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Local students are winners in the N.C. Farm to School calendar contest

RALEIGH — The artwork of 12 elementary school students will be featured in the 2012-13 North Carolina Farm to School calendar. This is the second year for the calendar, which features daily agricultural facts and highlights the N.C. Farm to School program and agriculture's role in food production.

"Last year was the first year for this calendar and we were blown away by the response. This year, a thousand more students participated, making the task of selecting winning entries even more difficult," said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. "We want kids to know where their food comes from, and in creating artwork for the calendar and using the calendar during the year, they gain a better understanding that all food starts on a farm. The lesson comes full circle when they get to enjoy the fruits and vegetables that are on the school lunch menu through our Farm to School 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 1998 and is coming off its best year ever, with sales closing in on $1 million and participation by 78 school districts statewide.

Winning entrants are:
Chad Theriot, a fifth-grader at St. James Elementary School in Lincoln County;
Shalyn Hogan, a fifth-grader at Page Street Elementary in Montgomery County;
Gayathri Achar, a first-grader at Cedar Fork Elementary in Wake County. Achar was also a winner in 2011 as a kindergartner;
Carson Cope, a fifth-grader at Holly Ridge Elementary in Wake County;
Marissa Blackwelder, a fourth-grader at Ethan H. Shive Elementary in Rowan County;
Shimia Modlin, a third-grader at Hertford Grammar in Perquimans County;
Madison Via, a second-grader at College Park Elementary in New Hanover County;
Mniah Goins, a fifth-grader at Burton Elementary in Durham County;
Avery Johnson, a kindergartner at H.B. Sugg Elementary in Pitt County;
Anna Windsor, a third-grader at Shoals Elementary in Surry County;
Logan Wilbanks, a first-grader at Millbridge Elementary in Rowan County;
Alexis Casias, a fourth-grader at Pink Hill Elementary in Lenoir County;

The calendar contest was open to public school students in grades kindergarten through 5. There were 2,373 entries submitted from 49 counties. Winners will receive a cash prize and a year's subscription to Our State magazine. Prizes will be awarded at a winner's reception Friday, May 18, at 10:30 a.m. at the Got to Be NC Festival.

School systems will receive a minimum number of calendars before the start of the school year. Additional copies will be available through NCDA&CS on a first-come, first-served basis. A printer-friendly version can also be found at


Image courtesy of NC Farm to School Program. To see the winner and download the art click HERE . 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.