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Local schools win in the N.C. Farm to School promotion contest

Three North Carolina schools were recently recognized for their in-school promotions of the N.C. Farm to School program as part of a contest held to highlight agriculture and agricultural commodities. This marks the second year for the contest.

The first-grade class of JoAnna Davis, a teacher at Castle Hayne Elementary School in New Hanover County, won first place and $250. Davis’ students participated in a variety of activities introducing them to agriculture and learning about apples, sweet potatoes, pumpkins and peanuts.

Apple-related activities included reading a variety of fiction and nonfiction books about apples, charting the top N.C. apple producing counties on a map, using apples to make prints using tempera paint and sharing brochures from the N.C. Apple Growers Association. Students also brought an apple from home, held a taste test, sorted and graphed apples by attributes, and voted for their favorite apple.

Second place went to Mary Wright’s art students at Crain’s Creek Middle School in Moore County. Her students put together a video about the N.C. Farm to School program and also studied careers and signed a pledge to eat healthier. Wright received $150.

Deborah Hempstead submitted the third-place winner, Aberdeen Elementary School in Moore County. The school was the first in Moore County to have a school garden. Students participated in lessons about the garden produce and held taste tests. Teachers plan to have students sell the produce this year. Hempstead’s class received $100.

The prizes were sponsored by the N.C. Farm to School Cooperative, made up of farmers from across the state that sell produce through the program.

The N.C. Farm to School program is a cooperative effort of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Food Distribution and Marketing divisions. These divisions secure orders from school nutrition directors, and source and deliver locally grown fruits and vegetables for school lunch programs.

The program started in 1997 and is coming off its best year ever, with sales of more than $1 million and participation by 78 school districts statewide.

Story Courtesy of NCDA is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.