2018 Farm Fresh Challenge CACFP Pilot

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 for CACFP sponsors.

Take the Farm Fresh Challenge

Eat Local. Teach Local. Be Social.

The 2018 Farm Fresh Challenge CACSP Pilot will occur throughout the month of October and is open to all CACFP sponsor types located in Education Service Center (ESC) Region 4.

Click here to determine your ESC region.

The challenge parameters below are subject to change, based on focus group feedback.

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 anytime during October. Farm Fresh educational activities include activities that educate summer site participants about local food and agriculture. **

Be Social.  Share a minimum of one social media post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter using #FarmFreshFriday, to build community awareness of your Farm Fresh Challenge participation.

*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 Overview

Participants in the Farm Fresh Challenge pilot group will be encouraged to serve a certain number of local products during the duration of the challenge as well as conduct supportive educational activities and post relevant social media content.

TDA will recognize all CACFP sponsors in ESC Region 4 that complete the challenge and submit the attestation form showing challenge parameters have been met. All pilot group members will also be required to submit a feedback survey and/or participate in a feedback call at the completion of the challenge.   

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 online Farm Fresh Challenge participation pledge

  • The participation pledge should be completed by a CE Sponsor, not an individual site director.
  • CEs that pledge participation will receive a participation toolkit filled with Farm Fresh Fridays support materials from TDA. See the participation pledge for more information.
  • By pledging to take the Farm Fresh Challenge you agree to provide feedback to TDA when solicited at the beginning and end of the challenge.
  • Take the pledge by Sept 1, 2018 to ensure you receive a participation toolkit.

 Step 3: Visit the Farm Fresh Challenge RESOURCE PAGE 
for educational activity ideas and downloadable materials to bring the Farm Fresh Challenge to life!

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.

  • The attestation form collects information about local products served, dollars spent on Texas products, educational opportunities offered, and Farm Fresh messages shared through social media.
  • NOTE: You can submit this information by answering all of the attestation questions on the pledge (in Step 2). This is a great way to share what you plan to accomplish in October.

Step 6 (optional): Tell TDA about your celebration!
Simply send a success story and photos (if available) to FarmFresh@TexasAgriculture.gov


Local Procurement resources

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.

Success Stories
Coming Soon!
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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.
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© 2018 Texas Department of Agriculture