Farm-to-school program expansion advanced

Sen. Tom Brandt
Sen. Tom Brandt

Early childhood education programs would be included in the Nebraska farm-to-school program under a bill given first-round approval Feb. 8.

Lawmakers created the program in 2021 with passage of a bill sponsored by Plymouth Sen. Tom Brandt that requires the state Department of Education to administer a program to help provide locally grown and minimally processed food to elementary and secondary school students in Nebraska.

Brandt introduced LB758 to expand the law to include early childhood education programs, which he said were excluded from the original proposal inadvertently.

“Unfortunately, the language that we passed last year was too restrictive, so that assistance could only be offered to elementary and secondary schools,” Brandt said. “LB758 corrects this oversight.”

An Education Committee amendment, adopted 40-0, would clarify that the program’s expansion includes any early childhood program licensed under the state’s Child Care Licensing Act.

Senators then advanced the bill to select file on a 43-0 vote.

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