Learn More About Buying Local Produce - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Learn More About Buying Local Produce

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Buy Fresh Buy Local® Nebraska will host a series of meetings, workshops and webinars to promote local food systems and strengthen the specialty crops grower businesses in the state.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture awarded the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Nebraska Cooperative Development Center a specialty crop block grant in the amount of $29,706. The project focuses on strengthening the local food system and the business skills of specialty crop growers.

"The specialty crop industry in Nebraska continues to grow," said Casey Foster, ag promotion coordinator with state agriculture department.

"Whether consumers are purchasing tomatoes at a local farmers' market, or picking some apples at a roadside stand, they are contributing back to their local economy," said Foster.

Larry Van Tassell, head of UNL's Department of Agricultural Economics, said, the grant will fund meetings across Nebraska to expand the Buy Fresh Buy Local program, increase the profitability of its members and the availability and benefits of specialty crops as well as the value of buying locally.

The program, in partnership with NCDC, will provide educational workshops and trainings to solely assist specialty crop growers in Nebraska. The purpose is to not only provide knowledge but also change marketing and business management behaviors to sustain a successful, profitable business.

Anyone can attend, but the focus and topics are solely 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."

Please address your questions and registration information to Billene Nemec, bnemec2@unl.edu or 402-472-5273.

Buy Fresh Buy Local® Nebraska will be hold meetings at the following locations:

Wayne – Jan. 21, 7-8 p.m., First Nebraska Bank of Wayne, 442 E. Seventh St, in the Community Room. Deadline for registration Jan. 17.

Ord – Jan. 28, 7-8 p.m. at the Extension Office, 801 S Street. Deadline for registration Jan. 24.

Grand Island – Feb. 19 at 7-8 pm, Grand Island City Library, 211 N. Washington St. Deadline for registration Feb. 17.

Scottsbluff – Feb. 24 at 7-8 p.m., Panhandle Research and Extension Center, Bluestem room. Deadline for registration Feb. 21.

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