Farm Fresh Challenge
Take the Farm Fresh Challenge this October 2019

Participating in the Farm Fresh Challenge is easier than you may think, as some of the food options you’re already serving in the cafeteria - like milk and fresh produce items - are likely locally sourced from Texas producers, which means you’ve already completed some of the Challenge requirements before you ever pledge. 

During the month of October, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is hosting the annual Farm Fresh Challenge. Open to all TDA contracting entities (CE) in the National School Lunch Program, the Challenge is a fun and engaging way for school nutrition professionals and their schools to gain recognition for their efforts to bring local foods and garden-based learning activities to their students. 

Challenge participation soared in 2018 with more than 230 school districts participating statewide, serving over 2 million students! Are you ready to join the fun, and earn recognition for your district?

Participating in the Challenge is Easy

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

Step 1: Take the Challenge participation pledge.

Important note: The Challenge participation pledge should be completed by the CE, not an individual school campus.

Step 2:
Plan your menu and educational activities.

Step 3: Complete challenge parameters listed below.

Step 4: Submit your participation attestation form
 by Thursday, November 15, 2019.

Step 5 (optional): Send a success story about your participation and photos
(if available) to

Choose Your Participation Tier: Eat Local. Teach Local. Be Social.

Resources to Help You Complete the Challenge

Below are a few resources that you can leverage to make completing the Farm Fresh Challenge a breeze for your school.

Sourcing Local Products

Find local Texas farmers, ranchers and distributors using our Farm Fresh Network tool.

Questions about how to buy local? Visit the Local Procurement page for additional resources.

Recipes for Menu Items

Make your menu fresh with our Cooking for the Seasons cookbook.

Farm Fresh Activities Ideas

Engage your students in garden-based learning with these activity ideas.

For students in grades K-5

For students in grades 6-12
For all ages

Social Guidance

Complete the Be Social. parameter with the help of our social guidance tool.

Click the icon below for the Social Media Support Toolkit

Farm Fresh Challenge Social Media Icon

Even more resources to support your participation in the Farm Fresh Challenge can be found on our RESOURCE PAGE.

For more information about Farm Fresh Fridays or the Farm Fresh Challenge, please contact TDA at

Other Helpful Resources

Defining Local Decision Tool

The USDA authorizes entities participating in the NSLP to define local in a manner that best suits their needs and the needs of the population they serve. This tool will walk you through two questions to help you identify your entity’s definition of local.

Local Procurement Decision Tree

This USDA resource will help you identify they appropriate procurement method to use when buying local. 

Success Stories

CRUNCH ACROSS COVE! A fun way to celebrate the Farm Fresh Challenge!  Maximize 

Lockhart ISD Serves Local with First Farm Fresh Challenge  Maximize 

Beeville ISD Students Excited to See Farm Fresh Options  Maximize 

Multiple Sources Provide Local Foods for Coppell ISD  Maximize 

2019 Farm Fresh Challenge Participants NSLP
Browse records in that    Search     
Contracting Entity (CE) NameESC Region
Laredo ISD1
McAllen ISD1
Santa Rosa ISD1
Sharyland ISD1
Brownsville Independent School District1
Pharr San Juan Alamo ISD1
Rio Grande City CISD1
Harlingen CISD1
Zapata County ISD1
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Texas Department of Agriculture
Commissioner Sid Miller