The effort to get more Nebraskans to buy specialty crops will focus on the State Fair.
Over the next three years, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) will feature cooking demonstrations during the 11 days of the fair.
Casey Foster, NDA ag promotion coordinator, says showing how to prepare the food should increase demand.
“Education is that first step we’re trying to get past,” Foster tells Nebraska Radio Network, “So those who attend the cooking demonstrations at the State Fair will receive a cookbook. It has 80 different recipes using local produce, so not only will they learn how to do it, they’ll be able to walk away with a cookbook that has easy recipes they can use.”
Foster says getting Nebraskans to eat more fresh produce also benefits their health.
A USDA grant is covering the cost of the cooking demonstrations.
“I think a lot of times there is a disconnect, to some degree, as to once you buy the fresh produce from a farmers market or a grower, what the next step is to prepare,” Foster explains. “We’ll have a culinary chef come in who will use local produce and make some recipes that will include products grown in Nebraska.”
AUDIO: Mike Loizzo reports [:41]