The Texas Center for Local Food has been working with Iowa State University since 2018 to develop a training program for local food leadership and community food systems development. We’re interested in learning about similar resources, so as we discover training programs, we’ll keep an updated list in this article. Please add comments to the bottom of this page with your resources!

Iowa State University – Iowa State offers a fine example of what the USDA Extension Service can accomplish to support small farms, healthy people and true rural vitality. The Texas Center for Local Food is working with IA State to roll out Local Food Leaders training in Texas in 2020. Please contact us if you’re interested in helping fund this work.

Food Systems Leadership Network – Active and deep leadership training for those working to create food systems that are healthy, equitable and good for our planet. This network of thousands offers an active online community, trainings through webinars and in person leadership retreats, and much more. you can join free and help continue to create this network.

A Guide for Rural Health Care Collaboration and Coordination – No one organization can do this work alone. This roadmap for collaboration among rural serving organizations helps health care providers and other community-based organizations work together to address the social determinants of health… including food insecurity and diet.

— from the Rural Health Information Hub

A Guide for Rural Health Care Collaboration and Coordination – No one organization can do this work alone. This roadmap for collaboration among rural serving organizations helps health care providers and other community-based organizations work together to address the social determinants of health… including food insecurity and diet.

Annie’s Grants for Gardens  – Grants to develop edible garden projects that help connect kids to nutritious food.
Geographic coverage: Nationwide 
Application Deadline: Nov 1, 2019 
Sponsor: Annie’s Homegrown, Inc. 

This guide was written for farmers up north in Minnesota and Wisconsin and has ideas you can use here in Texas. Hey Texas farmers and ranchers, add your comments below to share your ideas.

Are you a farmer interested in diversifying into on-farm food service and serve meals on your farm?  As local food fans continue to flock to on-farm dining experiences, from multi-course farm-to-table meals to family-friendly pizza nights. This opens up opportunities for farmers to launch dining experiences on their family farms and add an income stream. 

A new free publication, Come & Get It: What you need to know to serve food on your farm  is a 120-page guide with case studies of nine successful farm businesses. Spearheaded by Renewing the Countryside, this project created publications specifically for Wisconsin and Minnesota to help navigate and understand various regulations.  

Texas farmers. Share your ideas for increasing farm income using agri tourism. Add your comments below

This article in the Austin Chronicle (March 8, 2019) highlights the latest players in the burgeoning Austin consumer packaged goods (CPG) world. We want the best of these companies to locate in Elgin where we have land, farms and a strong labor force. At the Texas Center for Local Food, we’re raising funds now to build the Elgin Local Food Center to provide jobs and opportunities for our region’s talented food entrepreneurs.

And yea, we want to help them buy from our Texas family farms! So hey you up and coming CPG companies, drop us a line.

Here is our homespun video describing our process for designing the Elgin Local Food Center. We created this video for the Iowa State University Community Food System Training program. 11 mins long. Look for more updates soon as we work hard to raise funds to build this fabulous new food processing and education center in rural Texas.

Also on our Vimeo site, you’ll find our other videos, some are home made and other a bit more polished. We hope you find our work worthwhile and that you’ll become a member today!

We got an email about this tree program and want share it with all of you! Texas A&M has announced its 2020 Fruit Testing Program. Orders are begin taken through May 15, 2019 may order fruit trees to be made available starting January 2020.

Dr. David Byrne, director of the stone fruit breeding program at Texas A&M University is making 27 selections of peaches and nectarines available to growers in Texas for evaluation beginning in 2020.

Who can participate?: Any person interested in peaches and nectarines can participate—those with commercial growers, those with home plantings, and those who have never grown a peach or nectarine before.

A minimum of two trees and a maximum of ten trees of each cultivar can be ordered for testing. The cost per tree is $8.50.

How to participate:

  1. Identify your chill hour zone.
  2. Review variety information.
  3. Complete the TAMU Stonefruit Testing Program order form (PDF) (a minimum of 2 trees and a maximum of 10 trees is required for any variety a grower wishes to obtain). It looks like you have to mail a check and the paper form.
  4.  Get ready to plant in 2020

Contact Dr. David Byrne for questions. Email:

As Walmart works to build its own beef supply chains, Bloomberg reports that Walmart has made deals with Texas’ 44 Farms (of Cameron TX) and Mc6 Cattle Feeders to supply beef to 500 Walmart stores. Interesting that the pic in the article shows apparently happy cattle on lush green grass. We suspect the reality of these cattle’s lives may be quite different. Plus it appears that the cow-calf and operations are in Texas but the feedlot, slaughter and packing may be elsewhere. How much money will stay in Texas from this new deal?

Farm to Institution New England (FINE) has released the new report Campus Dining 201: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities for Farm to College in New England. The report summarizes the results of FINE’s 2018 survey of New England colleges and universities with dining services.

Results show that 93 percent of responding colleges reported purchasing local food for their dining services. On average, responding colleges spent more than a fifth (21.5 percent) of their annual food budget on local food (spending $67.7 million on local food). Read the full report for more information on specific food items that colleges are sourcing locally and those they report are difficult to source locally; procurement goals; distributors used; self-operated colleges and food service management companies; and much more. 
Download their new research report to learn more!

It’s not just violence and poverty that Central Americans are fleeing. It’s also climate change. In this NY Times article, you’ll read about how the temp in Central America has increased 2 degrees F, how the rains are off schedule, and how coffee won’t grow in the heat like it has for so many years. Farmers are heading north.

In 2017 the World Bank reported that climate change could cause 1.4M people from Mexico and Central America to migrate north. Agriculture in Honduras employs 28% of the labor force. With so many farmers and farm workers leaving, now there’s a farm labor shortage in Honduras.

The U.S. provides aid to Honduras and other Central American countries. The U.S. President has proposed to cut off all aid, apparently believing the lack of funds will prevent migration. It appears that exactly the opposite will happen: cutting off U.S. aid will only make the situation more desperate for Central American farmers.