Farm Fresh Challenge SFSP/SSO
Take the Summer Farm Fresh Challenge!


The 2019 Summer Farm Fresh Challenge period is June 10-21, 2019 and is open to all Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) contracting entities in Texas. The Challenge is a fun and engaging way for nutrition professionals to gain recognition for efforts to bring local foods and agricultural-based learning activities to summer sites. 

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

Take the Pledge
Participating in the Challenge is Easy

Follow these simple steps to participate in the Summer 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 by Friday, July 5, 2019. This form collects information about local products served, dollars spent on Texas products, details about hosted educational activities and social activity.

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

 Eat Local.
Serve 3 or more Texas Foods representing 3 different meal components during June 10-21, 2019.*

Teach Local.

Host 2 or more educational activities during June 10-21, 2019.**

 Be Social.

Share 1 or more social media post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using #FarmFreshTexas during June 10-21, 2019.***

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

**A Farm Fresh educational activity is any activity that educates Texans 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 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.

*** Share on social media 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 or bulletin boards and send photos to

Success Stories

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. 

VegetablesThe 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. 

Delivery Day

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 

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.

Summer 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. 

2019 Summer Farm Fresh Challenge Recognition Winners
Browse records in that    Search     
Program NameESC RegionRecognition Award Level
Elgin ISD13Prime Participant
San Antonio Food Bank20Best of the Bunch
Gatesville ISD12Best of the Bunch
Magnolia ISD6Best of the Bunch
Leander ISD13Best of the Bunch
North East ISD20Best of the Bunch
Texarkana ISD8Best of the Bunch
Grand Prairie10Best of the Bunch
Pasadena ISD4Best of the Bunch
Laredo ISD1Best of the Bunch
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Texas Department of Agriculture

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