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COMMISSIONER MILLER KICKS OFF FARM FRESH CHALLENGE FOR SCHOOL NUTRITION PROGRAMS IN TEXAS (10/1/2021)

AUSTIN- Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller today announced the start of the 2021 Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) October Farm Fresh Challenge. Schools across Texas will celebrate Texas agriculture throughout the month. They will Eat Local, Teach Local and Be Social by serving Texas-grown foods, offering agricultural learning opportunities, and sharing their celebrations on social media.

“TDA and its partners’ are committed to introducing Texans to local foods and supporting Texas farmers and ranchers,” Commissioner Miller said. This challenge offers a fun and engaging way to demonstrate valuable lessons about good nutrition and Texas agriculture in a way that children will connect with and remember for years to come. I want all Texans to learn healthy habits that will sustain local economies and build a healthier future for the great state of Texas.”

This Farm Fresh Challenge marks a return to October after school closures necessitated a switch to spring earlier this year. Participants in that Farm Fresh Challenge reported spending $8.2 million on Texas products. Throughout the year, TDA and all its partners remain committed to introducing Texans to local foods and supporting Texas farmers and ranchers. Prioritizing agricultural education and Texas foods during the challenge is a great way for schools to strengthen local economies and recognize the efforts of Texas farmers and ranchers.

TDA developed resources partners use to earn statewide recognition by completing the challenge parameters of Eat Local, Teach Local and Be Social. Recipes curated by TDA feature Texas products and interactive materials help schools provide engaging agricultural education. To assist in promoting these efforts online, TDA’s easy-to-use digital images can be added to social media posts. All these resources reinforce healthy food preparation and promote Texas products.

In addition to the Farm Fresh Challenge, Commissioner Miller’s Farm Fresh Initiative includes the Farm Fresh Network, a registry of approximately 150 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 SquareMeals.org/FarmFreshChallenge.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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