Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year Contest Open through September 13

School entries are being accepted for the seventh 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 Arkansas school, grades pre-K through 12, that had a school garden open during the 2019-2020 school year, or any school planning to start a garden in the 2020-2021 school year.

“School gardens have proven to be an effective way to help students develop healthy eating habits, while also learning about science, math, and agriculture, Arkansas’s largest industry,” said Wes Ward, Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture. “We value our partnership with Farm Credit and appreciate their generosity in providing the funds for the awards,” said Ward.

The contest runs through Sunday, September 13, 2020. Online entry forms and program requirements are available at Winners will be announced at the Farm to School Celebration in October.

“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.

The 2020 contest has a new category, “Champion of Sustaining School Garden,” where schools who have previously won in a category can be awarded for their continued development and sustainability.

Applicants from public and private K-12 schools, early care facilities, and alternative learning environments are eligible to apply for the following categories:

·       Best School Garden Start-up Proposal – $500

·       Best Harvest Partnership Garden – $500

·       Best Education Based Garden – $500

·       Best Community Collaboration Garden – $500

·       Overall School Garden Winner – $1000

·       Champion of Sustaining School Garden – $1000

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

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