Regional Food Systems – Rural Prosperity Nebraska (RPN)

Rural Prosperity Nebraska harnesses boots-on-the-ground efforts of Nebraska Extension professionals working in six focus areas. Regional Food Systems serves as one of the six pillars of focus.


The Regional Food System team is poised to assist all Nebraskans to become better acquainted with their food system and to work with communities across the state to embark on building a food system that meets the needs of everyone. We do this through grant making, education, convening and facilitating.

Our five focus areas are production, processing, marketing & distribution, consumption & food access, and resource management.

The production sector seeks to provide educational opportunities and research to support producers and consumers.

Processing is the transformation of raw ingredients, physically or chemically, transforming into a value-added market. May include value-added processing, freezing and canning, and butcher shop.

Distribution covers all of the activities needed to get a final product to the consumer. Marketing includes identifying your product offerings, setting prices, determining the places to sell your products and promotion of your business. Together, distribution and market are essential parts of the overall food system. NERFSI works closely with producers to assist with marketing best practices and developing new market opportunities, like Nebraska MarketMaker, farm to institution efforts and direct-to-consumer outlets like farmers markets.

Consumption is the opportunity for an individual to gain access to food in a physically safe, financially viable, and culturally competent way. May include restaurants, food pantries, food trucks, and meal assistance programs.

Resource Management is the efficient and effective deployment and allocation of community and business resources as it relates to land, water, soil, plants, food and created materials. May include conservation programs, food waste recovery, and composting.

Services Provided

Business Planning

  • Market Plan Development
  • Market Research

Libraries and Research Organizations

  • Business Research Resources


  • E-Commerce/Internet Marketing
  • Market Plan Development and Training
  • Market Research

Public Policy and Government Relations

  • Nebraska Business Issues

Regulatory Compliance

  • Registration, licenses and permits


  • Trade Education and Training
Primary Contact
Vanessa Wielenga
1700 North 35th Street, Leverton Hall (LEV) 119C
Lincoln, NE 68583