LITTLE ROCK, AR – Entries are being accepted for the ninth 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 2021-2022 school year or is planning to start a garden in the 2022-2023 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 5, 2022, and the application can be found at cognitoforms.com/ArkansasAgriculture1/ArkansasGrownSchoolGardenOfTheYearContest2022. Winners will be announced in the fall of 2022.
“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 Associations of Arkansas.
Applicants are eligible to apply for the following categories:
- Best Start-up School Garden Proposal – $500 Award
- Best Education Based School Garden – $500 Award
- Best Harvest Partnership School Garden – $500 Award
- Best Community Collaboration School Garden – $500 Award
- Best Overall School Garden – $1000 Award
- Champion of School Garden Sustainability – $1000 Award
More information about the Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest can be found at agriculture.arkansas.gov/arkansas-department-of-agriculture-programs/farm-to-school/school-gardens/arkansas-grown-school-garden-of-the-year-contest/ or by contacting Erica Benoit, Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator, at [email protected].