August 25, 2011

10,000 Garden Challenge Registers Garden Number 5,000

Marshall gardener receives $500 gift certificate to farm and home supply store

Loretta Sassman of Marshall, Mo. has been selected to receive the fifth $500 Tractor Supply Company gift certificate through her participation in the 10,000 Garden Challenge. Sassman was the 4,332nd gardener to register at The 10,000 Garden Challenge encourages all Missourians to get their hands dirty in the effort to get 10,000 gardens growing across the state.

"The 10,000 Garden Challenge is doing an outstanding job of highlighting the efforts of Missourians to provide fresh, nutritious food for themselves and their neighbors," said Gov. Jay Nixon. "The First Lady and I continue to see the momentum build with more gardeners getting on board to grow local produce, give a boost to the economy and support Missouri agriculture."

Sassman lives and gardens on Share-Life Farm near Marshall. She registered her garden during an event at the Columbia Farmers' Market, where she often sells organic produce she and her brother grow on Share-Life Farm.

Share-Life Farm is a USDA-certified organic operation and AgriMissouri member. Their produce is available at the Columbia and Blue Springs farmers' markets and through a community supported agriculture (CSA) program at the farm.

Sassman will receive a $500 gift certificate from Tractor Supply Company and will be featured on the 10,000 Garden Challenge website.

"The 10,000 Garden Challenge is intended to connect Missourians with agriculture, local foods, the outdoors and healthy eating and Ms. Sassman serves as an excellent example of the opportunities found in growing your own produce and being involved in the local farmers' markets," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler.

The 10,000 Garden Challenge kicked off this spring with an announcement by Gov. Jay Nixon, First Lady Georganne Nixon and Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Dr. Jon Hagler encouraging Missourians to connect to agriculture by growing fresh produce, native plants and ornamental flowers in their backyards and communities. Since that time, over 5,000 Missouri gardeners have registered their plots in the 10,000 Garden Challenge. After every 1,000th garden is registered, a drawing is held for a $500 gift certificate from Tractor Supply Company.

Missourians can register their gardens as individuals or as groups at The 10,000 Garden Challenge website offers helpful gardening resources, including tips on vegetable planting, calendars and health and nutrition facts

To learn more about the 10,000 Garden Challenge, visit For more information on the Missouri Department of Agriculture, visit