June 03, 2011

Director of Agriculture Visits Kansas City with Challenge, Award

Challenged Missouri Gardeners to "Grow & Give" and Named State's Top Farmers' Market

Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler visited Kansas City June 3 to challenge Missouri gardeners to share their bounty of fresh produce with their local food banks and pantries and to recognize the community developed around one local farmers' market.

The Department's AgriMissouri program was on hand as Director Hagler challenged Kansas City-area gardeners to participate in the 10,000 Garden Challenge and donate some of their fresh produce to Missourians in need through their local food banks and pantries.

"One of our goals with the 10,000 Garden Challenge is to get fresh, wholesome, locally-grown produce into the hands of those who need it most, and I hope to see Missouri gardeners donate a portion of the produce from their plots to a food bank or pantry in their area," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler.

The 10,000 Garden Challenge website now features a color-coded map of Missouri food banks and pantries, offering visitors a ‘one-click' connection to those resources for helping their fellow Missourians via AgriMissouri.com.

The Department's AgriMissouri team has pledged to donate produce from their Growing Together Garden to the Food Bank of Central Missouri and challenges to other Missouri gardeners to do the same.

The AgriMissouri team also stood alongside Director Hagler as he recognized BADSEED Farmers' Market for the contributions they have made to their Kansas City-area community, naming them Missouri's 2011 Farmers' Market of the Year.

"The Farmers' Market of the Year award recognizes the contributions Missouri's markets make to their communities," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "I am proud to recognize BADSEED Farmers' Market for their commitment to providing high quality, locally grown food for their neighbors, and for providing their community with an outstanding gathering place."

Director Hagler presented the award to Market Manager Brooke Salvaggio and husband Daniel Heryer at the market in Kansas City where they organize vendors selling locally-sourced organic produce, meats, eggs, baked goods and other food items, as well as host bands, artists, classes and workshops and serve as a community gathering place.

The Farmers Market of the Year is selected through a competitive application process and is supported by the Missouri Department of Agriculture's AgriMissouri program and the Missouri Farmers' Market Assocation. There are approximately 190 farmers' markets in the state of Missouri.

To register your garden in the 10,000 Garden Challenge or learn more about Missouri's Farmers' Markets, visit www.AgriMissouri.com. More information about the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs is available online at www.mda.mo.gov.