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Nixa Early Learning Center A Winner of AgriMissouri’s School and Community Contest.
JEFFERSON CITY – Ten Missouri schools and community organizations, including the Nixa Early Learning Center, will start the year off with over $800 of new gardening supplies, including seeds, fruit trees and tools from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Stark Bros. Nursery and Morgan County Seeds thanks to the 10,000 Garden Challenge. Director Hagler and the AgriMissouri program announced the winners of the School and Community Contest at the Missouri State Fair last week.
“The response to the School and Community Contest has been outstanding, and it is an honor to highlight these groups that grow our communities on so many levels,” said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. “The 10,000 Garden Challenge is intended to connect Missourians with agriculture, local foods, the outdoors and healthy eating and this garden is an excellent example of the power of working together within our schools and local organizations.”
Through the Little Learners Garden at the Nixa Early Learning Center, students learn about plant and life cycles, where their food comes from and how to be of service to their community. The teachers and students plant crops in the spring that are tended along with parent volunteers throughout the summer. Students eat produce from the garden for their daily snacks and donate fresh vegetables to their local food pantry.
Zac Rantz, director of communications for Nixa Public Schools, accepted the award on behalf of the school at the 2011 Missouri State Fair.
Two other local groups recognized for participation in the contest included: Carter County Senior Center Victory Garden, Van Buren; and St. Peter Interparish School, Jefferson City.
The School and Community Contest is part of Missouri’s 10,000 Garden Challenge that allowed groups to highlight their gardens on the contest website with a photo and description. Winners were determined by a public vote in which more than 150,000 votes were cast. The garden profiles can be viewed on the Challenge website at http://www.AgriMissouri.com.
The 10,000 Garden Challenge kicked off this spring as an initiative to register 10,000 Missouri gardens to promote agriculture, gardening, health and nutrition. The Challenge website encourages all Missourians to register their gardens. After every 1,000 gardens are registered, a drawing is held for a $500 gift certificate from Tractor Supply Company.
The site also provides classroom activities and lesson plans for teachers, gardening tips and advice and a registry of Missouri’s public gardens. More than 5,000 Missourians have registered their gardens this year.
For details or to register your garden, visit AgriMissouri online at http://www.AgriMissouri.com.