LYONS, NEBRASKA – A Nebraska school greenhouse demonstrating excellence in food production will receive the first-ever Greenhouse to Cafeteria Award later this year, presented by the Center for Rural Affairs, in collaboration with Nebraska FFA.
Nominations are currently being accepted at cfra.org/greenhouse-cafeteria. The deadline to apply is March 30, 2021.
In 2019, the Center for Rural Affairs began offering schools financial and technical assistance to revamp greenhouse education. The organization currently assists 10 schools.
“A goal of this program is to see year round agriculture education in schools, specifically around food cultivation,” said Justin Carter, project associate with the Center. “The ultimate end goal is to see greenhouse-grown foods supplying the cafeteria.”
While the Center strives to assist schools, staff recognizes existing programs already supply fresh food to Nebraska school lunchrooms.
“With this award, we hope to lift up these schools to show their achievements and offer an example of outstanding production education,” Carter said. “Down the road, we would like to encourage mentorship and collaboration between schools to multiply greenhouse programs across the state.”
Carter hopes to see plenty of applicants, even though instructors have a lot on their plate during this difficult time.
“We want to lay the groundwork for this program,” Justin said. “We hope these applications will help us learn more of what’s happening around the state and how we can assist schools in the wake of the pandemic.”
The project is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School Grant.
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