TDA Brings Farm Fresh Challenge to the Summer Food Service Program

Congratulations to all participants of the first 2018 Summer Farm Fresh Challenge. The challenge ran from June 11 - 22! Completing the challenge helps connect summer meal participants to Texas agriculture, boosts local economies, and helps establish healthy eating habits among youth and families.

Success Stories

Temple ISD & Florence ISD Team Up with Bouldin Food Forest during TDA’s First-ever Summer Farm Fresh Challenge

Temple Independent School District (ISD) and Florence ISD, among others, earned Best of the Bunch recognition for participating in theTexas Department of Agriculture (TDA) Summer Farm Fresh Challenge.  Both sourced fresh, seasonal foods from Bouldin Food Forest, a 150 acre farm in Central Texas that uses organic and permaculture principles to grow fresh produce for local customers. 

The Summer Farm Fresh Challenge was added to TDA’s Farm Fresh Initiative this year for sponsors serving healthy meals to children when school is out for the summer break. TDA’s Summer Meal Program partners are asked to Eat Local. Teach Local. and Be Social. In addition to serving local foods and providing educational opportunities, participants use social media to raise awareness of Farm Fresh activities and the benefits of serving foods sourced close to home. Bouldin Food Forest participates in the Farm Fresh Initiative as a member of the Farm Fresh Network, which helps schools connect with local producers, who want to market products to schools. 

A Facebook post from Bouldin Food Forest’s Ben McConnell sums up the successes possible with Farm Fresh Initiative participation — “A milestone day for the farm: Our biggest-ever delivery of salad greens, for our newest customer, Temple ISD. We’re pretty stoked to help feed nearby kids and the hard-working adults who teach and feed them!”

Temple ISD purchased a blend of purple and green lettuce mix for their salads and other menu items that contain lettuce, like hamburgers. Also, Temple ISD nutrition staff visited the farm to get a better understanding of sustainable agriculture.

We look forward to expanding this initiative and creating new dishes around farm fresh produce, said Temple ISD Child Nutrition Director Suzanne Murdough.” 

For more information and to follow along with this story, follow Temple ISD, Florence ISD and Bouldin Food Forest on Facebook.

Temple ISD: @TempleISD

Florence ISD: @FlorenceISD

Bouldin Food Forest: @BouldinFoodForest


Copperas Cove School District Helps Everyone Win During Summer Farm Fresh Challenge  Maximize 

TDA Partner Serves Up Farm Fresh Fun for Harlingen Children  Maximize 

Pasadena ISD Completes the TDA Summer Farm Fresh Challenge  Maximize 

Take the Farm Fresh Challenge in 2019

Eat Local.  Serve a minimum of three Texas products from different local meal components (e.g., grain, fluid milk, and vegetable) during the challenge period to encourage your community to eat local, fresh food.*

Teach Local.  Host a minimum of two educational opportunities during the challenge period. Farm Fresh educational opportunities include activities that educate summer site participants about local food and agriculture.**

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. If you don’t use social media, that’s okay! Share your Farm Fresh activities in your newsletters and bulletin boards.

*Products should be sourced locally — directly from a farmer, a farmers market, school or community 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 in the Summer Farm Fresh Challenge is Easy

Registration for the 2019 Summer Farm Fresh Challenge will open February 2019. 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 participation pledge should be completed by a CE Sponsor, not an individual site director.

Step 2: Plan your menu and educational activities.

Step 3: Complete the challenge tasks detailed above. Eat Local. Teach Local. Be Social.

Step 4: Submit the participation attestation form by the due date.

Step 5 (optional): Send a success story about your participation and photos (if available) to FarmFresh@TexasAgriculture.gov

Click the icon above to download stickers, buttons, banner, bookmarks and static clings

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:

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