UPCOMING Producer Training: Bringing the Farm to School in Native Communities

This training is intended for tribal producers in Nebraska and neighboring states. Attendees will learn about selling local foods into school markets.

From Curriculum Developers“Farm to school is a strategy for building strong and just food systems. One of the central tenets of farm to school is connecting schools with locally and regionally produced foods to be served in school meals and child nutrition programs. According to the USDA Farm to School Census, schools across the country purchased more than $1.26 billion of locally produced foods during the 2019 school year. Schools are accelerating in their demand for locally produced foods and there is a clear need to equip producers with the support they need to reach this unique market.”

The Nebraska Department of Education and program partners (Center for Rural Affairs, Nebraska Extension, Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska, No More Empty Pots) are collaborating with the Winnebago Food Sovereignty Council to offer this training. Producers affiliated with a tribe or group of indigenous people are invited to register and attend this training. Scholarships are available and can also include mileage reimbursement and hotel costs for the night of October 18. Attendees that want to receive a scholarship will indicate their interest when completing the registration form.


  • WHEN: October 18-19, 2022

Tuesday, 10/18/22, Check-in opens @ 9:30am, 10:00am – 5:00pm training.

Wednesday, 10/19/22, 8:30am -3:00pm

Agenda will be posted soon!

  • WHAT: Bringing the Farm to School to Tribal Communities, a training for tribal or indigenous producers that want to launch or expand their market to schools
  • WHERE: WinnaVegas Casino Resort, 1500 330th Street, Sloan, IA 51055
  • WHO: Tribal or indigenous producers from Nebraska or surrounding states; this training is beneficial for beginning to experienced food growers, ranchers, farmers, and producers
  • HOW: Register Here

Learn more about this project, funded in part with federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service through an agreement with the National Center for Appropriate Technology in partnership with the National Farm to School Network at Bringing the Farm to School: Producer Training. The training has been adapted as necessary to best fit the needs of a Nebraska audience.

Schools offer a strong market opportunity for agricultural producers. With more than 30 million students participating in the National School Lunch Program each day, schools provide a large, stable, and long-term market option. Many schools have strong interest in including local products from agricultural producers in their communities in their school meals.

Join this training to learn how to take advantage of these farm to school market opportunities:

●      Learn about accessing school markets, the procurement process, and growing products for school markets.

●      Hear from producers that have successfully navigated farm to school markets.

●      Gain new knowledge and resources for expanding your business to take advantage of school market opportunities.

Project Partners


Review recordings from the first Bringing the Farm to School Producer Training held in Nebraska on March 3, 2022 in Omaha, NE.

Full Session

Lunch Panel: Erin Vik, Jay Wolff, Sherri Lee

Ellen Walsh-Rossmann Presentation

Presenters at the March 3rd training included:
Gary Fehr of Green School Farms; Ellen Walsh-Rosmann and Sherri Lee of FarmTable Procurement & Delivery; Erin Vik of Westside Community Schools; Jay Wolff of Wolff Farms in Norfolk; Donna Handley, Kayte Partch, the NDE.

Facilitators and Trainers:
Justin Carter, Center for Rural Affairs; Stephanie Finklea, Black Chick Farms; Carla Gornall, No More Empty Pots; Ben Jewell, NE Extension; Margaret Milligan, Buy Fresh Buy Local NE; Sarah Smith, NE Department of Education

Are you looking for additional tools, support, and resources to learn about farm to school and how the classroom, cafeteria, and community can grow in farm to school efforts and impacts? Check out these resources and partners!

●      Bringing the Farm to School Producer Training: Case studies

●      Nebraska Farm to School Resources

●      The 2021 Nebraska Farm to School Institute, Day 2 focus on the CAFETERIA

●      Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska

●      Nebraska MarketMaker

●      Center for Rural Affairs (also available in Spanish)

●      No More Empty Pots

●      Comunidad Maya Pixan Mixim

Questions? Contact Sarah Smith, NDE Farm to School Specialist, sarah.e.smith@nebraska.gov or 402-525-3128

Updated August 23, 2022 4:55pm