Little Rock, Ark. – School entries are being accepted for the fifth annual Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest sponsored by the Arkansas Agriculture Department (AAD) and Farm Credit. Applicants may be any Arkansas school, grades pre-K through 12, that had a school garden open during the 2017-2018 school year, or any schools planning to start a garden in the 2018-2019 school year.
Online entry forms and program requirements are available, here.
Farm Credit is generously providing funding for winners in the following award categories:
Best School Garden Start-Up Proposal - $500 Best Nutrition Education Based Garden - $500
Best Community Collaboration Garden - $500
Best Environmental Education Focused Garden - $500
Overall Winning Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year - $1,000
All school applicants except those applying for the school garden start-up category are required to provide photos or video documentation of garden activities and progress. The deadline for submissions is September 14, 2018.
“School gardens bring agriculture, our state’s largest industry, to life for Arkansas students,” says Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward. “We are pleased to see this program enter a fifth year of successfully helping support and start school garden initiatives in counties across Arkansas. We appreciate the sponsorship provided by Farm Credit that makes this important program possible.”
“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 Farm Credit Midsouth President & CEO, James McJunkins, on behalf of the Farm Credit cooperatives of Arkansas.
With more than $3.3 billion in assets, AgHeritage Farm Credit Services, Farm Credit Midsouth, and Farm Credit of Western Arkansas support rural communities and agriculture across Arkansas with reliable, consistent credit and financial services today and tomorrow. In Arkansas, Farm Credit associations are owned by the more than 11,000 customer-owners they serve. Through the cooperative structure, customer-owners have a voice and vote in the associations’ governance. Members also share in the cooperatives’ financial success through cooperative returns which total more than $200 million since 1997.
The Arkansas Agriculture Department is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation.