Nebraska Farm to Summer

TomatoeWith harvests at their peak in many regions, summer is a perfect time to highlight local products and get kids involved in food, agriculture, and nutrition-based activities.  Incorporating local foods into Summer Meal Programs can increase the quality and appeal of meals, connect the community with local agricultural producers, and provide hands-on enrichment activities that keep children and teens nourished and engaged while school is out.

Why Farm to Summer?


Farm to summer provides kids with access to nutritious, high-quality, local food so they are ready to learn, grow and prepare for school to return in the fall.  Farm to summer activities enhance education through hands-on learning, taste testing, agriculture, nutrition, and health.


Farm to summer can serve as a significant financial opportunity for farmers, fishers, ranchers, food processors and food manufacturers by opening market diversification and opportunities to increase profits.


Farm to summer provides opportunities to build family and community engagement by enriching the connection communities have with
fresh, healthy food and local food producers.

Where can I find local producers?

Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska

A member-based marketing, promotion, and education program helping to support state’s farmers, ranchers and producers. A great resource for finding local food!

Nebraska Market Maker

A database featuring a diverse community of food-related businesses: buyers, farmers/ ranchers, farmers markets, and more. A simple yet powerful resource to connect with others across the production and distribution chain.

Nebraska Farmers Markets and Produce Vendor

A search tool for finding local farmers markets and produce vendors to provide fresh food for your school.

LoneTree FoodsLoneTree Foods

Nebraska’s local food distributor! Connecting small farms and food producers to stores, local restaurants, schools and families.

Nebraska Food Cooperative

Nebraska’s online, year-round farmers’ market and local food distribution service. It is as easy as 1-2- 3! Order foods online through NFC collects your order directly from Nebraskan farmers and ranchers, you order is delivered to designated sites around Nebraska for your collection.

Let’s Turnip the Beet, Nebraska!

The USDA established the Turnip the Beet award specifically for summer meal programs that provide high-quality meals to students. Summer meals have a positive impact on children and communities by providing nutritious meals, sourcing local foods, and encouraging healthy behaviors. This award showcases programs across the nation who work hard to offer nutritious, appealing, and appetizing meals during summer months. In 2022, four Nebraska schools received the Summer Food Service Program’s Turnip the Beet Award! Congratulations to all!


Columbus Public Schools
Hastings Public Schools


Broken Bow Public Schools
South Sioux City Community Schools


Harvest of the Month

Nebraska Harvest of the Month is a statewide farm to school program that features a different Nebraska specialty crop each month of the year. This program promotes local sourcing of fruits and vegetables, and provides schools with resources to support sampling and serving local foods to students. Schools have the opportunity to expand Nebraska students’ palates and increase student interest in healthy foods, nutrition and agriculture by participating. A Nebraska Harvest of the Month Toolkit featuring local recipes, taste testing guides, posters, stickers, coloring sheets and more are available on the Nebraska Harvest of the Month webpage.

Farm to Summer Resources

  • Summer Meals Toolkit: This toolkit provides creative ideas for program operators and community partners to make summer meal planning easy, to raise awareness for summer meals, and strategies for overcoming barriers to serve nutritious foods that are appealing to children.
  • FNS Documents and Resources: This recourse offers free nutrition education materials that help reinforce and complement the nutrition messages taught by serving healthful foods.

USDA Food and Nutrition Service

Updated March 20, 2023 3:00pm