Farm to School — Tools for Producers

Direct Marketing to Schools

Farmers in a fieldIf you are a producer who wants to establish new markets for your fruits and vegetables, you can start by contacting our office. Today, school nutrition directors work to include more fruits and vegetables from local sources in their menus and have numerous resources to help them accomplish their goals. You will find that many school nutrition professionals are willing to work with you to establish supply lines for your products. Here are some resources to help you prepare for working with schools. 

Know Your Region’s Farm Fresh Market

Know Your Region’s Farm Fresh Market One PagerThese regional profiles use data collected from districts statewide to capture a snapshot of each regions activity. Information included on the regional profiles include food budget ranges, local food purchasing habits, and meal components most often bought from Texas producers/ranchers. Become familiar with your region’s Farm Fresh market!

Enroll in the Texas Farm Fresh Network

Gain exposure to schools and child care centers in Texas that are interested in purchasing local products through this free tool maintained by TDA. Joining the network is quick and easy. The only information needed to join is current contact information, distribution radius, and a list of products available to sell to schools and child care centers. Watch this short video to learn how to enroll today!

Farm to School Videos 

These videos, produced by the University of Minnesota Extension program, feature local producers and distributors sharing tips for building successful farm to school programs. Topics include Marketing Your Farm Fresh Products, Partnering with Schools — Advice for Farmers, Local Farms & Distributors Working Together and Partnering with a Distributor — 5 Tips for Farmers.

Innovative Marketing Opportunities for Small Farmers
This guide provides an overview of a project led by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service, the West Florida Resource Conservation and Development Council and the Small Farmer Outreach Training and Technical Assistance Project at Florida A&M University. These organizations worked together on a pilot project to create marketing opportunities for limited-resource growers.

Marketing Local Food
This publication, developed by the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, offers a guide to selling food in your local community. 

Produce Profitability Calculator
This tool, developed by Iowa State University Extension, helps producers compare production scenarios to determine potential production costs and income.

Nuevos Mercados Para su Cosecha
Esta historieta ilustrada trata de un nuevo mercado para los agricultores de pequeña escala. Explica como pueden vender sus productos a las instituciones locales, tal como hospitales, colegios de comunidad, universidades, escuelas, asilos de ancianos, centros comunitarios para adultos mayores, guarderías infantiles, prisiones, y cárceles.

This Spanish-language publication, developed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology, details strategies for farmers interested in marketing their products to local institutions such as schools, colleges, hospitals, retirement homes and day care centers.

School Food Service: A Market Place for Producers
Farm to School thrives because of great agriculture partners. If you’re a producer interested in selling to schools, this resource will help set you up for success.

Additional resources for producers can be found on USDA’s Farm to School Web pages.

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:, 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

Facebook Icon Instagram Icon
Twitter Icon YouTube Icon