February 2019
Farm Fresh Spotlight Story

Help TDA Tell Your Story!
Attention all child nutrition directors and producers participating in TDA's Farm Fresh Initiative - TDA has two unique opportunities for you to share your story!

Opportunity #1
Participate in a panel discussion.
Join Texas school business officials, producers, and child nutrition directors to explore purchasing relationships barriers to participation, and opportunities for growth in the Farm Fresh Initiative over the next 5 years.

Opportunity #2
Play a part in a new Farm Fresh video.
Your Farm Fresh Initiative story could be featured in the next video TDA produces to highlight successes for producers and nutrition teams connecting children with Texas products through federal nutrition programs. Peer to peer sharing is an essential component to any successful initiative and we want to tell the best stories in Texas.

Watch We Made it Happen for a sample of past videos created by our team.

Farm to School Spotlight
Farm Fresh Fridays
Registration is now open for the 2019 Farm Fresh Challenge!

Eat Local, Teach Local, and Be Social this October along with other schools across the state. In 2018, over 232 districts took the challenge! Students, faculty and staff will have fun and earn recognition for efforts to serve more local foods and teach students the importance of Texas agriculture. 

This will be the 6th year schools have partnered with TDA in the Farm Fresh challenge and there are some exciting changes for 2019 such as:

  • Printable resources available on Squaremeals.org/FarmFreshChallenge
  • A streamlined Jot Form process at the end of the Challenge period
  • and more!
See what's new and complete the short pledge form for the 2019 Farm Fresh Challenge.
Tools provided to help each school celebrate
Participating schools will receive a toolkit of Farm Fresh materials, including a choice of buttons, stickers, or static clings for the celebration in October. 

View all of the print ready files for bookmarks, posters, banners, stickers, and much more at Squaremeals.org/FarmFreshChallenge

Register by July 15th to guarantee on-time delivery of Farm Fresh support materials

Farm to Child Care Spotlight
Eat Local. Teach Local.  Be Social.

Child and adult care nutrition programs across Texas pledged to  Eat Local. Teach Local. and  Be Social. during March. Congratulations to all participants in the first every statewide challenge! Your efforts will have a lasting impact, as young Texans learned how to choose foods grown close to home. 

Submit your participation form by April 12 to receive statewide recognition! This form is short and easy to complete. 
TDA E3E Grant Now Open

Deadline to Submit Application: May 2, 2019

The Establishing the 3E's program grant is now open. This grant incentivizes the creation of new nutrition education programs in any child care institution of community organization. This program is geared toward children aged 3-5 and is a competitive grant. This program encourages proper nutrition education at an early age to help children and their parents develop healthy habits. Providers will use this grant to build gardens, connect to local agriculturalists or take participating children on field trips.

Find out more information at  TexasAgriculture.gov 

Farm to Summer Spotlight
Eat Local. Teach Local.  Be Social.

TDA is bringing the 2nd annual  Summer Farm Fresh Challenge to participants of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) statewide! The challenge will occur June 10-21, 2019. Pledge your participation in the Summer Farm Fresh Challenge by May 24th to receive supportive materials such as buttons and stickers. The Summer Farm Fresh Challenge encourages summer meal programs to serve more local foods, teach children about the importance of Texas agriculture, and share this message with families and community members.
SFSP and SSO contracting entities (CEs) interested in participating in this exciting challenge can register at Squaremeals.org/FarmFreshChallengeSFSP .

Producer Spotlight

How to Become Certified USDA Vendor 

1 p.m. CDT, April 3, 2019

Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) invites you to a live, interactive webinar discussing lessons learned in becoming an approved USDA Food Vendor. Each year, AMS purchases more than 300 different food products to feed millions of school children, families and other eligible individuals through USDA's nutrition assistance and international food aid programs. Find out how your company can participate in these purchases that support American agriculture. This webinar is free, however, registration is required and space is limited

Upcoming Events for Farm Fresh Network Members

Join us for another great expo opportunity at the Business of Numbers and Nutrition Conference in Austin, TX. 
When: Tuesday, June 11, 7:00-5:30 PM
Where: AT&T Conference Center, 1900 University Ave, Austin, TX 78705

Lunch will be provided to all participating Expo attendees

Thanks to your feedback from past events our team has the opportunity to host a learning session with farmers and child nutrition directors. Look out for our request for session speakers and topics in the coming weeks. 

This event opportunity is available to the first 20 companies that register. Click here to register today!

Contact TDA
Emilee Case
Coordinator for Farm Fresh Projects

Beatrice Watson
Farm Fresh Specialist

Email us or call
(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!

Texas Farm Fresh Network
Use this tool to connect with Texas food companies that currently sell or are interested in selling to schools, child care centers and summer meal programs. Company listings include contact information, product availability and distribution radius.
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.