Thanks to Pamela Mueri, a consultant helping with our Farm to School work, for writing this post.
The Center for Rural Affairs Farm to School Program recently participated in the Pathways to Careers Conference held by Nebraska FFA. Both FFA advisors and students came to the Center for Rural Affairs session to learn more about Farm to School programs and resources.
Sarah Smith, our Farm to School Lead, along with Robert Bernt, from Clear Creek Organics Farm, and Janice Reynolds, School Food Service Director at Litchfield Public Schools, spoke to students about career opportunities available within rural Nebraska, especially in agriculture and school food services. FFA advisors were also given information on current agricultural lessons being used with classrooms and school cafeterias throughout Nebraska.
Students who attended the Center for Rural Affairs Farm to School sessions participated in hands-on activities and food tastings. The students worked in pairs to determine planting and yield on commodity crop growth versus a more diversified vegetable production farm. The youth were able to learn about diversified crop growth and income potential.
FFA advisors and students also enjoyed fresh homemade pumpkin ice cream from Clear Creek Organics Farm, along with healthy smoothies featuring local produce prepared by Litchfield Public Schools.
The conference focused on the vast array of careers in agriculture and how youth can be involved in many different sectors of food production and service within the state. The future looks bright for agriculture and for the students looking to work in the field.
Chuck Lambert, an FFA advisor from Bridgeport Public Schools has also seen an increase in Farm to School programs in his area: “The past two years Bridgeport Public Schools have been serving only locally raised beef in our school lunch program. We have had close to 30 cows given to us, and they are processed in local USDA Locker. The donors are recognized in our newsletter and by a banner. This has been a great program for us.”
Feature image: Lots of folks turned out for an Open House at the Litchfield Public Schools greenhouse. The school is a partner in our Nebraska Farm to School project.
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