The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has announced its second First Peas to the Table Contest, which opens Feb. 20 and runs through May 15. The national competition for schools encourages children in kindergarten through fifth grade to plant, raise and harvest peas this spring.
The student team that grows the greatest amount of peas (measured in cups) using no more than 20 seeds during the official contest period will be declared the winner and receive the grand prize – a visit from Miss America 2017 Savvy Shields.
“It is an honor to have Miss America 2017 Savvy Shields recognize the winners of the First Peas to the Table Contest,” said Julia Recko, education outreach director of the Foundation. “Getting their hands dirty is the best way for children to learn,” added Recko. “Through this contest we’re pleased to provide a wealth of fun, hands-on learning opportunities for students across the country.”
The contest highlights a recent Foundation Book of the Year, “First Peas to the Table,” by Susan Grigsby. The Foundation created the contest to help students understand the importance of healthy foods and agriculture in their everyday lives, and to increase their understanding of how plants grow.
The contest runs Feb. 20 – May 15. Peas (garden shelling or English) may be grown in any manner including: hot house, hoop house, indoor pot/planter or outside garden. An official entry form, guidelines and rules are available at http://www.agfoundation.org/projects/first-peas-contest-2017.
In conjunction with the contest, Recko encourages educators to invite local farmers and ranchers to speak in their classrooms about food production and the importance of agriculture. Contacting your county Farm Bureau office is a good way to find local farmers.