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School nutrition programs will earn recognition for strengthening

connections between students and Texas farmers and ranchers


Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller today kicked off the 2022 Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) October Farm Fresh Challenge. Thousands of schools have pledged to promote local foods and Texas agriculture during the challenge. Throughout the month, students will have opportunities to enjoy locally sourced food and learn more about the hardworking men and women producing it.


“When I took over as Texas Agriculture Commissioner in 2015, I was determined to get healthy Texas produce into our Texas schools. That’s why I initiated the Farm Fresh Initiative,” Commissioner Miller said. “Texas has become a national leader in connecting agricultural producers with federal nutrition programs. It is all part of helping young Texans adopt healthy habits while sustaining local agricultural communities.”


Last year, TDA’s nutrition-program partners participating in Farm Fresh Challenges spent more than $18 million on Texas products. Supporting local agriculture during the challenge includes offering educational activities for students and promoting Farm Fresh efforts on social media. Thanks to schools’ participation in the challenge, students gain a healthy new perspective for the food they eat and the hard work of Texas farmers and ranchers.


Schools earn statewide recognition by completing the challenge parameters of Eat Local, Teach Local and Be Social. TDA assists them by curating recipes that feature Texas products and developing interactive materials for engaging students in agricultural education. TDA provides digital advertisements for emails and social media posts so everyone can follow their favorite school’s Farm Fresh efforts. All these resources reinforce healthy food preparation and promote Texas products.


Commissioner Miller’s Farm Fresh Initiative also includes the Farm Fresh Network, a registry of approximately 180 companies interested in selling their local food products to schools, child and adult care centers, and summer meal sponsors. For more information and to see who is participating in the October Farm Fresh Challenge, visit


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