April 08, 2011

10,000 Garden Challenge Presents First Award

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

Pamela Sample of Harrisburg, Mo. is the first gardener in the 10,000 Garden Challenge to be awarded a $500 gift certificate from Tractor Supply Company. Sample was the 272nd gardener to register at AgriMissouri.com.

"My dad and I gardened when I was a child and I am continuing that tradition," said Pamela Sample. "This gardening challenge is a great way to encourage people to garden."

On her just under five acres, Pamela and her husband, Michael, have potted plants, pumpkins, gourds, currants, blackberries, hazelnuts and witch hazel, as well as pecan and pine trees purchased from the Department of Conservation. In addition, the Samples are planning to expand their garden this year.

"We are really excited to be the first winner of the challenge," said Sample. "This year we will be growing 500 bulbs of ornamentals so our neighbors can enjoy the beauty of gardening along with us."

Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler and Brad Pierce, store manager of the Jefferson City Tractor Supply Company, presented the award.

"The response to the 10,000 Garden Challenge has been outstanding, and we look to see that momentum continue," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "More than 1,500 Missourians have logged on to the new AgriMissouri.com and registered their gardens, and we hope to see that number keep climbing."

Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Dr. Jon Hagler was joined by Gov. Jay Nixon and First Lady Georganne Nixon in launching the 10,000 Garden Challenge on March 18. Since that time, over 1,500 Missouri gardeners have registered their plots in the 10,000 Garden Challenge.

After every 1,000th garden is registered, a drawing will be held for a $500 gift certificate from Tractor Supply Company.

The 10,000 Garden Challenge encourages all gardeners to get their hands dirty in the effort to get 10,000 gardens growing across the state. Missourians can register their gardens as individuals or as groups at AgriMissouri.com. The 10,000 Garden Challenge website offers helpful gardening resources, including tips on vegetable planting, calendars and health and nutrition facts. Whether consumers are growing fruits, native plants, ornamental flowers or vegetables, they are encouraged participate in the Challenge.

To learn more about the 10,000 Garden Challenge, visit AgriMissouri.com. For more information on the Missouri Department of Agriculture, visit mda.mo.gov.