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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Dustin Vande Hoef
515/281-3375 or 515/326-1616 (cell)


Iowa Farm to School Program partnering with farmers markets across the state

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today encouraged Iowa students who are in kindergarten through 8th grade to take part in the “Farmers Market Scavenger Hunt” again this year. 

This initiative offers students a great opportunity to meet and talk with growers while offering them a fun challenge as they search for answers to questions such as “find a fruit or vegetable that grows underground or on a vine.”  Surveys of students that have participated show that that students are seeing and trying new fruits and vegetables as a result of the scavenger hunt.

“Farmers markets are great community events and the Farmers Market Scavenger Hunt is a fun way to engage students at the market and give them the opportunity to interact with farmers. I encourage students visiting a participating market to take advantage of this opportunity and participate in the scavenger hunt,” Northey said.

To participate in the scavenger hunt, students should look for the bright blue “Farmers Market Scavenger Hunt” banner at a participating market.  As part of the hunt students will be asked to look for 37 fruits and vegetables and identify which ones are available at the market.

Students completing the scavenger hunt form will receive a free piece of fruit or vegetable from the market and be in a drawing for books, cookbooks, cooking supplies or Grow Your Own Seed Sheet garden kits.   

The farmers markets participating in the program are: Independence, Produce in the Park (Atlantic), Shelby County (Harlan), Ida Area Farmers Market (Ida Grove), Bloomfield Farmers Market, Red Oak Farmers Market, Urbana Farmers Market, Storm Lake Farmers Market, Lamoni Farmer's Market, Madison County Farmers Market (Winterset), Montrose, Uptown Ankeny, Humboldt Market, Cherokee Farmers Market, Corydon Farmers Market and Clear Lake Farmers Market. 

The Iowa Farm to School Program is part of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.  Each year the Iowa Farm to School Program sponsors initiatives to help educate students about the benefits of developing healthy eating habits.  This is done through opportunities such as "A is for Apple" and "A Garden is the Way to Grow."  These opportunities give students the chance to learn about where their food comes from and to try fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables.

More information about the Iowa Farm to School program and other upcoming events can be found at:

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Mailing Address: IDALS,  Wallace State Office Building,   502 E. 9th Street,  Des Moines, IA 50319:     PH: 515-281-5321
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