A big congratulations to a local elementary for winning a category in a state-run contest! The Arkansas Department of Agriculture and the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas are pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Arkansas Grown School Garden Contest:

  • Best Start-up School Garden Proposal:

Fairview Elementary, Texarkana (Miller County), $500 Award

  • Best Education Based School Garden:

ACCESS Group Inc., Little Rock (Pulaski County), $500 Award

  • Best Harvest Partnership School Garden:

Fayetteville Public Schools, Fayetteville (Washington County), $500 Award

  • Best Community Collaboration School Garden:

Hugh Goodwin Elementary, El Dorado (Union County), $500 Award

  • Best Overall School Garden:

West Arkansas Child Development Inc., Alma (Crawford County), $1,000 Award

  • Champion of Sustaining School Garden:

Carolyn Lewis Elementary, Conway (Faulkner County) $1,000 Award

According to a press release, the Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest was initiated by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture and the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas in 2014. The program provides the opportunity to promote the importance of involving young people in the process of fresh food production and cultivation. Farm Credit generously provides the funding for program award recipients.

“As a farmer-owned cooperative, we believe it’s important to support local food system initiatives such as the Arkansas Grown School Garden Program,” said AgHeritage Farm Credit Services CEO Greg Cole on behalf of the Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas. “Local food projects like this are a great way to educate the next generation and the public about food production and agriculture.”

The contest was available to public and private K-12 schools, early care facilities, and alternative learning environments. Awardees were schools that had a school garden open during the 2019-2020 school year or planned to start a garden in the 2020-2021 school year.

“School gardens provide a hands-on opportunity for children to learn about Arkansas agriculture and where their food comes from.  The lessons learned through school gardens have a lasting impact on children, their families, and entire communities,” said Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward.

With $4 billion in assets, Farm Credit Associations of Arkansas support rural communities and agriculture across Arkansas with reliable, consistent credit, and financial services.

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture 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. Visit agriculture.arkansas.gov.

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