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COMMISSIONER MILLER ANNOUNCES SPECIAL SPRING FARM FRESH CHALLENGE FOR NUTRITION PROGRAMS IN TEXAS (4/5/2021)

AUSTIN– Today, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced April 12, 2021 will kick off the 2021 Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) Spring Farm Fresh Challenge. Schools, child care providers, and adult care centers across Texas will celebrate Texas agriculture April 12 through May 14. TDA will recognize these nutrition program partners for serving Texas grown foods, teaching Texans about agriculture, and sharing their celebrations on social media.

 “The Farm Fresh Challenge plays a critical role in connecting Texas farmers and ranchers directly with school children, child care providers and local communities,” Commissioner Miller said. “Texas agriculture has a real impact on students and their daily lives. I want to challenge our kids to make healthy lifestyle choices for every meal they eat by filling their plates with locally sourced produce from right here in the Lone Star State. Texas agriculture and the health of all Texans matter.”

This year’s special Spring Farm Fresh Challenge reflects TDA and its partners’ commitment to introducing Texans to local foods and supporting Texas farmers and ranchers. TDA recognizes that winter storms in Texas may affect the availability of some crops and encourages partners to use these current events in their lessons about the hard work and dedication required to bring food to the table. Prioritizing agricultural education and Texas foods during the challenge is a great way for partners in the National School Lunch Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program to strengthen local economies and recognize the efforts of Texas farmers and ranchers.

In addition to providing guidelines and recognition for completing the challenge, TDA developed resources partners use to Eat Local, Teach Local, and Be Social. Recipes curated by TDA inspire nutrition professionals to use Texas products and interactive materials 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.

The Spring Farm Fresh Challenge is part of Commissioner Miller’s Farm Fresh Initiative, which includes the Farm Fresh Network, a registry of 149 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 Spring Farm Fresh Challenge, visit SquareMeals.org/FarmFreshChallenge.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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