July 31, 2014

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Kentucky students urged to enter farm to school junior chef competition Print E-mail

Do you have any would-be chefs at your school? Agriculture Commissioner James Comer invites all of Kentucky’s future culinary champions to enter the first Kentucky Farm to School Junior Chef competition.

“One of the reasons behind today’s obesity epidemic is that many people don’t know how to prepare food at home,” Commissioner Comer said. “This competition will encourage students to learn how to create delicious, healthy dishes with Kentucky Proud products. At the same time, they will learn about agriculture and the importance of buying local foods.”

The competition is open to students in grades 9-12 representing their high schools in teams of three to five members. Recipes must contain at least five local ingredients. Entries will be judged by taste, appearance, creativity, best and most use of local ingredients, and ease and affordability of preparation by school food service staff.

District competitions will be held in April, and regional competitions are scheduled for May. The regional winners will compete during the Kentucky State Fair in August in Louisville. Prizes will be announced at a later date.

Registration forms, parental release forms, entry fees, and recipes must be submitted to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Program postmarked no later than March 11.

For more information on the Kentucky Farm to School Junior Chef Competition, including forms and rules, go to www.kyagr.com/consumer/farm-to-school.html or call Tina Garland, the department’s Farm to School Program coordinator, at (502) 382-7505.

The KDA’s Farm to School Program connects local farmers to school districts to make fresh Kentucky Proud foods available to Kentucky children. Thirty-one Kentucky school districts that participate consistently in the Farm to School Program spent some $280,000 on local foods during the 2011-2012 school year. Those school districts serve approximately 325,000 students. A total of 84 school districts are members of the Kentucky Proud program, which helps Kentucky farmers market their products.