Gardening Promotes Consumer Awareness

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Agriculture wants more people to get gardening.

That's the idea behind the agency's 10,000 Garden Challenge to promote local foods and healthy eating. So far, more than 5,000 Missourians have accepted.

Dr. Jon Hagler of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, hopes more Missouri families adopt a healthy lifestyle.  He said the challenge helps re-connect the state's agricultural community and consumers. 

Hagler remembers a time when his grandparents were out gardening and growing their own produce. "This generation hasn't been connected as much with agriculture," he said. He wants Missourians to get their hands dirty and reconnect with their roots.

"Gardens allow people to participate with community, school, and church groups," Hangler said. "This interaction is good for agriculture and good for consumers." Hagler believes more consumers are interested in where they get there food, and how it is grown.

Missourians are encouraged to register their gardens through the AgriMissouri website. The Department of Agriculture awards prizes for registrants. Ten community and school gardens won prizes worth more than $500.