King and Tate Elementary Schools honored with Garden of the Year AwardsTuesday, November 14, 2017 9:01 pm
King and Tate Elementary Schools in Van Buren were recently honored by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson with "Garden of the Year" Awards. The 2017 Arkansas Grown School Garden of the Year contest recognized only five schools in the state, with King Elementary winning for "Best Nutrition Education Based School Garden" and Tate Elementary winning for "Best Community Collaboration School Garden." Leaders from both schools and the District were presented the awards at a special ceremony in Little Rock on October 13.
“School gardens create valuable teaching experiences because they incorporate hands-on activities with lessons in food production, good nutrition, and the overall importance of agriculture. I commend the efforts of educators, students, and partners involved with making communities healthier through student-led food initiatives like school gardens,” says Governor Hutchinson.
The Arkansas Agriculture Department and Farm Credit of Arkansas started the contest in 2014 to promote the importance of involving young people in the process of fresh food production and cultivation. Any Arkansas school, grades pre-K-12, with a working school garden during the 2016-2017 school year, or with a startup proposal for the 2017-2018 school year was eligible to apply.
“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 Farm Credit Midsouth President and CEO, James McJunkins, on behalf of the Farm Credit cooperatives of Arkansas. “Local food projects like this are a great way to educate the next generation and the public about food production and agriculture,” he said.