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!

Turnip the Beet is an award presented by the USDA specifically for summer meal programs that provide high-quality meals to children. Summer meals are critical in the lives of student – they help ensure children are healthy even when school is not in session, and ensure they are ready to learn when they return to school in the fall.

All SFSP sponsors are eligible to apply!

The application must include a completed nomination form (available below), and detailed meal documentation. You may submit your own menu to document meal patterns, or use the Turnip the Beet menu template (available below), save as your own file, and submit it as menu documentation.

Submit documentation to by September 22, 2023.

Turnip the Beet application guide
Turnip the Beet Menu Template

Harvest of the Month

Nebraska Harvest of the Month is a statewide farm to school and early care and education program that features a different Nebraska specialty crop and indigenous foods each month of the year. This program promotes local sourcing of fruits, vegetables, and proteins, and provides schools and early care and education programs with resources to support sampling and serving local foods to students and children. Schools and early care and education programs have the opportunity to expand Nebraska children’s palates and increase student interest in healthy foods, nutrition and agriculture by participating. 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

Nutrition Guide for Sponsors: This tool helps sponsors plan and serve menus with a variety of nutrient-rich foods and beverages.

Farm to Summer Factsheet: This factsheet identifies strategies for integrating local food into summer meals.

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 August 15, 2023 1:27pm