Farm Fresh Challenge CACFP
Take the CACFP Farm Fresh Challenge this March!

Boy Holding Carrots

Throughout March 2020, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) will present the Farm Fresh Challenge for all TDA contracting entities (CEs) in the Child and Adult Food Care Program (CACFP). The Challenge is a fun and engaging way for nutrition professionals to gain recognition for their efforts to bring local foods and garden-based learning activities to their sites. 

Participating in the Farm Fresh Challenge is easier than you may think, as some of the foods you already serve could be Texas products. Distributors for milk and fresh produce commonly source those items locally. If your milk, produce or other items come from Texas, that means you are already meeting some of the Challenge requirements

Pledge Now for the Farm Fresh Challenge

Participating in the Challenge is Easy

Follow these simple steps to participate in the CACFP 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 site.

Step 2:
 Plan your menu and educational activities.

Step 3: Complete the parameters:
Eat Local. Teach Local. Be Social.

Step 4: Submit your participation 
attestation form. This form collects information about local products served, dollars spent on Texas products, details about hosted educational activities and social activity.

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

Complete the Challenge: Eat Local. Teach Local. Be Social.

First Tier:
Best of the Bunch 
Second Tier
Prime Participant 
 Eat Local.
What to Serve:
3 or more Texas Foods from 3 different meal components. 
How Often:
A minimum of once a week, every full week in March

 Eat Local.
What to Serve: 
3 or more Texas Foods from 3 different meal components. 
How Often: 
Anytime during the month of March

Teach Local.

Host at least two educational opportunities during the month of March.

Be Social.

Share at least one social media post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using #FarmFreshTexas or #Farm FreshChallenge.

Success Stories
Houston Food Bank Serves Fresh Texas Produce in Kid's Café Sites 

Houston Food Bank BroccoliAfter participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Farm Fresh Challenge Pilot in 2018, the Houston Food Bank achieved Best of the Bunch status with their participation in the 2019 CACFP Farm Fresh Challenge! The food bank partners with TDA to operate almost 200 Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sites. Throughout the month of March, they served Texas produce, including broccoli, to children across their Kid’s Café sites. The food bank works year-round to provide opportunities for participants to eat local foods and learn about agriculture. Way to go Houston Food Bank!

Play Care Academy Plants a Garden During the Farm Fresh Challenge

As part of the 2019 CACFP Farm Fresh Challenge, Play Care Academy photoPlay Care Academy Child Care Center in Ganado planted and cared for a garden to Teach Local with their students, helping them to earn Best of the Bunch status. They also used their garden in math lessons to graph the size of their plants as they grew. During the challenge, they shared posts about their garden on Facebook..

Dallas ISD Uses the Harvest of the Month Resource to Teach about Texas Produce

Dallas ISD Rainbow ChardDallas Independent School District used the TDA Resource, Harvest of the Month, to teach students about local Texas produce. In addition to providing nutritional information about Texas fruit and vegetables, students across the district were also able to sample these foods during taste testing events that took place at their schools during the month of March. Dallas ISD also earned Best of the Bunch!

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 program. 

Sourcing Local Products

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

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

Farm Fresh Cookbook

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

Farm Fresh Educational Activities

A Farm Fresh educational activity is any activity that educates participants 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 programming focused on local food and agriculture. You may use one of TDA’s Farm Fresh Friday celebration ideas and resources or create your own. Engage your participants in garden-based learning with these activity ideas.

Social Guidance
Complete your
 Be Social parameter with the help of our Be Social Support tool. Click on the icon below.
CACFP Farm Fresh Challenge

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

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 the appropriate procurement method to use when buying local. 

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

Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help.

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: How to File a Complaint, 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
Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Logo

Texas Department of Agriculture Logo

Texas Department of Agriculture

Commissioner Sid Miller

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