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!

Sliced Filet Mignon with Fava Beans, Radishes, and Mustard Dressing

FiletMignonFavaBeans
This is a sure winner!
Adding large, bright pink watermelon radishes look and taste great here.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons country-style Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh fava beans (from about 2 pounds fresh pods) or frozen double-peeled, thawed
  • 10 medium radishes, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, basil, thyme, and parsley
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 4  5- to 7-ounce filet mignon steaks
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat’s milk feta cheese

Preparation

Whisk vinegar and mustard in small bowl. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

Cook fava beans in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain and peel (if using fresh). Transfer to paper towels to dry. Place fava beans, radishes, herbs, and dressing in medium bowl; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Let salad stand at room temperature at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Melt butter with canola oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. Add steaks to skillet and cook to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to cutting board; let stand 10 minutes. Cut each steak into 3 slices.

Divide salad among 4 plates. Arrange 1 sliced steak atop each salad. Sprinkle some of cheese over each and serve.

 

Courtesy of Epicurious.com

Handmade Soap…Simply Better!

The REAL story behind commercial soap?  You’ll be surprised, or maybe you won’t be!  Read on….

The modern industrial process has drastically changed what we call “soap”. Modern manufacturing methods are causing concern for our environment and waterways.

The industrial manufacturing process is more focused on quantity, production levels and returns on investment rather than with customer satisfaction, skin care, or environmental issues. Raw materials are chosen for their cost versus skin care properties or environmental issues.

As a matter of fact, most commercial soaps these days are made from food industry waste, particularly low-value products of the meat industry. To keep up with quantities, a total automated process is required which manipulates base ingredients by adding synthetic additives that have nothing to do with real soap or skin care.

They then manipulate ph, hardness, color, and lather to extend the shelf life to unnatural time lines. Glycerine is removed and sold as a separate commodity. After vacuum drying, cooling, and solidifying, the “soap” is crushed and milled to create a moldable paste, which is then treated with synthetic color, perfumes, sudsing, sequestering, and chelating agents.

Finally with the addition of synthetic lubricants, the soap mass is extruded into bars and pressed into the final shape and are marketed as “beauty bars”.  Is it any wonder that doctors and skin care specialists often recommend not to use commercial soap if you have skin problems?

Handmade Soap
Handmade Soap

Handmade soap is a natural and refreshing alternative! For those who are environmentally conscious, the possibility of choosing natural and locally available products is an extra bonus to the wonderful skin care properties of natural soap.

Each batch of soap starts from scratch and incorporates the highest quality plant-based ingredients.  Base oils could be individual or a combination of olive oil and coconut oil with some additions of other oils, such as rosehip, chosen for their skin care benefits.

Many handmade soap batches incorporate herbs and flowers , which are chosen for their skin care properties and are free of synthetics, perfumes, fragrance oils, and dyes.

Each batch of handmade soap is preserved naturally and scented with pure essential oils that have additional skin care benefits, and individually tested to ensure the right ph level for skin. All of the naturally occurring glycerin produced during the soap making process is retained in every bar.

So the next time you walk in the store to buy commercial soap, consider the handmade alternative that has been crafted with loving attention to details.

Excerpt reprinted with permission from Cloverleaf Cooperative

What Chance for a Spring Freeze?

Chances are, if you’re planning to grow a garden this summer, you are anxious get your plants into the ground. Some plants will survive  a spring (or fall) freeze better than others. According to the folks at Bonnie Plants, some hardy plants, tolerating a frost of 25-28° F, are broccoli,  Brussels sprouts, cabbage, English peas, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, mustard greens, parsley, radish, spinach, and turnip. Less hardy, but still tolerating a frost of 29-32° F, are beets, carrot, cauliflower, celery, endive, Irish potatoes, lettuce, rutabaga, and Swiss chard.

10% chance for a spring freeze after these dates
10% chance for a spring freeze after these dates

Using data from the High Plains Regional Climate Center, UNL Cropwatch has released a set of three maps detailing the chance of a spring freeze in various parts of Nebraska. Based upon thirty years of data, the map at right shows the dates after which there would be a 10% chance for a freeze of 32°F. The full details can be found at Cropwatch.

If there is a prediction for frost after plants are in the garden, one way to provide some protection is to cover them with sheets or blankets, making sure to prop up the covering so it does not damage the young plants. Be sure to remove the coverings soon after the frost threat has passed to allow for air circulation and sunlight.

Grow Year-Round in Nebraska

Never Ending HarvestWORKSHOP — Would you like to grow produce year round to supply not only your family but expand into new markets, like schools, restaurants, retail stores, farmers’ markets, and NFC customers?

Being held in Nebraska for the first time, this Fall, Winter, Spring Produce Workshop teaches a greenhouse method that doesn’t necessarily require auxilliary heating!  Presented by Roger and Beth Matson, founders of Never Ending Harvest, this family owned and operated, sustainable farming business is a long-time grower of winter produce in Iowa.

The workshop will be held on Wednesday, April 23 from 1:00-4:00 PM in Hastings, Nebraska. It includes three hours of detailed group instruction, plus the winter greenhouse set of three DVDs. Cost is $85.00.

Greenhouse in winter
Winter vegetable production

Register no later than Saturday, April 19 — limited seating available — by mailing payment and contact information (name, email, address, and phone) to:

NFC General Manager
45150 State Hwy. 52
Belgrade, NE 68623

For questions, contact Caryl Guisinger, NFC General Manager:
308.357.1000 (home)
gm@nebraskafood.org

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Nebraska Food Cooperative and Buy Fresh / Buy Local Nebraska.

 

 

Farms grass-fed beef barely keeping up with demand

Originally published in the Grand Island Independent on Sunday, March 30, 2014. Story by Ellen Campbell.

Luke and Lori Jacobsen in pasture with cattle
Independent / Matt Dixon Luke and Lori Jacobsen pose for a portrait with some of their grass-fed cattle in a pasture on their farm near Marquette. The Jacobsens’ beef products have been sold all over the United States and can be found online at rangewestbeef.com.

MARQUETTE — Many people believe grass-fed cattle produce a tough, stringy product, and that good beef comes only from corn-fed animals.

Luke Jacobsen, who farms near Marquette, is proving that, given the right conditions, the opposite is true.

His wife Lori, who is a first-grade teacher, helps with their beef business, especially the marketing. They live on the L&L Jacobsen Farm, where they raised their three children. The kids live away from home now, but assist on the farm when they are visiting.

“I come from a long line of beef producers,” said Jacobsen. “My great-grandfather Peter Jacobsen immigrated to the United States from Denmark in 1868. He came to Nebraska in 1872 and settled in the Marquette area in 1892. He was a cattle farmer, and sold his animals at the Omaha Stockyards.

Old photo of stockyard
Courtesy photo Peter Jacobsen, great-grandfather of Marquette farmer Luke Jacobsen, sold his cattle at the Omaha Stockyards. Photo was taken in the late 1800s or very early 1900s.

“At that time, there was a special market in England for fattened beef. The cattle were loaded onto rail cars at Marquette for the trip, and the cattlemen could ride along in the caboose.”

Then there were the next two generations.

“My grandfather, Christian, was born in 1884 and also raised cattle, as did my father Elmer (1919-2008).” Luke Jacobsen said. “I began farming in 1978 and have been involved with cattle since that time. I planted the first ‘finishing’ pasture in 2004 and began selling grass-fed beef in 2007 through the Nebraska Food Co-op. This cooperative is focused on local foods, and has a delivery point in Grand Island.”

Jacobsen said he became interested in grass-fed cattle from the health standpoint. Grass — not corn — is the natural diet for ruminants like cattle, and the meat from these cattle provides three times more omega-3 than those that are grain-fed, twice the amount of beta carotene, less saturated fat and fewer calories per serving. The Jacobsens use no antibiotics or synthetic hormones in their cattle.

“I took a trip to Argentina in January of 2003,” he said. “They grow excellent beef there on the Pampas plains, and I was with a group that wanted to counter the corn-fed theory. We learned that Argentine cattle genetics are different from ours, producing animals with a smaller frame. Also, with abundant rainfall, the pastures have a high moisture content, and the grazing is rotated.

“All of these contribute to a more tender, tastier beef. When we get away from all the grain and artificial additives, and decide to return to nature, we can have that.”

“We feel our flavor is superior to corn-fed beef. And one reason is that the animals are older before begin butchered. In earlier times, cattle were not sold until they were about 2 years old and had time for their meat to develop more taste. Then, when the push was on to get fat cattle to the market as soon as possible, to increase sales volume, the producers began feeding corn and giving supplements so that they attained the desired weight at a younger age.”

 

cattle at Jacobsen's farm
Independent / Matt Dixon These cows, and many others raised by Luke and Lori Jacobsen on their farm in Marquette, are raised on a pure grass diet.

Back home, Jacobsen began his experimentation with a small part of his 80-acre home place, and now uses all of the property. He has divided the pasture land into a number of different paddocks, and rotates the cattle through, giving each plot a 30-day rest period before another herd comes in. In addition, the pasture is irrigated to emulate the wet Argentinian Pampas.

He has also focused on genetics for cattle that are smaller-framed than the typical beef animal.

“We feel our flavor is superior to corn-fed beef,” he said. “And one reason is that the animals are older before being butchered. In earlier times, cattle were not sold until they were about 2 years old and had time for their meat to develop more taste.

“Then, when the push was on to get fat cattle to the market as soon as possible to increase sales volume, the producers began feeding corn and giving supplements so that they attained the desired weight at a younger age,” Luke Jacobsen added. “We sell our grass-fed cattle when they are more mature, and we get great feedback from customers.”

arm roast in package
Independent / Matt Dixon Grass-fed beef arm roast is one of the beef products sold by Luke and Lori Jacobsen.

The Jacobsens’ brand label is Range West Grass-Fed Beef. They established a website to provide general information, details on ordering including a price list, a chart of beef cuts, health benefits and a section for customer comments. A sampling of the comments:

  • Richard B. of Toronto: “Fantastic meat! Your flat-iron steaks are better than some rib-eyes I’ve had.”
  • Ken C. of Omaha, on a filet cookoff: “We compared your fillets against a competitor’s prime tenderloin at a large dinner party. Every single person preferred your steaks.”
  • Ellie S. of Lincoln: “Thank you. Your ground beef is sooo good!”

Luke Jacobsen recommends a book — “Steaks,” by Mark Schatzker — as an excellent source of information about the benefits of feeding cattle on grass. The Range West website has a link to a video of an interview with the author. In this interview, Schatzker mentioned Range West, and it brought numerous inquiries and orders to the Jacobsens.

cattle in pasture
Independent / Matt Dixon Pictured are some of the grass-fed cattle raised by Luke and Lori Jacobsen on L&L Jacobsen Farm near Marquette.

The Jacobsens have customers all over the United States, as well as a wide constituency of people in Asia, Europe and Africa who don’t like the American corn-fed beef.

“One of our problems is keeping up with the demand,” said Jacobsen. “We’re a small operation and can turn out only a certain amount of beef at a time.

“A frequently asked question is ‘Why can’t I find grass-fed beef in grocery stores?’ The answer is that American food production is geared for high volumes of basically wholesome, inexpensive food with little regard for nutritional differences. Feeding grain is the fastest way to fatten animals and has been the least costly. But our customers are concerned about availability, not price.

‘How Can I Continue to be Better’ Workshop

springBuy Fresh Buy Local® Nebraska (BFBLN) in partnership with the UNL Nebraska Cooperative Development Center will provide educational workshops and trainings to assist specialty crop growers in Nebraska. The purpose of the workshops are to not only provide knowledge but also change marketing and business management behaviors to sustain a successful, profitable business.

BFBLN will strengthen the specialty crops grower businesses in Nebraska by offering presentations that focus on three areas: “Business & Enterprise Planning and Financing”,” “Food Safety for Direct-to-Consumer Markets” and “Marketing & Promotion Utilizing Social Media”.

The workshops are open to anyone, but the focus and topics geared toward specially crops growers. Specialty crops are defined as “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture and Christmas trees.”

It matters not if you are just starting out as a young specialty crop grower or have some years of experience under your belt, these workshops can help you expand your skill set and gain practical knowledge!

DATE:  Saturday, March 8

TIME: 12:30 – 4:30 pm

WHERE: Kearney Public Library, 2020 1st Ave

Please register by Friday, March 7th so we will have an accurate number of workbooks available.

There is a $10.00 registration fee for the workshop and payable on day of workshop.

Registration information to: BFBLN coordinator Billene Nemec, bnemec2@unl.edu or 402-472-5273.

Smothered Pork Chops

Cookbook
Recipes

In this beloved southern recipe, meaty bone-in pork chops are literally smothered in vegetables and broth, then simmered until the vegetables have melted into a sauce tailor-made for spooning over rice.

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in pork loin chops, each about 1 inch thick
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced, white and light green portions separated
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce, plus more for serving
  • Steamed rice for serving

Directions:

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. In a large electric skillet set on medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the chops and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and melt the butter in the skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up the browned bits from the pan bottom, until the onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper, celery, the white portion of the green onions and the garlic. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Add the thyme and flour and stir well. Gradually stir in the broth and bring to a simmer.

Return the pork chops to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, then turn the chops over, cover and simmer until the pork shows no sign of pink when pierced at the bone, about 10 minutes more. Transfer the chops to a deep platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Stir the cream into the gravy in the skillet and bring to a boil. Cook until thickened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the green portion of the green onions and the 1 tsp. hot sauce and season with salt. Pour the gravy over the pork chops and serve immediately with steamed rice. Pass more hot sauce at the table. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Comfort Food, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2009).

NFC Movers and Shakers

Keeping NFC Strong
Keeping NFC Strong

The DEDICATION of every single one of these MOVERS and SHAKERS ensure that NFC’s collective wheels keeps delivering healthy local food to you every other week.   Show them your appreciation the next time you see them!

President:   Randy Wattermann
Vice President:  Stephanie Kennedy
Secretary:   Liz Sarno
Treasurer:   Jeremiah Picard
Chief Information Officer:   Roy Guisinger

Board Members: 
Bob Bernt, Libby Broekemeier, Jim Knopik, Lanette Stec

Advisory Committee Members: Frannie Bruening, Laura Chisholm, Gary Fehr, Rebecka Fleischman, Liz Frombgen, Brynn Jacobs, Luke Jacobsen, Jeff Kazor, John Johnson, Beth Kernes Krause, Brian O’Malley, Katie Wattermann

Site Coordinators:  Adam Hoogeveen, Shelly Grimm, Beth Farleigh, Beth Kernes Krause, Bruce Reneaud, Libby Broekemeier, Al Mittan, Tammy Kuper, Jill Hansen, Heidi Slaymaker, Francine Bruening, Paul Verderfecht, Yvonne Wilder, Sandi Hohn, Randy Wattermann, William Powers, Susan Stoppkotte, Lanette Stec, Phyllis Randall, Danna Seevers, Laura Chisholm, Catherine Renshaw

Logistics Coordinator:  Beth Kernes Krause

Delivery Driver:  Kevin Krause

General Manager:   Caryl Guisinger

Lincoln Volunteers Needed!

Get Involved!
Get Involved!

Seeking one or two additional volunteers to help with the Lincoln pickup site located at Indigo Bridge in the Haymarket.

Ideally, volunteers would be expected to work every third or fourth pickup cycle and perhaps a last-minute substitution in case of illness or emergency. The pick-up window is from 4:30 to 6:30, but volunteers should try to be at Indigo Bridge around 4:00 in order to set up. One volunteer per pick-up day is the norm, unless there are a large number of orders (typically around Thanksgiving).

Please email Beth Farleigh if interested.

Weston A Price Omaha Chapter meeting

When: Saturday, March 8th from 1:00-2:30 pmstethoscope
Where: Natural Grocers….. 7831 Dodge Street
What: The Best Way to Prepare Grains, with samples, cooking, ideas and presentation from a local Baker!

Come and eat and chat with us!

For more information please contact Miranda @ 719-694-6113 or sparkysherman@msn.com or check out our Facebook page: Weston A Price Omaha

(This is a public notice. The event described is not sponsored by the Nebraska Food Cooperative)

National Food Entrepreneur Program Seminar

Food From ThoughtThe University of Nebraska Food Processing Center is offering a one-day seminar for all individuals interested in exploring the idea of starting a food manufacturing business.  Interested individuals are encouraged to attend the “Recipe to Reality” seminar, which will be offered on May 16, 2014.  Pre-registration is required and space is limited.  Registration deadline is May 2, 2014. Contact Jill Gifford at 402-472-2819 or jgifford1@unl.edu for an information packet.

(This is a public notice. The event described is not sponsored by the Nebraska Food Cooperative)

Letter to the editor of the Daily Nebraskan (Feb 18)

Kudos to the Daily Nebraskan staff for shedding light on the important issues of food access and eating habits with two pieces on UNL City Campus as a food desert on Feb. 5. Having lived near campus without a car for three years, I agree that a downtown supermarket would be very convenient. However, if “greening” the food desert is to truly create healthier eating habits, we must think beyond the food desert as we know it.

Last week, a National Public Radio piece showed that opening a new produce-stocked grocery store in a Philadelphia food desert did not change people’s eating habits. This is not surprising. Think about it: even if we succeeded in locating a grocery store in downtown Lincoln, would most students gravitate towards fresh fruits and vegetables, or pre-packaged snacks and frozen/instant meals? Somehow, I don’t see the “drunk O Street post-2 a.m. masses” satiating their munchies with broccoli and bananas.

While inconvenient access to fresh food is a major barrier to healthy eating, our “fast food culture” is an equally, if not even greater, challenge to healthier diets. Our 24/7 lifestyles are filled with marketing messages that continually emphasize that we have limited time to prepare or eat real food (but, somehow, plenty of time to surf Facebook). Additionally, those who do have an intention to eat well may not have the knowledge or resources to prepare healthful meals for themselves. We need to acknowledge that UNL students are living in both a physical AND cultural food desert. One cultural solution is better nutritional and culinary education. Another is the prioritizing of time for one of our most basic biological needs and cultural traditions – connecting with, preparing and savoring our food.

The fact is that food does not have to come from a store. After all, are we not in Nebraska? The agricultural state that claims to feed the world? By embracing the simple truth that real food comes from plants, animals and farmers, we can begin moving towards more transformative and innovative ways to address our physical and cultural food desert. We can start with two simple initiatives:

(1) An on-campus farmers market: Many universities (including others in the Big Ten consortium) have weekly farmers markets where local farmers and producers come to sell their products. My undergraduate school, Vassar College, hosted weekly farmers markets selling an array of local fruits, vegetables, meats, bread, flour and honey in the student union building, even in the deep of winter. My regular interactions with farmers at this market not only taught me fun and simple ways to prepare new foods, but also allowed me to better understand plant genetic diversity and the local farming landscape. A farmers market at UNL can be an ideal opportunity for both nutritional and educational nourishment – especially if incorporated into course curricula and combined with programming such as cooking demonstrations.

(2) Encouraging urban agriculture: What better way to green the food desert than to engage in actual greening? While gardening takes time and commitment, it is a transformative activity that tackles the root of our cultural disconnect with food. In essence, it’s a “slow food” counter to our “fast food” culture. In my first year as a grad student, my friend and I joined one of the dozens of community gardens around Lincoln and grew our own delicious tomatoes, peppers, greens and herbs. Research shows that people who engage in gardening are more likely to eat what they grow, and thus have healthier diets overall. Sure enough, not only did my friend and I eat incredibly well, but we also got plenty of exercise and stress-relief from working in the garden. Perhaps even more rewarding, however, were the connections we strengthen with other gardeners and our friends by sharing our garden abundance (we were quite popular at potlucks). As a land grant university, UNL should actively support and create opportunities for students to grow their own food.

In a nation faced with a serious epidemic of obesity and diabetes, issues of food and diet are critical. If our goal is to develop truly healthy, vital communities, we cannot solely rely on infrastructural solutions. More supermarkets might erase physical food deserts by increasing food access, but they cannot change our unhealthy cultural behaviors. We need a constellation of solutions to build a healthier community food system. Let’s start by thinking outside of the (big) box.

Joana Chan, UNL School of Natural Resources

(reprint from: www.dailynebraskan.com)

March 18….Save the Date!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 1:00 - 4:30 PM
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 1:00 – 4:30 PM

Are you an NFC producer?  Do you know someone who has a desire to get into gardening or small-scale farming as a business?  Are you involved in your local school?  Are you a parent who wants your child’s school to serve up ‘healthy, local foods’?  Or as a community member, are you interested in starting a school garden?

Then this afternoon workshop is for you.  Attend the Farm-to-School Summit March 18th at the beautiful Nielsen Community Center in West Point and see what other states are doing in their school cafeterias!  You’ll like the new face the Center for Rural Affairs – along with collaborators from the Department of Education, Farmers Union, and Nebraska Food Cooperative – is bringing to our rural schools.

See the Save the Date for the Farm-to-School Summit for details.

New Micro-Sites are Popping Up All Over!

The word is getting out about the Nebraska Food Cooperative and the local food movement!  Since the start of the year, new memberships have exploded with a 300 percent increase.  So what does that mean?  We need more micro-sites to staff customer pick up.

Two sites are newly in action as of the February order cycle:  Beatrice and Unadilla.  And two more sites will be open very soon:  Hastings and Lincoln in the Farmers Union parking lot.  As interest increases, we plan on expanding in even more markets!  So spread the word.  NFC is coming your way!

Number 2000 Hits the Mark!

Congratulations, Jennifer Nichols, for signing up as NFC’s 2000th member!  Joining as a visitor and hitting the jackpot, Jennifer received an upgrade to a one year, non-voting membership, a $40 value.  When you see Jennifer around, be sure to congratulate her on hitting 2000!

See NFC at the NSAS Conference!

Stop by our exhibitor booth Friday, February 7 and Saturday, February 8 at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney.

If you bring a friend who is not yet a member of the Nebraska Food Cooperative and they sign up for a FREE TRIAL, they could win a FREE ONE-YEAR MEMBERSHIP (a $40 value).  NFC will be gifting several of these non-voting memberships during the conference.

Free Producer Training for Farm-to-School Initiative

Sponsored in part by the Loup Basin RC&D
Sponsored in part by the Loup Basin RC&D

Many schools in Nebraska are now buying local fruits and vegetables for their school food programs. Farmers can learn how to participate in these growing “farm to school’ initiatives in a series of free training sessions offered in the Loup Basin RC & D area in February and March.

“Farmers can access an increasing market for fresh produce while providing healthy food to children in their community,” said Wyatt Fraas, lead trainer for the project. “At these sessions, farmers will learn what schools are looking for and how to assure them that their crops are clean and safe.”

Six Loup Basin area communities will host the two-part series of workshops. In the first round of sessions, “The Business of Selling to Schools”, farmers will learn how to sell foods to local schools, including business basics and marketing, regulations, and production practices.

In the second of the two-part series, “Farmers are Food Handlers, too”, farmers will learn ways to use and document a “safe food handling plan” that satisfies concerns of school and retail food buyers and also reduces risk of food contamination on the farm.

Training sessions are sponsored by the Loup Basin Resource Conservation and Development Council of Burwell and by the Center for Rural Affairs. Funding for the project is provided in part by USDA Rural Development.

Trainings will be held in the following six locations in February and March:

Ord, Volunteer Fire Hall, 1628 M St. from 1-4 pm on February 25 and March 4

Loup City, Community Center, 803 O. St. from 1-4 pm on February 26 and March 5

Spalding, Clear Creek Organic Farms, 82228 499th Ave. from 1-4 pm on February 27 and March 6

St. Paul, Miletta Vista Winery, 1732 Highway 281 from 1-4 pm on March 11 and March 18

Burwell, Sandstone Grill, 416 Grand Ave. from 1-4 pm, March 12 and March 19

Broken Bow, Custer Public Power, 625 E. South E St. from 1-4 pm, March 13 and 20

Visit www.loupbasinrcd.org for more information, or contact Sarah Smith, Center for Rural Affairs Farm to School Coordinator at 307.321.9766 or sarahs@cfra.org, or Janet Sanders, Executive Director of Loup Basin RC&D at 308.346.3393 or info@loupbasinrcd.org.