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

Special Resource and Funding Edition

Farm to School Introduction for Schools
New online training available!

TDA developed this training for school nutrition program team members and others who are interested in bringing farm to school to their districts or campuses. Information presented during this training is introductory in nature and will lay the groundwork for future training and discussions about farm to school activities.

Go here to take the training today!

Join the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) Farm Fresh Network!


TDA’s Farm Fresh Initiative is growing throughout the state and we want your business to grow with it. Farm to school and farm to childcare programs have a proven track record of encouraging kids to try and like new foods and creating new market opportunities for the farmers that grow them. Purchasing local products is now a priority for many nutrition directors across the state. 


The Texas Farm Fresh Network is a simple way to grow and diversify your business without having to pay any additional marketing costs. School and childcare nutrition staff will be able to view up-to-date information about all of your products and connect directly with you. 

Schools and childcare centers are unique direct-to-market opportunities. They offer consistency in their purchasing and are also a great option for your ‘seconds’ products.  Best of all, you can be a part of offering great tasting and healthy products to students across the Lone Star state.


TDA invites you to create a company profile in the Texas Farm Fresh Network today! The only information you will need to provide is company contact information, a list of products that you produce, when they are available for purchase, and your distribution radius.

New Salad Bar Resource Guide Available

A new guide, 
Promoting and Supporting School Salad Bars: An Action Guide for State Health Practitioners, was created for groups who might be interested in getting more salad bars placed in schools. This action guide provides information to promote and support salad bars in schools and specific activities to get the right partners engaged. It shares ideas on how to address common barriers around salad bars, explains what to say to get the support of key decision-makers, and includes steps to take to evaluate salad bar programs to help ensure their success.

The guide is available in downloadable PDF format here.

TDA Young Farmer Grant Program

TDA is requesting applications for the Young Farmer Grant program, which provides financial assistance in the form of dollar-for-dollar matching grant funds to those persons 18 years or older but younger than 46 years of age that are engaged or will be engaged in creating or expanding an agricultural business in Texas. Additional details and the application may be downloaded from TDA’s Web page for the
Young Farmer Grant Program.


Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015.

USDA Funding to Expand New Farmer Education

USDA has recently announced that $2.5 million in grant funding is available for projects to educate new and underserved farmers about USDA Farm Service Agency programs that provide financial, disaster or technical assistance to the agricultural community.

The grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations and public higher education institutions that develop proposals to improve farmer education on topics such as financial training, value-added production, recordkeeping, property inheritance and crop production practices. Awards between $20,000 and $100,000 per applicant will be available. USDA will conduct four evaluation periods to review applications; with the deadlines of November 20, 2015, January 22, 2015, March 18, 2016 and May 27, 2016.

To learn more about this funding opportunity, please visit

Annie's Grant for Gardens

Annie's offers grants for school garden that connect children directly to food. Funds can be used to by gardening tools, seeds or supplies. The deadline to apply is Dec. 4, 2015. Winners will be selected and notified in February 2016.

To learn more about this grant opportunity and submit an application, go here.

Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives


Farm Credit enters its 100th year of service to rural communities and agriculture, it has launched a new effort to champion the women, men and youth, whose insights and influence are ensuring rural communities continue to thrive for years to come.


The Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives program will seek out and celebrate 100 visionaries – the entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders who are shaping the future of agriculture and the fabric of our nation. The program recognizes the diverse ways individuals are contributing to the future success of rural communities and nominations will be accepted in 10 categories, including youth leadership, agricultural education and community impact, and rural and urban connection. Ten exceptional leaders, one in each category, will each receive a $10,000 award to help further their contributions to thriving rural communities and agriculture. Nominations can be submitted until Dec. 18, 2015. 


Learn more about this program here


Contact TDA

Alyssa Herold
Coordinator for Farm Fresh Initiatives

Emilee Feldhausen
Farm Fresh Specialist

Email: LocalProducts.SquareMeals@

Toll Free: (877) TEX-MEAL

Connect with Others

Texas Statewide Network

This LinkedIn Group is an online network connecting schools, child and adult care centers, producers, support organizations and community members with important information about expanding local food efforts in Texas.

Join Today!

Funding Opportunities

Financial support from organizations may help establish or advance local Farm Fresh initiatives.
Go here for a list of opportunities from TDA, USDA and other organizations.

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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