Buy Fresh Buy Local Opens Membership Registration for 2024 Season

by Russell Shaffer | Rural Prosperity Nebraska

farmers market
Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska announces the opening of registration for membership for its highly-anticipated 2024 season.
March 4, 2024

Lincoln, Neb. —Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska announces the opening of registration for membership for its highly-anticipated 2024 season. Spearheaded by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Buy Fresh Buy Local bridges the gap between producers, sellers and buyers eager for foods grown right here in the Cornhusker state.

Committed to fostering connections within Nebraska’s agricultural landscape, this innovative program has been promoting sustainability and community resilience by guiding Nebraskans to their closest, healthiest, local foods for 15 years.

“We call Buy Fresh Buy Local a guide because it guides Nebraskans not just to local producers or sellers, but also through improving the quality of life within their communities” said Charlotte Narjes, director of the Nebraska Cooperative Development Center and interm coordinator of the Buy Fresh Buy Local program. “When neighbors do business with neighbors, we nurture healthy bodies, create healthy relationships, and build up healthy communities."

The Local Food Guide, produced by Buy Fresh Buy Local, is distributed in hard copy throughout the state as well as on the university’s website. In 2023, 5,000 copies reached Nebraskans. The guide includes:

  • A state-wide map of the locations of Buy Fresh Buy Local members (the online version of which is interactive)
  • Nebraska by region, with in-depth profiles of each member in that region
  • Healthy eating tips
  • Recipes
  • Infographics for seasonal eating
  • Market locations and guides
  • Farmer profiles
  • And updates on Nebraska agriculture

“Buy Fresh Buy Local is a great gathering point for anyone interested in local foods, and is a great resource for consumers who are invested in local foods access,” said Angelyn Wang, market manager for Legacy Farmers Market in Omaha. “The Local Food Guide is a great conversation starter with customers, and it was always well received and shared by our vendors.”

In 2023, 106 farmers, locally-owned markets, and farmers markets joined Buy Fresh Buy Local as members, each receiving the benefits of coverage and publicity provided by the guide and website.

For the 2024 season, Buy Fresh Buy Local offers memberships for farmers and ranchers, farmers markets and food-based businesses, with fees ranging from $25 to $150, depending on the type of membership.

Non-food-centered individuals and businesses can also sponsor the program through a range of tiers, starting at the “Friend” level of $25, and increasing to the “Steward” level of $5,000.

“Buy Fresh Buy Local has given me a network and source for suppliers and producers,” said Maggie Pleskac, owner of Milkweed Kitchen in Lincoln. “It’s a solid investment and worth the fee, especially when [they] highlighted its members in its social media posts, emails and other avenues that helped promote my business.”

Narjes said Buy Fresh Buy Local is all about connections—connecting the people who care about eating healthy food with the people who care about providing healthy food, and in the end, it’s about the people.

“Buying fresh and buying local is more than just about keeping dollars in our communities, although that is a benefit” said Narjes. “It’s about sustaining our local environments, creating healthy communities, and cultivating a thriving culture for Nebraska’s families and family farms.”

For more information and to register as a member, you can visit the Buy Fresh Buy Local website. The registration window closes March 15.

Haga clic aquí para ver el sitio web en español.

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