Miranda Lambert and Whitney Mercilus lean in to support Miller’s Farm Fresh Initiative
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced Grammy award winning country music artist Miranda Lambert and All Pro Houston Texan linebacker Whitney Mercilus have teamed up with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) to promote the agency’s Farm Fresh Initiative on radio and social media.
The Texas Farm Fresh Initiative, created by Commissioner Sid Miller, connects local Texas agriculture producers with school nutrition professionals to get fresh, healthy, locally-grown food into Texas school cafeterias. The Farm Fresh Challenge, a part of Commissioner Miller’s Farm Fresh Initiative, catered to 2.9 million students statewide in 2019. School nutrition professionals spent $4.1 million on locally sourced foods during last year's Farm Fresh Challenge.
“I am thrilled to have superstars like Miranda Lambert and Whitney Mercilus jump onboard to help promote healthier lifestyles for kids across the Lone Star State,” Commissioner Miller said. “These two incredibly popular and diverse influencers understand the importance of Texas agriculture and I couldn’t be more proud to have such great voices supporting Farm Fresh Initiative.”
The radio and social media campaign is currently running across the state and focuses on saying “thank you” to agriculture producers and school nutrition staff for their work in keeping kids fed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Because of coronavirus, this school year looks a lot different than previous years. But our commitment to fresh, healthy food for Texas schoolchildren never changes,” Miller said. “I applaud Miranda and Whitney for stepping up in these uncertain times and supporting my efforts to connect Texas children with locally grown meals.”
A native Texan, Miranda Lambert is an American country music singer and songwriter who has been honored by the Grammy Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Country Music Association Awards. Lambert is no stranger to advocating on behalf of others and is a longtime shelter pet advocate. As founder of the ‘Muttnation Foundation,’ Lambert supports better lives for sheltered animals.
“As a proud Texan, I want to celebrate the farmers, ranchers, growers and educators who help to provide daily nutritious school meals for the children of Texas,” Lambert said. “I hope my voice will encourage others to join the Texas Department of Agriculture as we help shape a better and healthy future for the children across our Lone Star State.”
As starting outside linebacker for the Houston Texans, Whitney Mercilus has developed a massive social media following as “Chef Mercilus” and his frequent posts about preparing homemade gourmet cuisine. Whitney founded the WithMerci Foundation, which provides advocate services & support to families of children with disabilities and special needs and is actively engaged in community outreach as an ambassador and role model. For his work on and off the field, Whitney received the 2018 NFL Houston Texans Man of the Year award, and the 6th Annual Spirit of the Bull Award.
“I’m honored to team up with Texas Department of Agriculture to help tackle the need for daily nutritious school meals with Texas grown products,” Mercilus said. “As someone with a passion for food, I truly understand the connection between healthy food and a healthy body. Thanks to Texas Department of Agriculture, we are educating students about local products and nutrition, encouraging them to make smarter choices about what they eat.”