Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick presented Belington Elementary student Katelyn Cross with a certificate recognizing her as the Bonnie Plants Third-Grade Cabbage Contest winner February 15, 2013, at a ceremony at the school.
“This is a great example of businesses taking an active involvement in the education of our young people,” said Commissioner Helmick. “We can only move our state forward if we all work together and education is the key to a prosperous West Virgnia.”
In West Virginia, approximately 4,500 students from 75 schools were involved in last year’s contest and Cross was chosen as the winner. She also received a $1,000 savings bond from Bonnie Plants.
“The Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program is a wonderful way to engage children’s interest in agriculture, while teaching them not only the basics of gardening, but the importance of our food systems and growing our own,” said Bonnie Plants President Stan Cope.
Nationally, more than 1.5 million third graders in 48 states have gotten hands-on gardening experience growing colossal cabbages. Since 1995, Bonnie has provided free “O.S. Cross” jumbo cabbage plants to students whose teachers have signed up for the program, and has provided the $1,000 savings bond to state winners since 2002.
At the end of the season, teachers from each class select the student who has grown the “best” cabbage, based on size and appearance. That student's name is then entered in a statewide drawing. State winners are randomly selected by the Commissioner of Agriculture in each of 48 participating states.
Cabbages were the first plant sold by Bonnie in 1918. The cabbages used for the third-grade program are OS Cross (over-sized), which is known for producing giant heads, which makes the process even more exciting for kids.
Bonnie Plants is the largest producer of vegetable and herbs in North America. For more information on the company or the school cabbage program, visit www.bonnieplants.com
Department of Agriculture