Category Archives: Members

A Tribute to a Beautiful NFC Producer – Barb David

Barb David, Oak Ridge Hydroponic Farms producer, passed away on Valentine’s Day, 2015.

Barb gives a demo.

A loving and giving soul, Barb touched many, many lives over the years. So it was fitting that she shared her last day with her family and friends on such a heartfelt day.

Barb joined NFC the summer of 2014, only one year after she started her hydroponic greenhouse. Her son, Ryan – as well as a few community members and students from Ord – work the fast-growing business alongside Barb.

Often dedicating hours upon hours of her time sharing her start-up perspective, Barb was welcomed as a speaker to many different groups that desired to incorporate healthier choices into their meals.

BibbLettuce1Frequently donating to various organizations, most recently, Barb donated two cases of lettuce to the NSAS Healthy Farms 2015 Conference.

As a producer of beautiful Bibb lettuce, Barb will be remembered for offering healthy, nutritious salad greens to schools, restaurants, hospitals, and homes across Nebraska.

We will miss your beautiful spirit, Barb.

Please keep Barb, her family, and friends in your heart and prayers.

Visitation: Tuesday, February 17,2015, 5-7 pm
Celebration of Life: Wed, February 18, 2015, 11:00 First United Methodist Church, Ord

Oak Ridge Hydroponics:

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NFC is Growing!

Happy 2015!

The Nebraska Food Cooperative is stepping up to meet Nebraska’s ‘local food’ demand. From retail customers to wholesale accounts from Omaha to Ogallala, NFC is meeting the year-round challenge of providing statewide access to healthy, wholesome Nebraska ‘local’ products.

We want to start 2015 off with a big bang!  For each new retail or wholesale customer you refer to and who purchases from NFC by the end of January (two cycles), you will receive 5% off your first February cycle purchases (February 4-8 order cycle) for each referral, up to four new members. Just ask the new member to complete the Membership Application and reference your name in the ‘referral’ box at the bottom of the form. (You must be a current NFC member, as of 1/1/15, to receive the discount.)

Receive 5% off your first March cycle purchases for one new producer referral (producer must be actively selling on NFC by the end of February).

Be part of the healthy local food movement by spreading the word!


Growing Food, Growing Community

Growing Food, Growing Community: the Example of the Hawley Hamlet talk was given by Tim Rinne at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Since 2010, Tim and his wife have gone from a measly little tomato patch to six tenths of an acre (the equivalent of roughly 65 yards of a football field). They have planted over 50 fruit and nut trees and two dozen berry beds, set up two chicken coops and two beehives, and now have 20 neighbors actively participating in what they call their hamlet.

They are growing food in the “Hawley Hamlet.” But equally important, they’re growing community. And that’s a good thing. Because given the risks climate change and extreme weather are posing to our environment, we’re going to need all the food and community the city can produce.

Tim is a native son of Nebraska, born in Beatrice, raised in Gering in the Panhandle and for the past 37 years, he has lived in Lincoln. An English Major and UNL alum, Tim has spent most of his adult life involved in Nebraska politics, doing everything from serving as a VISTA volunteer to running local campaigns to his present post as State Coordinator for Nebraskans for Peace (a position he has held for over 20 years).

TEDx Lincoln, December 1, 2014, and published on YouTube.

Who is Affected by the Proposed FSMA Rules?

Everyone who eats ‘locally’.

Food safety matters because everybody eats – and everybody has a role in keeping food safe from farm to the table. Done right, these new rules can help make our food safer; done wrong, they run the risk of putting farmers out of business, limit consumer choice, and increase the use of chemicals rather than natural fertilizers, among other problems.

But before the rules are finalized, the FDA NEEDS TO HEAR FROM YOU!  The second comment period closes December 15, 2014. In large part due to National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) comments last year, the FDA announced that it would reexamine several critical areas of the Food Safety Moderization Act (FSMA) proposed rules that have major potential impacts for sustainable farming, as covered in the Produce Safety Rule and the Preventive Controls Rule.

We are now in a second public comment period, focused on the ‘re-proposal’ – like a second draft – of key sections of the rules this year for further public comment. The areas they are re-proposing will still require significant public input to shape an outcome that is supportive of sustainable agriculture.

The first comment period closed November 15, 2013. Now it’s time for you to speak up.  How?  Just follow this easy step-by-step process (and short video) How to Submit Comments to send your heartfelt message to the FDA.  The second comment period closes December 15, 2014.

The Nebraska Food Cooperative needs EVERYONE…every local food consumer and every producer of local food…to speak up and submit a comment within the next THREE WEEKS.

So when your family, friends, and you are enjoying your Thanksgiving feast, spread the word about the urgency to comment on these new food safety regulations.

With the right approach, we will be able to help ensure good food safety practices without placing an unfair burden on family farmers. For a safe and sustainable future, FSMA must allow farmers to use sustainable farming practices, allow local food and farms to grow and thrive, and treat family farms fairly.


Are You Affected?:

If you operate a business that grows and sells fresh produce – and/or processes, packs, manufactures, or holds food –  your business may be affected by the proposed FSMA rules. Some businesses may not be affected at all, some may be affected by one rule, and some may be affected by both rules.

IMPORTANT: These proposed rules are not yet final, which means they are not yet law. To learn about the FSMA timeline, read NSAC’s FSMA Overview and Background.

The information included below is intended to help individuals gain a better understanding of whether or not their business operation may be impacted by the proposed rules. Farmers and business owners nationwide are reporting confusion in determining if they might be impacted by these rules. If you are uncertain, you are not alone! One major concern about these draft rules is that they are complex and confusing.


  • Do you grow, harvest, pack, or hold (store) fruits or vegetables?
    If yes, you may be affected by the Produce Rule.
  • Do you process, manufacture, pack, or hold (store) human food?
    If yes, you may be affected by the Preventive Controls Rule.
  • Do you BOTH grow, harvest, pack, or hold (store) fruits or vegetables AND process, manufacture, pack, or hold (store) human food?
    If yes, you may be affected by BOTH the Produce Rule and the Preventive Controls Rule.

Download the “Am I Affected?” flowchart to help determine if your farm or business may be subject to the proposed Produce or Preventive Controls Rules!


If you’re a consumer, these rules could, over the long term, impact the kind of food you are able to find and purchase in your community.  The proposed rules may also increase the costs of purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables. Ultimately, we want to ensure a safe and affordable food supply, strong on-farm conservation of natural resources, and thriving family farms and small value-added farm and food businesses. That translates into fresh, healthy food for communities across the country, from the farmers’ market to the grocery store to the school cafeteria! As a concerned consumer, you absolutely have a say in these proposed rules and should speak out!  The second comment period closes December 15, 2014.

Please note: These rules DO NOT affect home gardeners who grow food for personal consumption – but as a concerned eater, you can still comment!

Additional Resources:

  • Webinar about the impact of FSMA regulations on food hubs, CSAs, and aggregation
  • Webinar on FSMA: Impacts on Farmers, Producers, and States


Source: National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)

NFC 2014 Volunteer of the Year

NFC implemented a new “The Golden Plate” award for an outstanding volunteer who has contributed to the success of NFC.  This award will be bestowed upon a volunteer every year at the annual banquet.

The first recipient of “The Golden Plate” award is Aimee Owen. You probably know her name from the faithful emails that she has sent you year after year opening the order cycle, reminding you that the order cycle was nearing close, and then sending you the order pick-up details. Aimee also posted information to the NFC Facebook page and just generally, supported NFC and its members however she could.

BanquetVoYAwardCroppedSo THANK YOU, Aimee! You have been a bright star for NFC.




IMPORTANT Calendar Changes!

In order to accommodate deliveries for Thanksgiving and Christmas, we have skipped an order week in October.

Current Order Cycle:  September 21-28
Delivery Days: October 2-3

Week Skipped Here

Order Cycle: October 12-19
Delivery Days: October 23-24

IMPORTANT: We are giving our volunteers and staff a Christmas and New Year’s break. So there will be ONLY ONE order cycle in December.   So, PLAN AHEAD for the holidays!

See the new Autumn Calendar or the Home page for upcoming dates.  Print the Autumn Calendar for easy reference!

Banquet and Annual Membership Meeting

Banquet2014TablesCroppedFifty-eight members and guests enjoyed a first-class evening celebrating NFC at Fontenelle Forest Nature Center Sunday, September 14. (See Banquet Picture Gallery.)

Tim Rinne, one of the founders of Lincoln’s Hawleys Hamlet, spoke eloquently about the connection between climate change and the food on our plates. Fabulous cuisine served by The Normandy was definitely  bon appetit!

Volunteers, site coordinators, and board members were recognized for their eight years of dedication in bringing local food to the eastern third of the state.

Moving into the required annual membership meeting, the requisite quorum was easily met with plenty of voting members present and interested in sharing their ideas.

Exciting opportunities are on the horizon with NFC’s expansion west along the I-80 corridor with the opening of the new Ogallala site late September. As interest continues to build for local food (which supports the Nebraska economy), NFC will not only expand into new retail areas, but is starting to sell wholesale to institutions (schools, restaruants, stores, hospitals, among other businesses).

Many fortuitous connections await. If you have a connection that you’d like us to act upon, whether it be a new producer, new instituition, or new drop site,  just send Caryl, our General Manager, an email with the particulars. Caryl may be reached at: (

Life, Brightness, and Cheer

sunflowerSunflower Acres. Acres upon acres of sunflowers are what greeted NFC producer Dianne Thompson when she purchased her land all those years ago. Representing life, brightness, and cheer, sunflowers enticed Thompson to develop a natural skin care line that uses only natural ingredients.


DCFC2971.JPGStarting with natural, handcrafted soaps and shampoos made with pure rain water, Thompson insisted on using only non-toxic ingredients based on recipes made ‘the old way’.


DCFC2936.JPGInitially expanding her skin care line to include natural deodorants, moisturizers, body butters, cleaners, and detergents, Thompson is always on the look out for products that serve multiple purposes. For example, her insect repellant can be used to not only repel insects but to clean vinyl floors, countertops, as an air freshener, or even as a spicy body spray!


Exploring new ways to innovate natural products is a passion that Thompson lives and breathes. Thanks to her, NFC members have all sorts of products that bring life, brightness, and cheer into their homes.

New Pick-Up Sites!

NFC is pleased to share that two new sites will be opening soon. Watch for an announcement with their effective date.

  • Omaha Dundee area (Site Coordinator: Deirdre Routt)
  • York (Site Coordinator: Melinda Marquart)

Omaha Downtown
(Site Coordinator: Paul Vonderfecht) has new hours effective immediately:
Thursday:   4:00-5:30 PM
Friday:          7:30-9:00 AM or by arrangement



Many, many thanks Deirdre, Melinda, and Paul!

Election of NFC Board of Directors

Since 2006, the Nebraska Food Cooperative has been run mostly by a very active and dedicated board of directors. Some of them are still the original incorporators of our organization. Recent changes have now enabled NFC to actually pay our general manager (formerly a volunteer position) to handle many of the business activities that were previously performed by board members. This bodes very well for the future of NFC.

Meanwhile, it is time to schedule elections. This year, terms for three board members are expiring and need to be filled.  Board directors serve three-year terms that start in September, are expected to attend monthly board meetings (in-person and conference call meetings), and participate in email board discussions.

If you are interested in running for a director position, please send your intention statement/biography  (100-200 words) and  picture (jpg) to our general manager ( no later than July 31.

On the other hand, if you aren’t quite ready to participate as a director of NFC, we also have an advisory board where you can get your feet wet and participate in co-op decisions without any of the responsibilities. The advisory board makes an excellent starting position for members wanting to be more involved and/or exploring the possibility of a term as a director.  Although it is encouraged, there is no requirement to be a member of the advisory board prior to being elected as a director.

Early next month, voting members will receive a biography of each candidate, voting instructions, and a ballot.

Please note that director positions are only available to voting members and only voting members are entitled to vote for board directors.


Climate Marchers Find Nebraska’s Friendliness Attractive

During the typically hottest month of the year in Nebraska, a community of concerned citizens are marching, through Nebraska, from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.

The Great March for Climate Action comes at a critical moment in the climate crisis, contends the march’s founder. Beginning their march on March 1st and completing their journey on November 1st, the marcher’s route will cross the path of the proposed Keystone Pipeline on Saturday, July 19. Teaming up with BOLD Nebraska, the Climate Marchers will visit the renewable energy-powered barn that was built on farm land directly in the path of Keystone XL pipeline.

Two climate marchers expect great things from Nebraska’s welcoming sign.

The marchers have met folks all across Nebraska, engaging in conversations along the way. They stopped for a bite at the Haigler Country Cafe; marched in the Culbertson 4th of July parade;  hosted a potluck dinner and community  conversation in Holdrege; demonstrated their solar cooking ovens to a TV news crew in Axtell; and collected petition signatures in Kearney.

Knowing that healthy eating is critical to the health of the walkers, the Nebraska Food Cooperative was twice the source of the walkers’ local purchases. Buying greens, grains, dairy, and meat, the marchers raved about the quality and variety of NFC’s offerings. Marie, the marcher’s food coordinator, shared that once they entered Nebraska, everyone they met were friendly and respectful, regardless of their position on climate change. And the local food has been outstanding!

Anna Wishart delivering donated pies to the marchers at the Colorado/Nebraska border.

Hearty ‘pies’ (quiche, meat, vegetable, fruit) were introduced to the marchers at the Colorado/Nebraska border by Anna Wishart, the Nebraska coordinator for the Climate Marchers. So popular were the pies, that additional donations may be made on July 19th or at a later date in Lincoln or Omaha (Nebraska route by date).

Follow their journey on FaceBook or to see how you can personally support the marchers on July 19, check out the BOLD Nebraska link that outlines the day’s march and activities, and how to offer donations.

September 14: Annual Members’ Banquet & Meeting

The Nebraska Food Cooperative is holding their annual members’ meeting this year at the beautiful Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue.

banquetWith cooler temps gracing a late Sunday afternoon in mid September, it will be the perfect time to hike Fontenelle Forest trails before sitting down for a  Nebraska-local banquet.  Keynote speaker Tim Rinne will speak about local food security that has implications nationally and internationally.

Voting members will hold a short business meeting, but you don’t have to be a voting member to enjoy the evening.  Whether you are a visiting member, non-voting member, or a friend of a member, you are welcome to attend and enjoy the comaraderie of fellow local ‘foodies’.

A registration form will be available in the August newsletter.

Board Update & Large Order Discount

From the NFC Board:

The NFC board of directors last met on May 27, 2014. Among other business, there was some great discussion about pricing and deliveries.

Members are always welcome to attend board meetings (scheduled every other month) and are encouraged to become involved as advisory board members. If you are interested in directly supporting your coop in this capacity, contact Caryl Guisinger, the general manager at


Large Order Discount: $600+:

Among other decisions from the May board meeting, orders over a $600 value will receive a 10% discount. We hope to roll out some additional savings in the future, but this is our way to start making your food bills more affordable.

Little-known fact: Although it has never been advertised, most large orders also receive personal home deliveries by Kevin, our route driver. This has been one of NFC’s best-kept secrets for several years, and now we’re letting the cat out of the bag. There could be some circumstances when a home delivery is not possible, but we haven’t discovered any yet.

NFC Forum List – Your Opinion Matters

youropinionmattersWe are seeking opinions about how NFC members would like to see their Forum List utilized.

The purpose of the Forum is to share relevant NFC news, discussions, and as a means for increasing exposure and participation. However, we also realize that many people like to minimize their e-mail volume.

Currently, all new members are automatically subscribed to the NFC Forum (ie, an Opt-Out forum: members may OPT-OUT of the list at any time).

So, we would like to hear from you for a short TWO QUESTION survey: 1) Do you prefer an: OPT-IN or OPT-OUT forum, and 2)  what topics you would like to see on your forum. Help us improve the forum by sharing your opinion on this SURVEY MONKEY poll by the end of June.

Thank you for your time, interest, and support in improving your NFC experience.

September 14: SAVE the DATE!


It’s time to start planning the Nebraska Food Cooperative’s Annual Membership Meeting and Celebration Dinner.

Mark your calendar now to join us at the beautiful Fontenelle Forest Nature Center in Bellevue late in the afternoon on Sunday, September 14.

Tim Rinne, of the Lincoln’s Hawley Hamlet and Mother Earth News fame, is our keynote speaker who will connect the food security dots. A Silent Auction is being organized as well as a fabulous local food dinner featuring our very own producers.

Watch for more information in upcoming newsletters. If you’d like to join the Organizing Committee, please contact the General Manager at: by the end of June.

Expanding the Source of our News to You!

Are you a die-hard supporter of local food and want to get the word out about a burning topic?

Or maybe you are a new or existing NFC producer who would like to share with the NFC membership about your operation or specialty products.

If you just have a hankering for writing and would like to share your love of the local food scene with the NFC membership, send your original blog article to the NFC General Manager for a review, edit – as necessary – and possible inclusion in a future NFC newsletter and/or on NFC website, under Recent News.

Thank you for your contribution to an even more successful Nebraska Food Cooperative!


Does NFC Offer SNAP Benefits?

Now that Nebraska farmers’ markets are offering Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to their customers, NFC customers are wondering if we can follow the same lead.

The US Department of Agriculture Food Nutrition Service (FNS) who manages SNAP says, “No” that the Nebraska Food Cooperative does not operate the same as farmers’ markets with our multiple delivery points.  Another kink is that the SNAP process does not allow for online ordering of products for a later delivery date.

But NFC wants to find a solution. So we are working on providing an alternate method.

SNAPIt is possible that by working through churches as delivery points that FNS would allow pre-ordered products (ie, you would be able to use SNAP for NFC products by picking up your order at a church).

So, NFC is looking for interested members located in Omaha, Lincoln, and other towns who are associated with churches to start a SNAP drop point for NFC products.

Everyone should have equal access to healthy food.  And it should matter not whether you are paying with cash, PayPal, or through SNAP.

If you would like to volunteer to be a church site coordinator or if you have an alternative solution, contact the NFC General Manager or the NFC Treasurer of your interest.


Be Courteous to your Site Coordinator

Your site coordinator graciously volunteers their time to be a pick-up site for your NFC order. They receive your products, receive your payments, make deposits, and they prepare a site accounting report for each cycle.

The pick-up location, pick-up day, and hours for each site are clearly defined on your invoice.  If you absolutely cannot pick up your order on the designated date and time, PLEASE contact your site coordinator IN ADVANCE of the pick-up date to discuss alternatives.

NFC policy states that if your order is not picked up at the designated time, your paid order will be distributed to someone else.


No-Show Policy
The Nebraska Food Cooperative is a volunteer run organization that also depends on the willingness of local churches and businesses to open up their facilities for our pickups.

As such, we are unable to provide storage for our customer members after designated pickup times.  Our official policy therefore is to not offer such storage.

Orders not picked up during the order window may be donated at the discretion of the site coordinator. The customer will still be liable for payment in this case, in order to fulfill the obligation with our farmer members who supplied the products in good faith.

In practice, we recognize that each site and each site coordinator work under unique circumstances.  We leave the application of this policy to the discretion of the each site coordinator or cashier.  If you have a concern about your ability to pick up your order during the designated time, please call your site coordinator as soon as possible.  His or her phone number is listed on your invoice.  Thank you for helping your cooperative run smoothly!