LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The Genoa Central Central School District will receive a $500 grant from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture through the Arkansas School Garden Grant Program.
A total of 88 grants have been approved for funding of $37,500 through the Arkansas School Garden Grant Program and the Arkansas Taste Test Grant Program.
"School gardens and taste tests have proven to be valuable tools in teaching children about agriculture, nutrition, and a variety of skills. The lessons learned through these programs can have a lasting impact on children, their families, and entire communities," Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward said in a news release.
The Arkansas School Garden Grant Program was established to help schools start or expand gardens on school grounds. The Department will be awarding $500 grants to 62 schools to purchase soil, specialty crop seeds and plants and gardening equipment.
The farm to school grant programs were available to public and private K-12 schools, early childhood education facilities and alternative learning environments. In addition to the funding, the Department's Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program staff will provide technical assistance to grantees upon request.
The grant programs were developed using funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Specialty Crop Block Grant Program to increase production and consumption of specialty crops in schools. Specialty crops, as defined by the USDA, are fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops.