Nathan Barganz is the 2013 Wisconsin State Winner in the Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program. Barganz of Forest Lane Elementary School in Montello grew a 23-pound cabbage.
"Congratulations to Nathan Barganz for being named the Wisconsin State Winner. I am pleased once again to recognize a young person's effort to grow food," said Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Ben Brancel. "I appreciate the work of Bonnie Plants to provide this excellent learning opportunity to students across the nation."
Wisconsin schools have participated in the Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program for the past 11 years. The purpose of the program is to spark children's interest in agriculture, understanding of where food comes from and learn the basics of gardening.
For his accomplishment, Barganz received a $1,000 scholarship towards his education from Bonnie Plants. Barganz is now a fourth grade student.
Secretary Brancel, Alice in Dairyland Kristin Olson, Sen. Luther Olsen, Rep. Joan Ballweg and Bonnie Plants Representative Larry Mathe participated in the award presentation on Friday, Jan. 17. Barganz was selected from almost 12,300 Wisconsin students from 226 schools who participated in the program last year.
Teachers can sign up for the free program online. Students receive an O.S. Cross, or oversized, cabbage plant to take home in the spring. Throughout the summer, students care for their cabbage. At the end of the growing season, each teacher selects a class winner based on size and appearance to submit to Bonnie Plants. Barganz was randomly selected from all submitted state entries.
To learn more about the Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program, visit http://bonniecabbageprogram.com.