Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska (BFBLN) membership is open for farmers, farmers markets, and local food businesses looking to expand their customer base and connect with Nebraska shoppers
More than ever, people are looking toward local foods to fill their refrigerators and pantries. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Nebraska farmers and ranchers continue to provide quality local food options to Nebraska families across the state. One resource that is helping alleviate these disruptions and keep Nebraska shoppers connected with local foods is Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska.
Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska features a searchable online database of local food businesses, an annual print directory called the Nebraska Food Guide, and year-round media campaigns to promote local food. These initiatives are powered by our membership made of farmers, ranchers, food businesses, and farmers markets dedicated to promoting, marketing, and educating on the benefits of Nebraska-grown foods and products.
“Being a part of Buy Fresh Buy Local has helped our business grow in 2021. The Food Guide and online resources are professional and widely distributed, increasing our visibility and website hits. We’ve also been able to use the food guide ourselves to connect with and purchase from other farms across the state.”
-Paula Sandberg, Heritage Acres, McCook, Nebraska
By combining resources, energy, information, and funding, Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska creates a single go-to local food resource for customers. Our signature publication, the Nebraska Food Guide, grows local food culture by educating consumers on the value of local food and how to find local food resources in their own community. Members and non-members can purchase advertisement space to promote their business, product, or program in the guide.
2021 Numbers and Year-in-Review for Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska
- 124 BFBLN members - farmers/ranchers, farmers' markets and local food businesses
- 8,000 Food Guides distributed across the state. Guides went to tourism offices, visitors/traveler centers, schools, extension offices, farmers' markets, grocery store, events. Couldn't have accomplished this distribution feat without our members and partners.
- 90,000+ page views on the buylocalnebraska.org site. 50,000+ unique visitors to the webpage. Consumers use our online food guide, food map and featured member pages to find you and learn about locally grown food in Nebraska.
- 2021 Holiday Gift Guide created and distributed online with 700+ reads and 3,000+ impressions.
- BFBLN set up our educational and interactive booth at 12 different events in 2021. From farmers' markets to health fairs, we had fun talking with people about locally grown food, sampling dishes that feature locally grown produce, and answering consumer questions about locally grown food.
- Purchased $5,000+ of locally produced veggie thanks to our Specialty Crop Block Grant called "Snack Time with Specialty Crops." This project offers taste tests at schools, sampling dishes that are made from local produce (roasted squash, eggplant dip, and sweet potato chips are just a few!) then sends children home with fresh, local veggies and recipe cards to recreate what they just sampled.
- Were involved in the planning and organization of several farm tours across the state.
- With SARE funds we, along with project partner Heritage Acres, organized 3 farm tours in the McCook Area to complement a community-organized farm-to-table dinner.
- Partnered with Nebraska Sustainable Ag. Society and North Central SARE to offer the Southeast Nebraska Diversified Ag. Tour - a full day event touring 5 unique operations in SE Nebraska.
- Supported the Open Harvest Co-op Grocery Dig Deeper Farm Tour - an all-day, go at your own pace, tour route of 8 different farms.
- Piloted the Nebraska Local Food Challenge with Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society. This was a month-long challenge in September aimed at getting people excited about local food, and helping them get out to farmers' markets and local food events. 250+ participants. 15+ local food events on a collaborative calendar.
- 2021 was the 2nd year of our Go-to-Grow campaign to raise awareness and increase attendance at rural farmers' markets across the state. Working with a local marketing agency, we ran ads that directed viewers to our comprehensive and bilingual farmers' market map at gotogrow.org. Ads were run on social media, printed newspapers and digital news websites across the state and garnered over 400,000 impressions. The Go-To-Grow project is funded by a USDA Farmers' Market Promotion Program Grant in partnership with Nebraska Extension and Center for Rural Affairs.
- BFBLN staff appeared 4 times on television and radio programs to promote locally grown food, farmers' markets, and our members' work.
- BFBLN staff wrote 4+ articles and press releases on a range of topics including CSAs, National Farmers' Market Week, and Locally Grown Food in NE.
Registration is open until January 31st, 2022 for current members to renew or new members to join our network. Registration is open to farms, farmers markets, farm-to-table restaurants, grocers, and retailers that carry local farm products.
Find more information about the Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska Program here: http://buylocalnebraska.org/
Register to become a member here: http://buylocalnebraska.org/get-involved