Producer of the Year

Doe’s & Diva’s: 1 nomination

Iowa’s exclusive producer of sheep and goat dairy, Doe’s [female goats] and Diva’s [lactating sheep] Dairy in western Iowa has earned a place among Food Day Heroes through the employment of kind and sustainable practices.

The Big Garden: 2 nominations

On a mission to end food insecurity and hunger, The Big Garden includes a network of over 100 community gardens, catering to locals without access to clean, reliable soil. The Big Garden offers free workshops and community outreach, offering so much more than the opportunity to grow a healthier life, but the education to do so sustainably.

Botna Burrow: 4 nominations

Though relatively new to the farm scene, Botna Burrow is owned and managed by two people who care deeply for each blade that grows on the land. No strangers to growing, Tyler Magnuson and Cait Coughey care as much about the soil they grow your food on as they do the families with whom they will share their harvest.

Danelle Myer- (One Farm): 4 nominations

Strict adherence to the laws of agroecology [The science of ecology applied to protect the needs of the ecosystem and the living things in it] and a deep respect for the land is a direct reflection of grower Danelle Myer’s personal life philosophy.

Wenninghoffs: 3 nominations

For 60 years, the Wenninghoff family has been committed to being a family destination for healthy food grown with love.  Known for their fun harvest events, children’s activities, and exceptional produce, the Wenninghoffs bring joy to every aspect of what they do.  


Iowana Farm: 1 nomination

Located on 66 acres in Loess Hills, Iowana Farm is a certified organic producer of vegetables, corn, hay, wheat, and alfalfa. Many of your favorite Omaha chefs turn to Iowana for exceptional produce to provide you with some of the most award winning dishes in Nebraska.

Little Mountain Farms: 3 nominations!csa-info/a7rgr

Ali Clark and Scott Yahnke of Little Mountain Farm in Loess Hills put as much care into the community as they do into the land they lovingly tend. Working outside of the farm at City Sprouts and Omaha Home for Boys respectively, the pair bring their love of the land to everything they do, from their CSA to the pizza and candy they provide seasonally.

“Ali has put her heart and soul into communicating the importance of supporting local growers.”

“Consistent commitment to collaboration.”

“Love how farmer ally has figured out the seasons of farming and candy making to make a year of productivity.”

Shadowbrook Farms: 1 nomination

Huge proponents of the “regional food system”, whose aim is to ensure quality foods are always available from local systems rather than traveling miles to your plate, Shadowbrook Farm is a beacon of hope for those who shun the factory farm. Producers of award winning vegetables, pork, and goats milk dairy products, the family farm is famous for putting their heart into every harvest.

“Longtime game changer in southeast Nebraska.”

Infusion Brewing: 1 nomination

Housed in the former Olsen’s Meat Market, Benson’s Infusion Brewing has both embraced and made history in the location. Continuously rotating through 10 craft infusion beers, the brewery offers both year-round and seasonal selections.

“Local talent, local beer.”

Clear Creek Organics: 1 nomination

Family owned for over 130 years, the Bernt family has always employed organic practices on their sprawling lands in Spalding, Ne. Known for their excellent dairy, grass fed beef, pork, and goat, as well as fresh organic produce, the Bernts have a thoroughly diverse operation that keeps the health of the families they feed and the beautiful land they call home at the forefront of their mission.

“They have the most diversified operation I can think of.”

Mark Roh- Abie Vegetable People: 1 nomination

Founded in 2010 by husband and wife team Mark and Erin Roh, Vegetable People in Abie, NE has survived growing pains and bumps in the road to become a fixture among restaurant and grocery store suppliers. The growers make their sustainably grown produce available through weekly farmer’s markets, LoneTree Foods, and Tomato Tomato’s year-round indoor farmer’s market.

“Really stepped up the quality now that the Harvest process is dialed in.”

Rosmann Family: 1 nomination

On 700 acres of corn, oats, soybeans, barley, turnips, hay, and pasture in Harlan, Iowa, the Rosmann family lovingly raise their Red Angus cows, hogs, and organic chickens.

“Embracing local and leaders in organic agriculture since the 1980s.”

ELTEE Mangalitsa: 1 nomination

An elite and rare breed of wooly hog, Mangalitza [or Mangalica in its original Hungarian spelling] is known for its exceptionally white fat, containing almost exclusively monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, while being high in Omega fatty acids. ELTEE in Pender, NE is the only certified breeder of Mangalitsa in the state, and you can find them offering samples weekly at the Farmer’s Market.

“Only Mangalitsa in Nebraska. Amazing product.”

TD Niche Pork: 1 nomination

Award winning heritage pork is what keeps TD Niche the supplier for some of Omaha’s finest dining establishments. Berkshire, Red Waddle, Tamworth, and Herford pork are the preferred breed of owner Travis Dunekacke, who knows that the genetics are only the jumping off point for prime pork. His focus on properly raising heirloom breeds makes him the preferred supplier of The Grey Plume and Dolce.  

“Travis is a hard working farmer who takes pride in the food he serves us.”

Produce From The Heart: 2 nominations                            

A mission to end hunger and food waste resulted in the creation of Produce from the Heart. Staff and volunteers pick up surplus foods from grocery stores, farmers markets, and gardens, delivering them to soup kitchens and homeless shelters.

“They go above and beyond to provide food for the needy.”

Restaurant of the Year

Bellevue Berry Farm: 1 nomination

Known as a family destination, the pumpkin patch hosts events that range from raspberry harvest to the annual Renaissance Faire.

“Because is a family business that work really hard to make every customer happy.”

Benson Brewery: 2 nominations

Excellent atmosphere and a wide selection of home crafted beer make Benson Brewery a fun hang out. The reclaimed wood floors, and locally sourced menu items show its commitment to the community it serves.

“Fresh, local organic food and beer. welcoming surroundings and family friendly. My “go to” Friday night for friends and family! One of Omahas best!”

Block 16: 3 nominations

Paul and Jessica Urban, owners of Block 16, know their way around a good meal. Billing their menu as “Farm to Table Street Food”, each dish tastes like a memory. The family vibe mixed with the fun flavors keeps Block 16 on every “best of” list in Omaha, while the roster of local farmers and suppliers the Urbans employ to supply their menu make every bite a bit of good for the community.

“Tasty and by the way – local!”

“Local food for the people; budget conscious, local, nutritious.”

“Shameless promoter of local foods.”

Finicky Franks: 1 nomination

Creative craft beers, daily specials, and a menu even the most finicky of diners will enjoy, Frank’s is proof that local sourcing does not a stuffy menu make. It’s always nice, but never a surprise to bump into them at the Florence Farmer’s Market, shopping for ingredients for that day’s special.


“This restaurant is a hidden gem north of the historic Florence neighborhood. All of the food is locally sourced and freshly prepared..”

Kitchen Table: 13 nominations

With a menu that changes not just seasonally, but to meet the weekly farm delivery, Colin and Jessica take local sourcing very seriously. Often inviting their team of growers to come speak at special engagements, the couple allow the amazing ingredients to work hard for your appetite, delivering a superior meal with every plate.

“Truly a farm to table restaurant.”

“Jessica and Colin are passionate about supporting as many local farms as possible and making it affordable for the producers.”

“Always tasty, always local, and always welcomed with a smile. They do great things with the local market.”

Lot 2: 1 nomination

Winning awards and accolades is always nice, and Lot 2 in Benson has won their fair share. Preparing to head to New York, where the James Beard Foundation has asked them to prepare a meal, Lot 2 still keeps their eyes firmly on pleasing the Omaha palate.

Modern Love: 4 nominations

After years of watching vegetarian friends order “Just a salad”, relief came in the form of sumptuous burgers made of excellently seasoned lentils, a Farmer’s Market shepherd’s pie, and a sticky, delicious mushroom Rueben. Isa Moskowitz has taken her years of experience, multiple cookbooks, and love of all things vegan and created a warm, fun environment where anyone can sit down for a delicious, ethical meal.

“All about the produce! Supports local farmers.”

“Innovative, creative, locally sourced.”

Over Easy: 1 nomination

A chill vibe, a fun menu, and a passion for promoting area growers makes OverEasy an easy choice for breakfast and lunch. Vegetarian options, a kid’s menu that’s more that chicken fingers and pandering, and always a creative take on your favorite dish.

“Over Easy is by far the best breakfast spot in Omaha! Everyhing is local, from the coffee to the pork to the dairy to the freshly grown produce from there garden on the side of the restaurant and the local artwork on all walls of the restaurant you can see the joy pride and care that they put into the restaurant 7 days a week..”

Rail Car: 2 nominations    

Railcar believes that “American Food” should no longer be synonymous with processed and greasy, but should be a closer look at what America is: A melting pot of cultures, ripe with creativity and the unexpected. A locally sourced menu of comforting twists on classics will keep you coming back until you’ve tried everything from the pot sticker pot pie to the pork belly tostadas.

Table Grace Café: 2 nominations

Using locally sourced donated or rescued ingredients, and a pay-what-you-will price point makes dining at Table Grace feel good for the soul. The ever changing menu of seasonal dishes makes it good for your belly.


Retailer of the Year

Daddy’s Fresh Food Market: 4 nominations

In spite of the richness of Benson’s landscape, until recently, the area had been considered a “food desert”; an area devoid of access to fresh, healthy ingredients for its citizens. Daddy’s brought local, farm-fresh ingredients to the area to help create opportunities for residents to use local ingredients in their homes, without having to drive out of the community to find fresh foods.

“Homegrown food hub.”

“They truly support local producers!   Amazing commitment to farmers!”

“Purchase all local products and make it available in a food desert.”

Fareway: 1 nomination

Knowledgeable butchers and fair prices make Fareway a budget friendly choice for fresh ingredients.


Grey Plume Provisions: 3 nominations

You may not be able to cook like the chefs at Grey Plume, but you can shop like them! Charcuterie meats, smoked butters, cheeses, and condiments will elevate your kitchen game.


“Accessible local food.”

Hy-Vee: 3 nominations

HyVee has recently jumped on the ‘local sourcing’ bandwagon and you will find meats, cheeses, and produce from some familiar area producers on the shelves!

Janes: 2 nominations

A family owned store that specializes in local products, vitamins, supplements, organic foods, and gmo free ingredients, Jane’s is a local alternative to big-box stores and chains.


“Long time veteran advocate of local foods.”

“Long history of supporting local foods.”

Paradigm Gardens: 2 nominations

Often home to workshops on topics from seed saving to heirloom breeding, paradigm gardens offers both the supplies and the education to help you grow everything from food to flowers.

Snowshoe Candies: 1 nomination!the-farmers/cjg9

Ali Clark, co-owner of Little Mountain Farmers, puts love and years of experience into each decadent bite!

“Ali extends her local foods season with homemade candies.”

Tomato Tomato: 8 nominations

Omaha’s only indoor Farmer’s Market, TT brings together your favorite local suppliers of meat, cheeses, eggs, produce, herbs, jams, yogurts, and prepared foods. With access to fresh, local ingredients year round, Tomato is dedicated to keeping Omaha from falling victim to the factory farm.

“Always 100% local food and a great CSA.”

“Superior customer service & quality local goods. Major advocate for all local farms. Awesome CSA program.”

“New owner, Mike Kult, his heart and soul is into health food.”

Wohlner’s Market: 1 nomination

Part of the Omaha landscape since 1918, Wohlner’s has been trusted by families to provide fresh, healthy ingredients to create everyday traditions around the dining room table.

Nonprofit of the Year

Big Garden: 10 nominations

On a mission to end food insecurity and hunger, The Big Garden includes a network of over 100 community gardens, catering to locals without access to clean, reliable soil. The Big Garden offers free workshops and community outreach, offering so much more than the opportunity to grow a healthier life, but the education to do so sustainably.

“Teaching people how to grow food is a valuable part of our food system.”

“Over 120 gardens in 10 years.”

Heartland Hope Mission: 1 nomination

Heartland Hope believes that there is more to hunger than your next meal. There is the burning desire to ensure that your family doesn’t have to do without. In that spirit, Heartland Hope offers food, clothing, household staples, and financial education to the working poor to help them achieve sustainable self-sufficiency.

“They feed healthy and nutritious food to people in need.”

Hunger Free Heartland: 16 nominations

Hunger Free Heartland goes above and beyond to ensure that kids never go hungry, providing access to free meals during the summer months and on weekends, when kids who rely of the free lunch program are often missing several meals in a row. HFH creates partnerships and relationships between those who need help, and those who are hungry to affect change.

No More Empty Pots: 8 nominations

The non-profit corporation connects private organizations, businesses, communities, entrepreneurs, and individuals to groups in need of their help. They provide advocacy and action to help the hungry of our community achieve self sufficiency.

“For the service they provide to SNAP recipients.”

“Mission driven, trying to help families in need and support local farms at the same time.”

“No More Empty Pots efforts are geared towards making local, healthy food more accessible to the community. From the Community Market Basket, to serving on Growing Food Connections, to the many community gardens, to the up-and-coming Food Hub, No More Empty Pots strives to improve the food environment in Omaha by promoting local food economy resilience and food policy change.”

Nonprofit Association of the Midlands: 1 nomination

Nonprofit Association of the Midlands recognizes that here are thousands of nonprofits in our community, and each is working relentlessly to create change for those who need it most. Their mission is to bring these organizations together to affect the greatest changes possible. An absolute force to be reckoned with, NAM is committed to the good of the community.

“Tireless support of emerging nonprofits working with hunger.”

Produce From The Heart: 4 nomination

A food rescue program designed to end both waste and hunger, Produce From the Heart picks up surplus food from area grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and farms, and delivers them to food pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens.

“They go above and beyond to provide for others.”

“Mike is dedicated to making sure everyone who is food insecure has access to fresh fruits and vegetables, which are either too expensive or not available to those who are financially in need.”

“Because they take hundreds of pounds of produce a week that would be throw away and distributes it to other nonprofits to give to people who can’t afford healthy foods.”

“Their work to inform the community about produce waste, and their recovery efforts that take the still healthy food and get it to those hungry in our community.”

Saving Grace: 1 nomination

In such a rich atmosphere as Omaha, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that as many as 1 in 5 children will go to bed hungry in our community, while 1/3 of the waste in area landfills is comprised of food we just didn’t get around to eating. Saving Grace has rescued over 1 million pounds of healthy, wholesome food and delivered it to those most in need.

Together Inc.: 2 nominations

Providing both emergency services to those in immediate need, and sustainable independence to those stuck living in fear of losing what they have worked hard for, Together knows that dignity and hope are human rights, and they fight hard to help every one of our citizens achieve a life of their own.


“Moving past emergency food relief towards food security.”

Urban Abbey: 1 nomination

Coffee for a cause, 10% of your fair trade cup goes to local non-profits!

“Fair trade, local products, coffee, advocacy, community – all in one place.”

VNA: 1 nomination

The VNA does so much for so many, and the Cooking Matters 6 week course is bringing more families to the table. Teaching knife skills, food safety, cooking on a budget, and decoding food labels, preparing a wholesome, delicious meal for your family has never been more fun!

“Cooking Matters program reaches many families and neighborhoods.”

Food Day Champion of the Year (An Individual)

Anna Curry: 2 nominations

Coordinator of the “Cooking Matters” program at The VNA, Curry has provided education and support for families throughout the metro.

Bob Burnt: 1 nomination

Burnt’s dedication to land he works is a testament to a man who cares deeply about the products he provides and the families he provides them to.

“Always working on improving his products & processes. Reliable, & willing to go that extra bit to make his customer happy.”

Cait Caughey (The Big Garden): 10 nominations

Her work at The Big Garden is no 9-5, but a 24 hour obsession with educating and creating opportunities for her neighbors to help the environment thrive. Whether leading workshops on seed saving or teaching interested parties how to store and plant them when the time comes. Caughey is creating a legacy of deep care for the environment.

Edward Berna: 1 nomination

President of Paradigm Gardens, Berna cultivates an environment of growth and nurturing.

Ellen Walsh-Rosmann & Daniel Rosmann: 1 nomination


“Ellen and Daniel are very passionate about local food in our food shed. When they got married in 2010 they had all local food for their 300 guest. They also are organic vegetable, egg and grain farmers. Ellen and Daniel own and operate FarmTable Procurement and Delivery an infrastructure support for local producers providing distribution, transportation, marketing, sales, education, and group purchases as well as a future processing kitchen for value added ag products and a shared post-harvest handl.”

Eric Williams: 1 nomination“Founder Dundee garden.”

Creating a garden in Dundee created a connection between the neighborhood and the healthy foods they eat. Getting dirty with your neighbors never tasted so good!

Gene Gage: 1 nomination

Owner of Heartlad Organics, Gage’s dedication to the land and supporting the local economy will not end with him. He has made it his mission to pass on a love of sustainable farming practices to the next generation through education and mentoring programs.


“He has mentored and inspired countless young farmers.”

Heike Langdon: 1 nomination

As President and Owner of Rainwater LLC, Langdon has secured over $2,000,000 in funding, while closely collaborating with board members and volunteers for non-profits on events, marketing, and fiscal management.

Mary Balluff: 3 nominations

Award winning former Chief of Community Health and Nutrition Services with the Douglas County Health Department, leader in the local food movement, and champion of women and children’s health and wellness, Balluff has made her mark on the public health systems in Omaha.

Matt Cronin: 1 nomination

Program Coordinator at The Big Garden, with a history at Big Muddy Urban Farm and No More Empty Pots, Cronin has a record for getting his hands dirty for the sake of sustainable healthy food for everyone in our community.

“All around advocate for local food; passionate; plus he might sing a song for you.”

Mike Hornacek: 1 nomination

Together Inc is dedicated to restoring dignity and sustainable independence to food insecure and homeless families. The organization assists nearly 22,000 individuals every year.

“Exec director Together Inc.”

Mike Shambaugh Miller: 4 nominations

Executive Director at Produce From The Heart, and Rural Pantry Coordinator at Food Bank of Lincoln, Miller dedicates his time to offering a hand up to those too hungry and tired to find a way out of a hopeless situation.

“He devotes his time unselfishly to help others.”

“Growing up food insecure, Mike is doing all he can so that no child has to be hungry.”

Nancy Williams: 1 nomination

“Nancy Williams is a food hero in Omaha. She works every day to promote sustainable, local, healthy food in our community. Running No More Empty Pots, Nancy is driven to improving self-sufficiency of the community to consume healthy food, drive work force development for food-focused individuals, and change food policies so they are more conducive to supporting our local economy and the health of our community.”

Nick Bartholomew: 2 nominations

In addition to his diligent use of locally sourced foods in his highly lauded eateries, Bartholomew volunteers his time to integrate food growing systems at a local highschool. His loftier goal of creating a K-12 ag program that grows with the students is in the works, and Bartholomew continues to seek opportunities to educate and advance the community he loves.

“Constant use of local product.  Millard West student gardens.  .”

“He believes in local, only uses local, supports and respects the hard work of local farmers and businesses and loves the beautiful place we all call home. Omaha, Nebraska.”

Rachel Olive: 3 nominations

As a social worker and Executive Director of Hunger Free Heartland, Olive dedicates her time to the advancement of the most vulnerable in our community.

Renaisa S Anthony (UNMC College of Public Health): 1 nomination

An accomplished advocate for health equity, esteemed educator on the topics of both women’s and public health, and Deputy Director of UNMC’s Center for Reducing Health Disparities, Anthony has done more than make a name for herself, she has made a difference in every community she has called home.

“Working to overcome health disparities, advocate for food security.”

Stephanie Ahlschwede: 1 nomination

A dream of ending hunger and teaching a community to grow together lead Ahlschwede to launch The Big Garden in 2005 with a seemingly monumental goal of creating 12 community gardens. Now with over 100 gardens feeding hungry mouths and souls, The Big Garden is synonymous with community and good will.

“Big garden founder.”

Tammy Yarmon: 1 nomination

As Director of Nutrition Services for the Omaha Public Schools, Yarmon has her eyes on the health of our students. Efforts to source locally, create opportunities for food insecure children to qualify for free and reduced breakfasts and lunches, and ensuring those meals are balanced and nutritious are all in a days work for Yarmon.

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