Welcome to the first issue of the Statewide Farm to School Initiative E-Harvest newsletter!

Welcome to the first issue of the Farm to School
E-Harvest Newsletter!

The Texas Department of Agriculture's (TDA) new E-Harvest Newsletter supports farm to school activities with regular communications that include resources such as funding opportunities, a schedule of upcoming trainings and webinars, and more.

Do you know the history of farm to school at TDA?

The dedicated work of the legislatively created Interagency Farm to School Task Force helped establish the Statewide Farm to School Initiative. Read the full history here

Do you know which schools in your area report having a farm to school project?

Schools across Texas are taking part in farm to school activities. This map includes information for farm to school projects reported in the 2012 statewide survey.

Put your program on the map!
If your farm to school project isn’t listed on the TDA map, please contact Alyssa Herold. Recognition of your farm to school project can energize your efforts and strengthen farm to school statewide.

Farm to School News

USDA Farm to School Grantees Announced

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced grants for 82 projects spanning 42 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands that support USDA’s efforts to connect school cafeterias with local farmers and ranchers through its Farm to School Program. Dallas ISD will receive a grant award to expand the district’s current Harvest of the Month activities, experiential and agricultural learning opportunities, distribution of fresh produce at schools and other activities that promote the benefits of locally grown products.

For more information about this round of grant awards and the next round of funding, visit USDA’s Farm to School Grant Program Web page

USDA Memo: Farm to School and School Garden Expenses

USDA recently released a new memo, Farm to School and School Garden Expenses (SP 06-2015), answering questions about using school food service funds in support of school gardens and other farm to school efforts. USDA has previously released the School Garden Q&As memo (SP 32-2009) with information on school garden expenses. 

Farm to School Resource Spotlight

Toolkit and videos from USDA Farm to School 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a five-part video series featuring testimonials from more than 30 USDA Farm to School grantees and highlights the many ways grantees are bringing farm to school to their communities. 

USDA has also released a Farm to School Planning Toolkit that guides users through questions to consider and helpful resources to reference when starting or growing a farm to school program. It is designed for use by schools, school districts and community partners. The toolkit is filled with tips and examples, insights from others, and lists of resources for further research.

Farm to School Spotlight Story

Texas students celebrated National School Lunch Week (NSLW) 2014 during the week of October 13-17 with the theme “Score Big with a Healthy Texas Lunch.” Across Texas, NSLW and TDA’s Local Products Challenge created excitement about school meals and Texas products.

Read how Texas schools celebrated NSLW and local products 

Contact TDA

Alyssa Herold
Farm to School Program Specialist
Direct: (512) 463-1209
Toll Free: (877) TEX-MEAL

Connect with Others

Texas Statewide Farm to School Network
(LinkedIn Group) 

This LinkedIn Group is an online network connecting schools, producers, support organizations and community members with important information about expanding farm to school efforts in Texas.

Join Today!

Grant Opportunities

Food & Nutrition related grants

TDA Grants

USDA Grants

Upcoming Webinars

Learning the Language of Produce: How to Use Fruit and Vegetable Market News

Dec. 18, 2014 at 1 p.m.

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service invites you to take part in a free, interactive webinar that will provide practical information about how to buy, receive, and handle bulk fresh and fresh-cut produce safely and efficiently. If you purchase or receive shipments of fruits and vegetables for a school, food hub or farmers market, this webinar is for you.

Registration is required and space is limited; go here for registration information.

Connect with TDA

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This product was funded by USDA. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


Our mailing address is:
Texas Department of Agriculture
1700 North Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701

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