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Community Crops Youth Program

The youth program at Crops is growing and becoming a big component of the organization's focus. In 2015, we are working with youth at Mickle, Prescott, Everett, Dawes and Elliott schools, Cedars Home for Children and other area youth groups. In 2014, our youth program organized 50 events which reached more than 1500 Lincoln youth.

Youth Program Video

Our youth education program is featured in the following video, created by Nolan Tredway for Crops. The video features youth coordinator Becky Keim, and the students she works with at Mickle and Dawes.

Community Crops: Becky Keim - Youth Programs Coordinator from Nolan Tredway on Vimeo.

Crops Farm to School Efforts

Crops youth program has been working with collaborative partners to bring more Farm to School programming to Lincoln schools. Never heard of Farm to School? It's a growing movement across the nation to reconnect youth with the origins of the food system. According to the National Farm to School Network, with FTS "Students gain access to healthy, local foods as well as education opportunities such as school gardens, cooking lessons and farm field trips. Farm to school empowers children and their families to make informed food choices while strengthening the local economy and contributing to vibrant communities."

Locally, Lincoln Public Schools nutrition services department has been working hard to increase the amount of locally produced food in the cafeteria and to educate students about the importance of eating more fresh produce. Here's more info about their efforts:

Mickle Middle School

Our Young Urban Farmers Club at Mickle Middle School has been very popular, thanks to major improvements to the garden space. We added nearly 200 square feet of raised beds in the hoop house, built seven new planter beds in the garden space, and planted two apple trees and numerous perennial flowers.

Youth participants spend time in the garden growing and eating food while learning science, math and art. By participating in growing their own food, these kids become better eaters, more aware of their own health and more connected to nature and the environment. The Young Urban Farmers Club also provides kids with engaging, unstructured activity in the outdoors.

Dawes Middle School

With the success of our youth program at Mickle, Crops joined in collaboration with Nebraskans for Civic Reform Community Learning Center to bring youth programming to Dawes Middle School. We are providing students with lessons on gardening, nutrition, cooking and art four days a week. These programs bring opportunities for much needed physical activity and lessons on nutrition, healthy eating, cooking and basic organic gardening practices. We look forward to a new youth garden at Dawes. The garden will be an integral part of the outdoor classroom the school is building.

Elliot Elementary School

Since 2013, Crops has helped grow a garden in the beds at Elliot as part of the CLC.

Everett Elementary School

Everett has a small garden now, and is planning a large garden and Outdoor Classroom project. Stay tuned for details!

For more information on the Crops Youth Program or to set up a session with students, contact Ben at (402) 474-9802 or