S.B. No. 1027
  relating to the establishment of an interagency farm-to-school
  coordination task force.
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 12, Agriculture Code, is amended by
  adding Section 12.0026 to read as follows:
  FORCE. (a)  To promote a healthy diet for schoolchildren and the
  business of small to mid-sized local farms and ranches, the
  interagency farm-to-school coordination task force shall develop
  and implement a plan to facilitate the availability of locally
  grown food products in public schools.
         (b)  The task force is composed of:
               (1)  a representative of:
                     (A)  the department, appointed by the
                     (B)  the Texas Education Agency, appointed by the
  commissioner of education; and
                     (C)  the Department of State Health Services,
  appointed by the commissioner of state health services; and
               (2)  at least one representative of each of the
  following groups, appointed by the commissioner:
                     (A)  fruit and vegetable producer organizations;
                     (B)  school food service organizations;
                     (C)  food distribution businesses;
                     (D)  child nutrition and advocacy organizations;
                     (E)  parent organizations;
                     (F)  educational institutions that conduct
  research in the areas of agriculture and nutrition; and
                     (G)  health nutrition educators who serve school
         (c)  A member of the task force serves at the will of the
  official who appointed the member.
         (d)  The representative of the department serves as
  presiding officer. The task force may elect other necessary
  officers from its members.
         (e)  The task force shall meet at the call of the presiding
         (f)  The agency whose commissioner appoints a member is
  responsible for the expenses of a member's service on the task
  force. A member of the task force is not entitled to additional
  compensation for serving on the task force.
         (g)  Each appropriate agency or group represented on the task
  force shall provide the personnel and resources necessary to
  implement a task force measure under this section.
         (h)  The task force shall:
               (1)  design new education resources, or review or
  update existing resources, on nutrition and food education that may
  be used by schools and school districts;
               (2)  expand food-focused experiential education
               (3)  offer assistance in identifying funding sources
  and grants that allow schools and school districts to recover the
  costs associated with purchasing locally grown food products;
               (4)  develop a database of available locally grown food
  products for use by school food service agencies that includes
  contact and purchasing information for the products;
               (5)  identify, design, or make available training
  programs to enable local farmers and ranchers to market their
  products to schools and school districts, including programs
  related to:
                     (A)  crop production;
                     (B)  marketing of crops;
                     (C)  postharvest handling of crops;
                     (D)  food safety;
                     (E)  business management;
                     (F)  liability and risk management; and
                     (G)  other topics deemed appropriate by the task
               (6)  advise schools and school districts on methods by
  which a school or school district may improve its facilities to
  allow for the use of minimally processed, fresh, and locally
  produced foods in school meals;
               (7)  provide technical assistance to school food
  service agencies to establish procedures, recipes, menu rotations,
  and other internal processes that accommodate the use of locally
  grown foods in public schools;
               (8)  offer advanced skills development training to
  school food service employees regarding the proper methods of
  handling, preparing, and serving locally grown foods; and
               (9)  conduct any other activity considered by the task
  force as necessary to achieve its goals under this section.
         (i)  The task force may solicit and accept gifts, grants, and
  donations from public and private entities to use for the purposes
  of this section.
         (j)  The task force may use any existing program or procedure
  that it determines to be useful in performing its duties under this
         SECTION 2.  (a)  Not later than December 1, 2009, the
  Department of Agriculture shall establish the interagency
  farm-to-school coordination task force as required by Section
  12.0026, Agriculture Code, as added by this Act.
         (b)  Not later than February 1, 2010, the commissioners of
  the Department of Agriculture, the Texas Education Agency, and the
  Department of State Health Services shall appoint members of the
  interagency farm-to-school coordination task force, as required by
  Section 12.0026, Agriculture Code, as added by this Act.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1027 passed the Senate on
  April 16, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
  Secretary of the Senate    
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1027 passed the House on
  May 20, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 122, Nays 21, two
  present not voting.
  Chief Clerk of the House