2018 CACFP Farm Fresh Challenge Pilot, Oct. 1-12, 2018

The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) Farm Fresh Challenge is part of the Farm Fresh Initiative, a comprehensive effort that helps Texans establish lifelong healthy habits and supports local farmers, ranchers and economies. Since 2013, the challenge has recognized schools that include more local foods in meals and snacks and provide lessons about Texas agriculture. This year, Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors supported by the Region 4 Education Service Center will have an opportunity to participate in a Farm Fresh Challenge pilot.

Pilot group members who take the Farm Fresh Challenge will receive recognition for purchasing local foods, providing educational opportunities, and outreach that celebrates Farm Fresh Fridays. Taking the challenge helps boost local economies and encourages positive engagement with parents and families. Feedback received from the 2018 pilot group will be used for the launch of the statewide 2019 Farm Fresh Challenge.

Take the 2018 CACFP Farm Fresh Challenge

The 2018 Farm Fresh Challenge CACSP Pilot will occur Oct. 1-12, and is open to all CACFP sponsor types located in Education Service Center (ESC) Region 4.

Eat Local.  Serve a minimum of three Texas products from different meal components (e.g., grain, fluid milk, and vegetable) anytime during October to encourage your community to eat local, fresh food. *

Teach Local.  Host a minimum of one educational activity within the first two weeks of October. Farm Fresh educational activities include activities that educates participants about local food and agriculture. **

Be Social.  Share a minimum of one social media post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using #FarmFreshTexas, 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 newsletter and bulletin boards. 

*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 opportunity is any activity that educates students 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 classroom 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.

Participation in the Challenge is Easy

Follow these simple steps to participate in the Farm Fresh Challenge and receive TDA recognition:

Step 1: Confirm that ESC Region 4 is Your ESC.

Step 2:
Take the Challenge participation pledge

  • The participation pledge should be completed by a CE Sponsor, not an individual site director.

Step 3: Plan your menu and educational activities.

Step 4: Complete the challenge parameters above. Eat Local. Teach Local. Be Social.
The challenge parameters are subject to change, based on pilot focus group feedback.

Step 5: Submit the participation attestation form
and a feedback survey November 15, 2018.

Step 6 (optional): S
end a success story and photos (if available) to FarmFresh@TexasAgriculture.gov


Resources to Help you Complete the Challenge

Defining Local Decision Tool

USDA grants the authority for entities participating in the CACFP 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 that will help you identify a definition of local that helps you meet your goals.

Local Food for Little Eaters:  A Purchasing Toolbox for the Child and Adult Care Food Program

This toolbox is designed to help early childhood programs purchase local food. The tools include a step-by-step set of instructions for purchasing local from a variety of sources and a series of success stories of successful local purchasing initiatives.

Local Procurement for Child Care Centers

This fact sheet offers advice for those looking to purchase local foods in a child care center setting. Procurement from a distributor, farmers market, farmers, CSAs and gardens are all discussed.

Local Purchasing for Family Child Care Providers

This fact sheet offers advice for those looking to purchase local foods in a family child care setting. Procurement from a distributor, farmers market, farmers, CSAs and gardens are all discussed.

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

Success Stories
Coming Soon!

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

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: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, 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; 
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 
(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
© 2018 Texas Department of Agriculture