Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Copyright © 2021 University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Since the beginning of the pandemic, small and medium scale Nebraska farmers have gone above and beyond to increase production, change delivery methods, and meet the shifting needs of their communities. Farmers from Stratton to Columbus began working together to aggregate local foods. Farmers with livestock planned ahead as butcher dates at processing facilities were booked far into the future. Farmers’ market managers worked overtime to ensure a safe shopping experience as an essential food access point. The pandemic reminded us that how our food gets from field to table is in many cases long, complex, and rigid. It opened our eyes that efficiency in the food system, albeit promises lower prices, also leaves us vulnerable to disruption and without any connection to the farmers that feed us. We are now faced with the opportunity to discover and support the resilience of our local food system, where we play a more active and empowered role in our food supply. One of the many charms of buying local is its lack of complexity. The supply chain is short and transparent. You know exactly where the food you purchase is being grown, you can see the farmer’s smile and dirt under their fingernails. During a time of chaos, I fell in love with the simplicity of picking up fresh food right from the farmer. As restaurants and movie theaters closed, my garden became my sanctuary. As life continues to transition, don’t lose sight that supporting Nebraska-grown foods is an investment in our future. We need to call on our leaders to make local food a priority in our schools, more accessible to vulnerable communities, and a viable business for our youth. Diverse and local agriculture is where we find resilience. Our Nebraska Food Guide is here for you to explore the diversity and delights of Nebraska-grown foods! What you’ll find in our guide: • A directory listing of over 100 farms, ranches, and food businesses from across the state • A new beautifully illustrated “Seasons of Nebraska” guide on page 4! • Recipes from our members that highlight the Flavors of Nebraska