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Schools and others may take part in Arkansas “Garden of the Year” contest



FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Entries are being accepted for the eighth annual Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest, sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture and the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas.

Applicants may be any school, early childhood education facility, or alternative learning environment that had a school garden during the 2020-2021 school year or is planning to start a garden in the 2021-2022 school year.

“School gardens are valuable educational tools that help students develop healthy eating habits, learn about Arkansas agriculture, and participate in hands-on learning,” said Wes Ward, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture. “We are grateful for the generosity of Farm Credit and their continued support of this program.”

Entries for the contest will be accepted through June 6.

Winners will be announced at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.

“As a farmer-owned cooperative, we are excited to continue our support of teachers and projects that engage Arkansas students in food production and agricultural sustainability. Through these partnerships, we can ensure that the valuable role of Arkansas agriculture remains top-of-mind for the next generation,” said Greg Cole, AgHeritage Farm Credit Services president and chief executive officer of Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas.

Applicants are eligible to apply for the following categories:

Best Start-up School Garden Proposal — $500

Best Education Based School Garden — $500

Best Harvest Partnership School Garden — $500

Best Community Collaboration School Garden — $500

Best Overall School Garden — $1,000

Champion of School Garden Sustainability — $1,000