MADISON — Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Secretary Ben Brancel visited Medford on Thursday to recognize Sydney Sperl, the Wisconsin state winner in the Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program. Sperl’s winning cabbage weighed more than 35 pounds.
“Congratulations Sydney! I am encouraged when I see young people excited about growing food,” said Brancel. “Students like Sydney and her classmates are the state’s future, and I hope someday they consider the hundreds of career opportunities available in Wisconsin agriculture, from on the farm to behind a desk.”
This year, 730 Wisconsin schools participated in the Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program. Almost 14,510 Wisconsin students received free O.S. Cross, or oversized, cabbage plants from Bonnie Plants last spring. At the end of the growing season, teachers submitted a class winner, and from those entries, Sperl was randomly selected as the state winner.
Sperl is a student at Medford Area Elementary School. As the state winner, Sperl receives a $1,000 scholarship from Bonnie Plants.
Wisconsin is one of the country’s largest producer of vegetables. There were 6,000 acres of cabbage harvested in Wisconsin in 2016 with a total value of production of $47.6 million.
The Bonnie Plants Third Grade Cabbage Program is a national initiative. For more information, visit http://bonniecabbageprogram.com/.
— Wisconsin Department of Agriculture
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