Friday, December 2, 2022

Play

Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

Play

The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.

Play

The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Nebraska Farmers Fueling Students with Locally Produced Food

Play

Thursday, September 23, 2021   

GERING, Neb. -- With school back in session, many Nebraska students will be fueled by fresh beef, fruits and vegetables sourced from local farms.

Mary Carman, director of food services for the Gering public school district, has spent the past three years developing a farm-to-school program. Instead of using processed food shipped in from out of state, her team now uses locally-produced, nutrient-rich foods and prepares meals from scratch.

Carman recently added local organic honey for cafeteria recipes.

"The whole point is to get the freshest food to the kids, and also use it as an educational tool for teachers to teach kids about where food comes from, how it's grown," Carman explained.

Nebraska students also are selling garden harvests at farmers markets, and some local farmers help students grow seedlings in their greenhouses. More school cafeterias soon could be transformed into both the largest classrooms and restaurants in Nebraska.

During the last legislative session, senators created a state farm-to-school program, and this month the initiative added its first full-time employee.

In June, the University of Nebraska Extension and other partners hosted the first statewide Farm-to-School Institute, designed to help schools procure local food and teach kids how it's grown.

Justin Carter, project associate at the Center for Rural Affairs, said farm-to-school is a good investment for local economies. When schools buy directly from local farmers, the money goes right back into communities.

"For each dollar invested in farm-to-school, it stimulates an additional 60 cents to $2.16 in local economic activity," Carter reported.

For school food directors interested in launching their own program, Carman encouraged patience and getting out into the community. She suggested farmers markets are a good place to start, and noted most producers are very interested in exploring additional revenue streams.

"It's a win for the farmers," Carman asserted. "A school district in any rural town, or anywhere, is usually your biggest restaurant. We're feeding thousands of kids a day."

Disclosure: Center for Rural Affairs contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Environment, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, and Rural/Farming. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
According to the Brennan Center, at least one bill with a provision restricting access to voting was introduced in the legislature of every state except Vermont in 2021. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Iowa League of Women Voters plans to ask the Iowa Legislature to rethink the voting restrictions put in place prior to last month's midterm electi…


Environment

Agriculture groups and government agencies aren't slowing down in trying to convince farmers to use more sustainable practices such as cover crops…

Social Issues

Winter is here, leaving many older South Dakotans vulnerable to social isolation. But a growing body of research, as well as opportunities, shows …


Almost 60% of Black students and 50% of Latino students experience food insecurity, compared with 30% of their non-Hispanic white peers, according to a study by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By Jala Forest / Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan Reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration Nearly 40% of college students a…

Environment

The Biden administration has proposed a rule to limit methane flaring from oil and gas development on public lands. The rule would impose royalty …

Each year in the United States, an estimated 58,000 to 80,000 children younger than 5 are hospitalized due to RSV infection, according to the CDC. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The flu, COVID and RSV are rapidly spreading in Kentucky, and health experts say that's a problem for hospitals, schools and the state's vulnerable …

Environment

As its 125th anniversary nears, the Connecticut Audubon Society has released a report detailing the effectiveness of conservation efforts in the …

Social Issues

2022 was a banner year for women elected as governor. Nearly one-third of America's governors will be women next year, which is a record. Iowa …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021