Nebraska Farm To School

COMING SOON: Summer Harvest of the Month and Harvest of the Month Indigenous Foods

Nebraska’s Harvest of the Month material has been updated to feature four new local products: beef, bison, rhubarb, and aronia berries. These materials are designed to help school nutrition staff, teachers and farm to school advocates develop a successful Harvest of the Month program, and include: posters, stickers, coloring pages, and trivia. The NDE will also 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.  Find these items and more by visiting Nebraska’s Harvest of the Month homepage.

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.


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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.



  • 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.

  • 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.


Farm Credit Services of America Working Here Fund program supports rural communities with focus areas that fund ag education, young and beginning producers, hunger and nutrition, rural disaster relief and essential services. Typically, an organization is eligible to receive no more than one Working Here Fund grant within a 12-month period and no more than three grants within a five-year period. The current deadline for the $2,000 grant option is March 31, 2023; the current deadline for the $10,000 grant option is June 30, 2023.

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.

This Nebraska Department of Education (NDE)-led project will simultaneously increase local food purchases by schools and expand opportunities for local, small business, and socially disadvantaged producers. NDE will (1) allocate funds for schools for the purchase of unprocessed or minimally processed foods from local, small business producers, (2) provide technical assistance to schools and producers, including resources, training, and networking events, (3) leverage recent developments including the Nebraska Farm to School Program Act, Local Food Purchase Assistance Program, and 2022 USDA Farm to School Grant initiatives to target socially disadvantaged producers. This project will pave a way toward a thriving, resilient farm to school infrastructure. Visit the Local Food for Schools homepage for more information.

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.

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 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 February 2, 2023 4:19pm