Student Farmers elevate Student Farming in Nebraska


Posted on Monday 18th July 2022
Student Farming

Our GREENandSAVE Staff is pleased to inform our members and readers about organizations that are helping to promote sustainability. If you would like us to profile your organization please Contact Us.

Student Farmers is actively looking to recruit a student ambassador in Nebraska, as well as farm mentors in Nebraska that can help guide students. Overall, student farming is a great way to reduce the distance from farm to table and increase health for students as well as their parents.

Here is an overview on Student Farmers 

Student Farmers is a growing group of students who are committed to in-home and in-school sustainable farming as a means to promote physical fitness and environmental stewardship.

Our Mission: To improve health and nutrition education, combat the challenges of climate change, and support each other in generating some revenue to help pay for college.

Our Vision: To increase knowledge about the advantages of eating more heathy and locally grown vegetables across the range of high school and college age students. We also hope that many of the parents of the students will learn from their children’s engagement in our organization and adopt a diet with less processed foods to reduce the growing cost of healthcare. 

Here is an example of an agriculture education program in Nebraska:

Farm to School Institute grows students’ interest in local agriculture

At Pius X High School, dozens of students crowded around tables of freshly picked peppers.

Today was a special “tasting day” for community-grown produce. Local farmer Gary Fehr handed out cups of seeds and encouraged students to guess what each will grow into. The fresh veggies he brought would soon be chopped, baked, stuffed and served in the cafeteria. 

The school felt more like a farmers market on this fall day, but thanks to Nebraska’s Farm to School Institute, Pius X students are able to enjoy farm-fresh produce with their meals regularly.

Last year, staff from eight schools across Nebraska, including Pius X, attended the Farm to School Institute. There, they had the opportunity to learn how to incorporate agricultural education into their curriculum and local food products into their students’ diets. From greenhouse development to field trips and community sourced food, these institutions aimed to incorporate Farm to School into their curriculums.  

According to a statewide garden needs assessment by the Nebraska Department of Education in 2018, about 61% of schools in Nebraska have gardens. The most common reasons for those that didn’t were lack of interest, lack of financial resources and lack of ability to care for the garden during the summer months. However, about 61% of those schools also indicated some interest in incorporating a garden into their school’s curriculum. 

Additionally, the assessment revealed that 40 percent of Nebraska students surveyed had never had access to a garden.

The Farm to School Institute was created in 2021 by the Nebraska Farm to School program as a way to bring agriculture into a traditional classroom setting. The state Department of Education, which runs program, received $99,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to organize the Institute. 

Each school that attended the week-long virtual seminar received a $3,000 grant, designated for establishing agricultural learning opportunities during the school year.

The eight schools and school districts were Banner County School, Burwell Public Schools, Gering High School, Humboldt Table Rock Steinauer Public Schools, Overton Public School, Pius X High School, Southern Public Schools and Umo ‘ho’ Nation Public School.


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