Farm to School at Your Fingertips: Join our Fall Webinars

The Center for Rural Affairs is celebrating Farm to School Month (and season!) with 3 webinars filled with useful information for school staff and farmers and ranchers! You’ll find detailed information below. (And if you just can’t wait, access our Farm to School Midwest Menu webinar here.)

1. Farm to School Case Studies for Nebraska Food Service Staff

Target Audience: Nebraska Food Service Directors 
Date/Time: Thursday, October 22, 2015, 2-3pm 
Presenters: Janice Reynolds, Food Service Manager at Litchfield Public Schools; Susan Dishman, Food Service Manager at Thayer Central Community Schools; Judy Stewart, retired School Nurse and Food Service Manager at Hemingford Public Schools

Description: Three rural food service directors share how and why they have participated in local food procurement and farm to school activities. Their stories will address a range of topics like scratch cooking techniques, working with local farmers and ranchers, using produce from a school greenhouse (and planning for it),  incorporating local foods onto your salad bars; and bringing local beef onto the school lunch tray.

Registration: . After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Register now!

2. Farmers and Ranchers: Reach a New Market with Sales to Schools

Target Audience: Nebraska Food Producers
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 27, 2015, 2-3pm
Presenters: Donna Handley, Nebraska Department of Education- Nutrition Services, School Lunch Program Specialist; Sarah Browning, University of Nebraska, Extension Educator; Ryan Pekarek, Farmer Owner of Pekarek’s Produce in Dwight, NE

Description: This webinar, designed for Nebraska food producers, will discuss key points for farmers and ranchers to consider when you work with schools as a market opportunity. Walk in a food service director’s shoes with Donna Handley, School Lunch Program Specialist with the Nebraska Department of Ed. What requirements and needs do school food service staff face when serving school meals? Sarah Browning of University of Nebraska Extension will discuss the farm food safety procedures farmers and ranchers should consider, as well as helpful training resources that are available to address farm food safety topics. Finally, from experienced farmer Ryan Pekarek, how and when do you approach schools, and how do you go about planning your growing season? This webinar will introduce food producers to the opportunities available when selling to schools, as well as considerations to take when planning for success.

Registration: .  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Register now!

3. Farm to School: Farmers, Learn an Easier Way to Make the School Connection

Target Audience: Nebraska Food Producers
Date/Time: Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 2-3pm
Presenters: Justin Jones, President, Lone Tree Foods; Tini Van-Oehlertz, Food Service Director, Pius X Schools, Lincoln; Dawne Price, Farmer with Price Farms, Lyons NE

Description: Hear 3 unique stories on farm to school and how Nebraska farmers have made the school connection. Justin Jones, President of Lone Tree Foods, shares how Lone Tree connects food producers to eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa schools. Food Service Director Tini Van-Oehlertz of Pius X schools in Lincoln shares her experiences purchasing local foods through the Nebraska Food Cooperative. And Dawne Price of Price Farms describes how and why she directly connected with Lyons-Decatur Schools and the on-farm activities she organized for Lyons-Decatur elementary students. There are multiple ways to connect with schools, and this webinar will provide insight on Nebraska farm to school opportunities for the food producer.

Registration: . After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Register now!

Feature image: An "aerial view" of our Farm to School Producers Map, inspired by our online Nebraska Find-A-Farmer Tool! Are you a school or program looking to connect with a farmer to work with directly? Find one here.