The E-Harvest delivers Texas farm fresh information and resources to your inbox.

Farm Fresh Spotlight

Celebrate Texas Agriculture and Local Products in Schools with Farm Fresh Fridays and the Local Products Challenge!

Farm to school activities like Farm Fresh Fridays provide a solid foundation for establishing lifelong healthy habits, promoting student health and strengthening local economies.

Farm Fresh Fridays offers a new and exciting way to engage young minds and help students develop strong, sustainable connections to local food, farmers and ranchers. Plus, it adds local flavor to school menus and teaches students about Texas agriculture when they enjoy local products in school meals.

Take the Local Products Challenge!
Each year, TDA challenges schools to use more Texas products in cafeteria meals, with the Local Products Challenge and recognizes participants that complete the challenge.

Participate in this year’s Local Products Challenge today!

Farm to School

Agriculture Matters Student Photo Contest
TDA wants to know why Texas agriculture matters to young Texans! Texas agriculture touches each of our lives every day and TDA is sending out a call for Texas youth to submit photos to illustrate farm fresh food, fascinating fiber or sensational selfies.

Contest entries will be featured in a photo slideshow in the Food and Fiber Pavilion at the State Fair of Texas in September. The top photos in each category also will be printed and showcased at the Texas Department of Agriculture's headquarters in Austin.

Contest Eligibility
The contest is open to amateur youth photographers in two age categories: ages 12 and younger, and ages 13-17.
Photographers may submit up to three photos per category. Photos will be accepted electronically through Sept. 1.

Full contest details and participation form available here.

Survey of Texas Producers
If you are a farmer or a rancher that is currently selling to schools, or is interested in starting a relationship with Texas schools please take a few moments and fill out the TDA’s survey to become a part of our new producer database! The survey includes questions about product availability and distribution radius for your operation. Please have this information handy before beginning.

Go here to complete this survey.

Resource Spotlight
Celebrate National School Lunch Week (NSLW), October 12-16, by highlighting local ingredients on menus.

TDA has prepared a weeklong menu that can help students Discover the Great Plate of Texas with a Healthy School Lunch for NSLW. Start planning NSLW celebrations now by downloading the suggested menu and shopping list.

Plan a local Farm Fresh Fridays celebration or educational activity, using this newly-created resource, that provides activity ideas for students in various grades.

Additional resources to support NLSW celebrations will be available soon.

Farm to Child Care

New USDA Fact Sheet
USDA has recently released a new farm to preschool fact sheet outlining what the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is and how CACFP participants can incorporate local food and education into program operation.  The USDA Farm to Preschool website has additional resources and policy guidance.

Resource Spotlight
Funmi & Friends Video

This TDA-developed video is an educational tool for parents and child care providers, to help teach children ages 2-5 about agriculture and the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. The video takes children on a visit to an urban farm where fruits and vegetables are grown. The video’s stars, Funmi, Sunny and Julie B, also create a healthy snack using fresh produce.

Go here for a copy of the video.

Farm to Summer Site

Farm to site activities for Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option program operators include using locally sourced ingredients in meals and snacks, creating garden-based learning environments, adding nutrition education to enrichment activities, and connecting children with local farmers and ranchers. Summer is an ideal time to offer local, seasonal fruits and vegetables during their peak growing season to ensure that children learn the benefits of enjoying foods that are fresh and tasty.

TDA wants to hear from you!
Is there a Farm to Summer Site program in your community? If so, TDA would like to learn more about the success. Please email Alyssa Herold with information.

Contact TDA

Alyssa Herold
Coordinator for Farm Fresh Initiatives
Direct: (512) 463-1209
Toll Free: (877) TEX-MEAL

Connect with Others

Texas Farm Fresh Statewide Network
(LinkedIn Group) 

This LinkedIn Group is intended to connect schools, child care centers, summer meal program participants, producers, support organizations & community members interested in expanding local food purchasing & educational efforts.

Join Today!

Grant Opportunities

Food & Nutrition related grants

TDA Grants

USDA Grants

Connect with TDA

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Interested in learning more about Texas products?

Sign up for the Go Local. GO TEXAN E-zine today.

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


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