471-2488

Updated December 2, 2022 12:50pm