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Name Change Gives Local Products Challenge a Farm Fresh Perspective
Child holds up sticker for local farm fresh challenge

The Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) Local Products Challenge has a new name — the Farm Fresh Challenge! Since 2013, TDA has recognized schools for their efforts to bring local foods and agricultural education to their students. Participation in TDA’s 2017 challenge soared with more than 175 school districts who participated statewide, serving nearly 2 million students!

This year’s name change aligns the challenge with Commissioner Miller’s Farm Fresh Initiative which includes Farm Fresh Fridays.  Students love to try local foods and TDA’s Farm Fresh Challenge resources give schools an exciting way to promote Texas agriculture and the local flavors they add to school menus.






Take the Farm Fresh Challenge!

Eat Local. Teach Local. Be Social.

The 2018 Farm Fresh Challenge will occur throughout October and is open to all TDA contracting entities (CE) in the National School Lunch Program.

Participation in the Farm Fresh Challenge now has a multiple tier recognition system.

First Tier -- Best of the Bunch

Eat Local.  Serve a minimum of two Texas products from different meal components (e.g., milk & a vegetable) on the same day, three or more times each week during the month of October.

Teach Local.  Host a minimum of one educational opportunity during the month of October- *see examples below for possible educational opportunities.

Be Social.  Share a minimum of one social media post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #FarmFreshFriday to build community awareness of your Farm Fresh Challenge participation.

 

Second Tier -- Sharp Chedder

Eat Local.  Serve a minimum of two Texas products from different meal components (e.g., milk & a vegetable) on the same day, one or more times each week during the month of October.

Teach Local.  Host a minimum of one educational opportunity during the month of October- *see examples below for some possibilities.

Be Social.  Share a minimum of one social media post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #FarmFreshFriday to build community awareness of your Farm Fresh Challenge participation.

 

Third Tier -- Prime Participant

Eat Local.  Serve a minimum of three Texas products from different meal components (e.g., fluid milk, a vegetable, and a grain) during the month of October.*

Teach Local.  Host a minimum of one educational opportunity during the month of October- *see examples below for some possibilities.**

Be Social.  Share a minimum of one social media post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #FarmFreshFriday to build community awareness of your Farm Fresh Challenge participation.

*Products should be sourced locally — directly from a farmer, a farmers market, school garden, or through a distributor that works directly with local producers.

**A Farm Fresh educational opportunity is any activity that educates students about local food and agriculture. Activity examples include taste testing local products; field trips to a farm or farmers market; Meet the Farmer days; garden-based learning activities; or classroom lessons focused on local food and agriculture. You may use one of TDA’s Farm Fresh Friday celebration ideas and resources or create your own.


Participation Overview

Participants in the Farm Fresh Challenge will be encouraged to serve a certain number of local products, conduct supportive educational activities and post relevant social media content, celebrating Farm Fresh Fridays.

TDA will recognize all school districts participating in NSLP that complete the challenge and submit the attestation form showing one of the three tiers of recognition has been earned.

Follow these simple steps to participate in the Farm Fresh Challenge and receive TDA recognition:

Step 1: Take the online Farm Fresh Challenge participation pledge

  • The Farm Fresh Challenge participation pledge should be completed by the CE, not an individual school campus.
  • CEs that pledge participation will receive a participation toolkit filled with Farm Fresh Fridays support materials from TDA. See the participation pledge for more information.
  • Take the pledge by July 15 to ensure you receive a participation toolkit.


Step 2: Visit the Farm Fresh Challenge RESOURCE PAGE for educational activity ideas and downloadable materials to bring the Farm Fresh Challenge to life!

Step 3: Complete one of the three tiers listed above. Eat Local. Teach Local. Be Social.

Step 4: Submit the participation attestation form by Thursday, November 15, 2018.

  • The attestation form collects information about local products served, dollars spent on Texas products, educational opportunities offered, and Farm Fresh messages shared through social media.
  • NEW for 2018: You can submit this information by answering all of the attestation questions on the pledge (in Step 1). This is a great way to share what you plan to accomplish in October.

Step 5 (optional): Tell TDA about your celebration! Simply send a success story and photos (if available) to FarmFresh@TexasAgriculture.gov.



Local Procurement Resources

Defining Local Decision Tool

USDA grants the authority for entities participating in the NSLP to define local in a manner that best suits their purchasing needs and the needs of the population they serve. This tool will walk you through two questions that will help you identify a definition of local that helps you meet your goals.

Local Procurement Decision Tree

USDA released this resource offering a series of Yes/No questions to help identify the appropriate procurement method to use when buying local.

Visit the Local Procurement page for additional resources.


Congratulations to the following Best of the Bunch award level for their participation in the 2017 Local Products Challenge
Browse records in Contracting Entity (CE) Name that    Search     
Contracting Entity (CE) NameSorted By Contracting Entity (CE) Name In Ascending Order
Alvin Independent School District
Alvord Independent School District
Angleton Independent School District
Austin Independent School District
Barbers Hill Independent School District
Bluff Dale Independent School District
Boyd Independent School District
Brazosport Independent School District
Bridgeport Independent School District
Bryan Independent School District
Page 1 of 8First   Previous   [1]  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  Next   Last   
Thank you to all who participated in the 2017 Local Products Challenge
Browse records in Contracting Entity (CE) Name that    Search     
Contracting Entity (CE) Name
Aldine Independent School District
Aledo Independent School District
Alief Independent School District
Allen Independent School District
Anahuac Independent School District
Apple Springs Independent School District
Athens Independent School District
Benavides Independent School District
Big Spring Independent School District
Brazos Independent School District
Page 1 of 7First   Previous   [1]  2  3  4  5  6  7  Next   Last   
Success Stories
Coming Soon!


2018 Farm Fresh Challenge Copy Paste Promo Kit

Thank you for promoting the Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) 2018 Farm Fresh Challenge! Simply copy any of the messages provided in this promo kit into a newsletter, blog, listserv, or post on social media. This message will help the TDA increase participation in its Farm Fresh Challenge. This ensures more students learn about local foods and Texas agriculture. The challenge is open to Texas school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program and takes place in October.


Click the icon below for the promo kit 



These images are designed to be used to support your promotion of the Farm Fresh Challenge. All images are sized appropriately for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and blog posts. 


Click the icon below
 for the images

   

For more information about Farm Fresh Fridays or the Farm Fresh Challenge, please contact TDA at FarmFresh@TexasAgriculture.gov
 


Parent Communication Card

 

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

Mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

© 2018 Texas Department of Agriculture