Kentucky students can learn about the benefits of local food while competing for prizes in the third annual Farm to School Art Contest. The statewide contest will commemorate Farm to School Week October 20-25.
“The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Program connects Kentucky farmers with Kentucky schools,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said. “I invite all Kentucky school children to participate in this art contest and learn about the importance of eating fresh, nutritious Kentucky Proud foods.”
Contest entries must be mailed by November 15 to Kentucky Farm to School Program coordinator Tina Garland, 107 Corporate Drive, Frankfort, KY, 40601. Winners will be announced at a school food service directors conference in December in Bowling Green.
Each county is asked to select winners in elementary, middle school/junior high and high school. Statewide winners will be awarded $50 for first place, $30 for second and $20 for third.
All entries must be drawn on 8½-by-11-inch white unlined paper and have the theme “Farm to School Lunch …. Across Kentucky” printed on them, with the student’s name, address, grade and school listed on the back. Students are encouraged to make their entries colorful, since some may be reproduced onto note cards, calendars or T-shirts.
Each state winner’s school will receive a visit from renowned Kentucky Chef Jim Whaley, who will spend a day with the school food service director and his or her staff. Whaley, chef consultant at Jefferson County Public Schools with more than 30 years of experience, focuses on integrating local farmers’ foods into his cooking.
The schools of second-place finishers will receive Farm to School aprons for the food service directors and their staffs, and the schools of third-place finishers will get Farm to School gift baskets.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has asked school food service directors to feature one item sourced from a Kentucky farm on their menus during Farm to School Week.
Kentucky schools spent an estimated $460,000 on local foods in the 2012-2013 school year, up from $280,000 in 2011-2012. Eighty-four Kentucky school districts are members of Kentucky Proud and more than 80 producers sell foods to Kentucky schools through the Farm to School Program.
For more information about the Farm to School program, contact Garland at Tina.Garland@ky.gov.